The state of Georgia is ripe to become the first state to push some legislative power to getting the Bible back into public schools. The heart of the debate is a bill that would allow for and sanction electives in public high schools for students wishing to take courses that study the bible. While other states offer electives that students can take, no other states have measures in place to support the study of the Bible with taxpayer dollars.
The Georgia House of Representatives passed the bill on Monday by a strong majority. Other southern states such as Alabama are considering similar legislation. While states such as Florida are working to have the Bible available as a resource for students that are studying subjects such as English, Art History and other applicable disciplines.
We found a quote from a local Marietta Resident (source-MiamiHerald.com):
”I don’t see the downside of it. If you go to college you have to take similar courses, it just exposes our children to it earlier,” says Bernard Anthony, a marketing executive and father of a ninth-grader in the Marietta school system. “And it’s an elective, your child doesn’t have to take the course.”
Adds Patrick Grant, a father of two school-aged girls, “I support offering a forum for all religions to be taught as long as its teaching, not preaching.”
We also found a couple quotes from the AJC about the issue.
”This country is built on Judeo-Christian faith, ethics and knowledge of the Scriptures,” Sen. Tommie Williams, the bill’s sponsor, told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “Our Founding Fathers were often quoting the Scriptures. Our first Congress paid for the purchase of Bibles to be used in public schools.”
But the Bible literacy issue unearths a complicated dynamic in the South, a place more spiritually homogenous than other parts of the country and the homeland of a broad spectrum of Christianity-based faiths.
”In the American setting, the South is distinguished by religion,” says Ted Ownby, a University of Mississippi professor of history and Southern studies. “You are talking about people who have the numeric majority and a large degree of political, economic and social authority.”
What do you all think about the issue? Should the Bible be brought back into our local school system?