Missouri lawmakers approve Bible lessons in public schools

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A bill passed by the Missouri House would allow school districts to offer the Bible as an optional class.

“I think that’s a really bad idea,” said Chase Peeples, pastor of Kansas City United Church of Christ.

Teaching the Bible from a historical perspective is the reasoning behind some approving a bill that would make the Bible an optional course in public schools.

“If it’s a subject that provides education on an important piece of literature, it shouldn’t be banned,” said Stephen Shields.

“Public schools should not focus on religious education, I think there are basics a student should learn in public school and religion is not one of them,” said Bill Carriger .

The bill passed the House and is now in the state Senate. The lawmaker who proposed the law, Rep. Ben Baker (R-Neosho), is from southwestern Missouri and works for an affiliated religious college.

If approved by the Senate and Governor, a social studies professor would teach the course. It would be up to individual school districts to offer the class as an option.

“If this is my child, who teaches the Bible and what perspective do they come from?” said Peples. “Why are other sacred texts like the Koran or the Hindu text not Buddhist texts? Which type of Christian will teach which interpretation of the Bible?

Current law allows books like the Bible to be used as a reference in the classroom. This proposal would make the class solely on the Bible.

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