Proponents of Bill 252 claims it will help students to understand contemporary morals
Senate Bill 252 tabled in West Virginia Senate will need every school in Virginia state to offer an elective Bible course. It is a proposed bill and two GOP Senators have proposed it. As per the bill, the said course will be an elective one. Students of schools in Virginia are not compulsorily required to sign up for the course. Every state school, however, must offer it as a matter of choice to all their students. The bill says that the course will be on Bible or Hebrew scriptures. It is up to the individual student to decide the translation they prefer to study. This bill will be applicable to all public, denominational, private, and parochial schools having their addresses within the state.
As per Bill 252, this elective course will impart willing students knowledge related to Biblical content, narratives, characters, and poetry. According to the proposers of this bill, this knowledge is needed to comprehend contemporary culture and also society. The students will study the influence of Hebrew Scriptures or the New Testament on morals, culture, law, literature, customs, history, and government. This bill needs state laws and federal laws to be strictly followed when it comes to religious neutrality. The diverse religious orientation of students will also be accommodated under the strictures of this new bill.
This has been noted by American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) in Kentucky. The ACLU pointed out that the so-called Bible literacy classes being taught in Kentucky state could be actually unconstitutional. The state has a new law which gives the state's public schools an option to teach the Bible within the curriculum of social studies. These courses, like the ones in Virginia, are not compulsory ones. A principal of one Kentucky school offered the argument that this Bible course can actually be construed as history study of the different religions present in the world. Jack Lykins, the said principal, told a media channel that he held this point of view as the course is empty of any daily devotionals. The students do not pray daily but study the subject as a comparative religion course.
Not to mention it's illegal for any government to impose any specific religion on people whether that be through public schools or practice. You can teach the role a religion has in literature or history but you cannot teach religion. This is most definitely unconstitutional
— Leela M. (@leelz402) January 16, 2018
The ACLU has disagreed with such a conjecture. A spokesperson said that the course definitely breaks the constitution of the United States. The organization, via a request for open records, received the course's study materials from a number of schools for constitutional verification.