The problem of diversity and equality of religion recently cropped up in Weaverville, North Carolina. North Windy Ridge intermediate school allowed Gideons International to leave boxes of bibles in the school office. Interested students could come by and pick one up. A mother who practices paganism, specifically witchcraft, was upset when her son brought home a bible and when she was turned away by the same school after offering a box of witchcraft spell books for interested students.
Michael Broyde, a professor and senior fellow at Emory University’s Center for the Study of Law and Religion, stated, “You can either open your public school up to all religious material, or you can say no religious material.” The article goes on to talk about the U.S. experimenting with religious diversity without violence and therein is the issue.
Broyde’s choice of all religions or no religion is a question that will eventually come to a head. Right now the comforts of material prosperity and liberal optimism has the masses mollified but history and other parts of the world show that such periods are destined to collapse. At some point in time the citizens will grow dissatisfied and will express their frustration with violence and it may not necessarily be religious dissatisfaction.
Even so, religion is viewed in a secular mind as the primary cause of war and violence. To talk of religious diversity in the context of violence as the article does assumes this. Diversity of religions peacefully co-existing is heralded as the success of irreligious rule. The non-religious believe they have rightly governed the religious.
Sectarian violence is always assumed to be a threat to a peaceful society and the secular state knows only one solution should violence arise. Given the choice, it will choose no religion over a diversity of religion.
The Gideons passing out bibles while pagan spell books are rejected is a direct violation of the concept of secular religious equality. The controversies while they remain legal are not a threat. However, if the state perceives that these legal cases could lead to violence, whether they will or not, enacting a no religion stance for public life would be a quick and ready solution.