Lawmakers push for Bible literacy in Missouri schools as an elective
State Representative Curtis Trent from Ava, Mo. says he wants Missouri public schools to have the option to have a bible literacy class if they choose. It would be an elective.
Rep. Trent says the class would be taught through a historical and literary perspective.
"The bill suggest teachers receive additional training for best practices on how to teach religion in a way that is respectful and in fully accordance with the first amendment with our other laws," says Rep. Trent.
But, the Springfield Skeptics, a group that describes themselves as “free thinkers” and agnostic say they believe teaching the Bible by itself in public schools is unconstitutional. They say a world religion class would be more acceptable.
"If a world religions class did become an elective it would provide and grant more tolerances to other folks around and other cultures around the world itself," says Wells.
State Representative Trent says a world religion class would be useful, but those classes already exist. Trent says Christianity, in a historical context, has been the primary shaping influence.
"It's the singular importance of Christianity in the history of our country that is missing from our education curriculum," said Rep. Trent.
Wells says this would also take away from funding of other classes such as music, computer programming, and art. Rep. Trent says this is a program where schools can voluntarily decide to have the class, it will not be required.