From Pine View Farm

Joining Church and State–It Cuts Both Ways 2

Establishment of religion.

No, wait! A favor granted to one religion must be granted to all:

The dispute started last summer when Gabriel and Joshua Rakoski, twins who attend Hollymead Elementary School, sought permission to distribute fliers about their church’s Vacation Bible School to their peers via “backpack mail.” Many public schools use special folders placed in student backpacks to distribute notices about schools events and sometimes extra-curricular activities to parents.

School officials originally denied the request from the twins’ father, Ray Rakoski, citing a school policy barring “distribution of literature that is for partisan, sectarian, religious or political purposes.”

A Charlottesville weekly newspaper, The Hook, reports that Rakoski “sicced the Liberty Counsel on the county,” and the policy was soon revised to allow religious groups to use the backpack mail system. Liberty Counsel is a Religious Right legal group founded by Mathew Staver and now affiliated with Falwell.

Some local Pagans who attend Thomas Jefferson Memorial Church, a Unitarian-Universalist congregation in Charlottesville, decided to take advantage of the new forum as well. They created a one-page flier advertising a Dec. 9 event celebrating the December holidays with a Pagan twist and used the backpack system to invite the entire school community.

Ya know, the public schools just should not be used for proselytizing.

Let’s just leave it at that.

With a tip to All Spin Zone.



  1. Opie

    December 10, 2006 at 9:45 pm

    Between having freedom of speech for none and freedom of speech for all, I’ll take the latter every time.

  2. Frank

    December 14, 2006 at 6:34 pm

    Very Jeffersonian. Tom would be proud of you.