Monday, February 09, 2004

By now you know all about God's self-appointed copilot. But do you know about jellybeans for Jesus?

Parents Sue To Allow Daughter To Distribute Religious Jellybeans

DAYTON, Ohio -- Parents have sued a school district because a kindergarten teacher stopped their daughter from distributing bags of jellybeans with an attached prayer to her classmates.

Allen and Sheila Wuebben, of suburban Kettering, say the school's policy of prohibiting students from distributing religious literature in the classroom violates their daughter Madison's rights to freedom of speech and religion....

According to the lawsuit, Madison sought permission from her teacher, Angela Helwig, to distribute "The Jelly Bean Prayer" to her Orchard Park Elementary School classmates before last Easter.

The prayer's first two lines are: "Red is for the blood He gave, Green is for the grass He made." ...

The teacher said no Jesus jellybeans in the classroom. The family cried "Persecution!" The superintendent said Jesus jellybeans were OK on the bus, in the playground, or after school. That wasn't good enough for the family.

Oh, by the way: The family's lawyer is from the Rutherford Institute, legal backers of Paula Jones.

Now, let me get this straight: According to religious conservatives, gay marriage is an intolerable infringement on the lives of married heterosexuals, even when those married gay people don't go anywhere near non-consenting heterosexuals -- yet if someone gets in my face and starts trying to convert me to Christ in a setting I can't readily leave (an airplane, my kindergarten class), that just fine.

A kindergartner doesn't have a right to proselytize in the classroom, any more than a tenth grader has a right to get up in the middle of a math test, whip out an electric guitar and a portable amp and start working his way through the Good Charlotte songbook. No one says that guitarist's First Amendment rights are being denied if he's told to take it back to the garage. It's about common courtesy and mutual respect. It's about not being a rude, inconsiderate boor.

Proselytizing Christians? You say Jesus loves us? We get it. Now, if we ask you to back off, back off.

(Jellybean link via INTL News.)

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