Oklahoma to reconsider bible classes in public schools

February 2, 2015

Oklahoma Senator Kyle Loveless plans to present a bill that would allow the state's oft-debated public school Bible classes to become a reality.

Loveless' plan offers the class as an elective course in the hopes that the classification will shield districts from litigation.

The curriculum has had a contentious history in the state over the past year.

Museum of the Bible Chairman Dr. Jerry Pattengale and Hobby Lobby President Steve Green developed the course to coincide with the museum, which will open in Washington D.C. in 2017.

Mustang Public Schools in Mustang, Oklahoma unanimously approved the Bible course in April, and the curriculum was scheduled to begin in August.

The launch was eventually pushed back to January 2015, then cancelled altogether after complaints from the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) and the ACLU.

"The topic of a Bible course in the Mustang School District is no longer a discussion item nor is there a plan to provide such a course in the foreseeable future," Superintendent Sean McDaniel informed the FFRF in a November email.

After the cancellation, Pattengale and Green announced plans to move forward with Bible curricula in other school districts that have expressed interest in the course.

"We understand Mustang's decision to withdraw the new, elective Bible course from consideration," Pattengale said in a statement.

"Museum of the Bible remains committed to providing an elective high school Bible curriculum and continues work on an innovative, high-tech course that will provide students and teachers with a scholarly overview of the Bible's history, narrative and impact."

Sen. Loveless said that 200 students signed up for just 20 classroom slots before the cancellation, and hoped to have the issue on the next ballot.

"Basically, it would give school districts flexibility to -- if they wanted -- to offer this class as an elective, [and] they would have protection from lawsuits," he told Fox News. Loveless emphasised that the course was not meant to proselytise, but to teach the Bible's history.

Christian Today


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