A California school district has canceled a fundraising program featuring memorial bricks, scuttling proceeds of $45,000, after two women submitted Bible verses in their tributes.We have all sorts of these bricks all over the school at which I teach, and while I haven't paid enough attention to notice, it would not at all surprise me to find some with religious references. Is that really such a horrible thing, that someone might see "John 3:16" or something on a brick at a school?
The two women, Lou Ann Hart and Sheryl Caronna, had filed a court complaint in January against the Desert Sands Unified School District after the district blocked them from placing the Bible verses on bricks to be installed in walkways at Palm Desert High School in Palm Desert, Calif., about 10 miles east of Palm Springs. The women sought an injunction against the district to compel it to allow the scripture bricks.
Instead, school district officials have decided to rescind the fundraiser and refund money of every community group or individual who purchased a memorial brick, according to a court filing last week with the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California...
Hundreds of other messages had been accepted for the bricks, Cortman's organization said, including inspirational and religious themes, such as a quote from Mahatma Gandhi and a Bible quotation -- "Yes, it is possible" -- written in Spanish.
Hart, of Palm Desert, and Caronna, of Rancho Mirage, were informed after submitting their bricks that they would not be included because the religious content risked an unconstitutional establishment of religion, Alliance Defense Fund officials said.
I say this with all seriousness: some people are truly hateful.