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ICC Note: Oklahoma’s attorney general has promised to protect the distribution of Bibles in public school after the activity came under attack from the Freedom from Religion Foundation. The atheist legal group sent letters to 26 school districts in Oklahoma after being informed that affiliates of Gideon International had distributed Bibles in schools across the state. Shortly after, the attorney general sent follow-up letters urging the superintendents not to submit to the atheist group’s complaint or be persuaded by “veiled legal threats.”

By Heather Clark

04/15/2015 United States (Christian News Network) – The attorney general of Oklahoma is vowing to protect Bible distributions at public schools after a prominent atheist activist organization sent letters throughout the state in an effort to stop the activity.

As previously reported, the Madison, Wisconsin-based Freedom from Religion Foundation (FFRF) sent a letter to 26 Oklahoma school districts in February after it was made aware that Jamison Faught, son of Rep. George Faught (R-Muskogee), had distributed Bibles with Gideon International to schools throughout the state.

“It is unconstitutional for public school districts to permit the distribution of Bibles as part of the public school day,” the letter, written by Staff Attorney Andrew Seidel, reads. “Courts have uniformly held that the distribution of bibles to students at public schools is prohibited.”

The correspondence also likened Gideon International to child predators in sharing the Scriptures with children.

“Parents carefully instruct their children not to accept any gifts from strangers. The Gideon practice of distributing bibles to schoolchildren teaches them to ignore that guidance,” Seidel stated. “This predatory conduct is inappropriate and should raise many red flags.”

He asked that districts prohibit Bible distributions from taking place again on public school grounds.

But Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt sent a letter to districts throughout the state on Tuesday urging superintendents not to give in to the complaint nor to be swayed by “veiled legal threats.”

“Few things are as sacred and as fundamental to Oklahomans as the constitutional rights of free speech and the free exercise of religion,” he wrote. “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.”

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