Atheist pamphlets coming to Orange County schools - FOX 35 News Orlando

Atheist pamphlets coming to Orange County schools

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Atheist pamphlets are coming to Orange County public schools. They will be distributed on Thursday in almost one dozen public high schools.  Some Christians say that is insulting, because Thursday is America's National Day of Prayer.

The Freedom from Religion Foundation will make the atheist materials available to students.    Organizers say they are not trying to recruit new atheists and claim they don't really want to be in the schools at all.

Visit the Freedom from Religion Foundation website and you will find the sort of atheist pamphlets, brochures and books that will be placed on tables for students to pick up if they are interested.

Daniel Koster is a student at Wekiva High School.  He is also an atheist working on the effort to make the atheist materials available to students.

"Certainly, our goal is not to recruit more atheists. We just want to make the point that everyone should be treated equally," said Koster.   "A couple of months ago, we had people handing out bibles at the school, and we thought if they are allowed to hand out Christian materials, we should be allowed to hand out other materials."

In January, the Christian group World Changers made bibles available to students at Orange County high schools.  The atheists say they want separation of church and state.  They don't want any religious groups passing out pamphlets in our schools.

RELATED:Group distributes bibles at Orange County schools

"This is all about equality," Koster said.  "So if people are going to say they don't want atheist materials here, they also should not want Christian materials here.  To say that only one group is allowed to distribute their materials to students is to discriminate."

John Stemberger is with the Florida Family Policy Council.  He calls this debate a competition of ideas, saying, "It's Christianity versus atheism, and we believe that truth will prevail, and so we're not afraid of these beliefs or non-beliefs."

Stemberger does not see any harm coming from students picking up a bible at school, and he will not try to stop the atheist materials from being there Thursday.

"We disagree with them, obviously, but they have a constitutional right to be there as long as the teachers are not encouraging it," Stemberger added.

The Orange County School District tells FOX 35 that it will permit the atheist pamphlets at the schools to avoid any potential expensive lawsuits at taxpayer expense.


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