AZ Bill for Bible Classes in Public Schools

I find it hard to believe courses like this are opposed, inasmuch as they are part of almost all university curricula. Still, there’ll no doubt be some debate. Having said this, if someone sees this as a Christian (or Jewish) victory, it is a thin victory.

The Arizona State Senate has passed a bill that allows school districts to create a high school elective course that would focus on the Bible and its influence on Western Civilization.

In a 21 to 9 vote on Thursday, the Ariz. Senate has sent the bill to the desk of Arizona Governor Jan Brewer. The office of Brewer declined to comment as to whether or not she would sign the bill into law.

Known as House Bill 2563, it was sponsored by Ariz. Representative Terri Proud (R-26) and was passed by the Ariz. House of Representatives in February. In an interview with The Christian Post, Proud explained why she sponsored the bill.

“This piece of legislation acts as a guide to teachers, districts, superintendents, parents and our students as to what the First Amendment, our Constitution, and courts have agreed as permissible use of the Bible in our public schools should they choose,” said Proud.

Proud considered the influence of the Bible on the world to be “very significant” and also noted that many countries presently teach the Bible in government schools.

 

About Scot McKnight

Scot McKnight is a recognized authority on the New Testament, early Christianity, and the historical Jesus. McKnight, author of more than fifty books, is the Professor of New Testament at Northern Seminary in Lombard, IL.

  • Kyle J

    Arizona doesn’t exactly have a reputation for establishing curriculum guidelines based on intellectual considerations of late.

    http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/showtracker/2012/04/late-night-daily-show-on-tucsons-mexican-american-studies-ban.html

  • lindi

    I don’t know how I feel about this. Your logic is correct in that religion classes are offered in our state universities. On that basis, I think it should be allowed. But — it is just that, as an Arizonan, I am so tired of living in a state associated with prejudice because of the immigration situation. And as an almost 60-yr-old, I remember too well that laws about religion in public school were too often introduced in the south by the same people who fought the civil rights movement. So, I feel like with the introduction of this law, I will have to brace myself for more, “Arizona, the racist, neo-Nazi state” comments. And its sponsor, Terri Proud, is associated with “right wing” causes.

  • Ed Holm

    Can’t wait until supporters of The Satanic Bible demand equal time. I suspect there will not be so much enthusiasm

  • http://www.twitter.com/brandontheguy brandontmilan

    When I was in highschool, back in the early 2000′s, my school began offering a Bible as Literature class. I think that it would have been good, except, the english teacher who taught the class also happened to be a fundamentalist baptist preacher. He had a timeline worked out for Jesus’ return and everything. This was in South Carolina, btw.

    I think that any class like this can be extremely valuable, but the curriculum needs to be kept in check.

  • Jerry

    My brother, a now retired high school English teacher, used to say that it was difficult teaching American literature to students without a bible background. He often mentioned Billy Budd as an example. I’m not sure a special class is the solution though. Why not teach history and literature and include the necessary biblical & cultural referents?


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