Missouri lawmakers approve Bible class in public schools

Posted at 8:32 AM, Mar 15, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-15 09:33:19-04

A bill passed by the Missouri House would allow school districts to offer the Bible as an elective class.

“I think it is a really bad idea,” said Kansas City United Church of Christ pastor Chase Peeples.

Teaching the Bible from a historic perspective is the reasoning for some to approve a bill that would make the Bible an elective in public schools.

“If it is a subject matter that is offering education about an important piece of literature, it should not be prohibited,” said Stephen Shields.

“Public schools should not be focused on religious education, I think there are basics a student should be learning in public school and religion is not one of them,” said Bill Carriger.

The bill passed the House and is now in the state Senate. The lawmaker who proposed the law, Rep. Ben Baker (R-Neosho), is from southwest Missouri and works for a religious affiliated college.

If approved by the Senate and governor, a social studies teacher would teach the course. It would be up to individual school districts to offer the class as an elective.

“If it is my kid, who is teaching about the Bible and what perspective are they coming from?” said Peeples. “Why aren’t other sacred texts like the Quran or the Hindu text, Buddhist text? Which type of Christian is going to teach what interpretation of the Bible?”

The current law allows for books like the Bible to be used as a reference in the classroom. This proposal would make the class solely about the Bible.