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The Selman v. Cobb County Board of Education Lawsuit, Josh Rosenau, and the Legality of “Singling Out Evolution”
By: Casey Luskin
Discovery Institute
March 30, 2011


In 2002, the Cobb County School District in Cobb County, Georgia enacted a policy requiring the emplacement of a sticker-disclaimer inside biology textbooks. The short, written disclaimer stated:

This textbook contains material on evolution. Evolution is a theory, not a fact, regarding the origin of living things. This material should be approached with an open mind, studied carefully, and critically considered.

While I think that disclaimers are an ineffective and pedagogically unwise method of challenging evolution, I do think this statement should be considered perfectly constitutional. But apparently such a benign, innocuous statement encouraging students to keep an open mind on evolution was too much for some Darwin advocates.

In 2002, Jeffrey Michael Selman filed a lawsuit alleging the disclaimer violated the First Amendment by establishing religion. In 2005, federal district court judge Clarence Cooper agreed and stated that, although the sticker passed the first prong of the Lemon test because it had a secular purpose, it had the effect of endorsing religion and thus failed the second prong of the Lemon test.

What did the Selman Plaintiff Argue?

In Selman, the plaintiff scrapped for arguments against the policy, arguing that the school district had inappropriately singled out evolution, exposing a religious purpose. But the district court rejected this argument because “evolution is the only theory of origin being taught in Cobb County classrooms” and “evolution was the only topic in the curriculum, scientific or otherwise, that was creating controversy at the time of the adoption of the textbooks and Sticker.” Thus the court noted that “[t]he School Board's singling out of evolution is understandable in this context.”

The court then found two secular purposes for the sticker. The purpose of “[f]ostering critical thinking is a clearly secular purpose . . . because [the disclaimer] tells students to approach the material on evolution with an open mind, to study it carefully, and to give it critical consideration.” The court also found another legitimate secular purpose for the disclaimer was “presenting evolution in a manner that is not unnecessarily hostile” in order to “reduce[] offense to students and parents whose beliefs may conflict with the teaching of evolution.”

This was valid reasoning, because in 1999 the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals held in Freiler v. Tangipahoa that it is a valid secular purpose "to disclaim any orthodoxy of belief that could be inferred from the exclusive placement of evolution in the curriculum, and . . . to reduce offense to the sensibilities and sensitivities of any student or parent caused by the teaching of evolution.” The Fifth Circuit noted that "a purpose is no less secular simply because it is infused with a religious element," and thus "the fact that evolution, the subject about which the School Board sought to disclaim any orthodoxy of belief, is religiously charged . . . and the fact that sensitivities and sensibilities to which the School Board sought to reduce offense are religious in nature, does not per se establish that those avowed purposes are religious purposes." The court explicitly validated these legislative purposes because "local school boards need not turn a blind eye to the concerns of students and parents troubled by the teaching of evolution in public classrooms."

NCSE's Josh Rosenau Didn’t Like This Argument

As a result of this precedent, last year I wrote an article titled “New York Times Repeats NCSE's False Account of Selman v. Cobb County Case” which stated the following:

In sum, there are 3 cases that have dealt with the "singling out evolution" argument: (1) Selman v. Cobb County (a vacated lower court ruling which said it's OK to single out evolution), (2) Freiler v. Tangipahoa (a 5th Circuit Appellate court ruling which said it's OK to single out evolution), and (3) Kitzmiller v. Dover (a lower court which said it is NOT OK to single out evolution, but mis-cited Selman as its authority to justify that point). That means that courts are 2-1 in favor of the constitutionality of singling out evolution, and the highest court to rule on the issue upheld the constitutionality of singling out evolution. (And the one case that disagreed mis-cited Selman, its authority.) Since Selman was vacated (on other grounds), the ruling doesn't hold much water anymore for anyone--whether for Judge Jones or for the NY Times or for me. Nonetheless, the Times said that Cobb County's disclaimer "was unconstitutional because evolution alone was the target," but the singling out of evolution was NOT the basis that the Selman court struck down the sticker. Whatever current law may say, that is not an accurate description of the Selman holding.

My conclusion was that “the NY Times was flat wrong to claim that Selman held it is impermissible to single out evolution.”

Josh Rosenau of the National Center for Science Education (NCSE) didn’t just disagree with my description of these holdings. When I asked the NY Times to correct its misdescription of Selman, he used the a common NCSE tactic by accusing me of “dishonesty.” Specifically, he disagreed with my claim that Selman claimed it is permissible to “single out” evolution in a curricular policy.

Despite the valid secular purpose behind the policy, it was struck down. Why? Was it because the Cobb County School Board singled out evolution? In my next article, we’ll look at the Selman holding in more detail, and understand not just why the judge struck down the policy, but what he ruled about what the NY Times called “the singling out of evolution.” As we’ll see, the judge didn’t rule that it is illegal to single out evolution in a curricular policy, and that isn’t why he struck down the sticker.

Selman v. Cobb County Holding: It’s OK to ‘Single Out’ Evolution If You Simply Explain Your Valid Secular Purpose

In the previous section, we saw that Josh Rosenau responded to my claim that the Selman v. Cobb County ruling holds that it is permissible to single out evolution by accusing me of “dishonesty” because I claimed that “the NY Times was flat wrong to claim that Selman held it is impermissible to single out evolution.” I will not respond to Mr. Rosenau by attacking him personally, but I will demonstrate that his description of the ruling is inaccurate. To reiterate, in the case, Judge Cooper struck down a sticker disclaimer placed in biology textbooks that read as follows:

This textbook contains material on evolution. Evolution is a theory, not a fact, regarding the origin of living things. This material should be approached with an open mind, studied carefully, and critically considered.

Despite the fact that Judge Cooper found that the policy had a valid secular purpose, he nonetheless struck down the policy. Josh Rosenau states that the court struck down the policy “in no small part because it singles out evolution” but that the court held the policy unconstitutional precisely because it singled out evolution. As we will see, Mr. Rosenau is wrong on both counts.

The singling out of evolution was in fact a relatively minor component of the court’s analysis, and it held that singling out evolution need not be fatal to a curricular policy—even the policy in this case—so long as the government agency has a valid secular purpose and takes the simple step of explaining to the community that valid secular purpose.

Why Did the Judge Strike Down the Sticker-Disclaimer?

To understand why the court struck down the sticker, it’s necessary to briefly review the Lemon test and the “endorsement test.”

The Lemon test requires that (1) a government policy has a valid secular purpose, and (2) its principle or primary effect does not advance religion.

Regarding (2), the “effect prong,” courts sometimes asses the “effect” of a government policy by using the endorsement test. As Judge Cooper explained, the sticker passed the purpose prong of the Lemon analysis, but then found that the disclaimer failed the effect prong of the Lemon test under the endorsement test:

“the effects prong asks whether the statement at issue in fact conveys a message of endorsement or disapproval of religion to an informed, reasonable observer.”

The court observed that “citizens around the country have been aware of the historical debate between evolution and religion.” The court found that the school district did not intend to endorse religion, but nonetheless “the Sticker sends a message to those who oppose evolution for religious reasons that they are favored members of the political community, while the Sticker sends a message to those who believe in evolution that they are political outsiders.” In this particular case, “the informed, reasonable observer would know that a significant number of Cobb County citizens had voiced opposition to the teaching of evolution for religious reasons” and “put pressure on the School Board to implement certain measures that would nevertheless dilute the teaching of evolution.” Although the district did not intend to endorse religion, “the informed, reasonable observer would perceive the School Board to be aligning itself with proponents of religious theories of origin.”

Does Selman Hold It Is Permissible to “Single Out” Evolution?

The propriety of the court’s endorsement analysis will be discussed in my next article. For now, it’s important to understand that in the analysis, the court spent many paragraphs recounting the history of an association between religion and opposition to evolution, the religious beliefs of members of the public in the Cobb County School District community who were religious and opposed evolution, and how the “evolution is a theory, not a fact” language was wording endorsed by many religious people in the community.

In fact, the court devoted over 2000 words of its endorsement analysis to such topics before it finally spent two comparatively short paragraphs on the charge that the policy is unconstitutional because it “singles out” evolution. Here is the court’s discussion of this point:

In addition to the foregoing, the Sticker targets only evolution to be approached with an open mind, carefully studied, and critically considered without explaining why it is the only theory being isolated as such. The School Board members convincingly testified at trial that they believed all scientific theories should be critically considered, and they also stated that they singled out evolution because it was the topic causing the controversy at the time. The Court finds the School Board's explanation to be rational and does not declare the Sticker to violate the purpose prong of Lemon. However, because the administration suggested alternative language that did not place the emphasis so heavily on evolution, albeit after the Board adopted the Sticker, the message communicated to the informed, reasonable observer is that the School Board believes there is some problem peculiar to evolution. In light of the historical opposition to evolution by Christian fundamentalists and creationists in Cobb County and throughout the Nation, the informed, reasonable observer would infer the School Board's problem with evolution to be that evolution does not acknowledge a creator.

In Epperson, the Supreme Court declared an anti-evolution statute unconstitutional because it "selected from the body of knowledge a particular segment which it proscribed for the sole reason that it is deemed to conflict with a particular religious doctrine." Similarly, in Edwards, the Supreme Court declared that a balanced treatment statute was unconstitutional because "out of many possible science subjects taught in the public schools, the legislature chose to affect the teaching of the one scientific theory that historically has been opposed by certain religious sects." This case is distinguishable from Epperson and Edwards inasmuch as those statutes clearly impacted the teaching of evolution and the theories of origin curriculum, whereas the Sticker in this case does not preclude evolution from being taught and has not resulted in any complaints that religion is being taught in science classrooms. This case is further distinguishable because the Supreme Court found that the government actors in those cases did act with a purpose to advance religion. However, just as evolution was isolated in the statutes in Epperson and Edwards, evolution is isolated in the Sticker in this case. In the absence of an explicit explanation on the Sticker for evolution's isolation, the Court believes the Sticker sends an impermissible message of endorsement. (internal citations removed, emphases added)

What did we just see? Reiterating what we saw in a previous section, in the first paragraph the court first reminds us that the school board had a rational reason for singling out evolution:

The School Board members convincingly testified at trial that they believed all scientific theories should be critically considered, and they also stated that they singled out evolution because it was the topic causing the controversy at the time. The Court finds the School Board's explanation to be rational and does not declare the Sticker to violate the purpose prong of Lemon.

The court’s problem here wasn’t the singling out of evolution. The problem was, as the court said elsewhere, that “historical opposition to evolution by Christian fundamentalists and creationists in Cobb County and throughout the Nation” would cause “the informed, reasonable observer” to “infer the School Board's problem with evolution to be that evolution does not acknowledge a creator.”

As regards the legality of singling out evolution, the most important statement is the emboldened language in the long quote above. Here, the court makes it clear that the school board’s singling out of evolution could have been non-problematic had they simply explained to the community why they were doing so. Without that explanation, the court held that members of the public were left guessing as to why evolution was “singled out,” and thus they would guess it was for religious reasons. Let’s look again at what the court said, focusing:

In addition to the foregoing, the Sticker targets only evolution to be approached with an open mind, carefully studied, and critically considered without explaining why it is the only theory being isolated as such. … However, just as evolution was isolated in the statutes in Epperson and Edwards, evolution is isolated in the Sticker in this case. In the absence of an explicit explanation on the Sticker for evolution's isolation, the Court believes the Sticker sends an impermissible message of endorsement. (emphases added)

So the problem wasn’t that the school board singled out evolution. The problem was that the school board singled out evolution but did not give an “explicit explanation on the Sticker for evolution’s isolation” and crafted the policy “without explaining why it is the only theory being isolated as such.” In other words, the school district didn’t articulate the reasons they singled out evolution in their policy (As the court noted, the school district’s valid reason was that “evolution was the only topic in the curriculum, scientific or otherwise, that was creating controversy”). Coupled with the local and national religious opposition to evolution, the court found that the failure of the school board to explain to the public why they were adopting this policy would cause people to “perceive” an endorsement of religion.

Selman doesn’t stand for the proposition that it’s illegal to single out evolution. It stands for the proposition that you can single out evolution so long as you (1) have valid reasons, and (2) explain those reasons to the community. In this case, the school board fulfilled the former requirement, but not the latter. So it wasn’t even their singling out of evolution that caused the sticker to be struck down—it was their failure to clearly explain to the public their reasons for adopting the sticker which singled out evolution.

Additionally, the court readily recognized that it’s possible to have valid reason to single out evolution. As I noted above, the court found that “evolution was the only topic in the curriculum, scientific or otherwise, that was creating controversy at the time of the adoption of the textbooks and Sticker” and thus “[t]he School Board's singling out of evolution is understandable in this context.” So Judge Cooper accepted a valid secular purpose for the disclaimer. His problem was that the school board didn’t explain to the community why they were singling out evolution, which left the “informed, reasonable observer” guessing.

The court found multiple valid secular purposes for singling out evolution and suggested that one can single out evolution in a curricular policy so long as one articulates those reasons to the community. In Judge Cooper’s words, “In the absence” of that “explicit explanation” to the community, the close connections between religion and opposition to evolution would cause the “informed, reasonable observer” to “perceive” that the school board was “aligning itself with proponents of religious theories of origin.”

Josh Rosenau was correct that the court factored the singling out of evolution into its analysis, but he’s wrong to claim that the singling out of evolution was the fatal flaw in the Cobb County School District’s actions. In fact, if we’re looking for a take-home principle in this ruling on singling out evolution, here it is: Even in a community filled with what Judge Cooper called “Christian fundamentalists and creationists,” you can single out evolution in a curricular policy so long as you do it for a valid secular purpose, and explain that purpose to the community.

It would seem I was correct to state that “the NY Times was flat wrong to claim that Selman held it is impermissible to single out evolution.”

Lesson to be Learned: Play Nice!

After disagreeing with my description of the Selman ruling, Mr. Rosenau wrote regarding me:

He knows better, yet he keeps advancing a claim which he knows to be wrong. I cannot fathom why. The issue isn't even the dishonesty of haranguing reporters with meritless demands for a correction, but the massive FAIL embodied in trotting out the attempts by others to set him straight that I find so puzzling.

In reply, I have nothing negative to say to Mr. Rosenau other than that his description of the ruling was inaccurate, and that it is saddening that he resorts to personal attacks and name-calling when he disagrees with someone.

In this debate, ID proponents are accustomed to being wrongly accused of “dishonesty.” One lesson I've learned along the way is that all participants in this debate would do well to remember that just because one thinks one has found a flaw in another’s argument, that doesn't mean that the other person is "dishonest." Reasonable people can disagree and this debate is much more enjoyable when we treat one-another with respect and courtesy.

I’m a pretty easy-going person and it takes a lot to ruffle my feathers. In that regard, I can happily forgive Mr. Rosenau for his words. In fact, I think Josh is a decent guy. I just hope that we can all learn a lesson from this exchange: this debate is much more pleasant when we leave “dishonesty” charges on the playground.

And sometimes, you just might learn that the other person was right after all.

The next section will scrutinize Judge Cooper’s reasoning and explain why it threatens the political rights of religious Americans.

Would the NCSE Support Selman v. Cobb County’s Attack on Religious Freedom?

In previous sections, I noted that Judge Cooper ruled in the Selman v. Cobb County decision that “the informed, reasonable observer would know that a significant number of Cobb County citizens had voiced opposition to the teaching of evolution for religious reasons” and “put pressure on the School Board to implement certain measures that would nevertheless dilute the teaching of evolution.” As a result he struck down a disclaimer which stated:

This textbook contains material on evolution. Evolution is a theory, not a fact, regarding the origin of living things. This material should be approached with an open mind, studied carefully, and critically considered.

The court further noted that “the informed, reasonable observer would be aware that citizens and parents largely motivated by religion put pressure on the School Board to implement certain measures.” The court further noted that “the informed, reasonable observer would be aware that the language of the Sticker essentially mirrors the viewpoint of these religiously-motivated citizens.” Although the district did not intend to endorse religion, “the informed, reasonable observer would perceive the School Board to be aligning itself with proponents of religious theories of origin.” As the court wrote:

On the whole, however, the Sticker would appear to advance the religious viewpoint of the Christian fundamentalists and creationists who were vocal during the textbook adoption process regarding their belief that evolution is a theory, not a fact, which students should critically consider.

Because the district court’s decision was vacated by the Eleventh Circuit, there is no official statement of law from this case, and the district court’s ruling should not be considered precedent. Nonetheless, Judge Cooper’s reasoning threatens the political liberties of many Americans who happen to be religious. The fact that the NCSE defends this ruling makes one question whether they support the decision’s attacks on religious liberties.

Excluding Religious Persons (Specifically, Christians) from the Political Process

Under Judge Cooper’s ruling, a law is unconstitutional if some citizens “perceive the [government] to be aligning itself with proponents of religious theories of origin”—even if the government did not adopt those religious policies. It’s all about perceptions and feelings. According to this court, if the government feels that “Christian fundamentalists and creationists” have a good idea, and they adopt it, then that policy is unconstitutional even if it had a valid secular purpose, simply because it was supported by “Christian fundamentalists and creationists” in the community. An otherwise constitutional policy is made unconstitutional simply because of the religious beliefs of the people in the community who support it:

There is no evidence in this case that the School Board included the statement in the Sticker that "evolution is a theory, not a fact" to promote or advance religion. Indeed, the testimony of the School Board members and the documents in the record all indicate that the School Board relied on counsel to draft language for the sticker that would pass constitutional muster. Thus, the presence of this language does not change the Court's opinion that the Sticker survives the purpose prong of the Lemon analysis.

Still, the informed, reasonable [observer] would perceive the School Board to be aligning itself with proponents of religious theories of origin.

This ruling means that if religious citizens advocate for a particular policy position, even if that position could have legitimate secular benefits and could be passed under legitimate secular motives (as was this disclaimer), the government has acted unconstitutionally if it adopts that position simply because that policy was supported by many citizens who are religious.

Such a legal rule diminishes the political rights of religious citizens by inhibiting their ability to advocate for policy positions in American politics. Francis Beckwith concurs that the ruling “makes it nearly impossible for religious citizens to remedy public policies that they believe are uniquely hostile to their beliefs.” 1 In short, the ruling discriminates against religious Americans who are participating in the political process by publicly advocating for certain policies.

What’s Sauce for the Goose...

Atheists and Darwin lobbyists who just want to use any argument—no matter how weak—will love the Selman ruling because it provides a convenient pretext to strike down otherwise constitutional policies they don’t like due to the religious beliefs of supporters of the policy. But atheists and Darwin lobbyists who care about fairness in the law should be very concerned about the Selman ruling because, if it were applied fairly, it could threaten the teaching of evolution.

Like the Kitzmiller ruling, Judge Cooper’s reasoning failed to treat religion in a neutral fashion. If his reasoning were applied fairly, it could even place the teaching of evolution in undesirable legal jeopardy. The ruling struck down the sticker because it was supported by Christians in the community. 2 Yet, both before and after this lawsuit, atheists vocally opposed the sticker-disclaimer. For example, in 2002, the Georgia Humanist Society called for its members to act “In Defense of Humanism” and requested that they sign a petition to the Cobb County School Board of Education to oppose the disclaimer. 3 Indeed, Jeffrey Selman, the plaintiff himself, participated in a “Rally for Reason” sponsored by the Atheist Law Center. 4 Much activist opposition to Cobb County’s disclaimer by the atheist community was organized through a group called “Internet Infidels.”

Internet Infidels is “a non-profit educational organization dedicated to defending and promoting a naturalistic worldview on the Internet” where “naturalism entails the nonexistence of all supernatural beings, including the theistic God.”5 One Internet Infidels user named RufusAtticus (actually a biologist named Reed A. Cartwright, then a graduate student studying biology at the University of Georgia,6 now a post-doctoral researcher at North Carolina State University 7) used the Internet Infidels website to organize and promote a petition sent to the Cobb County School Board to oppose their sticker policy.8

Discussions of the petition on the Internet Infidels website were accompanied by many anti-religious statements and anti-religious slurs. Cartwright boasted on the website that his “whipping” of a “creationist correspondent” is “recorded in the ‘Funny Fundy Friday’ thread.”9 One user praised the petitions Cartwright sent to the Cobb County School Board stating, “F-ing awesome response you wrote! Concise, and extremely persuasive to anyone who doesn't have their head stuck in the sand of religious dogma.”10 Another poster in the thread complained against religious proponents of calling evolution a “theory” saying “[t]o some conservative religious people with no core education in science, a ‘theory’ is something scientists dream up while sipping their trendy liberal Starbucks coffee and/or diddlin’ their widdles.”11 When commenting on a quote from Cobb County Board of Education defense attorney Linwood Gun who had stated that “[s]cience and religion are not mutually exclusive,” another poster expressed anti-religious sentiments, replying “[w]rong and wrong.”12 While debating the Cobb County policy, one user said, “I don’t see how anyone could believe a benevolent god did all this . . . .The world is full of freakish things . . . [and] random from what we can observe.”13 Another poster said: “You know they weren’t talking to god when they made this nonsense up. Its [sic] time for these stone-age bible-pushers to start living in the real world.”14

After the district court’s ruling was issued, users expressed additional anger over the proposed policy: “Oh, forgot, no religious person is worried about how the Schroedinger Equation endangers the souls of their precious little lambikins. Besides, that would require more than a nodding equation with ‘science’, and might even require that they learn more than what their preacher tells them on Sunday morning.”15 The response from another user was, “Those damn fundies.”16 Many other threads on the Internet Infidels website contain similar comments against religion.

These citizens and groups, of course, have every right to hold and express their opinions under First Amendment protections of free speech. But under Judge Cooper’s reasoning, if Cobb County had rejected the disclaimer, an informed objective observer would supposedly then perceive that the Cobb County School Board had “aligned” itself with the viewpoints of these atheist citizens who are extremely antagonistic towards religion. Judge Cooper’s logic might have rendered a rejection of the sticker similarly unconstitutional due to public perceptions that the school board was endorsing atheism17 or inhibiting religion. Such a result is preposterous: it ties the hands of government from taking any action regarding controversial social issues and could even threaten the teaching of evolution, showing that the legal reasoning used in Judge Cooper’s ruling is untenable.

A Dangerous Ruling

The result of this ruling is not just preposterous, but dangerous. Ruling that government action is unconstitutional simply because the government might be perceived “to be aligning itself with proponents of religious theories of origin” annihilates the rights of religious Americans to participate in the political process. In this case, the school district didn’t even adopt the teaching of any religious theories of origin. However, it did adopt a policy which the court admitted had a valid secular purpose. The policy was only deemed unconstitutional because its supporters in the community also supported religious viewpoints.

Selman threatens the political rights of religious Americans. If its logic is applied fairly, it could threaten the political rights of non-religious Americans as well. The ruling is deeply flawed, and goes against everything the First Amendment stands for.

As we’ve seen, the NCSE apparently holds the Selman ruling out as an accurate description of current law. I’d be interested to see if the NCSE supports the holding of Selman that school boards should be prohibited from agreeing with religious persons in the community, thereby removing the rights of religious Americans to participate in the political process.

Primary Cases Cited:

Selman v. Cobb County Bd. of Educ., 390 F. Supp. 2d 1286 (N.D. Ga. 2005), vacated and remanded, 449 F.3d 1320 (11th Cir. 2006).

Freiler v. Tangipahoa Parish Bd. of Educ., 185 F.3rd 337, 344-346 (5th Cir. 1999), cert. denied, 530 U.S. 1251 (2000) (striking down the policy on other grounds).

Other Specific References:

[1.] Francis J. Beckwith, The Court of Disbelief: The Constitution's Article VI Religious Test Prohibition and the Judiciary's Religious Motive Analysis, 33 HASTINGS CONST. L.Q. 337, 352 (2006).

[2.] Selman, 390 F. Supp. 2d at 1313.

[3.] See In Defense of Humanism, http://geocities.com/gahumanists/defense.htm”>http://geocities.com/gahumanists/defense.htm

[4.] See Atheists to March into Capitol May 6 to Protest Government Denial of Free Speech and Equal Access to Open Forum, Rally for Reason & Picnic on the Capitol Lawn, http://www.atheistlaw.org/archived-article.cfm?id=102 (last visited May 19, 2006).

[5.] The Secular Web (2008), http://www.infidels.org/

[6.] See Posting of RufusAtticus to http://www.iidb.org/vbb/showthread.php?t=69504 where “RufusAtticus” identifies himself as Reed Cartwright (last visited Oct. 27, 2008).

[7.] See Reed A. Cartwright, SCITUS, http://scit.us/ (last visited Oct. 27, 2008).

[8.] See Postings of RufusAtticus and other users to http://www.iidb.org/vbb/shoethread.php?=39518 and http://www.iidb.org/vbb/showthread.php?=39518 &page=2 (on file with author).

[9.] Posting of Cartwright to http://www.iidb.org/vbb/showthread.php?=39518&page=2 (on file with author).

[10.] See Posting of Gooch’s Dad to http://www.iidb.org/vbb/showthread.php?=39518 (on file with author).

[11.] Posting of Deblateration to http://www.iidb.org/vbb/showthread.php?t=105009&highlight=Cobb+County (Nov. 8, 2004, 11:55 p.m.) (last visited Oct. 27, 2008).

[12.] Posting of Hazel-rah to http://www.iidb.org/vbb/showthread.php?t=105009&highlight=Cobb+County (Nov. 9, 2004, 10:33 a.m.) (last visited Oct. 27, 2008).

[13.] Posting of Classical to http://www.iidb.org/vbb/showthread.php?t=105009&highlight=Cobb+County&page=3 (Nov. 13, 2004, 05:47 a.m.) (last visited Oct. 27, 2008).

[14.] Posting of OdysseusTheInnkeeper to http://www.iidb.org/vbb/showthread.php?t=105009&highlight=Cobb+Count&page=3 (Nov. 14, 2004 03:22 p.m.) (last visited Oct. 27, 2008).

[15.] Posting of hagiograph to http://www.iidb.org/vbb/showthread.php?t=105009&highlight=Cobb+County (Nov. 8, 2004, 06:04 a.m.) (last visited Oct. 27, 2008).

[16.] Posting of Kciredor reprah to http://www.iidb.org/vbb/showthread .php?t=112090 (Jan. 13, 2005, 11:38 a.m.) (last visited Oct. 27, 2008).

[17.] Kaufman v. McCaughtry, 419 F.3d 678, 681-682 (7th Cir. 2005) (“If we think of religion as taking a position on divinity, then atheism is indeed a form of religion.”) (quoting Reed v. Great Lakes Cos., 330 F.3d 931, 934 (7th Cir. 2003)).



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