Liberty Just in Case

A Dialogue for the September 12th World

Harry Potter and the Bible

Posted by Mark on October 4, 2006

It never stops…..I mean….NEVER. The attack on Christianity is relentless- NOW you can’t read.

Amber Mangum was a frequent reader during lunch breaks at her Prince George’s County middle school, silently soaking up the adventures of Harry Potter and other tales in the spare minutes before afternoon classes.

The habit was never viewed as a problem- not, a lawsuit alleges, until the book she was reading was the Bible.

A vice principal at Dwight D. Eisenhower Middle School in Laurel last month ordered Amber, then 12, to stop reading the Bible or face punishment, according to a lawsuit filed Friday by Amber’s mother. The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Greenbelt, alleges that the vice principal’s actions violated the girl’s civil rights.

She was reading on her own time….in her own space- and not during class. Minding her own business…not bothering ANYONE! So what’s the problem? What in the name of JESUS is going on?

Why do civil liberties only apply to Muslims and Secularists? You can bet if the girl had been reading the Koran….the ACLU, CAIR, and half the Arab world would be THREATENING the school.

And the Vice Principal would’ve been fired, and living in fear.

3 Responses to “Harry Potter and the Bible”

  1. Nariel said

    Totally agree that it has gotten out and out ridiculous!!!
    I actually hope that the family is able to be successful in their suit against the schools because at last check.. the First Amendment guarantees one right to freedom of speech (implied there is thought) meaning she can think and read whatever she would like to on her own time! The right to the freedom of press.. also establishes not only the right of the press to write what they will but for ourselves as the readers, to read what we will. This is just simply ludicrous!!

    Now bear in mind.. that I feel that way across the board as well. If a child wants to read the Koran, if they want to read the Book of Mormon, if they want to read SilverSpiral.. or what have you .. on their own time, for their own reading.. then they should be allowed to!

    Since when is reading something we want to take away from children, with the literacy rate falling astonishingly in the past years???

    *shakes head*

    Underlying all of this of course, is that ever prevasive “Seperation of Church and State” however.. that has to my knowledge never been a matter, unless we are talking about reading OUTLOUD, in class to other hearers.. some religious or spiritual thing. It just makes no sense at all to me.. sounds like the Principal is just wayyyyyyyyy too concerned about what things could look like rather then truly being concerned with the welfare of children.

    Makes no sense.. no sense at all.

  2. I agree with you Nariel, except to sharpen one of your points. The Separation of Church and state would apply if the child was forced to read the book, either silently or out loud. A child choosing to read out loud is not an issue. No-one is forcing the child to read, nor is anyone being required to listen. This is plainly a first amendment issue in its entirety with all of the guaranteed freedoms being abridged. This is clearly a case where the ACLU, if it truly was what is says it is, should intervene. Instead they are smiling happily in the background.

  3. Nariel said

    Actually Zaph, that would not be correct.

    Under the 1st Amendment (Freedom of Religion) is the Establishment Clause which Prohibits establishing a National Religion of course. The Free Exercise Clause guarantees that our right to believe as we will is absolute, however the right to act is not always.. the test of that is what is known of course as the Lemon Test:

    The Practice has to meet each of three tests:

    1. It must have a secular purpose
    AND
    2. It’s PRIMARY effect cannot be the advancement or inhibition of religion
    AND
    3. It cannot foster an excessive government entanglement with religion.

    If a practice (such as here a reading of the bible by your hypothetical situation “outloud”)
    Does not meet all three of the Lemon Test Criteria then it is not protected under the First Amendment.
    Reading of a spiritual or religious document out loud at a public school activity or in the classroom as well as vocal prayer (mind you, not against moment of silence), hymn singing etc..is not allowable under the Constitutional Law.
    Yep, that even includes if it is student initiated.

    Many people are not aware of that and it was something actually that our US Gov teacher (an attorney) lectured on recently. It falls into that category of “It ain’t a foul til it gets called..” but the truth of the matter is.. that even if a student initiates the prayer at a school game, a school activity and I would assume by the example you gave of reading a document such as the bible outloud in a classroom, is a violation of the Law.

    Now, the exception of course being if the classroom is discussing something by which the reading has a merit (secular merit) such as if one is discussing Law in a classroom and if one uses the ten commandments as an example of a form of law.. then that would be acceptable, as would a reading of any other philosophical or spiritual law or law system.. for that.

    So I hope that that offers some clarification of what the Law actually supports and upholds regarding that matter.

    For example: the prayer before our football games here in our town.. is a violation of the law. The prayer before every school board meeting as well.. violation of the law. Because the practice is not meeting the requirements of the Lemon Test as they apply to public, state and federal government supported agencies.

    But not.. to be a complete drag.. there is nothing of course that says that all the parents and players and etc.. can’t read it or say it just outside of the school gates! šŸ˜‰ Just have to be creative!

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