Steve Green, the owner of Hobby Lobby, has developed and begun to implement a Bible curriculum for public school classrooms. He’s got a school district in Oklahoma a few miles from the company’s corporate headquarters that is going to start teaching this curriculum next year:
The Mustang, Okla., school board voted Monday (April 14) to adopt a Bible course developed by Steve Green, clearing the way for the Hobby Lobby president, whose suit against the Affordable Care Act is currently before the U.S. Supreme Court, to enter another charged arena at the borderline of church and state.
The board, whose district is practically in Hobby Lobby’s Oklahoma City backyard, agreed to beta-test the first year of the Museum of the Bible Curriculum, an ambitious four-year public school elective on the narrative, history and impact of the Good Book.
For at least the first semester of the 2014-15 year, Mustang alone will employ the program, said Jerry Pattengale, head of the Green Scholars Initiative, which is overseeing its development. In September 2016, he hopes to place it in at least 100 high schools; by the following year, “thousands.”…
The Green curriculum ”is like nothing we’ve seen before,” said Charles Haynes, senior scholar at the First Amendment Center and editor of a booklet sent out to all schools by the U.S. Department of Education in 2000 on teaching religion in public schools. “It’s unique in its ambition and its scope and its use of the latest technologies. I think school districts far from Oklahoma will take note.”
So will civil libertarians. In an award acceptance speech last April before the National Bible Association, Green explained that his goals for a high school curriculum were to show that the Bible “is true,” that it’s “good” and that its impact, “whether (upon) our government, education, science, art, literature, family … when we apply it to our lives in all aspects of our life, that it has been good.”
That should raise a huge red flag. I haven’t seen this curriculum, which is apparently very sophisticated, but when the guy who paid for its development says his goal is to make people believe it, that’s pretty obviously in conflict with the Supreme Court precedent that allows the teaching of courses on the Bible as history and literature as long as it is taught in an objective, scholarly way. Speaking of that curriculum, Green says:
That is what our goal would be, so that we can have reintroduced this book to this nation. This nation is in danger because of its ignorance of what God has taught. There is (sic) lessons from the past that we can learn from the dangers of ignorance of this book. We need to know it. And if we don’t know it, our future is gonna be very scary. So we need to be able to teach and educate students.
You’ll pardon me if I’m very skeptical of Pattengale’s assertion that, “The last people (Green) wanted to hire were scholars who would embellish the facts to support his religious position.” He’s made it quite clear in the video I’ll post below that his entire goal is to proselytize students to convince them to believe in the Bible.