The camps are located in Ohio and Michigan, and it is unclear what local group presented the flyers for distribution, though my guess would be the humanist subgroup at Thomas Jefferson Unitarian-Universalist emboldened by the success of NatureSpirit’s November 2006 holiday flyer (see my previous post "Happy Holidays? Pagan Evangelism and the many comments).
Here are a few reflections:
1. This episode once again illustrates the absurdity of the policy of allowing any group to send home promotional materials through the schools.
2. It also is a warning reminder to Christian parents of the mind-numbing secularity of the public school administrators with regard to religion. Just consider what this "all is one" philosophy does to the quality of children’s academic education, not to mention the development of their character. As Al Mohler sagely noted back in 2005, the time is now for a responsible "exit strategy" from public schools for committed Christians (and anyone else, for that matter, who might have any serious convictional beliefs).
I would offer a modest suggestion to the Albemarle County School Board:
Please consider changing your policy and do not allow any non-profits to send home promotional flyers (whether Humanist, Baptist, Boy Scout, or Little League).
Or, adopt a reasonable guideline to weed out flyers like the one above. It might include some of the following limits:
1. Promotional flyers must be for events and activities that take place in the local area (Charlottesville-Albemarle).
2. Groups allowed to send out promotional materials must meet some basic criteria as a local, viable, accountable, public, non-profit organization. These might include:
- A verifiable minimum number of participants in the organization who are residents of the local area;
- Proof of the existence of a functioning board of directors or trustees which has oversight of the organization;
- The organization’s proof of ownership or rental of property within the local area from which its organization operates.
The School Board could easily create an application process for any group that desires to send home such flyers and applicants could then be approved in public meetings, allowing for citizen feedback.
My guess is that if the County would implement such a policy this would quickly eliminate such frivolous, agenda-driven, promotional materials.