Jerry Falwell: Pagan Enabler
In Albemarle County Virginia pagans were able to distribute fliers about their weekend yuletide rituals in public school’s “backpack mail”. Backpack mail is when a school uses special folders that are placed the students backpacks to ensure that important notices and fliers get home to the parents. What made it possible for the Pagans to use the system was a threatened lawsuit by Jerry Falwell’s Liberty Counsel.
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.
I think this is simply fantastic. I love to see the unintended consequences of the hard-headed come back and bite such people on their butts. I think I’ll celebrate with the egg nog and rum tonight.