In The Public Schools
I'm an atheist living in Forsyth County, Georgia, and recently realized that there are 6 local churches of various denominations which are holding their worship services in the public schools in my area. Since the schools are funded with taxpayer dollars, I'm thinking this may be illegal. Could you advise me (or point me toward the info I need) as to whether this may be in violation of the separation of church and state, and if so, how I might go about putting a stop to this practice.
Thanks very much for your time,
From: "Positive Atheism" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: "Bobbi Needham"
Subject: Re: Positive Atheism, Cliff's Writings
Date: Saturday, June 03, 2000 12:51 PM
It is our position that if the schools rent their facilities after hours to anybody, they should rent to everybody (including the Klan -- as long as nobody has easier access to them -- no favoritism). I have seen some schools, etc., refuse to rent to groups that exclude members on the basis of race or religion, but I don't think the schools, etc., should get this involved in monitoring the groups' use of the room. A simple "No illegal activities" (such as open drug use) would suffice. In other words, if you get busted, Yer atta day-uh!
It is religion during school hours that we must focus our meager resources fighting. PAM sees nothing wrong with renting facilities to groups such as churches and the Scouts after the students have gone home.
After-hours use of schools, parks, city hall rooms, library rooms, etc., should be fair and open to anyone for any reason, and no religious test should ever be involved.
"Positive Atheism" Magazine
Material by Cliff Walker (including unsigned editorial commentary) is copyright ©1995-2006 by Cliff Walker. Each submission is copyrighted by its writer, who retains control of the work except that by submitting it to Positive Atheism, permission has been granted to use the material or an edited version: (1) on the Positive Atheism web site; (2) in Positive Atheism Magazine; (3) in subsequent works controlled by Cliff Walker or Positive Atheism Magazine (including published or posted compilations). Excerpts not exceeding 500 words are allowed provided the proper copyright notice is affixed. Other use requires permission; Positive Atheism will work to protect the rights of all who submit their writings to us.