The Oklahoma attorney general on Tuesday defended schools who allowed the distribution of bibles to students, claiming that religious freedom is under attack in the U.S., according to the Tulsa World.
“Few things are as sacred and as fundamental to Oklahomans as the constitutional rights of free speech and the free exercise of religion,” Attorney General Scott Pruitt wrote in a letter to public school superintendents. “It is a challenging time in our country for those who believe in religious liberty. Our religious freedoms are under constant attack from a variety of groups who seek to undermine our constitutional rights and threaten our founding principles.”
Pruitt wrote the letter in response to complaints that a Duncan Public Schools teacher was distributing bibles to students. After the Appignani Humanist Legal Center got involved, the school district promised that teachers would not distribute religious materials to students, but said that the distribution of bibles and other materials would still be allowed by outside groups.
The Freedom From Religion Foundation then sent a letter to 26 Oklahoma school districts about complaints that Christian group Gideons International was working to distribute bibles to multiple schools, FFRF’s lawyer, Andrew Seidel, told the Tulsa World.
In his letter to public schools, Pruitt told them that the distribution of religious materials in schools is constitutional.
“The Freedom From Religion Foundation has filed lawsuits around the country to aggressively advance its agenda,” Pruitt wrote. “The group has contacted more than one Oklahoma school with misrepresentations regarding the law, including the false categorical assertion that the law prohibits distribution of religious literature in public schools.”
And now, a Satanist church in Oklahoma City has asked for permission to distribute its materials in Duncan Public Schools District schools, according to Raw Story.
Last year, the Satanic Temple, asked for permission to hand out coloring books to students in a Florida school district during the school’s celebration of Religious Freedom Day. After the Satanic Temple’s request, the district decided to ban all religious materials from its schools. Most known for placing bibles in hotel rooms, Gideon International claims to have placed 1.9 billion bibles in schools, universities, prisons, and hospitals.