Bill risky; keep Bible at home

Our nation has traditionally been tied to Christianity. The United States has been and most likely will always be associated with the Christian religion. But that does not change the fact that the founding fathers of America gave our country freedom of religion in 1791 and, through that, the separation of church and state.

And the freedom of religion that defines America now must be upheld as more than 200 years after the founding of the Constitution, a bill is proposed to mandate a secular Bible study course to be offered as an elective in public high schools.

State Rep. Warren Chisum, R-Pampa, presented this bill to the Legislature last week, claiming the class is necessary because, “We need for people to know why we are the sort of country we are.” Although the class would be offered as an elective, and teachers would be instructed to teach the Bible as a secular text, teachers would not have any formal training in how to broach the subject without preaching to students.

It’s obvious what Chisum’s real motive is: to bring Christianity into public schools. The conservative right-wing has tried relentlessly to bridge church and state; recall the legislature that passed a moment of silence before the start of each school day in public schools.

The Bible is a great piece of literature and history, and it could be fascinating to learn it as such, but this bill is a lawsuit waiting to happen. Our already troubled state schools don’t have the time or money to handle a lawsuit from a student who feels discriminated against in a Christian preaching class, nor do the schools have the funds for necessary training of teachers to avoid these lawsuits.

For the sake of everything that’s still logical, let’s keep religion out of Texas’ public schools.

Features editor Amber Parcher for the editorial board.