Religion

Kentucky Public Schools Can Now Teach The Bible

| by Michael Allen
Matt BevinMatt Bevin

Republican Gov. Matt Bevin of Kentucky signed House Bill 128 on June 27, which allows public schools to teach Bible courses.

Republican state Rep. D.J. Johnson explained why public schools should teach the religious text to children:

[The Bible] 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.

The bill allows local school boards to create a Bible literacy class, which would be an elective, not a required course.

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Bevin told those attending the bill signing that all public school systems should be teaching the Bible:

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.

Kate Miller of the ACLU of Kentucky explained why this type of course could be a problem:

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A Bible literacy bill that, on its face, may not appear to be unconstitutional, could in fact become unconstitutional in its implementation. We want to make sure that teachers can teach and make sure that they don't go in to preach.

"As long as we're careful with the curriculum itself, there won't be any constitutional issues," Johnson added. "And we'll do that."

Bevin said the new law, which promotes a religious text used by Jews and Christians, should not be controversial.

He stated: "You could be an atheist, and you would appreciate there's a lot of wisdom in the Bible."

There was no mention of religious books used by Muslims, Hindus or other faiths being used in public school curriculums.

Christian evangelist Franklin Graham praised the new law, which favors his religion, on Facebook on July 1:

I had the privilege of meeting Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin last year when I went to their capitol on the Decision America Tour. This week he signed a bill that allows an elective course on the role the Bible played in American history to be taught in his state’s schools. It gives local school boards the option of developing a Bible literacy class as part of their social studies curriculum.

Gov. Bevin has recently also received some criticism for encouraging the people of Louisville to combat the increasing violence in their communities with prayer, along with other steps. He said at a press conference, "I personally believe in the power of prayer -- I’ve seen it." Our nation needs more leaders like him who know to look to God for wisdom and help, and aren’t ashamed to say it. Great job Governor Bevin!

Sources: WDRB, Franklin Graham/Facebook / Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr (2), Cornstalker/Wikimedia Commons

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