Shocking KY State Law Bringing Bible Into Classrooms
Could your State Be next?
On Tuesday, in Frankfort, KY, the public signing of Bill 128 began with a prayer. That’s right. A prayer right there, in the Capitol Rotunda as Republican Gov. Matt Bevin signed a bill into law allowing public schools to teach the Bible as part of a special curriculum elective. Pushed by the Governor and passed by the GOP controlled State House and Senate, the bill easily glided through the system. And as Bevin said:
The idea that we would not want this to be an option for people in school, that would be crazy. I don’t know why every state would not embrace this, why we as a nation would not embrace this.
My Old Kentucky Home is the land of snake dancers and faith healers. Outside of my liberal home here in Louisville, Bible-based Christian religion is so entwined with a basic objective worldview, not teaching the Bible in school DOES seem crazy. But these elected-representatives are trying to mask this new law as an effort to teach, not preach. They believe that these so-called classes may be more palatable if, as Bevin stated, the bill will:
” …require that the course provide to students knowledge of biblical content, characters, poetry, and narratives that are prerequisites to understanding contemporary society and culture, including literature”
One of the bill-sponsors, Rep. D.J. Johnson (R-Owensboro), explained, according to local WDRB-TV 41 News, in referring to the Bible:
“It really did set the foundation that our founding fathers used to develop documents like the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights. All of those came from principles from the Bible.”
According to Bevin’s and his cohorts’ political spin, they are just offering the chance for young people to learn the Bible from a sort of social sciences/humanities perspective. And admittedly, the Bible has had more influence on Western thought than any other text. But to allow this type of class in our public schools is nothing more than the state-sponsorship of a particular religion above others and the right to believe in none. What they are doing is letting loose a wolf in sheep’s clothing within our schools. But as Johnson stated for WDRB-41:
“As long as we’re careful with the curriculum itself, there won’t be any constitutional issues. And we’ll do that.”
Although not alone in recent years (see Arizona and Georgia), the passage of this law in Kentucky should be both shocking and arouse much fear, and yet all we have to rely on is this reassuring quote from Kate Miller, advocacy director for the ACLU of Kentucky, stating the Bible can be taught in public schools, but:
“…[O]nly for its historical, cultural or literary value and never in a devotional, celebratory or doctrinal manner, or in such a way that encourages acceptance of the Bible as a religious document.”
Do you feel any better?
Photo by Robertus Pudyanto/Getty Images
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