Do Public Schools Need Bible Classes?

For some time Christians have been working to get the Bible and prayer reintroduced into public schools.

William Jeynes, a senior fellow at the Witherspoon Institute and an education professor at California State University, presented “Putting the Bible and Prayer Back in the Public Schools” at the Family Research Council.

In 1963 Abington School District v. Schempp decision the Supreme Court ruled that sectarian Bible classes could not be in public schools. “The court did allow for the teaching of the Bible, provided it was done in a neutral, objective matter.” Neutrality is impossible.

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Governor of Kentucky Matt Bevin signed the “Bible Literacy Bill” into law.

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The Bible class as envisioned by HB 128 is a course solely “on the Hebrew Scriptures, Old Testament of the Bible, the New Testament.” The purpose is to “provide to students knowledge of biblical content, characters, poetry, and narratives that are prerequisites to understanding contemporary society and culture.”

It is also an elective, not a required course.

“They will not be teaching about the Koran or the sacred texts of other religions,” said Amber Duke of the Kentucky ACLU. “That would be more of a comparative religions class. This is a Bible literacy class.” (NBC News)

Is it a good idea to let non-believers, secularists, and even atheists teach the Bible in public (government) schools or is there a better way?

Will parents think it’s safe to send their children to government schools when they find out that a Bible class is available? Who will teach the class? What perspective will be presented? Who will develop the textbook? The same schools that are teaching your children that same-sex sexuality is OK and all your children need to do are protect themselves when they engage in supposedly morally neutral sexual experimentation will be the same people teaching the Bible.

Rushdoony was not the first to understand the goal of Statist education. Robert L. Dabney (1820–1898) saw it more than 120 years ago:

[T]he Jeffersonian doctrine of the absolute severance and independence of church and state, of the entire secularity of the State, and the absolutely equal rights, before the law, of religious truth and error, of paganism, atheism, and Christianity, has also established itself in all the States; and still the politicians, for electioneering ends, propagate this State education everywhere. By this curious circuit “Christian America” has gotten herself upon this thoroughly pagan ground; forcing the education of responsible, moral, and immortal beings, of which religion must ever be the essence, into the hands of a gigantic human agency, which resolves that it cannot and will not be religious at all. Surely, some great religious body will arise in America to lift its Christian protest against this monstrous result!3

What would America be like today if Christians had heeded Dabney’s warnings and some “great religious body” had arisen to make the break from an educational system that was designed to be the indoctrination center for the State and its messianic motives?

The usual Christian response is to reform the public schools, to get more parents involved, sue to get a moment of silence, prayers at sporting events and commencement exercises, release programs to teach religion, and pass laws to teach the Bible as literature as they’ve done in Georgia…


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