A new law in Kentucky makes it legal to teach a Bible elective course in public schools as part of the social studies curriculum. The bill easily passed the State House and Senate, and was signed by Governor Matt Bevin.
The video of Bevin signing the bill is currently the most popular video on WDRB, a Kentucky news site.
“The idea that we would not want this to be an option for people in school, that would be crazy. I don’t know why every state would not embrace this, why we as a nation would not embrace this,” Bevin said.
“You could be an atheist, and you would appreciate there’s a lot of wisdom in the Bible,” Bevin said. But the ACLU said it has concerns.
“A Bible literacy bill that, on its face, may not appear to be unconstitutional, could in fact become unconstitutional in its implementation,” Advocacy Director Kate Miller told WDRB.
“We want to make sure that teachers can teach and make sure that they don’t go in to preach,” Miller said.
Similar laws are on the books in several states.
“It follows the lead of a handful of southern states, including Georgia and Texas,” religion journalist Linda Wertheimer commented on Twitter. “It’s already legal to offer elective courses.”
The idea of teaching the Bible in public schools was also part of the Republican platform. The Kentucky bill will take effect Friday, June 30th.
Aviya Kushner is The Forward’s language columnist and the author of The Grammar of God. Follow her on Twitter at @AviyaKushner