by Max Brantley
With some free time this afternoon, I did a quick Google search to try to find out why items with pictures of Scooby-Doo are barred from state Rep. Justin Harris' Christian pre-school in West Fork, now to be investigated for whether it teaches the Bible with public money.
I know why no Teletubbies are allowed. That purse is a dead giveaway. And Harry Potter. And witches and such. But Scooby? Turns out the big dog is also viewed as satanic and a gateway to witchcraft by some. Rut row.
If you go Googling, you might also find a rather interesting explanation on evangelical resistance to Scooby from the Landover Baptist Church — "where the worthwhile worship and the unsaved are not welcome." Don't miss the Landover sermons, such as, "I Can't Wait to See People Burn in Hell."
ALSO: On a more serious note, the state Department of Human Services sent an inspector to Harris' school today, according to his Facebook page. This would be in apparent response to the complaint by Americans United for Separation of Church and State about Harris' use of public money at a school where religion plays a role, according to both teacher and parent guides as well as the name of the institution. Bible class is held daily according to school plans on file with the state. Harris has contended the religious elements aren't funded by public money, but they all appear to take place in a school that wouldn't exist but for almost $1 million a year in state and federal money. Federal case law prevents such indirect support of religion, too, Americans United argues.
Americans United says a state statute requires a review of each ABC early childhood grant money for constitutional compliance and there's no evidence of such a review of Harris' school.
I received today this list of almost 300 recipients of tens of millions of dollars in ABC money statewide. Many are school districts. Only a handful are institutions that are clearly religious in nature — the Bigelow Assembly of God and the 15th Street Church of God, for example. I'm awaiting a response to which, if any, of these have had the statutorily mandated review for constitutional compliance.