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Maine Department of Education Reaffirms its Support of Pagan 

Icons in Public Schools


By: David Deschesne

Fort Fairfield Journal, December 28, 2011

In response to a recent Fort Fairfield Journal article regarding Washburn High School celebrating pagan gods and goddesses in school, during school hours, as part of their English curriculum, the Maine Department of Education has reaffirmed its endorsement of pagan religious icons in Maine schools.

“The use of 'gods' and 'goddesses' as part of a secular educational program – the study of Greek mythology as part of a literature course – does not run afoul of the Establishment Clause or any Maine statute or regulation,” said David Connerty-Marin, Director of Communications at the Maine Department of Education. “It is not religious education but rather literature, similar to schools that teach 'History of the Bible' from a secular/literature approach.”

During Washburn High School's “gods and goddesses” day, students in the freshman class dressed up in pagan regalia of their favorite Roman or Greek god/goddess and were “worshipped” by fellow students who “bowed” to them throughout the day.

April Flagg was the English teacher who orchestrated the pagan celebration - complete with students wearing togas and pagan headdress. When asked if she planned to balance her gods and goddesses celebration with a presentation of the God of the Holy Bible, she told the Fort Fairfield Journal, “I do not anticipate doing another activity with this unit, as we closed it with the gods and goddesses project.”

Connerty-Marin also said there is no “fair time” maxim in statute or rules regarding the presentation of the God of the Holy Bible - or any other god when pagan gods are presented as they were at WHS.

The concerns raised were that pagan religious icons were being celebrated in a public school setting that is funded by taxpayers who not only may not share those religious theologies, but may also not wish to support them with their tax money.

Since some people choose not to shop at a particular store, or purchase a particular television service because they are ideologically opposed to financially supporting those entities, the question was raised as to how taxpayers may apply for and receive a waiver from the public school portion of their annual property tax bill in the event they chose not to financially support the indoctrination of students with pagan icons and symbolism they do not agree with.

Connerty-Marin told the Fort Fairfield Journal, “There is no property tax waiver.” He further passed the buck by stating, “This is really a local curriculum issue that should be taken up by the local superintendent and/or school board.”

With that said, it now appears Maine taxpayers who may be Christian, Jewish, Muslim, or even atheist - believing in no god at all - are now being held hostage to the gun of a Maine Revenue Service agent, Sheriff, State Police and face potential fines, property liens, seizures and foreclosures in the event they choose to voluntarily stop contributing financial support to schools that are teaching doctrines in conflict with their own convictions.


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