Atheist leader admits misinformation

Council's curriculum on Bible study was not deemed unconstitutional in 4 states, director says.

Valerie Olander / The Detroit News

HOWELL -- The leader of an atheists' group opposing a proposal to bring a Bible study curriculum into Howell schools acknowledged Friday that she spread misinformation about the legality of the plan.

The leader, whose legal name is Arlene-Marie, state director of the Michigan Atheists, said she erred when she claimed in a letter to Howell schools that the curriculum of the National Council on Bible Curriculum in Public Schools had been found to be unconstitutional in four states. The council's curriculum has never been found to be unconstitutional.

"I misspoke. I should have been more careful," Arlene-Marie said.

The admission comes as the Howell Board of Education is to discuss using a course designed by the council as an elective. It would focus on the Bible as literature and from an historical perspective. The board meets at 7 p.m. Monday at Latson Elementary School. "We have never received one complaint from one school district in our 13 years," said Elizabeth Ridenour, president and founder of the National Council on Bible Curriculum in Greensboro, N.C. "We don't pick the districts that want the curriculum, they come to us." She said the Bible course curriculum has been voted into 373 school districts in 37 states, including Michigan.

I guess as an atheist she wasnt familiar with the 8th Commandment or Proverbs 25:18: A man that beareth false witness against his neighbor is a maul, and a sword, and a sharp arrow.