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Elective bible study classes would offer historical insight
What makes something controversial?
Sounds like a fair question, right?
Increasingly in the world of today’s journalism, controversial means something with which you disagree.
The always-liberal Post-Dispatch this week reported on a bill initially approved by the Missouri Legislature that would allow public high schools to offer bible study classes.
To the Post-Dispatch, this is “controversial.”
Five states now have adopted legislation identical to the Missouri bill which would allow public schools to offer elective — not mandatory — classes on bible studies.
The classes would not be geared toward religion but rather use the bible as an historic reference book.
Opponents cite the longstanding prohibition concerning separation of church and state and they are correct.
But the Missouri bill — like those in other states — treats the bible in historic terms and does not favor one religion over another.
There is absolutely no doubt this question will eventually make its way to the United States Supreme Court.
The outcome of that lawsuit is anyone’s guess.
But I don’t understand the concerns voiced by opponents over using the bible to study the history of mankind at that point in time.
The Supreme Court has long ruled that bible studies in public schools are prohibited. But that ruling is based on the premise that it favors one religion over another.
This latest attempt to interject the bible in our public school studies is based on the writings of the history, the structure of the writing and the impact on society that this wonderful book provides.
One liberal Democrat from Kansas City said the measure is just another attempt to divide rather than unite the American public.
But that opinion ignores the great significance of the bible on the foundation of our country and the basic values we share as a society.
The bill’s sponsor specifically banned the bible teaching of one religion as part of this legislation. Instead, the focus would center on the history of that critical time in the mankind’s journey.
In a touch of utmost irony, one Democratic lawmaker wants to exclude the bible from the learning process because he favors inclusion.
Those two viewpoints are not compatible.
The lessons learned from the bible — or any other text that recounts history — are valuable to our progress in understanding just how we arrived at this point in history.
Those who fear bible studies as an elective class offer no legitimate argument but rather tread in fear of the unknown.