I'm Glad that Someone is Watching Our Backs and Protecting Us from those Dastardly Dominionists
Jim Brown and Jody Brown:
"As part of Governor Jeb Bush's "Just Read, Florida!" program, students are being encouraged to read The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe in conjunction with the December release of a Disney movie based on the book. The director of the program, Mary Laura Openshaw, tells the Palm Beach Post that the goal of the program is "to get kids reading" -- and that state officials did not approach the reading program to help Disney or the promoter of the film, Walden Media.
But it is not the commercial aspect of the venture that bothers the group Americans United for Separation of Church and State, which is arguing that the contest violates the First Amendment because it promotes a "religious story." Barry Lynn, director of Americans United (AU), tells the Post that the Florida contest is "just totally inappropriate" because of the themes of the book. "It is simply a retelling of the story of Christ," says Lynn."
(H.T. to Greg Jones in World Views.)
And Mark Bergin in World:
"Robert Robinson believes deeply that all things happen for a reason. He believes his two trips to prison—in 2000 for assault and 2002 for drug dealing—were gifts from God. And he believes his encounter with the InnerChange Freedom Initiative (IFI) prison ministry program saved his life. "I'd been shot twice and stabbed," the 25-year-old Iowa welder told WORLD. "If I hadn't gone to IFI, I'd be dead right now."
Despite numerous success stories similar to that of Mr. Robinson, Americans United for the Separation of Church and State has filed suit against IFI and the Iowa Department of Corrections for what it deems a violation of the Constitution's Establishment Clause. Americans United president Barry Lynn called IFI "a government-funded conversion program," and argued that "no American should be strong-armed by the government to adopt a particular religious viewpoint."
Inmates involved in the program are separated from the rest of the prison and taught core values such as integrity, responsibility, and productivity. IFI is explicitly evangelical but does not require a profession of faith in Christ for graduation. Jews, Muslims, and even atheists have completed the program successfully."
I'm sure glad that these insidious, backward programs will no longer be allowed to de-secularize our sophisticated culture.