Senate committee says 'amen' to bill that helps teach the Bible in public schools
House Bill 128 would create policy for optional social studies course on the Bible
FRANKFORT, Ky. (WDRB) -- The Senate Education Committee has said "amen" to a bill that would help public schools teach the Bible.
The bill’s sponsor, Rep. D.J. Johnson (R-Owensboro), told lawmakers he wants schools to have the ability to teach about the "Hebrew Scriptures" and the New Testament.
“The Bible is an ancient document that, even today, shapes the world around us,” he said.
Supporters say the "Genesis" of House Bill 128, is the "Revelation" that many public school students know little about the country's Judeo-Christian heritage.
“Our students are being deprived of a very important part of our culture, because they don't have an opportunity for biblical background,” said Jack Westwood, a former Republican senator who supports the bill.
The bill instructs the Kentucky Department of Education to "Act," and help local school boards develop an optional social studies course on Bible literacy.
“This bill has a secular purpose," said Sen. Stephen West (R-Paris). "And it will help to educate our kids on the background of how they came up with our founding documents."
But the bill's skeptics had one "Lamentation." They worry that the bill could lead to the "Exodus" of church-state separation.
“It just seems to me that if you want to teach the Bible, that's better taught in Sunday School,” said Sen. Reggie Thomas (D-Lexington).
In the end, the Bible had the "Numbers." The bill passed the committee unanimously.
But even supporters say they'll now begin work on a new bill that would help schools broaden the teaching of religion.
“I would like to participate in promulgating regulations on social studies courses that open other people's eyes to different religions as well,” said Sen. Julie Raque Adams (R-Louisville).
The bill has already passed the House. With the Senate's blessing now will likely, House Bill 128 should soon land on Gov. Matt Bevin's desk.
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