February 11th, 2011
07:55 AM ET

Kentucky Senate passes bill to teach Bible classes in public schools

From CNN Louisville, Kentucky affiliate WLKY

Frankfort, Kentucky - Bible classes could be taught in Kentucky public schools under a bill that's made it halfway through Kentucky's legislature.

State Senator Joe Bowen wants Kentucky public school students to have an opportunity to take classes about the Bible.

"No doubt about it, the most important book ever written and obviously, it's had so much influence on our society and all of western civilization," Bowen said. Last year, former State Senator David Boswell introduced the same bill. It passed the Senate, but died in the house. Bowen defeated Boswell last November.

Read the full story from CNN Louisville, Kentucky affiliate WLKY.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Education • Kentucky • United States

soundoff (1,056 Responses)
  1. Sam Brockman

    If it is elective I haven't a problem with it.

    February 11, 2011 at 12:08 pm |
  2. Pliny

    Are these people intentionally stupid?

    Do they just like to waste taxpayer dollars?

    Seriously....they should all be sterilized.

    February 11, 2011 at 12:08 pm |
  3. nightquestor

    Studying the bible, or any establish religion text, is a study of history, culture, politics, pride and prejudice. It is best done at the college level, and should not be considered for any public school of K-12. The problem with teaching at these levels, is that the children have still not established themselves yet, their thought processes are nt contstant, and introducing the true relevant teachings of a religious text would only serve to confuse them.

    February 11, 2011 at 12:07 pm |
  4. m

    I've been an atheist ever since my sunday school teacher started hinting that the world was really 6,000 years old. I was like 8 and I knew that dinosaurs coming after ancient Egyptians was a little "off." Anyways, if they want to teach religion in schools I just don't care anymore. The belief structure will continue to rest on the parent's teaching. I went to a catholic College and most of the professors taught us the fallacies in the Bible. Changing the laws won't change peoples religion. Who knows, putting the Bible in an educational setting may even convert people away from it, given the inaccuracies. The Bible has zero ability to stand up to any proven scientific method, so I doubt it will have much traction.

    February 11, 2011 at 12:05 pm |
  5. MBD

    This is truly a sign of a society moving backwards. Everything we teach children is school is tangible, relevant and based in evidence. Teaching an archaic myth that exists amazingly without a shred of evidence of truth is staggeringly irresponsible.

    February 11, 2011 at 12:05 pm |
  6. Marla

    Many are saying that this could be a good thing – if and only if – this class were to be taught correctly, as a good critical analysis of the book as a piece of literature. However, we have to look at the spirit of this law and the location. Does anyone really expect that this class would actually be taught as a literary analysis? I don't think so.
    Teaching such a class in a public school would be an insult to any non-christian in the school.
    This is also an insult to the separation of church and state.

    February 11, 2011 at 12:05 pm |
  7. Dave

    It is illegal for KY to accept tax moneys from the federal government for the purposes of teaching a specific Bible in publicly funded schools. They may certainly create a Religious Studies curriculum that is non-denominational - but it's clear from the article that only one religion from one translation is the intent here. I assume the legislators forget that Churches have lots of special statuses already and public schools that must also support EEOC and secular requirements cannot be used to teach a particular Religious belief? Another huge waste of taxpayers money will be necessary now since these codes will most certainly be challenged and overturned in federal courts. Another example of why KY is full of poorly educated children whose education dollars should be spent, NOT on learning religious stories, but on learning how to become competent for universities around the world and to compete in a world that runs now on Technology and Scientific Innovation (not found in King James or any other version of Christian Bible).

    February 11, 2011 at 12:04 pm |
  8. Heywood Jablome

    Great...but we're going to need to reduce those liberal subjects like math and science. Who needs that crap anyways. Just do like I do, when you have trouble adding up your budget, paying your bills and especially when you get sick, just pray it away. And they call the liberals tards. Like a 1st grader calling Steven Hawking stupid.

    February 11, 2011 at 12:04 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Heywood Jablome, Stephen was a "C" student. Just like George W.

      February 13, 2011 at 7:50 am |
  9. Drew

    I can agree with this if they teach it and focus on social, political, and feminist interpretations of the Bible. It should be an elective and not taught like Sunday School. Plus anything that hypocritical, simple atheists are against, I'm all for.

    February 11, 2011 at 12:03 pm |
  10. JB in Pgh

    I hope they can demonstrate exactly how Noah was able to ge 'two of every species on earh' into the ark.!

    February 11, 2011 at 12:03 pm |
    • John

      he used god's magic animal attracting plush toy and they all came to him where they then were shrunk down using jesus's magic shrink ray gun so that all the animal could fit!

      February 22, 2011 at 3:06 pm |
  11. manonfetch

    I have no problem with a Bible class – if it is taught from a critical point of view as literature, or from a sociological point of view as cultural storytelling, or from a psychological point of view as an attempt to understand human interaction, or from an anthropological point of view as explaining the cultural norms of a people that lived in a demanding physical environment thousands of years ago. I studied the stories of Gilgamesh and Beowulf and it was a fascinating look into the minds and cultures of past civilizations. Teach the Bible in the same class that teaches Native American, Asian and European cultural stories and folklore. If it is taught at the basis of morality and civil discourse, then we will be teaching our students that men can sell their daughters, enforce slavery, justify war, and give their wives and daughters to lynch mobs to save their own necks. If you read the Biblical punishments dished out, it reads like Shar'ia law – and eye for an eye, a hand for a hand, stoning as execution. As a Christian and mother, no thank you. If I want to raise my kids as religious fanatics, I have the choice to do so. Keep your religious paws off my kids. Schools should be teaching reading, math, science, biology and civil discourse. Churches should be teaching religion and morality – they get a tax break to do so! If you want your neighborhood kids to be exposed to religion, offer to take them to church. Don't pass a law to make it a part of school classes. My taxes should not be paying for your religious beliefs.

    February 11, 2011 at 12:02 pm |
  12. Stevie7

    Is it any wonder why Kentucky is the 4th poorest state in the nation?

    February 11, 2011 at 12:01 pm |
  13. God Inspired Ideas

    You have saved the people from the wrath of GOD, they got to listen as they will cause devastestatations to all. Imagine what happened in the old days as peoplr provoked God and were destroyed. Bible Studies is the subject for our kids. In most countries Scriptue Knowledge or Religious Studies is taught in schools. I was in that gruop of students in the 50's. I love to see this happen in this country. Our senseless law have turned our kids into what we don't know. Please I ask God to direct you and give you all the tools to make it work Amen.

    February 11, 2011 at 12:01 pm |
    • TalkingSnake

      You are a frightening individual. I suspect you have fatwa envy.

      February 11, 2011 at 12:29 pm |
  14. LizRod22

    I have lived in Kentucky all my life. I'm also a Christian, though I do not believe the Bible is meant to be interpreted literally. My prediction is that most students will completely ignore any elective based on the Bible. The uber-religious kids will reject the idea of studying the Bible as literature, while the more casually religious or non-religious kids will find the whole idea of a Bible class incredibly boring.

    February 11, 2011 at 12:01 pm |
  15. Trusted sourcees

    Benjamin Franklin:
    "The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason."

    "I have found Christian dogma unintelligible. Early in life, I
    absenteed myself from Christian assemblies."

    George Washington (the original George Dubya):

    "Religious controversies are always productive of more acrimony and
    irreconcilable hatreds than those which spring from any other cause. I
    had hoped that liberal and enlightened thought would have reconciled
    the Christians so that their religious fights would not
    endanger the peace of Society." Letter to Sir Edward
    Newenham, (Note that Washington wrote "their" instead of "our" above.)

    John Adams:
    "The divinity of Jesus is made a convenient cover for absurdity."

    "But how has it happened that millions of fables, tales, legends, have
    been blended with both Jewish and Christian revelation that have made
    them the most bloody religion that ever existed."

    Thomas Jefferson:

    "Millions of innocent men, women, and children, since the introduction
    of Christianity, have been burned, tortured, fined, and imprisoned,
    yet we have not advanced one inch toward uniformity. What has been the
    effect of coercion? To make one half of the world fools and the other
    half hypocrites." Thomas Jefferson, Notes on Virginia

    "The day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the
    Supreme Being as His father, in the womb of a virgin will be classed
    with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter."
    Thomas Jefferson, Letter to John Adams, April 11, 1823

    James Madison:

    "Religious bondage shackles and debilitates the mind and unfits it for
    every noble enterprise."

    Abraham Lincoln:

    "My earlier views of the unsoundness of the Christian scheme of
    salvation and the human origin of the scriptures have become clearer
    and stronger with advancing years, and I see no reason for thinking I
    shall ever change them."

    February 11, 2011 at 12:01 pm |
    • Helper

      The fool says in his heart, "There is no God." They are corrupt, their deeds are vile; there is no one who does good.
      Psalm 14:1

      February 11, 2011 at 2:25 pm |
  16. Godless

    Teaching the bible in school... the American Taliban will be quite pleased.

    February 11, 2011 at 12:01 pm |
  17. Aston

    I wonder which version they are pushing to teach? Baptist? Southern Baptist? Pentacostle? Assembly of God? Church of Christ? The list goes on and on. After all, each version of Christianity interprets the bible differently. And we all know, the bible is nothing more than an incomplete version of the canon. King James left the chapters out that cast him in a bad light after all. Yea. Maybe they should have a class based on the canon, since it is the complete book and not some half a$$ version.

    February 11, 2011 at 12:00 pm |
  18. JonathanL

    Sort of like a Christian counterpart to the Islamic Madrassas? Train them to be good christian soldiers marching as to war. Time for a crusade. Replace logic with faith. Don't think, just obey and submit. Memorize those verses and believe what we tell you.

    February 11, 2011 at 12:00 pm |
  19. Kristi

    A comparative religions course would be appropriate, but if the Bible class is going to be used to push Christianity it should not be in public schools. Churches already provide space for Bible study.

    February 11, 2011 at 12:00 pm |
    • Adam

      I could not agree more. I hope these schools will be turning away and public and or federal monies, because if they don’t then our tax dollars are sanctioning one religion over another, and that is not supposed to happen.

      February 11, 2011 at 12:16 pm |
  20. Greg

    Depending on which religion you call your own, the Bible might or might not be considered the most important book ever written. I took a class in college on Mythology and religion, going through Egypt, Greece, Native American, and on to more modern Christian and Muslim texts. What I learned most was how similar all the stories were. All had creation myths and allegories to teach life lessons.

    A class like this could open eyes and aid understanding if it taught more than just the bible.

    February 11, 2011 at 12:00 pm |
    • ruducky2

      Well that should solve every social problem in Kentucky. Crime – GONE! Poverty – EXTINCT! Social Equality Regardless of Religious Belief – GONE THE WAY OF THE DODO, BABY (except of course that the Dodo never existed because it's not actually in the Bible, sorry Creationism, I let the physical evidence get in the way again).

      February 11, 2011 at 12:07 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19
About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.