One mom says she’s facing violent threats for complaining about a religious instructor dubbed “Bibleman,” who has been leading religious assemblies at her kid’s local public school for 42 years.
The mom, a self-described atheist, says she was dismayed by the Bibleman’s monthly displays of Baby Jesus and presence in the elementary school at 1 p.m. the middle of the school day.
So the mom reported the school and Bibleman (real name: Tennessee Horace Turner) to the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF), a foundation that fights for the separation of church and state as put forth by the U.S. constitution. In March, the FRFF sent a letter to the director of schools in Grundy County, Tenn. and the assemblies were promptly suspended.
Since then, the mom has faced devastating accusations on Facebook, including death threats and a photo of a burning home with the message: “He was an outsider and against the Bible Man coming to our schools, so we threw him a house warming party.” (The mom wants to remain anonymous because of the severity of some of the threats, but has identified herself to FFRF. She did not return calls to Yahoo Parenting.)
“Parents have been very, very sad that after 42 years, there has suddenly been a change,” Dr. Willie Childers, the Interim Director of the Grundy County schools, tells Yahoo Parenting. “With it being a religious nature, it has also brought about some anger. People feel Christianity is under attack.”
According to Childers, the assemblies that featured Turner happened at all the elementary schools at varying times and parents who wanted to opt out were “provided an alternative activity.” But that does not preclude the children from feeling left out or being marked as heathens.
Childers says they pulled the assemblies to make sure “all of our schools were in compliance with the constitution.”