Atheist Group Hands Out Brochures in Fla. School District

A Florida-based atheist organization has left approximately 5,900 various brochures, booklets, and books on secular views at several public high schools in the Sunshine State.

The Central Florida Freethought Community performed this action Thursday, leaving the literary products on tables in 11 high schools in Orange County.

David Williamson of the CFFC said in a statement that he organized the event in response to a similar one held by a conservative Christian group that distributed Bibles in the high schools in January.

"We repeatedly explained to the school board that we wished to prevent religious proselytizing to children in public schools. We prefer that neither Bibles, nor our literature is distributed in public schools," said Williamson. "Therefore we are obligated to share our own literature and to ensure the campus is truly an open forum for all and not just the privileged majority."

According to CFFC, the various literary items came from secular organizations including the American Atheists, Freedom From Religion Foundation, Secular Student Alliance, American Humanist Association, Florida Atheists and Secular Humanists, and the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science.

The January event CFFC mentioned was organized by World Changers of Florida, a group that had volunteers distribute Bibles in observance of National Religious Freedom Day.

"World Changers of Florida, Inc. is a dynamic organization of concerned citizens who believe that they can influence the world around them by engaging their local, state, national and international governing bodies," reads the About Us section of their website.

"World Changers Florida believes that there is no substitute for action. The history of World Changers Florida is one of taking action on issues that are important to the group, whether that issue is a local school board issue, distribution of Bibles to students, helping promote people of faith in politics, or issues of a Constitutional nature."

Greg Harper, vice president of Education for World Changers, wrote in a blog entry, "We have given out thousands of Bibles over the last few years and we are working to expand the program to many other school districts.

"Our members and volunteers from many local churches will place Bibles on tables during the lunch periods for students to pick up."

CFFC stated that the date they chose for the secular literature distribution was in observance of the National Day of Reason, considered a secular alternative to the National Day of Prayer.

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