No Bible, no prayers, no Christianity & Judaism in Schools; but Islam & Muslims are permitted to pray in Schools

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Some parents said: we would take our children out of the public system if the ban sticks.

Let us read what CTV wrote about this law in Canada

Updated news below this text: Tuesday Apr. 17, 2012 7:47 AM ET

TORONTO Extra security will be on hand when a public school board in southern Ontario takes a final vote tonight on whether to ban free handouts of Gideon Bibles.

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http://www.ctv.ca/CTVNews/Canada/20120408/gideon-bible-handout-ban-bluewater-120408/

The Canadian Press

Date: Sunday Apr. 8, 2012 9:36 AM ET, to read updated  Apr. 17, 2012 is at the end of this page

TORONTO An Ontario public school board's decision to ban distribution of Gideon Bibles to its young students has unleashed a torrent of threatening calls and hateful emails directed at trustees.

Some messages to the Bluewater District School Board express racist sentiment and question trustees' patriotism.

"When are you 'politically correct' idiots, with your heads buried in the sand, going to realize that every action you take to destroy Canadian heritage...?" one email began.

"Allowing newcomers to Canada the ability to walk all over our heritage has got to stop before they carry us into the realm of a warring nation like the one they often left behind," another writer said.

The invective has unnerved some trustees as they prepare to formalize the ban on distribution of all non-instructional religious materials prompted by a parent's complaint about the decades-old tradition of offering free Gideon Bibles to Grade 5 students.

Trustee Fran Morgan called the "onslaught" of messages "really disturbing," and said it has made her uneasy about driving the 30 kilometres to board meetings at night by herself.

"I really do feel threatened by it," Morgan said from Griersville, Ont. "It's been very unpleasant."

The Bluewater board, with more than 18,000 students in 53 schools across a broad swath of southern Ontario territory, is expected to formalize the ban at its meeting April 17, following in the footsteps of several other boards across Canada.

Ban proponents argue distribution of the Bibles has no place in a secular school system, and that it potentially violates human-rights legislation.

The board nixed the idea of allowing any religion to hand out materials on the basis it would suck up scarce resources and could be legally risky.

One writer blamed the decision on "a handful of non-Christian elected officials."

Board chairwoman, Jan Johnstone, admits the vitriolic responses -- some urging trustees to "watch your back" -- are unnerving.

"People do crazy things," Johnstone said. "They see Christianity as a fundamental part of their Canadian identity."

Another wrote one trustee: "How is that you agree with God's 10 Commandments and yet you have broken them countless times, you hypocrite!"

Gideons International, an evangelical Protestant association based in Nashville, Tenn., has been placing its Bibles -- comprising a New Testament plus the books of Psalms and Proverbs from the Old Testament -- in Canadian public schools since 1936.

Kelvin Warkentin, a spokesman for the Gideons International in Canada, acknowledged times have changed.

"Over time, due to the religious fabric of our country being re-woven, school boards have begun to re-evaluate their policies on this tradition," Warkentin said.

"The Gideons' response to the school boards' decisions to discontinue the distributions has always been complete acceptance."

Although one trustee received a phone call he thought was tantamount to a death threat, the board has so far not referred the matter to police, but a spokesman said the situation was being monitored.

Trustee Kevin Larson, who would have preferred all religions be allowed to distribute materials, said he was "disappointed" by some of what he's seen.

However, those views are in the minority, and two leaders in the religious community have apologized for the hateful expressions, Larson said.

Trustees emphasized that most of those in favour of continuing the distribution practice have been respectful in their views.

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Security on hand for Ontario school board Bible vote

The Canadian Press

Date: Tuesday Apr. 17, 2012 7:47 AM ET

TORONTO Extra security will be on hand when a public school board in southern Ontario takes a final vote tonight on whether to ban free handouts of Gideon Bibles.

Based on previous votes, Bluewater District trustees are expected to put an end to the handouts to Grade 5 students by barring distribution of all non-instructional religious materials.

The issue has sparked heated emotions, with some trustees receiving threats and hate mail.

The local chapter of Gideons International in Canada and some church elders have distanced themselves from those who accuse trustees of unCanadian and unChristian behaviour.

The chairwoman of the board expects the meeting to be packed.

At least one delegation is slated to speak against the ban.

Based on a legal opinion and concerns about the cost of allowing distribution of all religious materials, the trustees have so far opted to ban such handouts as several other school boards across Canada have done.

The invective of those opposed to the ban unnerved some trustees of the Bluewater board, which has more than 18,000 students in 53 schools.

Chairwoman Jan Johnstone said Monday that a recent article by The Canadian Press on the torrent of hate mail directed at trustees, some of it racist, prompted a new wave of correspondence.

This time, however, Johnstone said correspondents from across Canada and the United States were by and large "overwhelmingly supportive" of the pending ban.

Johnstone also said she anticipated one trustee would try to amend the motion to bar distribution of religious materials.

"I believe (the amendment) will not pass (and) that the Board will pass the motion as written."

Ban proponents argue distribution of the Bibles has no place in a secular school system, and that it potentially violates human rights legislation.

One writer blamed the decision on "a handful of non-Christian elected officials."

Some parents have said they would take their children out of the public system if the ban sticks.

Johnstone stressed the ban applies only to non-instructional religious materials.

"Multi-faith content in the public elementary and secondary school curriculum for educational purposes will continue," Johnstone said.

"Bibles and other religious texts will continue to be available in our libraries."

Gideons International in Canada said the organization would take a ban with "complete acceptance."