A Bible lesson could be added to the school curriculum

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FRANKFORT, Ky. — A bill to create an elective Bible social studies course in Kentucky public schools was unanimously approved by the Senate Education Committee Thursday.

“What it does is enable Bible literacy classes as an elective in social studies,” its sponsor, Sen. Robin Webb, D-Grayson, told the committee. “This bill would not have so much religious connotation as it would have historical connotation.”

Senate Bill 278 would direct the Kentucky Department of Education to write regulations for Bible courses that local school districts may choose to offer as electives in grades nine through 12.

The bill states that students will not be required “to use a specific translation” of the Bible for the classroom. And he says the course must “follow applicable law and all federal and state guidelines to maintain religious neutrality and accommodate students’ diverse religious views, traditions, and perspectives.”

Webb and Jack Westwood, a former state senator who now lobbies for the Family Foundation, have both testified to the importance of the Bible in history, literature, art and other aspects of culture. and society.

“Senate Bill 278 doesn’t teach the Bible… It’s not proselytizing,” Westwood said. “What he does is teach the Bible.”

Robert Boston, director of communications for Americans United for Separation of Church and State, based in Washington, said in a phone interview that such bills can pass the constitutional test but can pose problems. when classes start.

“If it increases Bible literacy, that’s great because of the Bible’s profound impact on society,” Boston said. “But you must be careful that this does not elevate one interpretation of the Bible above the others.”

The bill now goes to the full Senate for a vote.

Journalist Tom Loftus can be reached at (502) 875-5136 or [email protected]

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