Reminiscent of American Christian paranoia and hysteria, a Netherlands-based Christian school destroyed over $20,000 in student-created literature by shoving it all through a shredder. The school based its reasoning on the fact that one book featured a peace symbol, which the school said was satanic.

The school, Pieter Zandt Protestant, found the peace symbol offensive and heretical, considering it “debauchery.” What sparked the uproar was one of the students wearing a peace symbol t-shirt on the cover of the diary, which the school assigned to students to keep.

Citing Christian fundamentalist drivel from the 1970s, school board chairman Johan Van Puten, came across some information that said peace symbols were rooted in Satanism. “The conviction of the parents that the symbol was unacceptable was so strong that I knew a rigorous approach was the only solution.”

There’s one issue, however. The peace symbol is in no way tied or related to any Satanic ideas or indoctrinations. One propagandist website claims that the “v-sign” peace symbol, the one made famous by Winston Churchill to signify victory after World War II, is also Satanic: “Churchill said that the sign stood for victory. . . He most likely knew the evil significance of this symbol but tried to give it a facelift.”

Some Fundamentalist Christians also make the outrageous claim that Roman emperor Nero used the symbol to “designate hatred of Christians” and that anyone who dons the symbol has “rejected Christ.” These claims couldn’t be more wrong.

The peace symbol, as we know it today, was created in 1958 by Gerald Holtom, a British graphic artist, in part with the British Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament. Although certain movements of the symbol carry with it some ancient connotations, the current symbol has a very literal translation. The portion inside the circle mimics the combination of two semaphores.

The semaphores make up the letters “N” and “D” (for nuclear disarmament), the “N” is made by shaping one’s arms as on inverted letter “V,” and the “N” is made holding one arm straight up, and the other straight down. The peace symbol mimics these exact gestures.

Here, in the states, lawmakers are fighting to have scientific theories, like evolution, pulled from science curriculums. They are trying to pull anything they see as a threat to their belief system.

Josh is a writer and researcher with Ring of Fire. Follow him on Twitter @dnJdeli.