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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. Scott

    Religion is just a scam to make people feel bad about themselves and about things which are perfectly natural so that they can rake in money to "heal" or "forgive" you. Remember–those who can't do, preach.

    February 11, 2011 at 11:42 am |
  2. john

    I think Fat Mike from Nofx said it best..it's getting agonizing to hang out
    With grown adults who actually believe
    Mythology and history trump physics and science..

    February 11, 2011 at 11:42 am |
  3. Bill

    We will see how much people like then when every individual has a different interpretation of the bible and the "opposite" view of what a kid or parent thinks is taught. I mean, really....how many DIFFERENT denominations have DIFFERENT takes on the bible. I grew up in Kentucky and the Baptists hated the Methodists and the Pentecostals hated the Catholics and so on, and so on. When a Catholic is teaching about Mary Mother of God or a Pentecostal is teaching about Speaking in Tongues, we will see how everyone likes that.

    February 11, 2011 at 11:41 am |
  4. BigStanz

    As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion; as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquility, of Mussulmen; and, as the said States never entered into any war, or act of hostility against any Mahometan nation, it is declared by the parties, that no pretext arising from religious opinions, shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries.[3]

    -Treaty of Tripoli, signed by U.S. President John Adams (of HBO miniseries fame) on June 10, 1797.

    By the way, these funny names are referring to Muslims. I assume Mr. Adams (and all the other holy fathers of this nation) would be very proud of what our nation has accomplished in the last generation in terms of crapping all over everything they intended (and I'm pointing the finger at the conservatives here, the jingoistic idolators who are running this country into the ground).

    February 11, 2011 at 11:41 am |
  5. Jason

    I absolutely cannot believe this.... I am just dumbfounded

    I have always felt very lucky to have been born and raised in a free-thinking, western democracy. Doesn't matter if it's America, Canada, France – anywhere like this is 1000 times better then one of those violent, oppressive, soul-crushing, intolerant places like Saudi Arabia, North Korea, Iran, Indonesia, etc,... BUT TODAY, I feel feel sooooo lucky to be from New England, and not some backwards, pathetic, baby-brained place like KENTUCKY!!! What a freakin' joe....

    February 11, 2011 at 11:41 am |
  6. David

    One wonders if the proponents of these ideas see the parallel with the Taliban were paying a fortune to try to defeat. The slippery slope anti-gun control advocates tout is much more dangerous here. Does KY have any Jewish/Buddhist/Muslim/Hindu citizens. What do they think? Does anyone care?

    February 11, 2011 at 11:41 am |
  7. bil

    what part of 'separation of church & state" does KY or any other state not understand??!! the "religious right" is neither. i was raised roman catholic & went to private catholic schools until college. biggest bunch of liars & hypocrits(SP). you want to be "taught"/"learn" about the bible, read on your own time or go to a private religious school; or move to Iran or any other country that is a "god based" government.

    February 11, 2011 at 11:40 am |
  8. Dan

    Praise God!! Kentucky will be blessed for this. Thank you Jesus!

    February 11, 2011 at 11:40 am |
    • morgan

      LOL funny joke

      February 11, 2011 at 11:47 am |
    • Jason

      You weren't raised in a very educated household or interacted with many open-minded freethinkers, have you? I feel soory for you...

      February 11, 2011 at 11:49 am |
  9. Jen

    Doesn't sound like anyone will be forcing students to take this class. Seems like a good elective to me. Free choice being a good thing, and all. And if no one else remembers, much of the science of evolution taught in schools today is theoretical too. Why does the word "intolerance" apply to Christians only, when the rest of the world is intolerant of its beliefs. Seems like putting up with other people's disdain, scorn and mocking makes us Christians pretty tolerant. Or, at least, those of us that follow Biblical teachings.

    Pretty sure if someone proposed teaching elective classes in Islamic, Buddhist, Jewish or other religious classes in schools there would be no uproar.

    February 11, 2011 at 11:40 am |
  10. Devout Christian

    As a totally and completely devout Christian, I cannot understand why Kentucky's legislature would do this. I agree that The Bible is the greatest and most important book ever written, but it is wrong to have teachers in public schools teach from The Bible. Church and state were separated for a reason.

    February 11, 2011 at 11:39 am |
    • Born-again Christian

      DC, why was the Bible taught in schools back in the 1800's and everything was fine? You didn't have parents or Congress yelling "separation of church and state." If you are a devout Christian as you claim, you would be saying, it's about time they start bringing the Bible back into schools. What could it hurt? This country is one step away from Hell since God has been take out of everything. And God has every right to remove His hand of protection from us because we as a nation don't want Him here anymore.

      February 11, 2011 at 12:54 pm |
    • Steve the real one

      Could that "reason" be satanic in nature? Think about why folks lose there minds when anything Godly is brought up!

      February 11, 2011 at 1:17 pm |
  11. Observer

    People can teach their own brand of religion in their homes and places of worship. Schools should not have to make up for their miserable failures at doing so.

    February 11, 2011 at 11:38 am |
  12. Eric

    Hey, as long as it is an academic approach to studying the Bible and its relevance to the development of Western Civilization, fine. But if you fail a kid because he can intelligently articulate why the Bible can be dangerous or why it is contextually fallacious, then you have crossed the line of separation of church and state. Comparative religion is a better approach and finding themes that have helped or hurt humanity is more useful.

    February 11, 2011 at 11:38 am |
  13. A

    UGH! Please, no. If it does happen, hopefully it will be an elective class, not mandatory.

    February 11, 2011 at 11:37 am |
  14. ThereIsNoGod

    I am fine with the Bible being taught as long as it is alongside other fables and myths like the Iliad and Odyssey, the Lord of the Rings, and Harry Potter. All great stories...all fiction. This senator is a fitting representative for Kentucky. Ignorance through inbreeding.

    The great thing about science is that it doesn't care whether or not you believe in it.

    February 11, 2011 at 11:36 am |
  15. TripleA

    I think Christian Madrasas are a great idea for 21st century American youth. However, I'm curious. Would they teach about the talking snake in biology class, or would that go in the theater arts class? And Lot and his daughters, is that being taught in biology, psychology, or sociology (under criminal behavior)? What about the burning bush? Is that part of a communications class, or strictly an extra-curricular activity for AV geeks?

    February 11, 2011 at 11:36 am |
  16. ed

    hey allow it then all federal funding should stop going to there schools period separation of church and state ...................

    February 11, 2011 at 11:36 am |
  17. Chas in Iowa

    It is an unfortunate state of affairs when any government starts legislating religon.

    February 11, 2011 at 11:36 am |
    • Jason

      that's why I am as far away from the south as I can get... and I'll tell you this: if Palin is every elected president I am moving to Canada. I'm dead serious

      February 11, 2011 at 11:52 am |
    • Nonimus

      Or any religion starts legislating government.

      February 11, 2011 at 11:55 am |
  18. Tom

    If religion is such a positive force for good in society, then answer me this: Why is it that whenever you read a story about someone murdering her children, it's ALWAYS a religious fanatic?

    February 11, 2011 at 11:36 am |
    • Dan

      Jesus did not come to give us "religion" – that is man's invention. God sent His only begotten Son so that we could have a relationship with our Creator. Turn away from your sins and trust in Jesus, He is the only way to the Father in Heaven.

      February 11, 2011 at 11:43 am |
    • Thomas

      @Dan..."Begotten" or "besotten"? If the bible is to be believed, then this dude had wine for blood.

      February 11, 2011 at 11:47 am |
    • Jason

      Dan you are so pathetic I want to cry...

      February 11, 2011 at 11:54 am |
    • Born-again Christian

      Dan, I stand behind you. People who are spiritually blind have no understanding of God. Like Psalm 14:1 says "The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good.

      February 11, 2011 at 12:30 pm |
  19. Michael B

    Actually, Richard Dawkins, an unlikely proponent, made a good case for having a class on the Bible, seeing as how understanding it is crucial to understanding English literature. However, if it is taught, it needs to be from a critical, skeptical perspective – NOT as a reliable source of morality.

    February 11, 2011 at 11:34 am |
    • Dan

      Explain that to Jesus when you are kneeling before Him.

      February 11, 2011 at 11:41 am |
    • Thomas

      By the same rationale, schools should be teaching "Mein Kampf". Both books have inspired horrifying wars, torture, persecution and death on a global scale.

      February 11, 2011 at 11:45 am |
    • Jason

      Dan I can only imagin how badly you want to be "on your knees" for Jesus... ha ha

      Seriously, have you seen a psychaitrist yet? Some good meds and some serious therapy might help you understand why you feel the need to perpetuate this belief system. One day you might actually be able to understand what grown ups think!

      February 11, 2011 at 11:59 am |
  20. Vaughan Wynne-Jones

    "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion" The first words of the first amendment. How hard is this? Really?

    February 11, 2011 at 11:34 am |
    • ReadItCarefully

      Well, it's not "Congress," and it's not "respecting an establishment of Religion," so it looks ok to me!

      February 11, 2011 at 11:38 am |
    • Matt

      People always forget the second half of the freedom of religion clause "nor prohit the free expression thereof."

      February 11, 2011 at 11:41 am |
    • Non Christian

      I have a simple test for them. If you would allow classes taught based on the Koran, also an important book in world literature, or a Hindu text, or a Buddhist text, then fine. Otherwise, it is once again an attempt to impose a religion on others, in this case, helpless school children.

      February 11, 2011 at 12:00 pm |
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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.