A Florida atheist is making headlines for demanding the immediate removal of the “Bible from the classroom, library, and any instructional material.”
Chaz Stevens, a well-known activist, sent his appeal to ban the Bible and any texts referencing it to superintendents across the Sunshine State, according to Georgia Public Broadcasting.
He is embarking on his pursuit as other books like “50 Shades of Grey” face scrutiny, with Florida parents wondering whether these texts are dangerous — or at the least inappropriate — for children.
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“Let’s be honest — banning books is never a good idea,” Stevens wrote in a letter to Leon County Schools Superintendent Rocky Hanna. “But what’s fair is fair, and, with that in mind, please find attached my request to ban the Bible.”
This might seem like a strange proposition, especially considering Stevens’ claim banning books “is never a good idea.” But the 57-year-old activist is basing his opposition on H.B. 1467, a bill signed into law last month by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R).
The legislation, which goes into effect July 1, “requires school districts to be transparent in the selection of instructional materials, including library and reading materials.” Parents can contest books and materials they deem inappropriate.
Stevens, “a political stunt activist” who calls himself a bishop with the First Church of Mars, seized upon the newfound law to resist the Bible’s presence in public schools. He told the Miami New Times he knows it’s a “long shot,” but is hopeful officials will apply their own standards to the Bible and ban it.
“My objection to the Bible being in your public schools is based on the following seven points, offered for your learned consideration,” Stevens wrote to superintendents, questioning whether the Bible’s mentions of adultery, sexual immorality, murder, and other issues are appropriate.
He continued, “Do we really want to teach our youth about drunken orgies?”
Addressing the issues of “wokeness” and critical race theory, Stevens sarcastically appealed in his letter to the Apostle Paul’s words in Ephesians to make his point.
“With the constant babbling concerns about teaching critical race theory, should we not take stock of the Bible’s position on slavery?” he wrote. “I am concerned our young white students will read such passages and wake up to civilization’s sordid past.”
Of course, this issue of slavery has been dealt with and explained by many apologists and Bible teachers, though it somehow remains a popular line of attack from some atheists.
Stevens is known for his atheist activism. His most recent quest to ban the Bible was reportedly sent to at least 62 superintendents throughout Florida, according to the Tallahassee Democrat.
“My goal is to use the law as our expert politicians in Tallahassee intended,” he said. “There were no carve-outs for religious texts, so I would assume they meant for them to be in play.”
Stevens tweeted Tuesday that he plans to up the ante on the effort by providing a tool others can use to send similar letters to their school districts. He wrote, “Coming soon. A free web-based app that will create a customized PDF bible-banning letter that you can send to your local superintendent.”
Coming soon. A free web-based app that will create a customized PDF bible-banning letter that you can send to your local Superintendent.— Chaz Stevens, Stunt Activist. (@TheTweetOfJab) April 27, 2022
In the past, Stevens has made headlines for installing a Festivus pole — a fictional religious display that originated in the show “Seinfeld” — in Florida’s state capitol, among other exhibitions.
As Faithwire reported, he was also responsible for the “Fauci Claus” display that appeared in the Florida Capitol Rotunda this past holiday season. Inspired by Dr. Anthony Fauci, the public health official at the center of America’s COVID-19 response, “Fauci Claus” was a giant placard featuring the famed immunologist in a red suit and Santa hat.
The Santa-themed Fauci placard is joined by “The Grim Carlson,” a cardboard cutout of Fox News’ Tucker Carlson adorned in garb unmistakably tied to the deathly and diabolical Grim Reaper.
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