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One News Now

Elective Bible Course Proposed for Public Schools

By L.A. Williams, Correspondent
Christian Action League
March 1, 2013

BibleRALEIGH — North Carolina public high school students would have the chance to sign up for a Bible course as an elective if Senate Bill 138, filed by Sen. Stan Bingham, becomes law.

Assigned to the Committee on Rules and Operations of the Senate, the measure would allow local school boards to offer students in grades nine through 12 a course on the Old Testament, one on the New Testament or one course that would include both.

According to the bill, the course would have to follow federal and state law in maintaining “religious neutrality and accommodating the diverse religious views, traditions and perspectives of the students.” Further, it could not “endorse, favor or promote or disfavor or show hostility toward any particular religion, nonreligious faith or religious perspective.”

What it could do is teach students about “biblical content, characters, poetry, and narratives that are prerequisites to understanding contemporary society and culture, including literature, art, music, mores, oratories and public policies,” including “familiarity with the contents, history, style, structure and societal influence” of the Bible.

“No book has had more influence on Western culture than the Bible,” said the Rev. Mark Creech, executive director of the Christian Action League. “We think it would be very beneficial for high schools to offer such an elective course. We study the works of Shakespeare because of their influence on the culture, so why not study the Bible for its impact?”

According to the bill, students would be able to use whatever version of the Bible they chose for the course, which, if approved by the local school board, could be offered as early as the 2013-2014 school year.