A school board in California has approved a Bible class for high school students after a fundamentalist mega-church heavily lobbied the school district.
Members of Calvary Chapel Chino Hills, an evangelical church aligned with the Religious Right, packed an August board meeting of the Chino Valley School District and demanded that the course be approved.
“The Bible is where we get our laws and where we get our difference between good and evil,” said Calvary Chapel member Kim Yergensen. “Children need to be taught that at an early age and on through life.”
Though church pastor Jack Hibbs claimed the course’s emphasis would be literary and historical, he added, “Where the Bible is and wherever people are introduced to the concept of God, morality increases, the value of life increases, women’s rights are elevated and there’s been a historical plus regarding the doctrines, the teachings and the influence of the Bible wherever it has been introduced. We’re very excited.”
Some parents have opposed the elective, arguing that the class poses constitutional issues. James Na, vice president of the board, ensured parents that teachers will not indoctrinate.
Superintendent Wayne Joseph claims school officials will make sure “we don’t have teachers who are proselytizing religion, but conversely we don’t have teachers who are debunking or debasing the Bible.”