Viral Story About Kid Banned From Reading The Bible In School Is A Hoax

Earlier this week, a story went viral in the sort of internet spheres I don’t generally travel in. A tragic story about a 12 year-old Christian boy in Missouri who was banned from reading his Bible in school by a cruel atheist teacher who hated god and also Jesus.

According to the original story, originally reported by a Fox affiliate in Missouri, Loyal Grandstaff was minding his own business, quietly reading the Good Book to himself during his free time, and that a teacher came up and told him that this was not allowed.

Via Fox4KC:

Loyal says he loves reading his Bible and decided to bring it to school before the Christmas break so he could read it during his free time. But the seventh grader said his teacher told him it wasn’t allowed.

“I like to read my Bible because it’s a good book,” Loyal said.

He said he wasn’t reading out loud and said he wasn’t sharing the Bible with his classmates.

“I was just reading, just reading because I had free time. A time to do what I wanted to, so I just broke it out and read,” he explained.

“I feel like it violated his freedom of religion but also his freedom of speech,” Loyal’s dad, Justin Grandstaff, said.

Justin says he’s trying to raise his children to honor God, work hard and do the right things, and he says he can’t believe his son was banned from reading the Bible.

“There’s kids walking around disrespecting their teachers, kids walking around cussing and everything else and they’re practically getting into no trouble at all,” Justin said.

“He doesn’t want me reading it in his class because he don’t believe it, because he feels like he’s shutdown,” Loyal said.

Loyal says the Bible makes him feel encouraged and he’ll never stop reading it. Justin says he hasn’t been able to talk to the teacher in question or the principal because of the Christmas break, but he plans to talk to them when school reopens on Tuesday.

Oh, what a very sad story. It sure is terrible the way all these mean atheists try to steal the Bible away from sweet, devout children like Loyal Grandstaff.

In fact, even as an atheist myself, I would agree that this would be a ridiculous thing to do. Even people who don’t believe in the Bible often read it as a piece of literature, as they do with many other religious texts.

Except the thing of it is…it appears this incident did not actually happen. In a follow up interview with The Christian Post, principal Lance Tobin reveals that the story ran before he had a chance to investigate the claim, and that said claim has–shockingly–turned out to be false and entirely unsubstantiated.

This has happened many, many times before.

Via People For The American Way:

The tales of horror keep pouring in: Two middle school girls are forced into a lesbian kiss as part of an anti-bullying program; an Air Force sergeant is fired because he opposes same-sex marriage; a high school track team is disqualified from a meet after an athlete thanks God for the team’s victory; a Veterans Affairs hospital bans Christmas cards with religious messages; a man fixing the lights in a Christmas tree falls victim to a wave of War-on-Christmas violence; an elementary school student is punished for praying over his school lunch; a little boy is forced to take a psychological evaluation after drawing a picture of Jesus.

Each of these stories had a similar narrative, and each turned out to be false. These sort of modern day “Lives of The Saints”-type fables are extremely popular amongst Christians looking to depict themselves as a persecuted minority. In fact, they even made a movie about it! Starring TV’s Hercules!

The persecution narrative is extremely enticing for a number of reasons. For one, there is a perception on the right that actual persecuted minorities get special treatment, and that the way to get that special treatment is to be a persecuted minority. The fact is, the Christian Right is the bad guy in many of these scenarios–from gay people to people of other religions or atheists. They don’t like being the bad guy, so they imagine if they can do this “Hey! We’re persecuted too!” schtick, that people will all of a sudden see them as the good guys.

Another reason is that many of them believe that they must be persecuted in order to prove their faith. I mean, you hear racists complaining all the time about how black people shouldn’t still be talking about slavery because it happened such a long time ago, but we have yet to hear the end of the tales of Christians being thrown to lions in Ancient Rome.

Apparently, according to Chick Tracts I have read, after The Rapture happens, there’s even going to be a period of time where certain people get to become saints by refusing to accept the sign of the beast and having their heads chopped off by us heathens.

Which I think is a bit of an imposition, frankly. I have to chop off your head so that you can be a saint? Gross. I don’t want to chop anyone’s head off, and what makes you think I have time for that anyway?

In Catholicism, people are told stories of the sacrifices of the saints, and how the saints were tortured for their faith and what-have-you. I think that, with all of this, maybe some people have this idea in their head that being persecuted is a way to show how faithful they are.

While I understand where people might feel motivated to lie about things like this in order to further this persecution narrative, I’m still pretty sure that “bearing false witness” is supposed to be a pretty big no-no. Whoops. [RightWingWatch]