Hobby Lobby Owner Pushes Bible Curriculum

Hobby Lobby Owner Pushes Bible Curriculum November 26, 2013

In completely unsurprising news, the owner and CEO of Hobby Lobby, who is fighting so hard to avoid having to provide for women’s health needs in his company’s group insurance policy, is also spending his fortune developing a Bible curriculum for use in public schools. The first target for its adoption is Mustang, Oklahoma.

The Mustang School District is considering adding an elective course that would teach about the Bible.

“A state law that passed several years ago made a provision for public school districts to offer an elective course through social studies or through the English department called ‘The Bible in the Curriculum,’” said Mustang Public Schools Superintendent Sean McDaniel. “We thought it was very intriguing and wanted to see what this kind of curriculum might offer.”

McDaniel invited Steve Green, President and CEO of Hobby Lobby, to come and talk to the board at their meeting on Monday. He said Green has taken on an initiative to create a curriculum from a historical perspective.

Green and his family own over 40,000 Bibles and he now oversees The Green Collection, which has grown to be the world’s largest private collection of rare biblical texts and artifacts…

Green is also in the development stages of creating a new, nonsectarian Bible curriculum and said it would cover three parts of the book: the history, the impact and its story.

“We have a list of universities that we are working with today all over the world,” he said. “We want to find the leading scholars to help us and we will be pulling from this group to help write this curriculum and it will tie to the three parts we want to teach. With the history, we want to show the archeological evidences of the Bible and then we want to show the impact of the Bible. The Bible has had an impact on just about every area of life, whether you like it or not, it has. It has impacted government, education, art, science, literature, you name it. Thirdly, is the story, meaning what does the book say.”

It’s entirely possible to build such a curriculum from a genuinely scholarly and non-proselytizing perspective and it would be constitutional to do so (though it’s pretty unlikely you could find many secondary school teachers who could actually teach the class from that perspective; it would almost invariably be used as a means of urging students to be Christians). But given that Green has partnered with David Barton to produce full page newspaper ads full of those out-of-context and sometimes misleading quotes Barton is so famous for (see here for the response to that ad from the FFRF) doesn’t suggest that he is capable of developing such a curriculum. He clearly starts with the goal of inculcating Christianity, which is impermissible.

We’ve seen the result before when those intent on using schools to proselytize develop Bible curricula that they claim are objective and scholarly. The result is crap like the National Council on Bible Curriculum in Public Schools.

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