Tags: Exclusive Interviews | MidPoint | oklahoma | bible | study | public | school

Okla. Bible-Class Sponsor: Liberals Already Threatening to Sue

By    |   Tuesday, 20 Jan 2015 06:46 PM

An Oklahoma bill to let public school students study the Bible as a literary artifact is already drawing threats of litigation even though the course would be optional, the bill's sponsor told Newsmax TV on Tuesday.

State Sen. Kyle Loveless told "MidPoint" host Ed Berliner that liberal critics, including the ACLU and Americans United, are labeling his bill a sneak attack on the First Amendment separation of church and state, and veiled attempt to impose a particular faith on Oklahoma school children.

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"I've had people in different parts of the country call me a bigot, a terrorist, and [say that] I'm trying to enforce my will on other people," said Loveless. "And that's just simply not the case."

He said objections to the bill are "knee jerk" and come from people "trained" to view any mingling of religion and public education as unconstitutional, even though courts have repeatedly ruled otherwise.

Loveless said that what his bill would permit, in any Oklahoma school district that chose to proceed, is "an elective class that would allow students to have an objective, literary examination of the impact of the Bible."

In the Mustang Public Schools, for example, which fall within Loveless's district, 200 students applied for the 20 available slots in the prototype class for a literature-based approach to the Bible, he said.

But threats of First Amendment litigation started even before the course's designers had finished deciding on the teaching and learning materials with help from corporate supporters who happened to be the owners of Hobby Lobby.

An arts and crafts retail store chain based in Oklahoma City, Hobby Lobby sued the Department of Health and Human Services to block mandatory birth-control coverage in the Affordable Care Act, objecting on religious grounds, and won a historic Supreme Court ruling in their case in June.

"I decided if the school district in Oklahoma wants to have an elective course that is not forced on students to have a study of the bible, then they shouldn't have to worry about or spend taxpayer money defending themselves," said Loveless. "My legislation would give them legal protection and let them have that class."

Loveless said that any school district should have the ability to satisfy student interest in the Bible as a literary, cultural and historical phenomenon.

He also said, "In today's society and today's culture, having a proper study of the role of the Bible in context with our history, as well as its role in literature — that to me is a proper history class that has been lacking," he said.

"As an optional class, that is a good thing to have," he said, "and most people, especially the school district in my district that wanted it, the demand is there and people really do want to know about our history."

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An Oklahoma bill to let public school students study the Bible as a literary artifact is already drawing threats of litigation even though the course would be optional, the bill's sponsor told Newsmax TV on Tuesday.
oklahoma, bible, study, public, school, liberals, threaten, lawsuit
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2015-46-20
Tuesday, 20 Jan 2015 06:46 PM
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