The Liberty Counsel filed a lawsuit Thursday to overturn a ban on handing out bibles in public schools in Florida's Collier County.
The school district had previously allowed a group known as World Changers to give bibles to students during off-school hours on Religious Freedom Day.
However, The Orlando Sentinel reported officials later changed their minds, saying the bibles don't provide any educational benefit, so World Changers were told they could not distribute the bibles even though acceptance by any student was voluntary.
Liberty Counsel said other nonprofit groups have been allowed to distribute literature on campuses, including military recruiters, a Little League organization, and local Humane Society, 4H and YMCA groups. The lawsuit claims World Changers was denied its distribution request because the district wants to censor its message.
Liberty Counsel argues that the First Amendment prohibits government religious speech, not private religious speech or literature.
"How sad that on the eve of Independence Day, when we celebrate the religious and political freedom our forefathers won for us at the cost of much blood and great sacrifice, we are compelled to sue to protect the right simply to make free Bibles available to students in public schools," said Mathew D. Staver, Liberty Counsel founder.
In its lawsuit, World Changers is seeking the right to distribute bibles and attorneys fees.