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State Considering Controversial New Bible Study Law

A bill was recently passed unanimously out of the Education Committee of the Kentucky Legislature. The bill states public educators may use the Bible for a literacy class, to improve students’ knowledge of poetry, stories and biblical characters. The course should help students develop analytical skills and historical knowledge that will apply to other social studies courses.

Controversially, the bill requires the Kentucky Board of Education to develop an elective course on the Bible for the social studies program of public schools. The course is supposed to be designed to be more educational than religious, and it should assist students in broadening their understanding of modern culture and society.

The bill is sponsored by Democratic State Sen. Robin L. Webb. Of note, Webb says he remembers using the Bible as a way to learn about literature in the classroom as a child. “It’s just like the dissection and discussion of any other book,“ he says.

Democratic State Senator Gerald A. Neal agrees with Webb, noting that “the course will not teach the Bible, but instead it would teach about the Bible.” The course is not intended to change students’ religious beliefs, but is designed to teach about the Bible, and will serve as a foundation for future courses in history and social studies.

The Kentucky Education Committee argues the new course is a much-needed addition to the public school system. They argue the Bible should embraced as a literary source as it is a big part of our history. Senator Webb has confirmed that the course will follow guidelines that ensure religious neutrality.

Not surprisingly, several organizations have objected to the idea of the new course. The American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky has announced its opposition to the bill, arguing government employees should not instruct religious beliefs at public schools, and that the decision to teach about the Bible or not should be made by the parents and/or religious authorities.

Source: AWM
Photos: AWM

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