Kentucky’s Republican Governor Matt Bevin on Tuesday signed a new bill into law that will allow public schools to teach the Bible as part of their Social Studies curriculum.
“The idea that we would not want this to be an option for people in school, that would be crazy,” said Gov. Bevin at a bill signing ceremony in the Capitol Rotunda. “I don’t know why every state would not embrace this, why we as a nation would not embrace this.”
“You could be an atheist, and you would appreciate there’s a lot of wisdom in the Bible,” Governor Bevin suggested.
The bill’s sponsor says students need to understand the role the Bible played in American history.
“It really did set the foundation that our founding fathers used to develop documents like the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights,” said Rep. D.J. Johnson (R-Owensboro). “All of those came from principles from the Bible.”
The new law will give local school boards the option of developing a Bible literacy class as part of their social studies curriculum.
The course would be an elective, not required.
The ACLU of Kentucky said it’s concerned about how the law might be used in schools.
“A Bible literacy bill that, on its face, may not appear to be unconstitutional, could in fact become unconstitutional in its implementation,” said Advocacy Director Kate Miller.
According to RawStory:
Last December, Governor Bevin officially proclaimed that 2017 is the “Year of the Bible” in Kentucky. Governor Bevin’s plan to respond to a violence epidemic Louisville’s troubled West End is roaming prayer groups.
Earlier this month, the Louisville Courier-Journal reported that Gov. Bevin unveiled his plan to confront Louisville’s growing violence problem: Send roaming prayer groups to the West End.
Bevin urged faith leaders, public officials and residents to take a 10-block span, walk corner to corner, and pray with the community two to three times a week during the next year.
He said later Thursday that the walks are meant to be organic and won’t necessarily be led by his office. He didn’t specify a start date but suggested that local churches should get involved with the effort. “I’m going to ask you to walk that block, do it at the same time every single week,” Bevin said. “I’m going to ask you to stick with your block all year.”
Thirty minutes before the meeting, the West Louisville Ministers Coalition held a pre-press conference rebuking Bevin’s approach to solving the violence. The ministers suggested 10 ways for Bevin to curb the killings. “If you are serious about fixing violence in west Louisville, then you must have the courage to address its root causes of injustice and racism,” the Rev. Clay Calloway said.