An Idaho Republican is pushing a state law that reiterates the right to use the Bible as a reference book in schools.
The bill says the Bible can be used as a teaching tool in “literature, comparative religion, English and foreign languages, United States and world history, comparative government, law, philosophy, ethics, astronomy, biology, geology, world geography, archaeology, music, sociology and other topics of study," according to Idaho Education News.
It was introduced by state Sen. Sheryl Nuxoll, a first-term Republican who sits on the state senate's Education Committee and is a high school teacher in her day job.
The Senate Education Committee voted to introduce the bill into the state senate. It includes language that says students won't be required to study the Bible or use it as a reference if they or their parents object.
Some education committee members called the bill redundant, saying there is no impediment to teachers and students using the Bible as a reference in classrooms. Sen. Janie Ward-Engelking, a Democrat, voted against Nuxoll's proposed legislation.
“Once we start spelling out religious texts,” she said, “we open up the door to spelling out many, many more.”
“That, I guess, could be a possibility,” Nuxoll admitted, Idaho Education News reported.
Nuxoll told Ward-Engelking the Bible is different than other religious texts because it is "embedded" in American culture.
Nuxoll last made headlines when she compared Obamacare to the Holocaust in 2013, saying the legislation would send private insurance companies to their deaths, "like the Jews boarding the trains to concentration camps." The comment made Politico's list of 25 Unforgettable Obamacare Quotes.
Nuxoll told committee members the bill is necessary to ease the trepidation of educators who feel they might be inviting trouble by referencing the Bible.
On RawStory: “It’s to clarify and make sure teachers know their rights,” she said. “A lot of teachers are scared to use the Bible.”