Tuesday, March 28, 2006
Georgia: The State of Required Bible Classes
Georgia feels the need to require schools to teach classes with the bible as the textbook. (h/t Washingtonrox)

But he wouldn't mind taking a class on the holy text if it were offered at his high school in Decatur, Ga. After all, "You look at 'The Old Man and the Sea,' 'King Arthur' and even 'The Matrix,' all have biblical allusions," the junior says. "It'd be useful to know exactly what's in it."

The Georgia legislature seems poised to endorse just such a course. Though students in many states enroll in classes related to the Bible, Georgia would become the first to require its Department of Education to put in place a curriculum to teach the history and literature of the Bible. Schools would use the book itself as the classroom textbook. Specifically the bill would establish electives on both the New and Old Testaments.

It has overwhelmingly passed both chambers, but needs a final vote on a minor House change. The vote is expected as early as Monday. If it passes, the state's Department of Education has a year to establish Bible elective courses in the curriculum.

It is already legal to allow classes to teach the bible in a historical and literary sense. For what reason does the Georgia Congress feel the need to require public schools to have these classes? I can think of over fifty different texts that are superior to the bible when it comes to literary content. Perhaps they should be the required text, seeing as, you know, they are better literary texts.

If classes want to focus on the historical impact of the bible on our culture, they can use a textbook to do this. Why do they need the actual bible, when only 1/50th of it would have any relevance to the history of our culture? Quite simply, they are going to use the bible and then supplement it with other things, leaving the bible the focus of the class.

This is simply a thinly veiled attempt to get the bible in the classroom. Allow each school district to make the choice on using the bible in curriculum. There is absolutely no need for the state to require its schools to have classes that use the bible as a text.

When this passes, it will be a sad, sad day for education.


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