Atheist Lobbying Firm Attacks Extremely Popular, Voluntary Bible Study At Small Town School

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Amber Randall Civil Rights Reporter
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An atheist organization is suing a small West Virginia town for holding Bible study classes for their students.

The lawsuit, filed by the Freedom From Religion Foundation and a town mother, claims that the Mercer County schools are hosting “Bible indoctrination classes,” reports CBS News.

“The program endorses one religion, improperly entangles public schools in religious affairs, and violates the personal consciences of nonreligious and non-Christian parents and students,” the lawsuit says.

Not everyone is happy with the popular Bible program.

“If you want them to have a religious education, that burden’s on you. That burden should not be on the school system,” Elizabeth Deal said, a mother who agrees with the anonymous parent mentioned in the lawsuit.

The program, Bible in the Schools, was launched almost 80 years ago and is funded by private donations. The Mercer County School district manages the classes, which are completely voluntary.

The program is also extremely popular; the weekly classes boast a 96 percent enrollment rate among the county’s 19 schools. Approximately 4,000 students attend the classes.

“It is very important that what we teach at home can be moved on to the school and instilled there and moved to the church and it’s still there so that it moves in a circle,” Cherilyn Thomas, a mother who supports the classes, said.

Thomas’ daughter, Teagan, appreciates the classes. She enjoys them because she can learn about the Bible, Teagan said.

The lawsuit seeks a complete end to the program, as well as “nominal damages” and lawyer fees.

“The Bible is worthy of study for its literary and historic qualities. To that end we have had a Bible Curriculum, in some form, in Mercer County Schools Since 1939. We are committed to complying with all applicable laws and are currently reviewing our curriculum for that purpose,” a spokesperson for Mercer County schools told The Daily Caller News Foundation.

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