MONTGOMERY, Ala. — An Alabama senator has prefiled a bill that would authorize the offering of elective Bible classes in public schools in the state, following in the footsteps of several lawmakers who have recently offered similar bills in other states.
Senate Bill 14, submitted by Senator Tim Melson, R- Florence, would also allow all teachers to display artifacts, symbols, and texts in the classroom—including those of a religious nature—if those items would relate to the study at hand, such as a comparative religions lesson.
The bill offers children, grades six through 12, the option of taking a social studies course on the Old Testament, New Testament, or both. The classes will “teach students about Bible characters, poetry, and narratives that are useful for understanding history and contemporary society and culture, including art, music, social mores, oration, and public policy.”
Students will learn about “[t]he influence of the Bible on law, history, government, literature, art, music, customs, morals, values, and cultures,” as well as the history of the Bible and its contents.
However, teachers are required to maintain”religious neutrality” in teaching the course, and “may not endorse, favor, promote, disfavor, or show hostility toward any particular religion or nonreligious faith or religious perspective.”
Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh has expressed support for the measure.
“If students choose to study Biblical literacy as an elective in school, then there is no reason why
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