Is the Bible Harmful to Children? | American Center for Law and Justice
  Search  |  Login  |  Register

Is the Bible Harmful to Children?

By Michelle Terry1334767613000

Are Bible verses and biblical truth harmful to children? Should the state protect even Christian kids and parents from the Word of God? Until the ACLJ stepped in, it appeared that the state of Washington was well on its way to censoring the Christianity right out of a Christian day care center.

Promise Community Center, a Christian, nonprofit day care, called the ACLJ for assistance in late February. Its State Daycare Licensor had demanded that Promise remove a poster depicting the "Tree of Good and Evil" which was displayed on a classroom wall at Promise's facility alongside the "Tree of Life." The licensor also took issue with a Bible verse from the book of Proverbs written on a wall in the Center's chapel. Specifically, the licensor stated that the verse and poster were "too negative" and may "intimidate" or "frighten" children; essentially, she stated, she "didn't like the wording." A picture of the poster is above.

The licensor further asserted that the Center's religious speech violated the state's childcare licensing requirements. It is worth mentioning that Promise had displayed the poster at its facilities for roughly six years. This licensor had overseen the approval of Promise's daycare license during the entirety of that time and never before had she raised any concerns.

Simply put, the state of Washington doesn't have the authority to decide that bibilical truth is bad for children. The ACLJ took swift action on Promise's behalf. After Promise requested a supervisory review of the licensor's decision, the ACLJ sent a letter to the Washington State Department of Early Learning explaining that the government's attempt to censor the Center's private religious speech was in direct violation of the First Amendment and requesting that the Department cease its unconstitutional demands. We explained that the decision of a private organization to include religious messages or pictures in its governing documents or on the grounds of its facilities is just that - private. As such, the government's attempt here to silence the religious speech which occurs at Promise's facilities was, frankly, perplexing. Moreover, it was a gross and improper overextension of the state's authority over the Center.

Soon after the ACLJ received notice from the Washington State Attorney General's Office that our letter had been received and reviewed, Promise received a letter from the Department of Early Learning stating, "This [supervisory] review has been concluded and a decision has been made: The licensor's decision has been overturned . . . ."

This outcome represents a great result for Promise Community Center and other private organizations in the battle to protect private religious speech from government censorship. We applaud the Washington State Department of Early Learning for quickly reversing the licensor's initial determination and fervently hope that this case represents an isolated incident and not an emerging trend.

This post was co-authored by ACLJ Associate Counsel Michelle Terry.

Latest in
Free Speech

Angry Atheists Try to Ban Gideon Bibles

By Jay Sekulow1447350056745

The virulently anti-Christian Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) is at it once again. What are these atheists so angry about this time? Apparently, Gideon Bibles resting in hotel table drawers are just too much to bear for the self-proclaimed freethinkers, atheists, and agnostics at FFRF.

read more

Why We Need a Special Counsel Now

By Jay Sekulow1445956969389

When I heard the news that the Department of Justice (DOJ) was closing its investigation into former top IRS official Lois Lerner – who’s at the heart of the unlawful targeting scandal of conservative and Tea Party groups – two thoughts came to mind. First, the decision not to bring any criminal...

read more

Obama DOJ Closes Faux Investigation of IRS Targeting Scandal – No Criminal Charges

By Jay Sekulow1445631194865

President Obama’s Justice Department has just announced that it is closing the investigation into the IRS targeting scandal and that Lois Lerner will not face any criminal charges for her actions. What investigation? This faux investigation, conducted by one of President Obama’s top donors , was...

read more

Blatant Moral Injustice: Bergdahl vs. Martland

By Matthew Clark1444752065213

It’s a moral contradiction like no other. Bowe Bergdahl stands accused of deserting his post to cavort with the enemy. Sergeant Charles Martland stands accused of forcefully removing a child rapist from a U.S. military base in order to defend a child. Bergdahl was treated as a hero by the Obama...

read more