April 14, 2016

"Jesus Lunches" — free lunch and talking about Jesus, in the city park next to the high school.

The district superintendent and the high school principal in Middleton, Wisconsin are trying to end this activity, which started in 2014, when some parents began meeting with their own children and their children's friends, and has grown to the point were the authorities are worrying about whether it's legal (and not worrying enough about whether stopping it is illegal).
“We believe that religious or political events do not have a place in our school or on our campus, except when sponsored by a student group in accordance with our rules, which require prior approval,” the email [from Superintendent Donald Johnson and Principal Stephen Plank] said. “In addition, many students have conveyed to us their concern about a group offering free food to incentivize participation in a religious event on campus.”
A city park is a traditional speech forum where free-speech rights are at their strongest. And what's wrong with "incentivizing participation" with free food? It sounds like nothing more than objecting to the message. These are private citizens, not government employees, and they're speaking on a subject of their choice with their own point of view. That's plain old freedom of speech. You can't discriminate against it because the religious message is making some people uncomfortable or because you're reminded of things like prayer in the classroom that would present a problem under the Establishment Clause.
The school district leases the park during school hours, the email said, so policies that apply to the school campus extend to the park during that time....

“Fireman’s Park — a public park owned by the city of Middleton — remains accessible to everyone in the public for the purposes of assembly and free speech,” the statement [from the parents] said. “By law, the lease agreement between the city and the school district of Middleton does not privatize the park.” 

112 comments:

Owen said...

Professor Althouse: thanks for this post. What an amazing set of facts. And a bit scary: that the "professionals" seem to have so little grasp of basic principles, and apparently cannot find competent counsel who, in a 1-minute phone call, could have spared them what should be a lifetime of embarrassment.

Misinforminimalism said...

Fire them all, then pull out their resumes and fire everyone who ever held any position of responsibility at any school at which they had been educated, then close those schools, and then burn it all to the ground and salt the land on which the schools had been erected.

mikee said...

This is one example where one tells the school official to "Go away, or suffer the consequences of your stupidity."

Then hit them with the consequences, pour encourager les autres, even if they do go away.

MikeR said...

Comments there are amazing. People are so oblivious to any point of view but their own.

traditionalguy said...

And we order you never to speak in the name of Jesus again.

That was the first Governmental ruling made about Christians causing trouble by speaking in public. And it will not be the last. Wisconsin doesn't really have trouble. The Chinese Communist Party has big trouble.

Charlie said...

Outrageous but very common in these progressive United States. What is it about the free exercise of religion that causes leftists to go around the bend?

Rick said...

In addition, many students have conveyed to us their concern about a group offering free food to incentivize participation in a religious event on campus.”

Sure they did. The pernicious act of coaching children to complain to justify the administrators own oppressive political desires is spreading downward.

Nyamujal said...

If the Jesus lunches come with an unlimited supply of bread and fish, count me in.

policraticus said...

As Instapundit says, "Tar, Feathers."

SGT Ted said...

"Many students" huh? Name them, so we know you aren't lying to us.

I bet many students would be upset that you are attempting to violate their 1st Amendment Rights of free assembly, free speech and religious practice.

Using appeals to an alleged whiney majority is not sufficient to repress a Constitutional right.

Quite frankly, we need to disband Government schools if they cannot respect Constitutional Rights.

Eric the Fruit Bat said...

Looks like Jesus is going to have to retain legal counsel when He shows up again.

LarsPorsena said...

Why do I think they wouldn't have reacted this way to Mohammed Lunches?

holdfast said...

Sounds more like the school pays to use the park on a non-exclusive basis. Hardly a "lease".

n.n said...

Freedom of speech and public assembly are constitutional rights. However, since the State-establishment of a pro-choice religion, they can never be reasonably certain. They should probably poll the judicial clerks for their blessing.

John said...

Wouldn't the 'solution' posed by a number of commentators to the article of "closing the campus" be equivalent to some presidential candidate suggesting we 'build a wall'. We must keep all those with different opinions out of our lives.

Sam L. said...

Those lunches do NOT meet the requirements Michelle has set!!!!!!11111!!!! Bad. BAD, BADDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD.

clint said...

And some of these right-wing nut jobs are so deluded they actually believe there's a "War on Christianity" going on.

Peter said...

Yet, but, it's not about suppression of speech, it's about protecting children from the hazard of food allergies:

" Furthermore, the safety for students is a real concern. Kids have so many more allergies today and they can be so severe. Anaphylactic shock is no small problem ..."

Paco Wové said...

So many unanswered questions... for instance, why does the school 'lease' the park at all? Are there other public activities school officials would like to proscribe there during school hours? Why do said officials think that leasing a site means you can impose your rules upon it, rather than the lessees having to obey the rules of the lessor? Etc.

Paco Wové said...

"it's about protecting children from the hazard of food allergies:"

Please tell me you don't fall for that.

mccullough said...

I love the fake concern about public health issues regarding serving of food. I'm sure they'll just change the schools rules barring any open campus. Must eat lunch in cafeteria and can't go outside unless student related activity supervised by a teacher/coach. Restrict every student's freedom and get it over with.

Jay Vogt said...

It's probably an ancillary point, however do we know (or does the school administration know) that this assertion is true: "The school district leases the park during school hours, the email said, so policies that apply to the school campus extend to the park during that time...."

I'll take their word that they lease it, however a lease is a subordinate form of property right. Only those usage & enjoyment rights that are specificially tendered are the privilege of the lessee. And, last I checked no one can surrender any of their rights by way of a policy or a lease or any combination of the two - much as I might like that to be true from time to time.

. . . just askin'

Eleanor said...

A bigger question is why do the kids prefer the food being provided enough to skip the school lunch? If you want dinner at the Salvation Army for free, you go to the religious service to get it. The folks are hungry so it's a good deal. "Freedom is the most important thing in the world to me. After I've eaten." If you don't want the kids exposed to religious teachings to get a free lunch, then feed them yourself.

Owen said...

Paco Wove @ 12:06PM: ""it's about protecting children from the hazard of food allergies:"

Please tell me you don't fall for that."

I share your hope and I have to believe that Peter forgot the sarc font.

As for the lease: I would love to know the details on that. If a non-exclusive lessee can begin dictating the terms of use by other tenants/guests/visitors, then it's a pretty interesting piece of legal drafting. Particularly such terms as who can eat what, when and where. Because if somebody were to leave some peanut butter sandwiches from the picnic, hundreds could die.

Hard to believe these people are collecting salaries from taxpayers. And then pensions!

Static Ping said...

This is the reason why Civics classes, now rare, are so vital, and sensitivity training, now common, is so problematic.

Then again, we only have the rights that judges say we have. This won't end well.

n.n said...

The "establishment clause" does not mean what they think it means.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

The judicial clerks interpret the constitution through the mind-altering haze of a penumbra.

Todd said...

As Ann noted, this is the issue “In addition, many students have conveyed to us their concern about a group offering free food to incentivize participation in a religious event on campus.”

If the event were to discuss sex or abortions or even same-sex practices, the school would go so far as to provide the food but because it is "those Jesus" people, it MUST STOP!

TreeJoe said...

How many students have complained? How many are attending?

Seems to me like attendance is so high, and complaints so few, that the proposed response is disproportionate. Like how the Israelis should only hurt as many Palestinians as Palestinians hurt Israelis.

Responses must always be proportionate.

Paddy O said...

I'm not sure parents should even be allowed to talk about Jesus to their kids when they're at home. The kids are leased by the school for most of the year, and any indoctrination that might happen outside of school sessions may be detrimental for the learning program instituted by educational experts and professionals. I hope the school produces a flyer or related material that can help families know what can and should be discussed so as to promote properly oriented entities.

hawkeyedjb said...

All they need to do is call themselves Muslims and they will have no further problems with the authorities. There is only one religion that is immune to official scrutiny, and luckily Jesus is one of its prophets.

Mark said...


Given even a food cart is licensed, pays a fee ($500 in Middleton) isn't it reasonable to expect this food service to follow the same requirements?

If I were a food cart, I would skip the permit and just start showing up Tuesdays. To serve srudents, all that is needed is good intentions now.

I also wonder about liability in case of medical or other emergency as the school officially leases the park during the day. Would they be liable?

Not mentioned in many stories is the $5000 a local christian organization donated this winter to defer costs.

It would not surprise me if the city donated this barely anything park to the school system over the summer and ended this charade. Either that or close campus and let the kids who like to go to Culver's sort out the Jesus lunch kids.

rhhardin said...

Peanut butter wafers.

Rick said...

John said...
Wouldn't the 'solution' posed by a number of commentators to the article of "closing the campus" be equivalent to some presidential candidate suggesting we 'build a wall'. We must keep all those with different opinions out of our lives.


The comments on "closing campus" and "religion doesn't belong in public school" show the commenters don't even understand the basics. The legal doctrine requires the government to treat religious groups the same as they do other groups. So the belief that closing the campus eliminates religious groups on campus is wrong (presuming other clubs exist). In fact as Althouse ending these meetings is likely illegal, and presuming so closing campus for the specific purpose of ending these meetings is just as illegal.

Consider their mindset: "other people are doing something we prefer not to do, they must be stopped!".

Unknown said...

Mark said...

Given even a food cart is licensed, pays a fee ($500 in Middleton) isn't it reasonable to expect this food service to follow the same requirements?


Last time I checked, Mark, food cart operators weren't giving away their food. If I, as a parent, decided to enjoy lunch in the park with my son or daughter during their school lunchtime, and brought enough food so that he/she could also invite several friends to join us, at what point have I established a food vending business for profit?

Or should the government now have the power to regulate whatever might profit one's soul as well as one's pockets?

traditionalguy said...

The really effective Evangelicals will ask
Someone to go to lunch with them. Then they can discuss the witness about Jesus and usually have it end well. Or they can just listen and make a new friend.

Breaking bread together is half the battle.

walter said...

AA: "A city park is a traditional speech forum where free-speech rights are at their strongest."
then from article:
"The school district leases the park during school hours"

Something messy about that arrangement.

alan markus said...

Being the parent of a sophomore girl, I question the "free lunch" as being a motivator to participate. A) 1/2 the time she skips lunch or does not buy a complete lunch. Would rather talk with her friends than waste time standing in line. A)(1) - not really motivated to pack own lunch either - may not be hungry when lunch time comes, so that would be wasted effort. B)Like most kids, Mom & Dad pay for lunch anyway. If any vendors are being "harmed" financially, it would be the school lunch program. Which has been a challenge since the Michelle lunch mandates - a viable lunch program needs private payers to offset the costs of free & reduced lunches. The private pay group is bringing their own. Our school district has had to reduce lunchroom staff because the count of meals served is down

One of the clips shows a pretty substantial group participating. And according to website for the school, there is an inside lunch program.

Maybe the school system could voucher out the "Jesus" lunch crowd to a private religious school of the family's choice. That would show them!

walter said...

I wonder where various folks would stand on this if the group was doing Allah lunches or free vittles and pamphlets at a Freedom From Religion picnic table there.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

walter said...

Something messy about that arrangement.

It sounds like the school's lease is non-exclusive. They probably have it so that they can still claim some authority over students: to break up fights, punish harassment/bullying, that sort of thing. If so, they have no authority over what other users of the park, such as the Jesus lunchers, do.

If they actually have a lease that gives them exclusive use of the park during school hours then they still can't discriminate against religious groups. If they wanted to prohibit the Jesus lunch people from going there then they would have to prohibit the rest of the public too, and they would have to enforce that consistently.

alan markus said...

Wonder if there is some kind of restrictive covenant on the park imposed by a donor (i.e, Fireman's group - most likely a volunteer dept. when the park was developed) that prevents the school district from buying the property. Looking at the Google satellite map, one border of the park is residential lots, the other border is the school. Not much street frontage. As it is, it looks like part of the school extends into what was probably part of the park. Maybe the school and city are waiting for the original firemen that funded it to die off before the park becomes school propoerty.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

walter said...

I wonder where various folks would stand on this if the group was doing Allah lunches or free vittles and pamphlets at a Freedom From Religion picnic table there.

As an atheist I would stand the same place I do now: with the First Amendment that protects the free-luncher ( along with protecting my right to ignore them. )

walter said...

Blogger Ignorance is Bliss
they probably have it so that they can still claim some authority over students
--
Exactly where it gets messy.
But again, to get perspective, swap out the speech variables...bound to find one that seems improper to have children exposed to.
Looking the other direction, was Middleton one of the schools allowing/organizing kids to attend anti-Walker or BLM events?
Messy.

Fernandinande said...

"The following parks are classified as Community Parks based on the guidelines provided by the National Recreation and Park Association Parkland Classification System and City of Middleton local standards.
These parks are generally greater than 25 acres and may include athletic complexes, hiking trails, and wildlife viewing platforms."
FIREMAN'S PARK

"Fireman's Park, which is in the backyard[sic] of Middleton High School, is owned by the city so it's a public space but MCPASD has had an agreement with the city for 16 years to lease the property for $1. Part of that agreement allows the district to use it as an educational space or recreational area for students during school days, between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. The district provided 27 News a copy of the lease agreement, which allows the district to have joint control and jurisdiction of the park, including the right to enforce district rules and regulations. A sign posted at the park indicates school rules are to be followed during school hours."

No running in the halls? Need a pass to take a leak?

Personally I don't think a 6.25 cents/year (or even $1/year) lease should enable the school to restrict the publics use of the park.

Owen said...

Alan Markus @ 1:50PM "...waiting for the original firemen that funded it to die off before the park becomes school property." Interesting speculation. But again the devil is in the details of documents we haven't seen. Maybe the school wants to invoke Kelo and just take the park for its own use. Because Public Education!

To me, one of the acid tests of the (il)legitimacy of the school's stated concern is: how would it handle a Muslim, Jewish, Hindu gathering? That's counterfactual so we can only speculate. But at a personal level I try to find positions where each side leaves the others as much latitude for expression as possible, on a reciprocal basis. Goose, gander. Not seeing it here.

walter said...

Owen said...ow would it handle a Muslim, Jewish, Hindu gathering? That's counterfactual so we can only speculate.
<
Goose, gander. Not seeing it here.
--
Well..if counterfactual and speculative, you wouldn't expect to.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

Given even a food cart is licensed, pays a fee ($500 in Middleton) isn't it reasonable to expect this food service to follow the same requirements?

No, you're embarrassing yourself.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

Though I must admit, I expect that is where the school authorities are going to go when the city counsel they neglected to consult tells them they are making fools of themselves.

Mark said...

Unknown, when you are taking $5000 donations and feeding hundreds of kids at a time, it clearly crosses the line from a Mom bringing a couple extra sandwiches.

Profit or not, if you want to feed 20% of the school a permit seems reasonable.

I am sure the local businesses which cater to the high school lunch crowd agree.

Owen said...

Fernandinande @ 1:57: "...had an agreement with the city for 16 years to lease the property for $1." Well, well. What some might call a sweetheart deal. It may give the school all the benefits of a Kelo taking without any of the headaches of actual ownership. The more sweet the deal, the more scrutiny it should attract. Can one inquire if the lease was put out to bid? Whether there were or are other bidders? What they offered and why they were declined?

As for the sweetheart lease, may one inquire whether it enables the tenant, during the hours of its tenancy, to exclude others? Who are not party to the lease, and are bound by it only by the real owner (municipality) asserting "rules and regulations" against them? Whether those "rules and regulations" attempt in any way to limit how members of the public may express their views? In other words, whether a dormant First Amendment violation has been sitting on the district's books, waiting for this moment?

If I were a 1A lawyer, I'd be having a blast with this...

This is not about too many peanut butter sandwiches. IMHO.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

Unknown, when you are taking $5000 donations and feeding hundreds of kids at a time, it clearly crosses the line from a Mom bringing a couple extra sandwiches.

Wow, one might get the idea that kids want to hear about God! But of course, that would be impossible. Fundies must be putting some sort of mind altering addictive drug in the sammiches.

It isn't like the government has ever used laws requiring people to get permits to limit their right to free expression. Nothing like that could ever happen.

Gabriel said...

@Mark:Profit or not, if you want to feed 20% of the school a permit seems reasonable.

It seems reasonable for free people to have to play "Mother May I" before doing anything?

I think the question you should be asking is: why is 20% of the school showing up to be fed? Either the school lunch experience is awful, or those kids would rather be listening to people talk about Jesus in the park. In which case what business is it of yours?

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Mark said...Profit or not, if you want to feed 20% of the school a permit seems reasonable.

I am sure the local businesses which cater to the high school lunch crowd agree.


Why? What does the fact that a church donated money to facilitate the give away have to do with anything? What does the fact that local businesses might lose customers have to do with anything? What does the scale of the give away have to do with anything? At what scale do you think a permit (to give away food) should be needed?

Are you one of those fine citizens who cheer when the cops & code enforcement people shut down children's lemonade stands (for operating w/o food service permits & business licenses)? What harm is prevented by to acquisition of a permit? Do you only require a permit if the item being given away is food? What if instead of food they were giving away cash--crisp dollar bills (in the amounts equal to the food given away now)? What permit would you require then?

I'm trying to understand the objection here. Clearly this group and their actions offend your sense of justice somehow. Is it that they're not playing by the same rules as commercial food vendors? They're not equivalent so I don't think it's strange that they don't have to follow the same rules...but even so isn't that a bit like the people who complain that Uber doesn't operate under the same (frequently pointless) restrictions that taxi companies do, and that puts taxis at a disadvantage? Other than taxi owners who is harmed by that? If that's the argument why does your sense of justice tell you that taxi owners and commercial food vendors have a right to have people forced to buy their product and not take advantage of some alternative?

Are they crowding some other group out of using the park at that time? It doesn't sound like it. Are they preventing some other group from taking some action? No, I don't see that argued, either. What is the moral objection here? People don't like groups proselytizing to kid? I get that, and if the group in question were, say, Muslim I daresay you'd see lots of objections to their message...but all sorts of groups/ideologies (both within and outside the school!) proselytize to kids all the time. What's so objectionable about this group and these actions, other than they seem to be effective (in drawing the kids in, anyway)?

What is so bad or offensive that it warrants using the power of the State to shut this group and this tactic down (in contravention to the pretty clear protections of the 1st Amendment)??

DanTheMan said...

>>Why do I think they wouldn't have reacted this way to Mohammed Lunches?

If it was Muslims handing out free halal meals, and preaching about Mohammed, the school would be celebrating their inclusion and diversity outreach efforts, and winning awards from the Dept. of Education and Hollywood lefties.

Lefty definition of freedom: You are free to do anything we approve of.

Birches said...

In addition, many students have conveyed to us their concern about a group offering free food to incentivize participation in a religious event on campus.

Meaning some of the administrators' kids showed up for food and the parents freaked out.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

It seems reasonable for free people to have to play "Mother May I" before doing anything?

Some people seem to have an instinctive need to have permission (and require others to get permission) before doing anything. They always have plenty of reasons why permission should be required (safety, good order, whatever) but the fact is, they just have a need for someone to be in charge.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dapip0EHYMI

Unknown said...

So. Mormons have for decades had a seminary program for high school students; wherein Mormon students attend a religion class, in addition to their high school classes.

In places with lots of Mormons, it usually occurs at a building the LDS church builds next to the school; and the students take a release time to attend.

It appears that this school would say that it is illegal to learn about God and Jesus. It's a blatant violation of the 1st amendment, clearly. It is not illegal to mention the words "Jesus" during lunch.

walter said...

Maybe it will turn into a Bazaar. Shawarma carts with free literature and fellowship..Farrakhan can drive up with "The Fruit" and bring some "soul food" and fine tailoring.
Methinks it's not just objectors discriminating based on message.
But I suppose another approach would be to protest this sort of semi-predatory practice on minors.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

Maybe it will turn into a Bazaar. Shawarma carts with free literature and fellowship..Farrakhan can drive up with "The Fruit" and bring some "soul food" and fine tailoring.
Methinks it's not just objectors discriminating based on message.
But I suppose another approach would be to protest this sort of semi-predatory practice on minors.



I would definitely be down with the soul food. As far as the free literature, sure. I'm perfectly willing to compete in the arena of free speech.

Or we can call things we don't agree with a semi-predatory practice so we can feel good about our totalitarianism and consider shutting down free speech to be a virtue. Hell, you're practically Gandhi.

walter said...

Totalitarianism..just get over yourself.
I bet you'd be the first one to start talking about "cracking skulls" once you found a viewpoint distasteful enough luring kids over from a school. Here it just happens to be a "religiously correct" version.
The school suggests kids have complained. I'd be curious to hear their thoughts..but more importantly those of their parents.

John Smith said...

This is going to hinge on the terms of the lease. The more control the District has over the "park," the more it was right to be wary of an establishment clause violation. The less control it has, the more it should be worried taking action now is a first amendment violation.

It is probably right in a gray area so the District was going to get sued either way. Wonder why it did not just terminate the lease or renegotiate to get rid of what is probably a good law school exam question.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

I bet you'd be the first one to start talking about "cracking skulls" once you found a viewpoint distasteful enough luring kids

No actually, I wouldn't. Though I can see it makes you feel better about yourself to imagine me as some kind of Nazi like, intolerant redneck. That way you can disqualify me instead of actually engaging in a discussion. And yes, shutting down speech you disagree with because you disagree with it is totalitarianism.

of or relating to a centralized government that does not tolerate parties of differing opinion and that exercises dictatorial control over many aspects of life.
2.
exercising control over the freedom, will, or thought of others; authoritarian; autocratic.


In this case you are the intolerant, Nazi like redneck.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

I bet you'd be the first one to start talking about "cracking skulls" once you found a viewpoint distasteful enough luring kids

In fact, I was the guy that my Pastor had take the Christian Pacifism side in the Christian Pacifism vs Just War Theory debate.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

So if you are going to stereotype me you should probably think of me more as a Christian hippy.

walter said...

If you can't see the difference with kids, maybe their parents do...and we'll see how it shakes out jurisdiction-wise.
If it was strictly an adult venue, I wouldn't care. That it appears to be enticing kids with food is pretty distinct.
But as someone who is fine with parochial schools, school choice etc. This kind of overreach ends up being counterproductive to many they want to reach out to.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

That it appears to be enticing kids with food is pretty distinct.

Wow, how incredibly evil of them.

And if the parents don't want them to be contaminated by a religious message maybe they could, I don't know, tell their kids not to go to the park?

Also, being fine with "parochial schools, school choice etc" is neither noteworthy or demonstrative of tolerance among free thinking people.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

anything to lure the students into the religious mindset

Yes, nothing could be worse than that! Next thing you know they are discussing the inherent dignity each human being has because they are children of God and that everyone is morally bound to respect that dignity.

And once they get that crazy idea they might stumble upon the concept of inherent rights.

And once they start thinking about inherent rights, morality, and dignity who knows what crazy ideas they might come up with.

But of course all religions are alike and are oppressive. I know that because an asshole on the Internet told me so.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

Why do you think Christians need to convert non-voluntarily?

But of course that isn't what they are doing. So what is the point of arguing with you if you are going to misrepresent the facts.

As for free will, theologians, philosophers, and scientists are divided on that.

Paco Wové said...

"I wonder where various folks would stand on this if the group was doing Allah lunches"

Well, it probably wouldn't hurt the quality of the food provided.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

What happens if they go the full monte: teaching students that men and women fulfill God's will by making a family of their own? Does that count as preaching discrimination against the homosexual students?

Nope.

Though I would wonder where they find that in the New Testament. Most atheist like to try to make hay by pointing out that Paul was actually not all that family friendly.

Paco Wové said...

"I bet you'd be the first one to start talking about "cracking skulls" once you found a viewpoint distasteful"

It's always fun to imagine the worst of other people and then condemn them for it!

walter said...

When they become of age..they can partake of the "brews and bible" gatherings.
There's one that advertises in Madison.
Breaking (liquid) bread

walter said...

Blogger Paco Wové said...
"I bet you'd be the first one to start talking about "cracking skulls" once you found a viewpoint distasteful"
It's always fun to imagine the worst of other people and then condemn them for it!
--
I agree..unnecessary..and a distraction. Sorry Christian Hippy.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

That's why we teach our religion on our own time, and don't want other people influencing our children during their recess and lunch break

Got news for you, they are. Saw a article the other day, average age kids see porn for the first time these days is 11 -13 years old.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

Hippies, radicals, Jesus folk like you... its open season. That's what the school district/school board is worried about, and rightly so.


So you're worried they might be exposed to unapproved ideas? Cause that certainly couldn't happen on the Internet.

walter said...

"don't want other people influencing our children during their recess and lunch break"
Heh..

Ron Winkleheimer said...

do not choose to view porn during school hours.

OK, I get it. You're a troll.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

You got me.

southcentralpa said...

And, of course, if they were gathering to yell "Aloha Snackbar", the city officials would obsequiously be asking where they wanted the footbaths installed, and would tomorrow be okay ... ?

Ron Winkleheimer said...

I still think you are a Troll, but if you believe you can restrict your kids Internet access in any meaningful way these days without having them under your direct supervision 24/7 you are living in a dream world.

You can get unfiltered access to the Internet at many public libraries. And lots of kids have smart phones. Your kids may be as pure as the driven snow, I don't know or care. But the fact is people are influencing your children whether you like it or not. If they can't withstand some people in a public park giving them some free food and talking about Jesus, good luck when they get to school and encounter somebody with an e-meter giving away free personality tests.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

Is it ok for the Satanists to hold a bonfire in the park, and toast frankfurters and marshmellows?

Yes

Unknown said...

Seems to me Walter just argued that it should be illegal to teach about Jesus to people under the age of 18. No matter when or where.

Exposing minors to dangerous, non-governmental approved ideas. Must be stopped. Why, they might hear that Homosexuality is morally wrong, and that's the worst kind of bigotry imaginable! That's child abuse, that is! And they might hear that they are responsible for their own actions; and that government is not God! That's treason, right there.

Just ask any Hillary campaign official.

Paco Wové said...

Ron. Ron! Snap out of it!

The First Rule of Trolls is the same as the First Rule of Holes: Just Stop Digging.

walter said...

Unknown said...
Seems to me Walter just argued that it should be illegal to teach about Jesus to people under the age of 18. No matter when or where.
--
Perhaps to you. But perhaps another read is in order..

Ron Winkleheimer said...

Well maybe not a bonfire. But bonfires are generally not allowed in public parks. Fire hazard and destroys the grass. But the idea of kids encountering Satanists does not fill me with the unbearable angst you seem to think it does. Satanists are pretty silly actually.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

@Paco Rove

You are correct. Thank you sir.

walter said...

The Satanic goodies can be pre-packaged items requiring no flames..those come later.

walter said...

"It's always fun to imagine the worst of other people and then condemn them for it!"
Like calling "Troll!"

Char Char Binks said...

Just rename them "Jihad lunches" and everything will be fine.

Rusty said...

(In my best Homer)
You didn't catch Jebus did you?

Christ.

ThreeHeaded Throop said...

Jesus - ewww.

Char Char is right. Jihad lunch would be fine. The Jesus fans should go with a taqiyya style bait and switch. hide the Jesus pitch behind the burqa.

DanTheMan said...

>>Char Char is right. Jihad lunch would be fine.


Jihad: An inner struggle. Sometimes, apparently, it helps to wear a belt of TNT, and detonate it. This helps put your insides on the outside, where apparently it's less of a struggle.
Nails and ball bearings seem to mark the truly faithful as well.

walter said...

Madison Christian Giving Fund Supports Jesus Lunches in Middleton

Middleton Times article

Heard the main mom on the radio (McKenna show) who said the kids are so busy with extra-curriculars etc, was the only time to catch up....

Char Char Binks said...

Madison must be full to bursting with hypersensitive liberals and they're spilling out into the 'burbs.

Owen said...

Having just read some of the school's "concerns" about the Jesus Lunches violating school "policies" (of which there seem to be hundreds), I sense a deeper problem than whether the providers of lunch have washed their hands before serving the sandwiches, or whether an approved crowd management and evacuation plan has been filed in triplicate with the school's safety officers.

The real problem is that the school views the kids as its chattels, incapable of making their own decisions. Once anointed as students, the school can assert plenary jurisdiction over them no matter where they are. If they want to gather nearby and eat lunch and listen to somebody? No can do, the school hasn't approved that.

It really does come across as ugly and stupid. I would strongly encourage the school to drop this before it gets very badly hurt.

SGT Ted said...

“In addition, many students have conveyed to us their concern about a group offering free food to incentivize participation in a religious event on campus.”

Which is complete bullshit.

How come the school feels compelled to act as Jesus police on behalf of students complaining about something and not act as the 1st Amendment police in defense of the students having lunch and talking about religion?

Gahrie said...

Either close the campus and not allow students to leave school at lunch (all students) or shut up, and leave the students and parents alone.

walter said...

I'm still unclear on proximity to school grounds and how it was promoted. The school statement suggested the event began on school grounds whereas the woman repping on the radio show said it didn't. She also framed it as being mostly about catching up on kids' doings..sports, classes etc. while the bit the giving fund link made it sound a lot more like a religious event. I have heard and/or read bits from all but parents or students who are against this..while other info has been muddled.

Gahrie said...

I'm still unclear on proximity to school grounds and how it was promoted.

The park is immediately adjacent to the school, and is leased by the school for use during the school day.

The event began small and spontaneously and grew because of its success.

Jonathan Graehl said...

People venting personal revenge fantasies over this: I understand the rage and the perception that "they started this personal-destruction mob-vs-1 game". Don't do it. The proper pressure point is the elected public official nearest in the org chart to the appointed bureaucrat. If your passions are real, you'll be ready to credibly threaten de-election over it. What you want is the ruling and the precedent. Anyone willfully violating the ruling/instruction is fair game. It should be up to the elected official what consequence if any should befall the overreaching bureaucrat in question.

p.s. also consider voting for a pro-liberty non-christian once in a while. it could help forge virtuous new coalitions. non-christians vote for non-their-religion all the time.

Rusty said...

Jesus, Mark. Those people have no reason to be anti-muslim.
Just as a point of interest. Do you need a lawyers permission to hand out bibles on public property. Couldn't the lawyers just distribute the bibles? Or korans, or you know, whatever, condoms?

Mark said...

Deleted my comment, having reread the prior discussion.

Not going to waste my time today.

Rusty said...

Wise move, Mark.
It was an absurd subject anyway.

damikesc said...

“We believe that religious or political events do not have a place in our school or on our campus, except when sponsored by a student group in accordance with our rules, which require prior approval,” the email [from Superintendent Donald Johnson and Principal Stephen Plank] said. “In addition, many students have conveyed to us their concern about a group offering free food to incentivize participation in a religious event on campus.”

The city park isn't part of the school campus, is it? The school doesn't OWN it, it is just basically renting or leasing it.

" Furthermore, the safety for students is a real concern. Kids have so many more allergies today and they can be so severe. Anaphylactic shock is no small problem ..."

Not to be mean, but isn't it the kids job to know what they can and cannot have. Unless these groups are force-feeding them, this complaint seems silly.

Given even a food cart is licensed, pays a fee ($500 in Middleton) isn't it reasonable to expect this food service to follow the same requirements?

Are they SELLING the food? It doesn't seem they are, making the comparison moot.

If I were a food cart, I would skip the permit and just start showing up Tuesdays. To serve srudents, all that is needed is good intentions now.

...or to not be a business but, instead, a parent. Should parents be expected to pay for licenses to provide a lunch for their kids?

Profit or not, if you want to feed 20% of the school a permit seems reasonable.

Based on what? If I want to give away food to every kid in school, why would a permit be requested? I'm not selling it. I'm not demanding they take it. Is freedom really that scary?

I am sure the local businesses which cater to the high school lunch crowd agree.

Are they giving away the food for free?
Are they catering to ONLY the lunch crowd exclusively?
Are they related to members of the crowd they are "catering" to?

I brought my son some fruit to go along with his school lunch yesterday, Should I have had to buy a permit to provide food to my child?

The more control the District has over the "park," the more it was right to be wary of an establishment clause violation.

The school isn't involved at all. There is no "Establishment Clause" issue outside of a school trying to stamp out a completely independent religious group that has nothing to do with the school and uses none of the school's property, resources, etc.

The school suggests kids have complained. I'd be curious to hear their thoughts..but more importantly those of their parents.

So, if some kids complain about LGBT clubs, those should be disbanded?

hat it appears to be enticing kids with food is pretty distinct.
But as someone who is fine with parochial schools, school choice etc. This kind of overreach ends up being counterproductive to many they want to reach out to.


So, they are "enticing" kids with food? That is your argument now?

They feed their kids. Those BASTARDS!!! How dare a parent feed and talk to their kid in a way a school doesn't completely agree with!

I'm still unclear on proximity to school grounds and how it was promoted.

There is zero evidence it was promoted on school property. And even if it was promoted, it doesn't make the lunches thing illegal or unethical. ALL the school can request is to not promote it at school.

Which, again, no evidence exists that they have done so.

She also framed it as being mostly about catching up on kids' doings..sports, classes etc. while the bit the giving fund link made it sound a lot more like a religious event. I have heard and/or read bits from all but parents or students who are against this..while other info has been muddled.

Critics may have given an incorrect assessment of something they don't like? Get the fuck outta town!

tomaig said...

Damikec : Nice fisking...

Todd said...

Ron Winkleheimer said...
I still think you are a Troll, but if you believe you can restrict your kids Internet access in any meaningful way these days without having them under your direct supervision 24/7 you are living in a dream world.

You can get unfiltered access to the Internet at many public libraries. And lots of kids have smart phones. Your kids may be as pure as the driven snow, I don't know or care. But the fact is people are influencing your children whether you like it or not. If they can't withstand some people in a public park giving them some free food and talking about Jesus, good luck when they get to school and encounter somebody with an e-meter giving away free personality tests.

4/14/16, 4:15 PM


I would be much, MUCH more worried about what my kids were learning IN school.

In school they get to learn the wonders of gay sex, the freedom of free condoms and abortions, the joys of identifying and labeling their privilege, the empowerment of protesting against personal freedom (rallies for unions, democrats, tax hikes for education, etc.), and the liberating guilt of learning all the ways they are defiling gaia.

Compared to all of that the park folks are pikers and the internet is a "safe space".

If the other commentators were so concerned about what goes on in the park and on the internet, they must be home-schooling then and as a result none of this is any threat to their kids. Wait, what? They are not home-schooling? Well then, never mind...

walter said...

Not to interrupt your straw men but..
Some pretty good posts by Christians who feel these parents are going about it wrong are here:
Jesus Lunch on Facebook

walter said...

And here's a clip that shows the proximity to school building

Todd said...

walter said...
Not to interrupt your straw men but..
Some pretty good posts by Christians who feel these parents are going about it wrong are here:
Jesus Lunch on Facebook

4/15/16, 12:26 PM
walter said...
And here's a clip that shows the proximity to school building

4/15/16, 12:30 PM


And either of these have what to do with the constitution and the law? If this is legal (free assembly and all that) what does the rest matter other than some folks are "concerned"?

I am concerned that so many female teachers are getting arrested for having sex with underage kids. I am concerned that underage girls are allowed to have abortions without parental consent and that the clinics will not get the police involved despite the strong possibility of [at least] statutory rape. I am concerned that kids are considered old enough and mature enough to make those types of decisions but not to "just walk away" from an "off campus" gathering if they don't want to hear the message.

I am sure the school is just as "concerned" when some parents object to the level of sex ed or the distribution of condoms or the discussions of gay sex. What? They are not? Oh, that is right, this is some folks talking about Jesus in an open, free (to come and go), no charge, free food environment. You are right, we can't have that!

walter said...

Todd,
There are other issues besides constitutionality.
But yes...all those other things are bad so let's have religious recruiting steps from a school.
Enjoy the straw..

Todd said...

walter said...
Todd,
There are other issues besides constitutionality.
But yes...all those other things are bad so let's have religious recruiting steps from a school.
Enjoy the straw..

4/15/16, 2:23 PM


Right, there are, they just are not as important. I don't care if someones "wittle feewings" got hurt that someone else within ear shot said the name Jesus. I don't care if some over paid school administrator thinks "that is just not right" cause no one bothered to come beg for his permission first. Unless what they are doing is against the law and it does not sound like it is, tough crap.

“We believe that religious or political events do not have a place in our school or on our campus, except when sponsored by a student group in accordance with our rules, which require prior approval,” The only "valid" political events are those that promote the "proper" ideas. The only religious events are those from "approved" religions of peace.

By law, the lease agreement between the city and the school district of Middleton does not privatize the park.

So again, what is your real issue? They are not endangering anyone, they are not breaking any laws, they are not forcing participation.

Looks like you are the only one with any straw...

Mark said...

Walter, it takes $1700 a week in donations to feed these students.

They take donations, past the $5k already donated. Wonder how they are incorporated, these 'couple of Moms just making a few extra sandwiches'

http://jesuslunchmiddleto.wix.com/jesuslunchmiddleton

Not to mention the Gideon Bibles that were donated for distribution.

Dennis Richardson said...

This is a possible path to do the will of our only God and Savior Jesus Christ. Evangelize the American public school students of the love and compassion of our God toward all mankind. The result of destroying humanism in the public schools is unavoidable, it will happen. The death of humanism will result, this is the year of Jubilee 2016. Destroy the works of Satanic Darkness that power, money and control of the lives of pre-teens and teenagers in America. Restore America to faith in our God and not humanistic buloney. This is a free speech Second Amendment issue. Humanists in the public schools or elsewhere do not have authority within the United States Constitution to oppose our efforts.