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Bible Class At Public School In Kentucky: What Could Go Wrong?

Recently Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin (R) signed into law HB 128, which allows public schools to offer a Bible class as an elective. What could possibly go wrong? Here at Americans United, we have two main concerns.

First, successfully teaching about the Bible without accidently slipping into teaching the Bible is very difficult.  The state acknowledges as much, requiring the Board of Education to design regulations that govern these classes.

Pious Proclamation Panned: Iowa’s Governor Goes Around The Bend With Bible-Touting Document

Some elected officials have a bad habit of releasing official proclamations lauding the Bible, Christianity or religion generally.

We at Americans United find these proclamations to be extremely annoying, but judges have not been very sympathetic to efforts to try to block them in court. They usually say that these proclamations are just suggestions that don’t require anyone to do anything and therefore they pass constitutional muster.

Tenn. Considers A Bad Idea For The Good Book

Tennessee has an official state bird (mockingbird), a state reptile (Eastern box turtle) and a state rifle (Barrett M82/M107). Now some people in government are pressing for Tennessee to have an official state book as well – the Bible.

This is not a good idea. The Bible is undoubtedly important to lots of Tennesseans, but singling out a religious text for special designation raises a host of church-state problems. Chiefly, it puts the government imprimatur on a theological tome. It elevates that book to special, state-approved status.

A Tale Of Two Bills: Tenn. Lawmakers Move To Make Bible The Official State Book While Idaho Governor Vetoes Bible-In-Schools Measure

Reckless bills involving the Bible have surfaced in two states – one is dead, but the other remains in play.

In Idaho, lawmakers pushed SB 1342, which would have authorized public schools to use the Bible and other religious books in the curriculum.

Tenn. Bill To Make The Bible Its Official Book Fails

A proposal to name the Bible the official book of the state of Tennessee is dead for the year.

Although the state House of Representatives passed it by a significant margin, the Senate voted to send the bill to its Judiciary Committee, and it did not reach a full floor vote before the end of the legislative session, reported the Nashville Tennessean.

Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris (R-Collierville) apparently had concerns about the bill. 

Americans United Fights Tenn. Bills

Tennessee legislators have proposed a measure that would make the Bible the state’s official book and another that would widen use of private school vouchers. Americans United opposed both measures in letters submitted to the legislature, arguing that they would erode the wall of separation between church and state.

By The Book: Tenn. Governor And Attorney General Oppose Measure That Would Make The Bible The Official State Tome

It looks like Tennessee could be headed for church-state trouble once again, this time with a bill that would make the Bible the state’s official book. The proposal is so bad, even the Tennessee attorney general thinks this legislation is problematic.