Colorado Mesa University Nixes Bible Giveaway at Nursing School Pinning Ceremony

MesaGRAND JUNCTION, Co. — Colorado Mesa University has put an end to a Bible giveaway that is part of the pinning ceremony for nursing school students.

According to reports, the on-and-off practice involved members of Gideon International handing Bibles to students as they stood on stage. But five students, whose names have not been released, complained to the university about the handouts, contending that it violated the separation of church and state.

The Western Colorado Atheists and Freethinkers (WCAF) also sent a letter to President Tim Foster to demand an end to the practice, and the Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation, (FFRF) soon followed.

“Thrusting bibles at students—who may be of varying faiths or no faith—at graduation is coercive, embarrassing, and beyond the scope of our public higher education system,” wrote FFRF attorney Andrew Seidel. “The practice of distributing Bibles alienates non-Christian students, teachers and members of the public whose religious beliefs are inconsistent with the message being promoted by the school.”

He asked that the practice be subsequently discontinued.

On Wednesday, Tim Foster, president of Colorado Mesa University, responded by stating that after seeking counsel, he had decided to end the Bible distribution practice.

“I have sought legal counsel and researched legal precedent. I have listened to the divergent viewpoints of others,” he wrote. “Taking all that into consideration, the Bible give-away at the pinning ceremony will be discontinued.”

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According to reports, the vast majority of colleges founded in early America were based on the Christian faith.

“Practical truths in religion, in morals, and in all civil and social concerns ought to be among the first and most prominent objects of instruction,” Noah Webster, who penned the nation’s first dictionary, wrote in 1839. “Without a competent knowledge of legal and social rights and duties, persons are often liable to suffer in property or reputation, by neglect or mistakes.”

“Without religious and moral principles deeply impressed on the mind, and controlling the whole conduct, science and literature will not make men what the laws of God require them to be,” he continued. “And without both kinds of knowledge, citizens cannot enjoy the blessings which they seek, and which a strict conformity to rules of duty will enable them to obtain.”


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  • Nidalap

    Remember, back in the olden days, when people actually thought that someone old enough to go to war could handle making the decision whether or not to accept an offered Bible for themselves? Thankfully, we have the FFRF today to protect them from having to make such decisions on their own…(Please, PLEASE tell me you don’t need me to put the -sarc tag on this)

    • BarkingDawg

      Too bad some christians are not mature enough to handle the fact that public schools and universities should not be in the business of pushing a particular religious viewpoint on students.

      • Nidalap

        Well, history IS replete with examples of governments “protecting” their citizens from books containing “dangerous” ideas. Had whole book burnings to get the job done…

        • Cady555

          No one is preventing anyone from owning a bible. Get real. A Christian club could have a ceremony to give bibles to its members. Family members could give a bible as a special gift. Most Christians already own several bibles.

          In the middle of a ceremony celebrating your accomplishments, would you like someone to hand you a copy of the Seven Tenets of the Satanic Temple? You would have a choice to either accept it and smile or make a scene in a solemn event.

          This is not about bibles. It is about self important Christians using a secular event to force their book on others, knowing that most people are too polite to make a scene. If your book is truly great, you should not have to use government events to force it on people.

          • Nidalap

            Oh, the horror! I might actually have to be an adult and refuse a book! Tsk. If your ideology were so great, you wouldn’t have to be doing the same, now would you? 🙂

          • Cady555

            The horrors. Why not hand out the Bibles without an audience of several hundred people? If your ideology is so great, why do they have to use tricks, peer pressure and a government sponsored assembly to get people to take one?

            The Gideons are putting people on the spot. That isn’t an accident. It’s rude. Christians would be livid if someone used their graduation ceremony to hand out Islamic literature.

          • afchief

            This is why liberalism truly is a mental disorder……they can’t read!!!!!!!!!!

            “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;”

          • Cady555

            Read the entire Constitution, including the 14th Amendment and Article III.

            And read the gospels, including that part about treating others as you would like to be treated.

          • afchief

            I have! Numerous times! I have also studied our history and the reasoning the founders said what they said when they wrote the 1st amendment.

            So, let’s get a liberals take on why the founders wrote the 1st amendment.

            Waiting……………………………………………..

        • gizmo23

          I agree. The Satanism groups should be able to give out their books on stage

          • Nidalap

            ::Shrugs:: They are adults in this instance. Pass them both out and let a decision be made! It’s ever the refrain of the tyrant to take “troublesome” decisions out of the hands of the people.
            You tell ’em, Mogwai…

          • gizmo23

            Sounds OK to me, but I don’t it would go over so well with most people

          • Nidalap

            Could be! Don’t think you wouldn’t be catching flack from BOTH sides on that one though! 🙂

          • gizmo23

            Yes and I could see it being a big headache to schools

          • BarkingDawg

            Maybe the University can get Tom Cruise to hand out copies of “Dianetics.”

      • afchief

        Too bad liberals are deceived by the father of lies. They cannot see the truth!!!

        2 Corinthians 4:4 in whose case the god of this world (satan) has blinded the minds of the unbelieving

        You are quite deceived and believe lies.

  • BarkingDawg

    It’s a public university.

    Why were the Gideons allowed on the the stage in the first place?

    • The Last Trump

      Um….cause it’s a PUBLIC school!? Hello!
      Oh. You see Congress passing a law here establishing a particular religion, do you?
      News flash, Fido. You are SUPPOSED to pass out books at SCHOOLS! Duh.
      It’s sort of how the whole concept of learning works.
      Exposer to ALL ideas. Free people in free societies don’t ban books.
      Liberal progressives, (a.k.a. Naz!, socialist, totalitarian, tyrants) do.
      Which one are you?

      • BarkingDawg

        It’s an official school event. That does not give the Gideons the right to impose themselves on it.

        • The Last Trump

          Grrrr! Woof! Woof! Christians! Grrrr!
          Hey, how come I never see you barking about ANY of the articles about Islam unabashedly being forced on kids in American schools?
          You remember, separation of Church and State and all that bull. right?
          You’re not fooling anybody pal. Troll on brother. Troll on.

          • afchief

            Your dealing with lost and deceived souls. They cannot see the truth. Most of us Christians can.

            We KNOW exactly why the founders put the 1st amendment there. The lost believe the lies from the media and left!!! It is quite obvious!!!

          • gizmo23

            I see little evidence that Islam is being pushed.
            Would you be OK if Mormons, Muslims, or others wanted to give out books? I would as long as it was done fairly

          • The Last Trump

            Duh! Who said they weren’t?
            I’ve read books from both. You haven’t? Tsk tsk.
            Maybe you shouldn’t be commenting on things you don’t understand.
            And you see little evidence of Islam being pushed?!
            Wow. Now you just look foolish. How embarrassing.

        • Josey

          Apparently they didn’t impose themselves but were invited and they didn’t force anyone to take a Bible either, stop your whining.

          • BarkingDawg

            Now the University disinvited them. So stop YOUR whining.

      • gizmo23

        The problem comes when others want to give out their books, which should be their right also.
        The Bible has become a political tool

        • Josey

          only because atheists have made it so, as a Christian to me the bible is a tool to grow up in the Lord and full or wisdom on how to live a life pleasing to Christ.

          • gizmo23

            I believe the mating of religion and politics, especially to specific parties, has done great damage to the church. It seems like a persons politics determine how faithful they are

        • The Last Trump

          Heavens NO! Giving out BOOKS! In SCHOOLS! EGADS!
          Hee hee! You trolls are so entertaining. Thanks for the chuckle! 🙂

  • Josey

    Can’t those who don’t want a bible just say, “no thank you” and move on, more petty junk. There are people in Countries where communities have to share one bible and would love to have one of their own and nations that will not allow bibles into their countries when many people would love to know the truth. Our Nation will be judged for these things, we have been given the gospel like no other and are w/out excuse. Luke 12:48 But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more. God has blessed our Nation many times over, glory to His Name and this is how we repay Him, not that He is in need of anything from us for He is God over all but we should be ashamed of how much has been given to us and how we have not shown honor that is due Him. I am thankful for the cross and for forgiveness of sin because of Jesus but to those who mock and dishonor Christ they will get what they deserve one day when they fall down before Him unless they repent and trust in Christ. I pray our Nation repents but it’s looking like more like sodom and gomorrah everyday with the love of many growing cold and if we continue down this path, judgement will come! I understand how lot felt vexed by the evil around him, it is vexing. Nonetheless with God there is hope and as long as a person has breath still in him or her, there is hope for salvation no matter how they might have lived, there is room at the cross for all.

    • Ralf Spoilsport

      Can’t those who want a bible go get one?

    • gizmo23

      I don’t see it as an issue about Bibles but more an issue of opening a can of worms. I could easily see other groups demanding that they be allowed to do the same thing.
      Unfortunately the Bible and faith have become political tools used in many cases to hurt and bash others.

      • Josey

        So put on your big pants and move on if you don’t want a bible or tract or whatever is being offered. Antichrists are the biggest babies I’ve ever seen in my life. I could care less if other groups want to put their books out there, I will walk by and refuse them, can’t they do the same? It’s petty!

        • BarkingDawg

          This is a University sanctioned, official, SECULAR, event. religion has nothing to do with it.

        • gizmo23

          I have no problem with every group being able to hand out stuff but I doubt most people would agree

          • Josey

            You have no way of knowing that most people would disagree since only five ppl came forward to complain, not many complained if that is even the truth since these atheist groups never name who complained but regardless it still stands if you don’t want a bible them walk on by, stop being a baby about it! No one is going to look down on you for not taking one, it is a choice, life is full of choices.

          • gizmo23

            You have missed the pount completely I’m afraid. I do think the Christian community if Satanist showed up. What if Planned P wanted to gjve out stuff?

          • Josey

            what about if they want to give out their crap, I already said I would walk on by w/out taking it.

          • gizmo23

            So would i where’s our disagreement?

  • acontraryview

    Smart move by the University.