Fudge the facts and declare victory

You may have heard about the recent church/state clash in Colorado, where the Delta County high schools and middle schools were distributing Gideon Bibles to the students, and thus were required to also distribute “atheistic and satanic literature” provided by the Western Colorado Atheists and Freethinkers. And you may be wondering, how do you cope with such a clear violation of Christian privilege if you’re a die-hard believer and want only Christian literature distributed? Apparently, if you’re Charisma News, you respond like this:

Atheists Fuming Mad That School Won’t Allow Godless Campaign

And, as a little extra garnish, the article comes complete with a Flickr photo of “Atheists … upset at the school district’s censorship,” holding up signs that say atheist things—with the Washington Monument clearly visible in the background.

The article claims that “The Western Colorado Atheists and Freethinkers attempted to hand out material with graphic imagery to students only to have the pamphlets censored by the school district.” But let me break that down for you. One piece of literature was called “An X-Rated Book: Sex and Obscenity in the Bible” and had a cover with a cartoon of an anthropomorphized Holy Bible attempting to rip the dress off a woman. The district slapped a “CENSORED” label across that cartoon (because everybody knows students have no idea how to use the Internet, duh). And then they distributed the literature, just like the WCAF wanted.

If you know anything at all about the psychology of adolescents, you can imagine the effect of seeing the title “X-Rated Book” peeking out from behind a big old “CENSORED” sticker. I’m not a member of the WCAF, so I can’t comment on whether or not any of them are “fuming mad” right now, but sitting here in my living room, I’m thinking, “Well played, WCAF. Well played.” Voltaire’s prayer is answered once again.

The school district also censored a pamphlet about abortion, but had to distribute that one as well. The attorney for the district, Andrew Clay, made some threatening noises about possibly classifying “An X-Rated Book” as “hate literature, demeaning women,” but since the only hateful and demeaning parts of that book are the Bible quotes, you can guess that’s not going to go very far. Which is too bad, because if they did try to pursue it, they’d really be putting the spotlight on the Bible’s unmentionables.

Let’s hope the good folk in the Christian supremacists continue having “victories” like this one. I’ll even pretend to fume a little, if it encourages them.


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