The Kentucky House of Representatives has passed a bill that authorizes the creation of elective social studies courses on the Bible in public schools.
House Bill 128 was approved Thursday 80-14 and now moves to the Senate for consideration. The legislation was introduced by Rep. DJ Johnson, R-Owensboro, who says that its purpose is “to provide guidance, uniformity, and constitutional support for the local school boards that may be wanting to offer such courses, but are unsure of the way to proceed.”
“A stronger understanding of the Bible will result in a stronger understanding of our society, culture, literature, and laws,” he said in a social media post on Monday.
The course would “teach students knowledge of biblical content, characters, poetry, and narratives that are prerequisites to understanding contemporary society and culture, including literature, art, music, mores, oratory, and public policy.”
It would serve historical purposes rather than provide religious instruction, and districts would be required to stay neutral on Christianity.
However, some Democrats still opposed the measure, opining that teachers could struggle with not endorsing Christianity during the instructional period.
“According to our Constitution, there are boundaries on where you talk about religion or your faith. And the public school system should be a neutral zone,” Rep. Jim Wayne, D-Louisville stated.