Siloam Springs, Arkansas have banned Chris Tomlin, Third Day, Toby Mac and other pop Christian artists on public school buses.
The school district recently told a bus driver to stop playing a Christian radio station while driving children to school.
The complaint was filed by the Freedom From Religion Foundation, a Wisconsin-based group of atheists, agnostics, free-thinkers and other radicals.
The FFRF says they were contacted by a parent who did not want their child subjected to listening to the music.
“Students on the bus are a captive audience and cannot avoid listening to broadcasts that the driver selects,” the FFRF attorney wrote. “Given the content of the programming and its proselytizing nature, young and impressionable students cannot be forced to listen to such programs.”
The school’s superintendent agreed.
“We understand that the students on the bus are in a contained situation and under the establishment clause we’re supposed to be religiously neutral,” Superintendent Ken Ramey said. “So, we see this as a verifiable incident that can be corrected.”
He also said that the bus driver meant no harm and they are just trying to avoid promoting religion.
“We’ll just simply be educating our people, bring it to the conscious level,” Ramey said. “Just really good people who have no intent to promote religion, it’s just who they are.”
Radio station KLRC was the station the bus driver reportedly played.
“KLRC collects school supplies for needy children, helps kids deliver Valentines to home-bound senior citizens and they collect thousands of diapers to help disadvantaged moms. And they also encourage their listeners to engage in random acts of kindness — a concept that is no doubt lost on the Freedom From Religion crowd,” reported Starnes.
Jerry Johnson, president of National Religious Broadcasters, spoke with Starnes about the situation saying, “The undeniable spread of limitations on free speech — this time listening to Christian speech on Christian radio — should be a matter of growing concern for a nation founded on free speech and religious liberty.”