The Freedom From Religion Foundation filed a lawsuit June 13 in U.S. District Court in Florida against the Orange County School Board in Orlando for censoring distribution of freethought materials while allowing unfettered distribution of the Christian bible.
Plaintiffs are FFRF, its Co-Presidents Annie Laurie Gaylor and Dan Barker, and David Williamson, who heads the Central Florida Freethought Community, an FFRF chapter. Distribution of limited freethought literature was allowed on May 2, the National Day of Prayer.
The distribution was organized in response to a so-called "passive" bible distribution in January, when World Changers evangelists in about 11 public schools were permitted to hawk bibles and promote religion.
FFRF asserts violation of its rights under the First Amendment (viewpoint discrimination and prior restraint) and 14th Amendment (equal protection).
Orange County Public Schools insisted on vetting the freethought literature from FFRF and other secular groups. It censored many of the materials, including "Letter to a Christian Nation," Sam Harris' book; "The Truth," an essay by Robert G. Ingersoll; "Jesus Is Dead" a book by Robert Price, professor of philosophy and religion; "What on Earth Is an Atheist," a book by Madalyn Murray O'Hair; "Why I am Not a Muslim," a book by Ibn Warraq, and several FFRF "nontracts," including "Dear Believer," "Why Jesus?" "What Does the Bible Say About Abortion?" and "An X-Rated Book."