bibleRepublicans in Idaho are looking to use the Bible as a classroom reference tool. Senator Sheryl Nuxoll is introducing a bill that will allow public schools to refer to the Bible as a reference in a wide variety of subjects, including but not limited to:

  • English
  • History
  • Astronomy
  • Biology
  • Geology

Teachers are already allowed to use the Bible as reference whenever they want, so some feel there is no need for a bill like this. That is the opinion of Senator Janie Ward-Engleking, who also thinks implementing such legislation may cause a divide between the Bible and other religious texts, which can be seen as a form of religious discrimination. She also worries this bill is opening the door for many other religious texts to be used in a classroom. Nuxoll says that while this could be a possibility, the Bible is different because of its importance in American culture.

Since teachers can already use the Bible in class, this proposed legislation can’t be what its proponents claim it is. At best, it is a meaningless waste of tax dollars for the state to spend time discussing and voting on this, being as it wouldn’t end up changing anything. In a less savory scenario, this could be pandering to a population of evangelicals that feels discriminated against when reminded not to overstep the boundaries of Church and State.

We live in one of the most religiously diverse countries in the world. So what does this mean for the people who do not read or believe in the Bible? After all, only the different denominations of Christianity use the Bible as their religious text.

According to Nuxoll, students or parents who do not want to use the Bible for their studies will not have to. They can use another text or opt out of the assignment if they feel uncomfortable or if it conflicts with their religion. This seems reasonable enough until you consider how the population of Idaho would feel if they were told that by default, their children would be using the Satanic Bible or the Quran unless parents took an extra step of opting out.

That’s how we need to consider any issues of religion in the public sphere – by law we cannot give one faith a pass where we wouldn’t give it to others, and that’s what is problematic about the proposed legislation.

Public Response

school protestorsNeedless to say, there is a lot of negative feedback from people nationwide. Using a religious book in a public classroom is obviously a very controversial move, and many aren’t going to take well to it. Even though teachers can already reference the Bible, some feel making it a bill takes it to an entirely different level.

Some people have expressed concern, for example, about how strange it would be to explicitly reference the Bible in more scientific classes like Astronomy, in addition to foreign language, law, music, etc. Many have a hard time seeing how the Bible can be relevant to such subjects.

As one might expect, the bill is supported widely by Republicans, and opposed widely by Democrats. The leader of the bill is Republican, and the main voice of opposition to the bill is a Democrat. This bill may not come as a surprise to people in the state, as Idaho is one of the most conservative states. In fact, it is ranked in the top five of most conservative states. However, that doesn’t mean everyone who lives in Idaho leans to the right. In fact, there are many people in Idaho who are hoping this bill does not pass.

Creationism in Schools

This topic is directly related to the debate over whether or not creationism should be taught in school. Many Christians have argued that since theories such as evolution and the big bang theory are so widely taught in public schools, creationism (itself not at all a theory if you consider all the proof across scientific disciplines it requires for a hypothesis to be considered a theory) should be included as well.

What would cause you greater concern? The teaching of creationism alongside evolution? Or the invocation of the Bible in a litany of other subjects?

Possible Lawsuit?

Despite the bill’s wording that students who are not comfortable with the Bible will not have to use it as a reference there is a high likelihood that if this bill passes it will ultimately lead to a lawsuit. After all, if a child does not participate in an activity with his or her peers because he or she is uncomfortable with using the Bible or because his or her parents have forbidden it, this could lead to the child feeling ostracized and left out.

What do you think? Are there certain courses in which it would be appropriate to rely on religious texts as reference material? Does the Bible have any place in American schools?


  1. Kathryn says:

    Has the US gone completely mad?
    The inmates are now loose and taking over the asylum.

    1. Rich Calton says:

      almost there! It WILL get worse before it gets any better.

      1. Terrance Browning says:

        Psalm 30!

    2. Steve Wehrenberg says:

      Have you seen the movie “Idiocracy?” A really dumb movie with a dumb premise. But I see more and more signs every day that tell me that it is the future we are creating.

    3. Paul says:

      Not mad… Insane. Christianity is a FALSE religion same as all other abrahamic ones.

      1. Steve Wehrenberg says:

        Good to know, Paul. Which religions do you consider to be TRUE?

        1. Grant Peace says:

          Well, they can’t all be true, Steve. However, they could all be wrong. Every believer claims their version is “True”. The only option we have in a situation like that is to examine the evidence of each claimant. The odd thing? After thousands of years, none of the claimants have a single shred of evidence. Not a single bit. With billions upon billions of people looking for it for century after century, each religion has the same amount of evidence to back up their claims: zilch.
          So, they can’t all be true. But, they can all be false. What is a rational person to assume? That we should pick one over the others because we were born into it? Or our parents were? Without evidence providing a stronger argument for any one claimant versus another, we must assume that they are all false, correct?

          1. Brother John says:

            Stop making sense, Grant!!

          2. Steve Wehrenberg says:

            Couldn’t agree more, Grant. I was hoping Paul would “declare” which non-Abrahamic religion was the true one. Pastafarian, I hope.

          3. Keith Nicholson says:

            Every person on the planet must decide for them selves what religion they will fallow or nun at all that is the freedom we have been given by our creator in my case that is God and Jesus Christ for Many years I truly was lost but than I began to wander and started to attend a christian church and found that I felt better as I learned more about my save your Jesus Christ and that has to be every ones choice we are only asked to tell others about our Save your but they must choose to believe or not and that is true for all religions of the world it is for every body to explore and find their way I no longer attend any church but I still believe I just found to many in that church calming they were Christians but that only seemed to work on Sundays and skipped the rest of the week I’m buy no means always walking the right path but I do my best that is the greatness of Forgiveness we must ask from our heart not our mouths because that is where Christ lives in the heart of a christian and we must listen to what he tells us because our heart will never lie to you we just need to listen and choose because all of Christ followers are sinners and must do the work of the heart to become saints not for a gift of eternal life but because in our hearts we do our best as sinners to fallow him and humble ourselves before him as we seek forgiveness this is my belief and what is in my heart but we must all seek our one path

          4. Robert M. Stewart says:

            What if they are all true?

          5. Grant Peace says:

            Robert Stewart,
            It’s called “mutual exclusivity”, son.
            The laws of logic? Perhaps you’ve heard of them? Something can not be “A”, and “not A” at the same time.
            Are you telling me that Jesus is the Son of God, and the only way to salvation is through him, AND that Mohammed is god’s true prophet? Or are you saying that the Hebrew creation myth AND the Hindu creation myth are both true? That the universe was created twice?
            Get a grip, son. I’d love to hear your new age babble about how all religions are correct… nah, just kidding. Keep your mental masturbation to yourself. You obviously don’t have anything to offer.

        2. Grant Peace says:

          In which part of the New Testament did this “save your” ban the use of punctuation?
          If you want to make decisions based upon stupidity, you are completely free to do so in our country. Go for it. But if you want to tell the rest of us that we have to respect your idiotic decisions and not expect to get blow back, be prepared for disappointment.

          1. Rev. Chappell says:

            Keith, try some grammar, and proper spelling maybe… Your post looks like a rambling mess.

      2. Draegon says:


    4. Goutytophus says:

      It’s JUST Idaho. That’s what they do. Eastern Washington would like to be like Idaho but, Western Washington tempers the insanity.

    5. Judy Riggenbach says:

      Using the Bible as reference , unless you DO include and allow the Koran, the Jewish texts and books held sacred to All other religions from Buddism to Hindu would be wrong constitutionally. WE have freedom of religion by law in this country. All people have a right NOT to have others beliefs forced on them. Educationally this is also bad because opting out , or in some cases opting in to the Bibles use , will severely limit the range of education these students receive. I realize there a re large groups of people who take the Bible as literal, but so much as changed in our learning since then medically, scientifically and in other ways that to base education on biblical sources can be extremely limiting. This is a horrible idea!!

      1. James Thomas says:

        The bible isn’t a science or history text. It holds some relevance in literature studies as authors use allusions etc. At the same time the study of non Abrahamic writers must at times take into account their religious tracts and knowledge of their beliefs.

      2. Terrance Browning says:

        There are many war colleges that use Biblical examples, Napoleon, Patten & even Rommel (a great general loyal to the Wehrmacht and Germany – Anti Hitler as was many high ranking German officers of the Wehrmacht!) even studied Biblical conflict.


        Granted if used in schools for a plethora of subjects, separation of church and state dictates what can and can’t be taught in schools but the Bible as well as many Persian Islamic writings can be used as references on many subjects even if you leave ALL references to religion out!

        As an aside Religions (plural) should be taut in schools. The US is fighting Islamic Extremists but have no idea what Islam is about. In order to understand our neighbors we need to understand their beliefs.

        1. Someone says:

          The Bible is not a book, it is a collection of different books, from different times and different religions, even. It’s almost exclusively not history, either.

          As a cultural artifact it is interesting and worth study but as a reference text it is worthless.

        2. Jimbo says:

          Exactly – let’s have our children taught and tested about all the world’s great religions, so that they can see when someone is trying to twist the doctrine to nefarious purposes.

          Having knowledge of the great religions wouldn’t hurt anyone that wasn’t already “damaged”. In fact, it might help us find those people earlier in life, so that we could get them the help they need.

          Of course, who decides who needs help is a whole ‘nother argument, isn’t it?

        3. Brother John says:

          But there is no original Bible, Terrance. Existing manuscripts are copies (of copies of copies…) and riddled with errors and contradictions when compared to one another. How could it possibly be considered an accurate “history book”?

        4. Jim says:

          I agree with a lot of what you’re saying. However the statement about the bible being the original history book is patently false. It was assembled recently historically speaking (finished between 170-325 AD), and there is older recorded history for much of the world. That leads right into the second issue, which is many accounts in the Pentateuch, such as the flood and the Tower of Babel, have been shown to be copies of stories first recorded in Mesopotamia. This is not surprising as Abraham was from Ur, a major Mesopotamian city.

          World religions should be a mandatory class, just as world history is. The hilarious thing about people vilifying Islam is that they forget that the bible is just as bad when it comes to intolerance, bloodshed and the treatment of women. Christians call it “the word of god” but in reality it only includes a copy of 1 document written by their god, which is the 10 commandments. Of those, the punishment for the 1-2 is genocide (including children and animals), 3-7 is death, 8 is is death or slavery or fines… People who claim Islam is threat because it is “a religion of violence” conveniently forget this.

          To add to the comments on the bible being a collection of copies-of-copies of books, we’re also talking translations-of-translations-of-translations.

          1. Brother John says:

            Great post, Jim. You mentioned the “one document written by their god”… the 10 Commandments. These commandments are often quoted along with the story of God writing them on the stone tablets supplied by Moses. Here’s some interesting and apparently little known information about the ever popular 10 commandments.

            Exodus chapter 20 details the commonly quoted commandments, but these were told to Moses, not written. The 10 commandments written in stone appear later in Exodus 34:14-26, and confirmed in verse 28. Verse 27 makes it unclear whether God or Moses actually did the writing.

            The real 10 Commandments are very different from the ones commonly quoted. Although the commonly quoted version contains 4 common sense, moral prohibitions, the real commandments are utter nonsense.

            I encourage everyone interested to do their own comparison of the two versions (Chapter 20 and 34) and verify verse 34:28 for themselves. It also appears that verse 19-20 is calling for the sacrifice of every male “firstling” whether it be an animal or the first born male child. Setting that creepy verse aside, it’s quite clear that this second (actually the third as the first tablets were broken then re-written) set of 10 are the real commandments, not those cherished and repeated by Christian believers.

    6. J. Horton says:

      Literature, theology the arts where ALL religions can and should be tought to our children not just a select one and we can teach them the good, the bad and the ugly behind them all just as himanity itself. Teach our children awareness of all nations and peoples and for God’s sake teach them to think critically and question everything, not to follow as sheep!

      1. T. Davis says:

        Thank you J. Horton for your very practical reply. People need to learn the basics of all religions for a social understanding of our diverse society.

        People forget the reading of the Bible is not meant as detailed factual instruction.

        In secondary education there is some merit in understanding all religions for learning of political history. An example is that Caesar Augustus was given the title of Lord, Savior, etc. So at the time of Jesus birth, his followers called him Lord, Savior, etc. That angered Romans in high political office because they believed only Romans could give that title to a man. The readings show the conflicts in political society.

        Anyway, no matter what, the problem is …the teacher’s interpretation of religious texts. Teaching of religions must be presented from a place of exploration.

        1. Brother John says:

          It’s unlikely that any school curriculum would have enough time to teach Christianity, Islam and Judaism in any depth, let alone other beliefs. The solution would require a textbook on comparative religion which would be subject to the bias of the publisher and particularly the school boards who approved them. Add the teacher’s personal interpretations/beliefs and the whole concept becomes very tentative.

      2. Jim says:

        I don’t think any of us could have said it better.

  2. mary says:

    I think it is an excellent idea, there are so many good things that can come out of learning the bible. esp if evolution is taught. there would need to be a balance. evolution is only a theory and is not a proven fact and therefore should not be taught separately from creationism.

    1. Sir Lord Baron Von Reverendstein M.D., D.D. says:

      do you know how much proof something needs to be a theory? Gravity is a theory – should we teach levitation in schools just to “balance” out the THEORY of gravity? Creationism hasn’t even managed to become a theory yet so as much as you think they might be iffy to teach to kids, Creationism is light years behind reaching that status.

    2. Pastor Pete says:

      Forgive me sister, but creationism is not even a theory, there is not enough evidence to support it. Gravity is a theory, but I bet you’re still sticking to the earth. Rigid adherence to the Bible, or indeed any of these archaic and frankly dubious texts, is one of the major obstacles in the way of mutual respect and understanding. If this policy was adopted here in the UK, I would withdraw my children from any school that followed such a ludicrous path. This may be your truth, it is certainly not mine. My kids will have to find their own spiritual path, I’m here for advice and support, but not to condition them with my beliefs. So perhaps you should ask yourself this question. “Am I a Christian because I have pursued a contemplative path and really thought this through, or because my parents were?”

      1. Brother John says:

        Amen Pastor Pete… Few “religious” folks have done any serious exploration of alternative beliefs, but instead adopted the religion of their families and culture without question. Fundamentalist Christians would be the extremist Muslims they rant about had they been born in a Muslim country to Muslim parents.

    3. Goutytophus says:

      Mary, you need to get a dictionary, look up “theory” in this application, it’ll end your confusion.

    4. Sheila says:

      I’m with you Mary. Totally agree.

    5. catpersontoo says:

      I’m not sure that is such a good idea, the Bible itself would have to be redacted in a lot of the chapters unless you want your children to know about incest, murder, infidelity, and so on. Let’s just keep the Bible where it belongs, in the home and in the church. If the Bible has to be in the schools, that makes me believe parents and clergy aren’t doing such a hot job in teaching children right from wrong in the first place.

    6. Judy Riggenbach says:

      Creationism? REALLY??? I am sorry, but while i know my bible I also know my science and if you can wave a hand a wipe away evolution you must have lived your life with blinders and ear plugs on and your brain disengaged. The Bible is a lovely group of stories but if you were well read you would soon see that they are stories and gathered from many cultures and used to explain things. They are not literal , if they were you would not only be worshiping God but also Baal and many other “Gods” as many of these stories, older by far than the bible, tell these exact tales but with different names attached.
      Here in lies what is wrong with using the Bible as reference and not really examining what is truly out in the world to learn from. The bible may be sacred but it is not literal!!

      1. Erica says:

        Thank you.

      2. Brother John says:

        I agree with your overall point, Judy, but some of the OT stories are far from “lovely” and detail a monstrous God who is angry, vengeful, jealous and homicidal. Combine them with this lovely children’s prayer and nightmares are the likely result…

        Now I lay me down to sleep,
        I pray the Lord my soul to keep;
        If I die before I wake,
        I pray for Lord my soul to take. Amen

    7. Memirsbrunnr says:

      Love to see the application of the old Evolution is just a theory strawman fallacy. A statement like this shows a confound lack of understanding of methodology and rational- and logic thought and how science works. Many orthodox/evangelical religious people have just too little grasp of what Theory means in science. A theory in science is the graduation point of ideas and hypotheses that have been proven independently from different
      Many of the more informed creationism people want to ban evolution from the class room because they know the evidence for evolution is massive widespread , supported from al kinds of different areas in science, ( e.g. paleontology, geology, biochemistry, molecular biology, molecular and classical genetics, paleoclimatology, dendrobiology, ethology, (nuclear) physics, biophysics) etc. None of these area conflict fundamentally in their results. Small differences in the details of results have occurred and will occur, but these lead to improved understanding of evolution and improvement on the details of the evolutionary theory and evolutionary processes.
      If there was a flaw in the science of evolution.

      On the other hand there is is Creationism, which is mainly based on leaving rational thought behind in favour of support for the book of Genesis that gives the creationist a good and warm feeling and comfortable mindset. For creationism, real life evidence is mainly missing or based on very bad illogical interpretation of cherry picked data points/sets from nature, where evidence speaking against creationism is completely ignored. In other words, creationist “research” is mostly done by reading the bible and ignoring the mountains of evidence against it in favour of a few rare gemstones that could be interpreted as evidence in favour of it.

      Finally teaching the controversy in science class in school as a real dichotomy is as silly as teaching Chemistry vs alchemy, which is real?, or Astronomy vs Astrology which has a better understanding of the universe, Or physics vs metaphysics, which describes better how a car works.

      I just which that the evangelicals would stop to push creationism forward in school as being a valid alternative to evolution. As a hypothesis creationism has lost the battle for being a rational interpretation of scientific data and should do what is promoted as an outcome of evolution, and that is go extinct from the mindset of people as being something that is real,

      For further info on what a scientific theory is please go: and

    8. Shane Lowrey says:

      Evolution is no less a theory then gravity. If you don’t know what a theory is, and you obviously don’t, then it’s time you learn.

      As for using religious text as reference, you can’t allow one without allowing all of them.

  3. Brother John says:

    There are thousands of private/parochial schools available that treat the Bible as factual and accurate. A better option would be a tax credit for families who want to opt out of public schools and include those who opt for home schooling. There’s no place for creationism or the Bible in any institution of higher learning. Sir LBVR is correct.

  4. Steve Wehrenberg says:

    Isn’t this how the Flying Spaghetti Monster came to us? Should they teach Pastafarianism as well?

  5. Kathryn says:

    Should the Bible be used as a teaching aid in our educational system?
    Perhaps, when “On the Origin of Species” or “A Brief History of Time” are part of mainstream religious services.

  6. Dark Gray says:

    I hope they don’t start using the bible as a math text, because it says that pi = 3.

    “And he [Hiram] made a molten sea, ten cubits from the one rim to the other it was round all about, and…a line of thirty cubits did compass it round about….And it was an hand breadth thick….” — First Kings, chapter 7, verses 23 and 26

  7. Kathryn says:

    Which seems rational: Separation of church and state (as in the United States)or a country ruled by religious dogma (the Middle East)?
    The citizens of this nation are free to believe and practice (or not believe or practice) any religion they choose. They are not free to force it upon others or mandate it’s teaching. Really, this is beyond the pale.

    1. Brother John says:

      Agreed Kathryn. But some force it on their children, who aren’t free choose their own beliefs. This is a huge downside to home schooling and an excellent reason to provide strictly secular public schooling. Plus evangelicals have substantial influence regarding policy and legislation all the way from school boards to Congress.

  8. Brother John says:

    Don’t underestimate the legislators in Idaho. Apparently these laws apply there…….

    If a police officer approaches a vehicle and suspects that the occupants are engaging in sex, he must either honk, or flash his lights and wait for three minutes before approaching the car.

    Pocatello, ID: A person may not be seen in public without a smile on their face. (“It is prohibited for pedestrians and motorists to display frowns, grimaces, scowls, threatening and glowering looks, gloomy and depressed facial appearances, generally all of which reflect unfavorably upon the city’s reputation.”)

    Riding a merry-go-round on Sundays is considered a crime.

    Children up to the age of 14 must have a certificate signed by their parents to testify that they regularly brush their teeth.

    You are not allowed to sleep in a dog kennel. (unless you are a dog)

    You can’t buy or sell chickens after sundown without the sheriff’s permission.

  9. WarriorMaiden says:

    Seriously…!!! Unless Interfaith studies is being taught..Religion/Faith etc should be OUT of the class room.!! Many young people can’t read nor write, based on past history the best way religion was able to control the populous was to keep them ignorant…I suppose this is the coming of the ‘NEW DARK AGES’….

  10. Debbie says:

    If the Evangelicals want to push their agenda (which to me amounts to the equivalent of sharia law) practice it in your own house of worship . And start paying taxes.

    1. Brother John says:

      A big Amen, Debbie!!

  11. Gary says:

    You know that the sponsors of the bill and their supporters would not tolerate for a nano-second, the Vedas or the Quaran from being used in classrooms. Christians don’t even agree on what it says.

    1. Brother John says:

      And for good reason, Gary. I read somewhere that the Quran was written by Satan…. oh wait, it was in a couple of the posts on this site so it might not be true as few Christians have read the Quran before declaring it false and evil.

  12. Kathryn says:

    Good idea, Debbie. There are billions in revenue available to the government, and ‘if they want a say, they need to pay’!

  13. Moore says:

    Christianity is not a religions CHILD’S are the next one to tack over this wold If you all don’t like it well Hell is looking for you LET ALL the kids marck up there mine’s not you

    1. Grant Peace says:

      I’m sure you know about religion, but it’s pretty apparent that you know absolutely nothing about school.

      1. Jimbo says:

        or spelling….or sentence structure…

  14. Bill Millhouse says:


  15. Richard Nigh says:

    I don’t remember learning in school about the “fowl that creep upon all four.” So maybe the Bible can teach us something we don’t know.

  16. blueindy1 says:

    Blessed be His Meaty Balls.

  17. Ed Burke says:

    I have no problem using the Bible, Quran, Tanakh, whatever to learn about how we came to be what we are, but to use any as first principles of anything relating to science is ludicrous. As Cardinal Caesar Baronius said “The Bible teaches us how to go to heaven, not how the heavens go”.

    1. Terrance Browning says:

      Actually it was Persian Islamic mathematicians that came up with the concept of zero! It doesn’t sound like anything significant but without that simple little concept there would be no Newtonian Physics, anyone hear about gravity? You know 32 feet per second per second! Or Einstein’s Theory of Relativity.
      There is a huge difference between the study of religions (plural) and teaching religion!

  18. Ed says:

    As long as it is taught as a work of fiction along with religious texts, Quran, Tanakh,etc. I think it would be fine as part of a well rounded education in a literature class.

  19. Craig says:

    It’s time the republicans joined the 21st century. in this country we have what you call “freedom of religion” which means we’re not converting everyone who comes to this country (or lives in this country) to Christianity. It’s one religion in this country, not the only one.

    If you love the Bible and you glean great things from it, that’s awesome. It works for you. That’s perfect. However, there are many paths to enlightenment and I have no time anymore for people who push religion on others.

    Religion and the spiritual journey are very individual and very personal. It’s fine to offer literature to those who want it, but it’s not okay to try to propagandize your religion.

    The fact that more of this kind of thing seems to be happening lately leads me to believe that the fundamental evangelical front is getting desperate because more people are turning away from the Christian faith. And no wonder, when you try to shove it down people’s spiritual throats.

    The old adage holds–the more you force something, the more people resist.

    1. Terrance Browning says:

      As long as you keep it secular, there is a lot you can learn from many writings that has it’s origins in many religions!

      As religion itself goes it is between you and your higher power. I won’t push my beliefs on you because everyone, even those belonging to common religions have their own beliefs.

      But there is significant secular information that can be culled from the Bible as long as you leave the dogma behind unless you’re teaching a class on the different religions and their dogma.

      1. Grant Peace says:

        Can you provide a single example, contained in any of these religious writings of which you speak, of a piece of information that could not have come from other than a divine source? In fact, it seems that none of the religious writings we have today contain anything other than the knowledge possessed by mankind at the time of the writing, isn’t that correct?

        I can give you myriad examples of things written in, for example, the bible, that are completely incorrect, scientifically, historically, logically, in every way. How do you differentiate between the valuable, of which you have yet to furnish an example, and the worthless, which we all know exists?

        For example, when Jesus said that washing of hands prior to eating wasn’t necessary, as the old testament law was no longer valid, does that mean that not washing your hands before eating is a good thing, something that you would recommend we follow Jesus by doing? Or is that completely ridiculous, now that we know that disease is caused by germs, and not demons or curses?

  20. cbcuff says:

    Firstly, I Iive in Canada, and we aren’t quite that radical, yet. I agree with what most are saying, that there should be no religious texts rolled into the curriculum of public schools, period. Funny how they have become experts on all religions, and can decide which ones are good and which ones are bad, to teach children. And that everyone must become fluent in christian beliefs absurd to begin with, particularly in a classroom. Children in elementary schools do not have the capacity to interpret the text, nor establish reason from the context in which it is written. Many christians still take the bible text for its literal meaning. I hear it all the time! Far to many examples to start that discussion here. I thought I remembered being told that christianity was a personal relationship, what about my rights to privacy…?

  21. David H. says:

    These people are trying to get people to believe that the world was created in 6,000 years. what part of insane are they thinking? This planet evolved millions of years ago.

    Also, putting the bible in classrooms is shoving religion down the throats of young children. By doing that, the bible thumpers are happy that they have pushed their belief on not willing students.

    Mixing Church & State is a bad idea, TOTALLY!

  22. KIRK says:

    The Bible is a perfectly good reference source when teaching students about the mythologies – Roman, Greek, Norse, Islam, etc.

  23. Donald says:

    We all know the aliens did some gene splicing to create humans.

  24. Rev. Billy (Ray) Vaughn says:

    I don’t think the Bible should be used in schools as a resource for history or science. But it can be studied neutrally as literature, and it should be in my opinion since it has had such an enormous part in shaping western culture. Also I think a religion course would be great in schools, where major religions are studied equally, especially to observe how they have shaped history and social structures throughout the world.

    1. cbcuff says:

      I would agree if it was confined to the history class, as you say, it contributes to shaping nations. However that’s when the infighting begins. The pushing and shoving to get to the front of the line. Right where we are at the moment. There seems to be no greater subject to dispute in this world than the value of religion. Unfortunately, particularly in the US, it is now considered a commodity to barter with and financially capitalize on. Shameful.

    2. Brother John says:

      The reality is that there would be far more fundamentalist Christians than any other religion on school boards and in the classroom to make neutrality feasible. Fundamentalist parents can pound their beliefs into their children at home and in their churches. If their beliefs are valid they should have no concerns about their children being exposed to anything contrary and should easily be able to explain why modern science is wrong. Home or parochial schooling is always an option.

      1. Jimbo says:

        Amen, Brother John

  25. the druid shrum. says:

    The Bible is a fine reference book for a class called Comparitive Religious Theories. Otherwise it has no value as an educational reference book. It is a philosophical text, not a scientific one. Just sayin’.

  26. Jean Porgal says:

    Public schools are NOT the place to be teaching the bible. They have a short enough time to teach the required academic subjects and do all of the unnecessary testing required these days. ONLY IF the bible is being used in conjunctin with other religions in a Comparative Religion Class later on in the school years is it acceptable. The separation of Church and State is a must to enforce our Constitution. No child can be prevented from reading a bible or praying in school quietly and silently AS LONG AS they are NOT prostelyzing and/or interrupting classes.

    But, just to teach the bible outright, DEFINITELY NOT!!!

  27. Charles says:

    Our schools would be better served teaching our children about money management, civic responsible, good behaviour and the role of a good strong family unity. The public school system is not the place to teach religion courses. If parents want their child/children to be taught religious courses there are religious schools for that purpose. The government should not be in the business of converting my child/children religion beliefs.

    1. Jimbo says:

      I don’t want to see them converted, I want to see them vaccinated…in an educational sense.

      People who who are educated about a subject are much less likely to be manipulated by it, than those who live in ignorance. Simply exposing them to the the religious texts of the world’s religions would go a long way toward forging peace with our neighbors.

      1. Brother John says:

        Good phrase, Jimbo….. “vaccinated in an educational sense”

  28. Chris Campbell says:

    My grandfather was a staunch southern Baptist, a lay leader in his church. His beliefs were as you might expect from a member of that denomination in the early 20th century. In public life, his religion led him to three cardinal principles. First was anti-popery; the Catholic church was a vast conspiracy of the dark side in his view. Second was Prohibition; alcohol was a tool of the devil. The third was the absolute separation of church and state. His church still maintained an institutional memory of the effects of established state churches, which violated the principle of the freedom of every individual to a personal relationship with a god. Establish a religion, and pretty soon the state will be dictating how and what you should pray and believe. In England and early colonies, Baptists were disfavored.

    Now, of course, his church has become the dominant religion in the southern U.S., and its inclination with regard to imposing religion by legislation has changed. It is quite willing to impose its views on everybody. Grandad has been dead for 60 years but it would be interesting to see what his views would have been on this development. He did favor imposing Prohibition on everybody, but he also had a fundamental devotion to keeping religious doctrine and state law separated.

    His first book, Blue Skies Beyond, explores these themes and is available new or used from Amazon and others. Search on the title and his name, Henry Lafayette Anderton.

    He didn’t pass on an enthusiasm for his religious beliefs to my branch of the family, but I and my siblings have strong views on keeping religion out of our government and our schools.

  29. cmdsgtmajor says:

    Simply put, If you teach the “Bible” in public schools, then you must teach the “Koran”, the “Torah” and other religious writings. Teaching religion requires a lot of time, so when would you have time to teach math, English, history, science, etc: the subjects our children need to succeed in the world. Of course, if you teach the bible in school, then we can close down the churches; won’t need them anymore.

    1. Brother John says:

      An excellent and practical point, cmdsgtmajor. Many of today’s high school graduates only have a rudimentary grasp of the subjects you’ve named, and will forget some of what they’ve “learned” within a couple of months after graduation. Aside from the impossible time constraints, what criteria would be used to grade exams? What would be true and what would be false? What would be fact, what would be myth?

  30. L. Michael Black says:

    Any serious student of history can verify that mankind, from the earliest days of record keeping has been determined to follow a path of self-destruction. Unfortunately, much of this activity of destruction has been carried out in the name of some god. There is no argument that the Bible has been read, in part or in full, by more people than any other book ever printed. However, the Bible is not understood by most who claim to have read it, and it doesn’t make sense to many more. How much more proof is needed to show that man-made intelligence, and man’s subsequent behaviors do not function effectively to create value in the present, have not worked efficiently in the past and will never function to create a better world in the future. What man treasures most are religion, science and politics. These are man-made devices. In the meantime, truth, wisdom and love are not on man’s list of riches. Is it any wonder that the world we live in today is corrupt, bankrupt, and spiraling toward self-destruction?

    1. Pete House says:

      I hear you brother, but don’t lose faith, for every Hitler there is a Ghandi, the road may be long and dreadful, onwards we go, wisdom, truth and love surround you

  31. REV.CHRIS MACK says:

    to learn anything new about the human thouth prosess is good history has many wars &problems simpley cause there was not enough study done.

  32. Rev. D. Grabowski says:

    So once again the separation of Church and State takes another hit. Why? Because those “believers” that are too lazy to keep and teach their religions in their homes and churches want the burden of it heaped upon the classroom teachers that already have more than enough to deal with. It will be another reason for good qualified teachers to leave the classroom because they will be held responsible for teaching ideological matter that should be left to the preachers and parents whose job it is. This sort of thing will absolutely ruin public education. The number of teachers and professors in Texas are already being affected because of the “Open Carry” law permitting guns in the classroom starting this summer. Many them are saying “enough already”. When will we ever learn that our children are our greatest asset and the future of our country and yet we consider the zealots and their paranoid causes to constantly erode the safe and sound principles not just of the Constitution but also of the Bill of Rights and plain common sense.

  33. Thomas Keach says:

    We have got to leave TO BE COMFORTABLE SEPARATING CHURCH AND STATE. Religion of any type does not belong in any school. Get that right and the problem is solved. As long as there are tqi,people on earth there will be two opinions , neither one is right or wrong. Only the illusion d’jour.

  34. John Owens says:

    It is difficult to fathom why so many obviously atheistic people are even on this page. If you are an atheist, WHY do you want to consider yourself some kind of spiritual leader? If you consider yourself an agnostic, that means you haven’t made up your mind about things, so how can you possibly lead, except toward confusion?
    As to points being made as though they are enlightened or iron-clad fact, if you do not believe in religion you automatically disqualify yourself as an instructor in religion, and at the same time you automatically show that you are biased against it, so your opinion and anything you say about it should be viewed with skepticism.
    As to teaching Bible in public school, WHY NOT? It encourages behavior that exhibits qualities that are considered to be good and desirable and discourages behavior that would be considered criminal or unhealthy. At one time it was the most taught book in most of our schools, and contributed greatly to the strength of our nation in its early years. I understand that people disagree about which verses to emphasize and which to skim over. I think the only reason people do not want the Bible taught is because they know they do not behave in a manner that is pleasing to God.
    If science is DEMONSTRABLY true, the Bible is no threat to it. If it is subjective, then it is not science, but belief. If the Bible conflicts with your belief, THAT is your problem.
    People fail to consider the benefits of teaching children to honor their parents, not steal, not lie, not envy, not speak evil, not murder, not practice any kind of immorality. They are more worried about their own sacred cows, like evolution and climate change. They would rather worship fornication and trees than the Creator.
    I think if the people of Idaho vote this in, everyone else should butt out. We all want the majority to rule when we are in the majority, but want judges to rule when we are not.

    1. Grant Peace says:

      Deuteronomy 21:18 If a man have a stubborn and rebellious son, which will not obey the voice of his father, or the voice of his mother, and that, when they have chastened him, will not hearken unto them:19 Then shall his father and his mother lay hold on him, and bring him out unto the elders of his city, and unto the gate of his place 20 And they shall say unto the elders of his city, This our son is stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton, and a drunkard.
      21 And all the men of his city shall stone him with stones, that he die:

      So, do you think killing stubborn kids is a good lesson?

      Exodus 31:15 For six days work is to be done, but the seventh day is a day of sabbath rest, holy to the LORD. Whoever does any work on the Sabbath day is to be put to death.

      You agree that anyone who works on Sunday should be killed, right?

      Genesis 30:39 they mated in front of the branches. And they bore young that were streaked or speckled or spotted.

      You agree that what an animal is looking at while they breed will effect the color of their offspring, correct?

      1 Corinthians 14:34 Women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the law says.

      You certainly agree that women should be in submission, of course.

      And in the words of your perfectly meek and mild Jesus, (Luke 14:26) “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters–yes, even their own life–such a person cannot be my disciple.

      So of course, you hate your parents and children, right John?

      And, since children are “commanded” to respect their parents, if said parent molests them, they should respect that, right?

      Why do we have a court system in this “Christian country”, John? Matthew 5:40 says, very directly, “And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloke also.”

      So, Christians settle every suit out of court by giving what they were sued for, don’t they?

      Come on… your book is full of sick and twisted morality, none of which you actually believe. You just think you must keep telling yourself that you do, as well as the rest of us. That’s fine. Believe what you will. But to claim that the book is a guide to morality? Ridiculous.

      You might want to read books in addition to your bible. I suggest you start with the dictionary. Try to understand the terms “agnostic” and “atheist”. Agnostic does NOT mean that you “haven’t made up your mind”. Gnosis deals with knowledge. Theism deals with belief. You are aware that there are agnostic theists, and gnostic atheists, right? Of course not. You don’t even understand the words you are using.

      If you theists keep your crap to yourselves, you know, like Jesus told you to (Matthew 6:6), you wouldn’t have to hear a peep from any atheist. But you insist on telling lies, i.e. that your bible is a good moral guide, and those that disagree will NOT let you destroy our country over your delusions.

    2. Brother John says:

      You pose some important and meaningful questions, John Owens. Any confusion about why atheists are involved in the ULC, other than the fact that ordination is open to anyone, regardless of their beliefs (or lack of them), may be rooted in the misconception that atheists and agnostics aren’t spiritual.

      Stephen Roberts said… “I contend that we are all atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours”

      According to the philosopher William L. Rowe: “In the popular sense of the term, an agnostic is someone who neither believes nor disbelieves in God, whereas an atheist disbelieves in God.”

      But both can be spiritual.

      Perhaps the issue is Spiritual vs Religious. Much of the objection we find in the comments regards religious dogma and belief without evidence.

      It’s a parent’s duty to teach their children morality, respect and common sense, not public schools. Adhering to a particular religion is not necessary to do this, and many would argue that unless a substantial portion of the Bible were ignored, much of it is immoral, disrespectful and nonsensical. I see that Grant Peace has provided some examples.

      “Secular schools can never be tolerated because such schools have no religious instruction, and a general moral instruction without a religious foundation is built on air; consequently, all character training and religion must be derived from faith … we need believing people.”
      — Adolf Hitler

      Here are a few excerpts from the articles linked below …..

      Religion Tells You The Truth – Spirituality Lets You Discover It –
      Religion Separates from Other Religions – Spirituality Unites Them –
      Religion Applies Punishment – Spirituality Applies Karma –

      Religion is for those that require guidance from others
      Spirituality is for those that lend ears to their inner voice

      Religion does not investigate and does not question
      Spirituality questions everything

      Religion continues the teachings of a sacred book
      Spirituality seeks the sacredness in all the books

      Religion lives in the past and in the future
      Spirituality lives in the present, in the here and now

    3. Brother John says:

      Addressing your opening statement, John Owens…. It appears that there are as many, or more, Christian members on this site than any other group. One might ask why they choose to affiliate with an organization that openly embraces atheists, pagans, druids, agnostics and other “non-believers”, particularly if they’re going to feel offended when their beliefs are challenged and their proselytizing rejected.

  35. Rev. Donna says:

    It’s a great idea to have the bible used as a reference book as well as other religious texts. Children should be able to study different points of view & make educated conclusions based upon various studies- the more, the better. God is not a religion & a chance to learn should never be banned, or we could be moving toward censorship. I do respect all religions as well as ‘non- believers’ & learning about all of them is a blessing.

    1. Grant Peace says:

      We barely have time to teach our kids math, history, English, civics, and the rest of the core subjects, Donna.

      Where do you start, and where does it end?

      Should we teach our kids that some people believe the earth is flat, and why?

      Should we teach them that some believe that aliens are visiting from other dimensions, and go into depth as to why, giving credence to the unfounded claims?

      Should we spend precious class time teaching them why the Aztecs believed that human sacrifice helped their crop harvests, as if it actually did?

      Where would you stop?

      Differentiating between fact and fantasy as a dividing line as to what to teach, in PUBLIC schools, is not censorship. It is necessary.

      If parents want to teach their kids why stoning to death is an acceptable punishment for working on Sunday, they can do that at home, or in their church.

      We don’t have the resources to teach such garbage to every kid in the country. Once we are finished with the absolute inanities contained in the bible (look up the bible’s “cure” for leprosy, for example), then we start with every other crack pot unsupported belief? Come on…. How about we first start with being able to teach our kids about reality. We aren’t especially good at even that. Adding this kind of crap is not going to help, is it?

      1. Pastor Pete says:

        Well said sir, in France religious education of any kind is illegal in state schools, as well as displaying any kind of religious symbol. Bravo, la France!

  36. idpnsd says:

    Bible has two interpretations – (1) mainstream interpretation, which is controlled by money power, and (2) Vedic interpretation.

    There was a time when Vedas were known all over the world. You can find the influences of Vedas in all religions including Bible and Judaism. Vedas describe the following laws of nature – (a) Soul theory (b) Yoga and yogic power (c) Reincarnation (d) Destiny (e) Eternal recurrence (f) Birth-maturity-death for all objects of nature etc.

    Clearly destiny is there in Bible. There are many verses that talk about yogic power and yoga. Judaism describe many high level yogic powers. There are many yogis all over the world, including in Christian community of the west. Reincarnation was there in Bible, you probably know that, but it was removed later. Eternal recurrence is well known in the west and made popular by the German philosopher Nietzsche, this theory is there in Bible, etc. Vedas do not have God. Bible also does not have in its Vedic interpretation.

    So I will encourage including Bible in the classrooms. However, it may not be the correct time. Christian community must be able to see the Vedic interpretation first.

  37. Rev. Donna says:

    To learn is to grow. Knowledge is power. Being open minded is not “crap”. Learning is a lifelong experience. If no one ever knew that once people thought the earth was flat, they may not question modern day beliefs & many areas of ‘current’ science that are rapidly becoming obsolete. Yes, core subjects are important, but there is much more to life & the universe than that. They spoke of using the Bible as a reference- not a course. In any case, we can agree to disagree.

  38. Oliver Mayo says:

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