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)
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    December 15, 2011 at 11:18 pm |
  3. USMCvet

    So, Republicans hate it when Democrats FORCE their "socialism" on people. Is it then OK, to FORCE children to read the Bible in class??? The Republicans are forcing their far, far, far right agenda everywhere on us: In Wisconsin and now in Kentucky. They are overreaching and they are not doing what the people asked them to do: CREATE NEW JOBS!!!! I have to hand it to them, they are better at firing up the Democrats base, then Democratic Leadership.

    February 28, 2011 at 7:34 pm |
  4. Rich

    Bugsy.... People call KKKentuckians morons because they are. I have spent plenty of time in Kentucky. Never met anyone with an IQ higher that 90. Most I would not hire to wash dishes. You people elected morons so... I know now to add to my companies job apps "Where did you go to school." If they answer Kentucky I'll just have HR trash it. No employment laws broken.

    February 28, 2011 at 7:00 pm |
  5. alex7

    Separation of church and state ONLY states that Congress shall pass no law respecting the establishment of a religion, nor shall it prohibit the free exercise thereof. That's all. Congress shall pass no law...

    Offering a Bible course in high school as an elective if the people there want it does not go against the First Amendment.

    Continue your discussion with that in mind.

    February 27, 2011 at 6:00 pm |
    • TheAMused

      The only problem with your argument is that, it being Kentucky and all, it will NOT be an elective and the teacher will NOT be able to keep his/her own bias out of the instruction. Not too many religious books can be taught seriously without the teacher trying to insert their own faith (or lack thereof) into the mix. Been there, done that a long time ago with a comparative religion course–it turned into the teacher's own personal pulpit with a overt stated goal to convert everyone to his sect.

      The Founding Fathers were quite adamant that they intended the amendment to also be a protection FROM religion, which includes making one prominent over another (even informally). That's because, even in the 1700s, there were more than just Christians emigrating to the colonies (not to mention the natives who couldn't care less about Jesus, Allah, Buddha or whatever).

      March 2, 2011 at 6:53 pm |
  6. Mariospants

    I have a suggestion for some of my own legislation: nobody should be permitted to teach religious doctrine of any kind to a child until the child has reached the age at which we feel they are responsible enough to drive a car or vote. Problem solved, and likely the death of many mega-churches, too.

    February 27, 2011 at 12:47 pm |
  7. Jason M Huffman

    Wait! I thought thats what "CHURCHS" was for?

    February 27, 2011 at 2:04 am |
  8. Seriously!

    When you come to the realization that if you were born in Iran that you would have the EXACT same zeal for Muhammad and Allah that you do for Jesus and God, then that will be a big awakening for you. If you were born in India, you'd have the same zeal for Vishnu, Shiva and Brahma that have for Jesus/God. If you were born in Tibet, you would have the same zeal for Buddha that you have for Jesus/God. So what does that say about the book you worship (when you wouldn't have worshiped it based solely on geographic location of birth and religion of your parents)?

    - 100% Truth. Get over yourselves people. Your belief is based on the lottery of birth location and what your neighbors believe. Your Zealotry is sickening.

    February 26, 2011 at 12:40 am |
  9. Normby

    HeavenScent: There is no :His Truth" – because there is absolutely NO valid, factual, evidence that he (or ANY other gods) exist.
    Quit pretending your delusional, fairy tale based, beliefs are even remotely similar to factual reality.

    February 25, 2011 at 9:05 pm |
  10. Thomas

    II do not see a problem in teaching about the bible if it is part of a world religions course. This would counter the idea that it would be presented to scientific observations. I am sure that is not Kentucky's intention and could would clearly violate freedom of religion by suggesting a state mandated religion to school children.

    February 25, 2011 at 3:38 pm |
  11. Laura

    Which is why, living in KY, I send my child to a private school. While we are not catholic, her school is and I fully expect religion to be taught there. Meanwhile, she is getting an excellent education.

    How many kids in KY public schools are graduating unable to read or do math with the current curriculum? If their parents want them to learn about the bible they are more than welcome to take or send them to church. Or, here's a thought...have bible study in their own homes.

    If public schools are going to go into the business of teaching religion then they better plan on covering them all. Or is education and world knowledge really not the goal behind this?

    February 25, 2011 at 2:05 pm |
  12. Baronton

    @Connie..........Your rationale is flawed and you are misinformed when you say US government funded Public Schools should teach the bible because we are an English speaking nation and the bible was 'written in the English language.' You furthermore state that this is ' Not a huge leap.' Actually it is an ENORMOUS LEAP. The bible was not written in English, the
    Old Testament was written in Hebrew, and the New Testament was written in Greek. It was translated into English by King James, similiarly to it being since translated into hundreds of languages including Aabic. Please people will simply say almost anything to justify their own idelogies whether its factual or not.

    February 25, 2011 at 1:09 pm |
  13. Hooty-hoo

    I agree with Sen. Bowen's comments about the Bible, but if we teach Bible classes in public schools, the pedophile-worshipers will start agitating for Koran classes, too.

    February 25, 2011 at 1:00 pm |
    • kieran walsh

      Pedophiles = islam = then you must have gone to school in Kentucky

      February 26, 2011 at 12:50 am |
    • Q

      @kieran – I believe they were referring to the prophet marrying a 9 year old. To my admittedly limited knowledge, islamic apologists insist the marriage wasn't consummated until much later.

      February 26, 2011 at 12:55 am |
    • HotAirAce

      If may not make them pedophiles, but according to Muneef, islam fully condones the marrying off of 10+ year old girls as long as they are "ripe" – his word, not mine. So, if you follow mo, child abuse of little girls is perfectly OK.

      February 26, 2011 at 1:04 am |
    • Magic


      According to many, many sources Mohammad married Aisha when she was 6 years old... and consummated the marriage when she was 9. He was in his 50s. Aaack!

      February 26, 2011 at 1:05 am |
    • Q

      @magic – No argument from me., just playing "devil's advocate". Certainly not my intent to defend the obvious immorality of any of these mythologies.

      February 26, 2011 at 1:11 am |
    • unbelievable

      As opposed to the people who follow Abraham, who married his half-sister?

      February 28, 2011 at 4:57 pm |
  14. jack519

    Kentucky- really? All that is happening in the world and your concern is teaching the bible in public schools? How does that improve test scores in math and science? Isn't that best suited for the megachurches and the family?

    February 25, 2011 at 12:38 pm |
  15. Non rien

    Quite frankly, as a resident of Kentucky it slightly disturbs me that we are still having trouble separating church and state

    February 25, 2011 at 11:09 am |
  16. Connie

    Furthermore, this idea that if you teach about the history, writings and canon of the bible, then somehow that means you have to teach ALL religions is stupid. That makes as much sense as saying if you teach English Literature then that means you must also have classes on the literature of every of language and culture, or if you post signs in English you have to post signs in every other language in the world, no matter how few people speak it. The fact of the matter is that the United States is a majority Judeao/Christian nation and we speak English. Therefore we should teach English language and literature, and historically important books and literature written in the English language. Not a huge leap. I would expect that if I lived in Saudi Arabia the schools would be teaching in Arabic and teaching Arabic history, significant books/writings in Arabic culture. Get a grip people. If you're so hostile to American values, history, language and culture then move.

    February 24, 2011 at 7:13 pm |
    • RH

      The Bible wasn't originally written in English... Your lack of this basic knowledge causes me to disregard anything else you might have to say.

      February 26, 2011 at 12:20 am |
    • HC

      Well said RH!

      February 26, 2011 at 12:40 am |
    • Sidewinder

      So, you want to teach bible studies in public schools? Which bible? Which sect of christianity? What about the Jehovahs, the Catholics and the Mormons? Or would you just brush aside their views in favor what what YOU believe?

      February 27, 2011 at 10:19 pm |
    • Doug

      That's a good point. Separation of church and state is not only supposed to protect people from religion, but also keep the government out of religious affairs. Now, which Christianity is going to be taught? How is this "history" going to be taught? Is it going to be a scholarly look at the bible? If so, I have no problems with it. My fear is that they will go with the supernatural version and talk about creation as a fact or act like the bible is divinely inspired when that is all myth. If you want your kids to learn about the bible, teach them at home or let the church you attend do it.

      February 28, 2011 at 8:24 am |
  17. bugsy

    @JazzyJim. Excuse me but I was never allowed to vote on this bill. Calling all Kentuckians moronic sheep shows your ignorance along with using terms like "teabaggers". I find it deplorable the left wing continues to use this term in front of women and children.

    February 24, 2011 at 1:22 pm |
    • Tater

      If we can't call em teabaggers, tell em to take the tea bags off their hats.

      February 24, 2011 at 3:32 pm |
    • Mark

      No problem Bugsy, we could always revert to their real name, racist, fanatic hate mongers, do you feel better now?

      February 25, 2011 at 3:04 pm |
  18. the_word_of_god

    The reason "Creation" is not taught in US schools is because it is complete nonsense! Even though evolution is "flawed" I'd take it any day over the magical ideas the bible purports!

    February 24, 2011 at 8:15 am |
  19. glenn robert

    Religion has always been a great tool for killing large numbers of believers and non-believers? Nothing like a good crusade to, OOPS!

    February 24, 2011 at 2:29 am |
  20. Bitter Bierce

    Sounds great...it can be listed with Greek Mythology and The World of Harry Potter...

    February 23, 2011 at 10:55 pm |
    • glenn robert

      Great, religion in the Schools? I wonder what they will do on Sunday? Does the separation of church and state still mean anything!

      February 24, 2011 at 2:14 am |
    • Joe G

      I can't fathom being as stupid as these Republicans in middle America. How can you be elected to office and not understand the separation of church and state?

      Oh, that's right, they were educated in middle America by religious zealots.


      February 26, 2011 at 12:36 pm |
    • Corey

      First we see about thirteen states propose anti-Islamic legislaation; now we are seeing pro-Christianity legislation. Does anyone smell a trend here? I don't think this is just a coincidence; someone wants to make this a public policy issue. I'll bet this whole Christianity vs Islam thing is going to be part of the next Presidential election.

      February 27, 2011 at 2:19 pm |
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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.