BibleKentuckySchools

The Freedom From Religion Foundation has strong views against House Bill 128.

The last week of June witnessed Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin signing a bill permitting Bible courses to be held in public schools. Students can now learn, among other things, nuggets of wisdom from the book of Revelation. Fittingly, Governor Bevin uttered “Amen” publicly while signing House Bill 128. The bill effortlessly swam through the House and the Senate. It offers the state school boards the choice of developing Bible literacy classes as part of social studies curriculum. This course would be an elective one.

According to Representative D.J. Johnson, a Republican from Owensboro, and the bill's sponsor, students should be aware of the role the Bible has in the U.S. history. He said, “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.”

At first glance, House Bill 128 seems like an innocuous piece of legislation. The Bible can be taught as literature as later literature have direct or subtle references to it, from Shakespeare to modern fiction like Harry Potter. The problem starts when the Bible is taught like it is American history. This is the reason why groups engaged in separating religion from the state have problems with the bill. It is often seen that teachers transform into preachers when such classes are taught. The Bible is taught like a history book as if the tales narrated there certainly happened.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) is horrified with the new law. The organization is concerned educational classes would breach constitutional lines and preach to the students. They watched the bill's development from its start, well aware that Governor Bevin is extremely religious. The latter believes crime can be cured by prayer.

Annie Laurie Gaylor, the co-president of the FFRF, said it will be impossible for the Kentucky Board of Education to make sure the course transforms into a devotional one. She pointed out, "The bill already shows bias by singling out only one so-called 'holy book' for study." The FFRF members and attorneys will closely observe the bill's implementation. In case any school district ends up overstepping their bounds, it will meet a similar fate like Mercer County Schools in West Virginia. The latter lost in a court case to the FFRF. The organization is also fighting in court over the issue of weekly Bible classes in West Virginia. Such courses have already been suspended. This hiatus will continue until the verdict.

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