Herald Journal Columns
June 12, 2006, Herald Journal

Bibles weren’t forced on kids


Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney sent a letter to US senators June 2 in anticipation of last week’s vote in the Senate on a federal marriage amendment.

Romney told how recently parents of a second grader in a public school in Massachusetts had complained about their son’s teacher reading a fairy tale about same-sex marriage to the class. In the story, a prince chooses to marry another prince instead of a princess.

The parents asked for the opportunity to opt their child out of hearing such stories. In response, the school superintendent insisted on “teaching children about the world they live in, and in Massachusetts same sex marriage is legal,” Romney said.

Contrast that with the incident of the Gideons International at Dassel Cokato Middle School. The Gideons set up a table outside the school building and put Bibles on them for students to take if students wanted them. The kids weren’t forced to take a Bible. No teachers or administrators were involved in the hand out.

Also, the Dassel Cokato school superintendent didn’t insist that students get Biblical information, the way the superintendent of the public school in Massachusetts insisted second graders get information about gay marriage.

The metro area news media made a bigger fuss over the Bibles than they did force-feeding gay marriage fairy tales. Metro area news media also made it sound as if the majority of the parents in the DC school district objected to having Bibles available for their kids outside the school building.

In the two years I’ve been in the Dassel Cokato area, I doubt many parents are repelled by the idea of middle school students having Bibles. There are few unchurched families in this community, compared to other places I have been.

At least DC students had a choice, take a Bible or walk on past. The second graders in Massachusetts didn’t.

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