Written by Don Byrd
The Alabama legislature last week passed SB 14, which authorizes school districts to create elective classes based on the Bible for children in grades 6 through 12. The measure now heads to Governor Kay Ivey for her signature.
Specifically, the bill authorizes:
(1) A social studies course on the Hebrew Scriptures of the Old Testament of the Bible.
(2) A social studies course on the Greek Scriptures of the New Testament of the Bible.
(3) A social studies course on the Hebrew Scriptures of the Old Testament and the Greek Scriptures of the New Testament of the Bible.
(4) A social studies course in religious history.
As Yellow Hammer News reports, the measure was amended from its earlier form to add course # 4 above (on religious history) and to state that the purpose of the classes will be to familiarize students with “the Bible and religious history.” The bill does not specify what is meant by religious history, or whether it allows the study of religions and religious texts other than the Bible.
As I posted earlier about similar legislation in Virginia, Indiana, and Florida, this legislation is part of a troubling, coordinated campaign, known as “Project Blitz,” to incorporate religion into public institutions, particularly public schools. The Baptist Joint Committee joined a coalition of advocates opposing the effort. As the BJC’s Amanda Tyler said, “Anything that might send a message to our children that you have to be a Christian to be a full American is extremely problematic.”