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A bill has been passed by the Kentucky Senate that would allow Bible classes to be taught in public schools. The measure passed in a 34-1 landslide vote, with final passage into law pending House review.
Senate Bill 56, which would direct the State Department of Education to develop a course curriculum around the Bible, is sponsored by Republican state Senator Joe Bowen, who said:
"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 also believes the bill is about "education, not indoctrination," providing for a "social studies course."
Democratic state Senator Tim Shaughnessy said a provision allowing students to substitute their own text for the course throws academic credibility "out the window." State Representative Reggie Meeks thinks the bill is pandering to Kentucky's Christian voters. "It's like waving meat in front of a dog, okay? You give them what they want," he said.
Once again, students who practice other religions are disregarded when it comes to having a bill that would give them an opportunity to take classes that focus on their beliefs. Although the bill will face an uphill climb in the House, Bowen does have an ace up his sleeve. He is friends with House majority whip Tommy Thompson, who is from his hometown of Owensboro. If the bill does become law, I can envision a morning Bible class, followed by an afternoon field trip to the local Creationist amusement park.