Boone County Schools students in Kentucky will see the distribution of both Gideon International Bibles and The Young Atheists Survival Guide book, after the Christian organization and a local atheist group were given permission to hand out literature.
Gideons International and the Tri-State Freethinkers group will reportedly offer Bibles and by Hemant Mehta's book on Tuesday, Fox 19 reported.
In a short email message to The Christian Post on Tuesday, Gideons Director of Communications Jeff Pack said: "From our standpoint, what work we do is through the school board and we follow whatever direction they give us. That¹s our standard practice."
Creation Museum President and CEO Ken Ham, whose organization is based in Kentucky, has expressed opposition to the distribution of atheist material.
"The reason for handing out this atheist book is to attack the Bible and the Christian faith – and the atheists really just want Bible distribution by volunteers to be stopped all together. And of course, atheists do not ultimately have any positive message to give. What can someone who says there is no God, and declares that when you die you cease to exist, really offer people except some subjective opinions for living in the here and now?" Ham wrote in a post for Answers in Genesis in May.
In response, Mehta, who is a high school math teacher in Illinois and serves on the board of directors for Foundation Beyond Belief, wrote on his "Friendly Atheist" blog that his book is "not anti-Christian at all and simply explains to all audiences how they can help young atheists."
He added that there is no hidden agenda behind the distribution of the books, and argued that atheists are taking advantage of the same opportunity that The Gideons are given when they hand out Bibles at public schools.
Ham believes the survival guide falsely attempts to "make atheists out to be 'friendly' people, who are just wanting what they consider to be the 'best' for the culture."
Mehta responded by asking: "Does Ham believe atheists aren't capable of being nice people?"
A meetup.com listing for the Tri-State Freethinkers event notes that 12 people signed up to hand out Mehta's book to students.