- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 1, 2013

If the Christians get to do it, then so should we. That was the winning argument of atheists who fought for access to several Florida high schools to distribute group documents — same as evangelicals did with Bibles in January.

“We want to close the door to religion in schools, not open it to Freethought,” said David Williamson, an organizer with the Central Florida Freethought Community, the Orlando Sentinel reported. “[But] if they’re going to have a religious discussion on campus, we need to be a part of it.”

The principals of several schools told the Orlando Sentinel that they were forced to allow the atheist groups to distribute materials on campus, or they would be sued. The schools’ legal counsel said in a letter that the Freedom From Religion Foundation had joined Mr. Williamson’s group in threatening a suit for equal access.

Adding fuel to the legal fire: The Bible distributions in January stemmed from a threat of a lawsuit, too. The Orlando Sentinel reported that World Changers of Florida, a group that promotes more religion in schools, warned it would sue unless its members were allowed to place Bibles on a table in a public place for students to take. The atheists have to follow the same rules — no interaction with students, the newspaper reported.

The atheists are targeting nearly a dozen schools for their document distribution efforts, the Orlando Sentinel reported.

• Cheryl K. Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com.

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