It's been an up-and-down week for the Bible in Tennessee, what with the state House voting to make the Bible the official state book, thus formally putting the state on a path to have an official state religion. For lack of a formal name, call it Bible-thumping.

But in a step backwards for the Good Book, a Tennessee public elementary school will no longer feature an hour-long school assembly every month at which a local minister who called himself The Bible Man dressed in tight clothes and wore a cape while reading passages from the Bible and explaining them to an auditorium full of allegedly rapt youngsters. A local atheist sued to get the school to stop this proselytizing practice. She was promptly showered with a few death threats, which she snottily dismissed by saying something about these good Christians being filled with hate.

Personally, I think she should quit her whining. Death threats, especially ones carried out, have long been part and parcel of Christianity. The faith wouldn't even exist if Jesus had died of old age, right? But the Bible Man's visits to Grundy County schools have been changed to voluntary, after-school events at which attendance is optional, rather than full school assemblies in the middle of the school day, and in the spirit of religious open-mindedness that Grundy County has so recently discovered, superheroes from other faiths are scheduled to appear. The following is a not-necessarily complete roster of powerful religious figures and the beliefs they will be trying to instill in the elementary schoolchildren of the county:

SHARIA LAW MAN: Tells the kids it's okay for your pa to keep on whupping on your ma and your sisters, as long as he gives up the corn liquor...

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To make hell real with uncomfortable pews and boring speakers?

I'm tempted to get started on an FSM super costume. Alas, I do not live close enough to join the superheroes. =(


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