Possibly looking to appease her conservative base after vetoing a gun bill, Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer signed a new law allowing study of the Bible in schools.
The gun bill would have allowed weapons into state buildings, but Brewer said it would have been too dangerous and expensive so she vetoed it on Wednesday. But on the same day she signed controversial bill that allows schools to offer courses on how the Bible influences Western culture.
The Daily Beast reports that the local branch of the American Civil Liberties Union lobbied against the bill, saying it is unnecessary because such courses are already allowed as long as teachers do not proselytize for any specific religion.
The Arizona ACLU fears Christian teachers will use the new law to promote Christianity, mostly because it contains a clause that grants teachers “immunity from civil or disciplinary action," according to Anjali Abraham, the public-policy director for the Arizona ACLU.
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That means teachers cannot be punished if they are accused of teaching religion as long as they can show that they were trying to follow the new guidelines in "good faith."
Brewer's spokesman said the governor is sure there will not be any such problems.
“The Bible is the world’s most published book,” says Matthew Benson. “It has had significant influence on the founding and development of the United States of America.”
When asked if the timing of the law had anything to do with the gun veto, Benson said, “The governor always is guided by doing what she thinks is right.”