Group to hand out free Bibles today at Collier high schools

A student picks up a free Bible at Golden Gate High School on Thursday, Jan. 16, 2014.

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A student picks up a free Bible at Golden Gate High School on Thursday, Jan. 16, 2014.

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UPDATED STORY: Collier high school students snag free Bibles

The Florida Family Policy Council is distributing free Bibles at several public high schools in Collier and Orange counties.

The Bibles are being made available for students to pick up during lunch periods on Thursday at eight schools in Collier County and nine schools in Orange County. The distribution is recognition of Religious Freedom Day.

The council's officials say volunteers will leave the Bibles on tables at each school, with a sign indicating they are free and can be taken by students.

The Collier County School District was sued in 2010 for prohibiting Bible distribution on its campuses. The district later settled with the Christian group, World Changers of Florida, allowing the group to leave Bibles in Collier middle and high schools on Religious Freedom Day. Students can take a Bible if they wish.

READ MORE: Christian group suing Collier School District for prohibiting Bible distribution on campuses

READ MORE: Collier school district, local Christian group reach agreement about bible distribution

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Comments » 28

canman8888 writes:

So let's say, rhetorically speaking, that "they" came to hand out the Quran, I wonder how well "Religious Freedom Day" would go down at Collier High Schools? I'm sorry, even though I am Catholic (my choice), I don't think it is right to come into public schools...what ever happened to separation of church and state?

Pragmatic1 writes:

in response to canman8888:

So let's say, rhetorically speaking, that "they" came to hand out the Quran, I wonder how well "Religious Freedom Day" would go down at Collier High Schools? I'm sorry, even though I am Catholic (my choice), I don't think it is right to come into public schools...what ever happened to separation of church and state?

I totally agree.

Selling one religion over another, or selling one religion at all, is the exact opposite of what this country has been all about.

I hope someone directly involved in that area has what it takes to sue this from happening.

eagle1610 writes:

Thos Jefferson authorized congress to supply all primary schools w/ only 2 texts; the Holy Bible and Watson's hymnal.

Fortunately (for this country) Jefferson never ran into the likes of Prag.

eagle1610 writes:

John Adams,

"The general principles on which the fathers achieved independence were the general principles of Christianity. I will avow that I then believed, and now believe, that those general principles of Christianity are as eternal and immutable as the existence and attributes of God."
Thomas Jefferson, The Writings of Thomas Jefferson (Washington D. C.: The Thomas Jefferson Memorial Association, 1904), Vol. XIII, p. 292-294. In a letter from John Adams to Thomas Jefferson on June 28, 1813.

Also - canman - has no idea what "separation of church and state" means.

Prag & canman have serious issues w/ Jefferson, Adams, Washington, Franklin, Lincoln et al...

Notice the only opinions they ever stand upon are their own. Not a good basis for any expertise.

WeThePeople2016 writes:

This is a very commendable action--but not for in public school for the reasons others have given. Whether we like it or not, this is a multi-cultural country, and according to the 1st Amendment, Barron Collier is, by this action, a government agency "providing for the establishment OF religion".

Although many here would prefer the guidelines of the Maryland Act of "Toleration" in 1649, which sought to protect Catholics from discrimination, while requiring death penalty for those who denied the divinity of Jesus---our 1st Amendment is based on a different principle---as worded in the 1947 Supreme Court decision...

"The 'establishment of religion' clause of the First Amendment means at least this: Neither a state nor the Federal Government can set up a church. Neither can pass laws which aid one religion, aid all religions, or prefer one religion over another. ..."

So, besides the Koran option, what happens if an atheist group come to distribute their literature at Barron Collier? Would they allow them equal access???

They would have to.

So although we desperately need the principles of religion in regards to stealing, killing, marriage, and "the meek" inheriting the earth...our Constitution relegates the main focus of teaching that to families, churches, and privately organized groups. It doesn't make you an atheist to agree with this.

And by introducing divergent beliefs overtly into the public schools, it could very well be a catylist for violence, as we see throughout history and the world today.

Pragmatic1 writes:

in response to eagle1610:

Thos Jefferson authorized congress to supply all primary schools w/ only 2 texts; the Holy Bible and Watson's hymnal.

Fortunately (for this country) Jefferson never ran into the likes of Prag.

"Thos Jefferson authorized congress to supply all primary schools w/ only 2 texts; the Holy Bible and Watson's hymnal."
__________________________________

Source?

eagle1610 writes:

"In the chain of human events, the birthday of the nation is indissolubly linked with the birthday of the Savior. The Declaration of Independence laid the cornerstone of human government upon the first precepts of Christianity."

John Quincy Adams, An Oration Delivered Before the Inhabitants of the Town of Newburyport at Their Request on the Sixty-First Anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1837 (Newburyport: Charles Whipple, 1837), pp. 5-6.

The founders were quite astute and articulate regarding their unabashed Christian principles upon which they founded our country.

Pragmatic1 writes:

in response to eagle1610:

John Adams,

"The general principles on which the fathers achieved independence were the general principles of Christianity. I will avow that I then believed, and now believe, that those general principles of Christianity are as eternal and immutable as the existence and attributes of God."
Thomas Jefferson, The Writings of Thomas Jefferson (Washington D. C.: The Thomas Jefferson Memorial Association, 1904), Vol. XIII, p. 292-294. In a letter from John Adams to Thomas Jefferson on June 28, 1813.

Also - canman - has no idea what "separation of church and state" means.

Prag & canman have serious issues w/ Jefferson, Adams, Washington, Franklin, Lincoln et al...

Notice the only opinions they ever stand upon are their own. Not a good basis for any expertise.

I am opposed to ANY religion being sold in any public venue. Period.

If someone wants to promote the fables, truths, lies, abridged, edited, politically updated, inclusions, falsehoods, ridiculous stories, mis-interpretations, omissions of the book called The Bible and want to call that the written word of God that is there business.

But this is not a "Christian Nation" any more than it is a Muslim Nation or a Jewish Nation.

The only way we can prevent a discriminatory, religion based government is by strictly enforcing the separation of church and state.

Otherwise, how do we differ from Muslim Countries except in which book we follow?

MasonDixon writes:

in response to Pragmatic1:

I am opposed to ANY religion being sold in any public venue. Period.

If someone wants to promote the fables, truths, lies, abridged, edited, politically updated, inclusions, falsehoods, ridiculous stories, mis-interpretations, omissions of the book called The Bible and want to call that the written word of God that is there business.

But this is not a "Christian Nation" any more than it is a Muslim Nation or a Jewish Nation.

The only way we can prevent a discriminatory, religion based government is by strictly enforcing the separation of church and state.

Otherwise, how do we differ from Muslim Countries except in which book we follow?

If it's fiction to you, what's your worry?
To take separation (if there was such a thing) a step further, then they couldn't mention or teach Christianity, Judaism, Islam, in any class either.
They aren't forcing anyone to take a Bible, it's no different than if AlGore was their giving away his Big Book of Lies.

HenryChinaski writes:

The Founding Fathers saw religion, Christianity in particular as a useful tool for creating conformity and a cohesive culture in a new country made up of Immigrants from various places with various and sometimes clashing customs, beliefs, languages and religions.

The Founding Fathers didn't push Christianity as they believed in that religion ( most founding Fathers were Deists) they pushed religion, in this case Christianity as it creates conformity.

It's interesting how people leave that part out when they note how the Founding Fathers push Christianity.

Fortunately enough for us the Founding Fathers were also smart enough to understand that religion is about a feeling, faith and cultural beliefs while governance is about facts and real world matters so they made sure we keep the two separate.

DinNaples writes:

in response to Pragmatic1:

I am opposed to ANY religion being sold in any public venue. Period.

If someone wants to promote the fables, truths, lies, abridged, edited, politically updated, inclusions, falsehoods, ridiculous stories, mis-interpretations, omissions of the book called The Bible and want to call that the written word of God that is there business.

But this is not a "Christian Nation" any more than it is a Muslim Nation or a Jewish Nation.

The only way we can prevent a discriminatory, religion based government is by strictly enforcing the separation of church and state.

Otherwise, how do we differ from Muslim Countries except in which book we follow?

"The only way we can prevent a discriminatory, religion based government is by strictly enforcing the separation of church and state."

Source?

DinNaples writes:

in response to HenryChinaski:

The Founding Fathers saw religion, Christianity in particular as a useful tool for creating conformity and a cohesive culture in a new country made up of Immigrants from various places with various and sometimes clashing customs, beliefs, languages and religions.

The Founding Fathers didn't push Christianity as they believed in that religion ( most founding Fathers were Deists) they pushed religion, in this case Christianity as it creates conformity.

It's interesting how people leave that part out when they note how the Founding Fathers push Christianity.

Fortunately enough for us the Founding Fathers were also smart enough to understand that religion is about a feeling, faith and cultural beliefs while governance is about facts and real world matters so they made sure we keep the two separate.

Not to leave out morality.

WeThePeople2016 writes:

in response to MasonDixon:

If it's fiction to you, what's your worry?
To take separation (if there was such a thing) a step further, then they couldn't mention or teach Christianity, Judaism, Islam, in any class either.
They aren't forcing anyone to take a Bible, it's no different than if AlGore was their giving away his Big Book of Lies.

Your illogical comparison to Al Gore's book betrays a lack of understanding of how Bibles do at least raise a legitimate concern about the separation of church and state--and it is the Courts that have the final say--which is another key factor in Presidential elections--the Supreme Court is now comprised of 5 Republican appointees and 4 Democrat---not that they always make decisions along Party lines.

Much like the gun related decisions, there is not so much a right and a wrong--but a majority view which decides them--and in past decades, the patriotic thing to do as part of "a more perfect union" is to accept the decision and move on...to the next election and the next appointment.

More and more we are seeing people feel that they can take actions to undermine those decisions, some who are in positions of authority.

davegipson writes:

How is offering free Bibles "selling religion"? Is anyone forcing students to take the Bibles? And if they wanted to hand out the Koran, do you really think someone would try to stop it?

Freedom of Religion is great and I support it, even if it's not my religion. But if you want to be free FROM religion, it won't happen. Why? Because you can't stop me from praying for you - at least not until you throw me to the lions! ;0)

MasonDixon writes:

in response to WeThePeople2016:

Your illogical comparison to Al Gore's book betrays a lack of understanding of how Bibles do at least raise a legitimate concern about the separation of church and state--and it is the Courts that have the final say--which is another key factor in Presidential elections--the Supreme Court is now comprised of 5 Republican appointees and 4 Democrat---not that they always make decisions along Party lines.

Much like the gun related decisions, there is not so much a right and a wrong--but a majority view which decides them--and in past decades, the patriotic thing to do as part of "a more perfect union" is to accept the decision and move on...to the next election and the next appointment.

More and more we are seeing people feel that they can take actions to undermine those decisions, some who are in positions of authority.

It looks like the court has already had their say on this:
http://www.naplesnews.com/news/2010/s...
"Collier school district, local Christian group reach agreement about bible distribution
By KATHERINE ALBERS

Originally published 03:46 p.m., September 7, 2010
Updated 04:35 p.m., September 7, 2010

The fight over Bible distribution in Collier County public schools appears to be over.

The World Changers of Florida, a local Christian organization seeking to distribute the Bibles, and the Collier County School Board and Superintendent Dennis Thompson have reached a compromise on the issue, according to documents filed Tuesday in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida in Fort Myers.

Mathew Staver, founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel — an Orlando-based Christian law firm representing the World Changers of Florida, said Tuesday that the preliminary agreement reached by the attorneys of both parties, will resolve the World Changers’ lawsuit against the Collier County School Board and Thompson.

"It allows World Changers to have a presence at school on Religious Freedom Day and results in payment (by the district) of attorney’s fees for our time," he said. "Everyone is pleased with the parameters with the settlement and it allows us to move forward...."

So, take your own advice, accept it and move on, and find something else to offend you.

sunnyday writes:

Good grief. Florida schools should be passing out educational aids, tutor's phone numbers, 'how to study' guides, life skill lessons, etc. rather than worry about passing out a book that probably half of the student population can't read let alone comprehend.

bobblehead writes:

If they are free and there is no one around pushing them, how is that bad. The bible is a book,just as the Qoran. if the muslims decided to hand them out unpressured, I would not think that bad.

I believe that there is or was a class taught in the schools that deals with all religions, or at least there once was. It wasn't considered to be pushing religion, but a study of all religious origins.

MasonDixon writes:

in response to sunnyday:

Good grief. Florida schools should be passing out educational aids, tutor's phone numbers, 'how to study' guides, life skill lessons, etc. rather than worry about passing out a book that probably half of the student population can't read let alone comprehend.

Speaking of comprehension, you do realize it's not the school that is giving away the Bibles, don't you?

eagle1610 writes:

So much for the "deists" speculations:

"The sects [denominations] which exist in the United States are innumerable. They all differ in respect to the worship which is due from man to his Creator, but they all agree in respect to the duties which are due from man to man. Each sect adores the Deity in its own peculiar manner, but all the sects preach the same moral law in the name of God….[A]lmost all the sects of the United States are comprised within the great unity of Christianity, and Christian morality is everywhere the same."

Alexis De Tocqueville, Democracy in America, (New York: A.S. Barnes & Co., 1851), Vol. I, p. 331.

Opinions are proliferating and varying... facts remain the same whether you like them or not.

sunnyday writes:

in response to MasonDixon:

Speaking of comprehension, you do realize it's not the school that is giving away the Bibles, don't you?

Oh yes. I know that it's due to a previous lawsuit that their hand was forced by this Florida Family Policy Council. I'm just saying that the bigger issue is the quality of education that FL students are receiving vs. the distribution of this material. The quality of education in the state surpasses the religious context of most of these comments--that's all. I believe that even on today's home page of the Naples News there is an article entitled "FL College Graduation Rate Unacceptable" More focus on education is necessary in the State of FL and perhaps the Florida Family Policy Council should put more time and energy on that instead of distributing books that are extremely subject to interpretation.

eagle1610 writes:

Christianity & the Founders:

Makes it pretty clear; "[Christianity] was the religion of the Founders"

Congress, U. S. House Judiciary Committee, 1854

"Had the people, during the Revolution, had a suspicion of any attempt to war against Christianity, that Revolution would have been strangled in its cradle... In this age, there can be no substitute for Christianity... That was the religion of the founders of the republic and they expected it to remain the religion of their descendants.

Reports of Committees of the House of Representatives Made During the First Session of the Thirty-Third Congress (Washington: A. O. P. Nicholson, 1854), pp. 6-9.

titanbite writes:

Those bibles don't come,"free", in order for the book to be of any use at all, the reader must first pay their due and place their full faith and belief in the outlandish tales found within its pages, surely, to do so would be an expense far too great for any thinking human being.

Ironically, where and to whom do we see the supernatural being peddled, in schools, to children.

Attendence must be down.

WeThePeople2016 writes:

in response to eagle1610:

Christianity & the Founders:

Makes it pretty clear; "[Christianity] was the religion of the Founders"

Congress, U. S. House Judiciary Committee, 1854

"Had the people, during the Revolution, had a suspicion of any attempt to war against Christianity, that Revolution would have been strangled in its cradle... In this age, there can be no substitute for Christianity... That was the religion of the founders of the republic and they expected it to remain the religion of their descendants.

Reports of Committees of the House of Representatives Made During the First Session of the Thirty-Third Congress (Washington: A. O. P. Nicholson, 1854), pp. 6-9.

How does "expecting it (Christianity) to be the religion of their children equate to it is is their intent to use agencies of the government to spread it??

We do need to remember how many of the original settlers came here BECAUSE they were seeking to get away from the theocracy concept joining government and religion--especially Rhode Island, Mass., and Md.

And the multiple Supreme Court decisions interpreting the meaning of the 1st Amendment certainly trumps the Committee Reports of the House in 1854.

btw., the Republican majority of the Court has lead to some compromises about prayer clubs, etc during after school hours, which were previously denied. So there is room for compromise and agreement.

WeThePeople2016 writes:

in response to MasonDixon:

It looks like the court has already had their say on this:
http://www.naplesnews.com/news/2010/s...
"Collier school district, local Christian group reach agreement about bible distribution
By KATHERINE ALBERS

Originally published 03:46 p.m., September 7, 2010
Updated 04:35 p.m., September 7, 2010

The fight over Bible distribution in Collier County public schools appears to be over.

The World Changers of Florida, a local Christian organization seeking to distribute the Bibles, and the Collier County School Board and Superintendent Dennis Thompson have reached a compromise on the issue, according to documents filed Tuesday in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida in Fort Myers.

Mathew Staver, founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel — an Orlando-based Christian law firm representing the World Changers of Florida, said Tuesday that the preliminary agreement reached by the attorneys of both parties, will resolve the World Changers’ lawsuit against the Collier County School Board and Thompson.

"It allows World Changers to have a presence at school on Religious Freedom Day and results in payment (by the district) of attorney’s fees for our time," he said. "Everyone is pleased with the parameters with the settlement and it allows us to move forward...."

So, take your own advice, accept it and move on, and find something else to offend you.

lol--It does not offend me as much as it does others--I was merely stating facts about the LEGALITY of the activity as it was being discussed above---and in your case, how foolish it is to relate the concept to a book by Gore--

And based on the legality of this activity, it sure is the type of activity that could lead to a challenge in the Courts, which would ultimately decide that issue--not these two groups.

In fact, I'm a bit surprised that some group has not requested equal opportunity to distribute atheist and other religious materials---because they can call it Religious Freedom Day, but the first Amendment also protects those who would honor a Freedom FROM Religion Day (not that I would support it,)

Feel_the_Love writes:

in response to davegipson:

How is offering free Bibles "selling religion"? Is anyone forcing students to take the Bibles? And if they wanted to hand out the Koran, do you really think someone would try to stop it?

Freedom of Religion is great and I support it, even if it's not my religion. But if you want to be free FROM religion, it won't happen. Why? Because you can't stop me from praying for you - at least not until you throw me to the lions! ;0)

Hi Dave,

I know I'm a horrible cynic, but I would not put it past someone or some group to try to prevent religious texts, other than the Bible, from being distributed in the same manner. Also, I can imagine this comment section being lit up with outrage if another religion was substituted in this story.

Thank you for praying for me and if anyone tries throwing you to the lions I'll sue on the grounds of animal cruelty. Ha! No, I'm just joking - I wouldn't let anyone do that to anyone if I could help it. Peace.

WeThePeople2016 writes:

in response to davegipson:

How is offering free Bibles "selling religion"? Is anyone forcing students to take the Bibles? And if they wanted to hand out the Koran, do you really think someone would try to stop it?

Freedom of Religion is great and I support it, even if it's not my religion. But if you want to be free FROM religion, it won't happen. Why? Because you can't stop me from praying for you - at least not until you throw me to the lions! ;0)

No one can, or wants to, stop you from praying for them, but the government cAN stop government suoorted agencies from enabling an action that "establishes religion"

PMC_Rider writes:

I wish there actually were an afterlife -- a very brief and disappointing one, reserved exclusively for religious people, where Chris Rock and Dave Chapelle greet you with a sharp and sarcastic, "Gotcha, 8itch!" And after which, you immediately die again for good.

Basically, just a little something special for the overbearing zealots like eagle1610 / Ed Ruff. Keep on wasting your life "worrying about" other people's fates. Goooooo sky cake!

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