Colorado School District Sued for Listing Religious Activities as One of ‘40 Developmental Assets’
This Week’s Top Scrooge – October 19, 2007
It’s funny how your conscience works. For example, your friend could say to you, “Maybe you should go to the gym.” The next thing you do is say, “Why are you calling me fat?”
You don’t say, “Thanks for the recommendation!” Instead, you go to a therapist and tell them you feel offended and alienated. You say you are thinking about filing a lawsuit against your friend because you don’t believe in exercise and yet he or she violated your right to believe in a no-exercise lifestyle.
“How dare they recommend something that may possibly be good for me!”
Such is the case with an atheist family in Colorado who is suing the Cherry Creek School District. Only it’s not about the district recommending excercise, it’s about suggesting as one of 40 ways to help students be successful that they spend “one or more hours per week in activities in a religious institution.”
Funny how our conscious works.
The Freedom from Religion Foundation is representing the atheist family and its claim that the program, called 40 Developmental Assets, encourages religion over non-religion.
A lawsuit against encouraging a developmental asset? Hands down, the family and the foundation “win” This Week’s Top Scrooge honor.
This from CBS4Denver.com:
“A public school system shouldn’t be recommending students go to church or not go to church,” said Bob Tiernan, attorney for the atheist family. “That’s an individual decision made by parents and children.”
The program promotes things like family support, positive peer influence and doing homework.
But the part of the program in contention is titled “Religious Community.” It says “young person spends one or more hours per week in activities in a religious institution.”
Tiernan said it makes atheists feel like outsiders.
“By the government telling them that because they’re atheists, there’s something wrong with them, they’re outsiders,” he said. “Any number of things that the government is doing that makes them feel like they don’t belong.”
Like outsiders? Like they don’t belong? I feel like an outsider to this planet. Who can I sue?
Apparently atheists are more sensitive than I first believed. It doesn’t take just calling them pagans or sinners to get them to feel bad. Simply suggesting that they might try spending one or more hours a week with “believers” to do some sort of social activity will send them into a tailspin.
To the Freedom from Religion Foundation and other atheist groups, especially the ones filing lawsuits without merit, I also recommend doing something one or more hours per week: listen to your conscience.
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