By Zack Ford
A group of North Dakota lawmakers — all Republicans — have introduced legislation that would require the state’s public schools to teach a unit on the Bible. The unit could be on the Old Testament, the New Testament, or a mix of the two, and would count toward students’ social studies credit requirements.
As blogger Hemant Mehta points out, the bill does not specify anything about how the courses would be taught or even whether they would be secular or objective. Nothing prevents the classes from being derived from Sunday school classes or other forms of Bible-based religious indoctrination.
This is not an exaggerated concern. In 2017, Kentucky passed a very similar law creating elective social studies courses on the Bible, specifying that such courses would teach content that is relevant and influential to contemporary society. It also clarified that such courses should maintain “religious neutrality.”
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