Arizona Students Might Be Taking Bible Classes if New Bill Passes

Lately, the state of Arizona has been coming out with some pretty conservative laws, such as its immigration laws and definition of when life begins. Now, the state is taking moves that might spread its conservation reach into education.

That state’s Senate approved House Bill 2563 on April 12, 2012. This bill will create a new high school class in public and charter schools where students read and learn about the Bible and the role it has played in Western culture. House Bill 2563 passed in February of this year and is now sitting on Governor Jan Brewer’s desk, where it will either be signed into effect or thrown out.

So will this class just be a lot of Bible-thumping? Not exactly. If the bill passes, the state’s Board of Education must create an elective class that will be offered for high school students called “The Bible and its influence on Western Culture.” Students who choose to take the class would learn the impact the Old and New Testaments have had on history, literature, government, and other aspects of Western society throughout the ages.

According to Republic state Rep. Terri Proud, the teachers who teach this class will only be able to use the Bible “in a very restricted way.”

“A lot of it has to do with debunking a lot of ignorance that our districts are trying to force upon the teachers,” she said. “There are people out there who hate the Bible and everything about it. That’s fine, but don’t deprive our children of biblical literature because of your personal feelings.”

Proud also said that the Bible offers a lot of foundational, basic knowledge that students should have.

“It is everywhere around us, and to say that I don’t want my child exposed to that, then we might as well not have air and breathe because it is implemented into our society,” she continued.

Of course there are opponents to the bill. They say that teaching this material can be complicated and that many teachers are not properly trained to do so. My fear would be that students would be exposed to the material by a teacher who was not qualified to be teaching the Bible and then form life-long opinions based on this inadequate knowledge.

Arizona will not be the only state that teaches the Bible to public high school students if it passes this bill. Currently, five other states have similar elective classes: Georgia, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, and South Carolina.

Via The Huffington Post

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