Public High School Bible Classes in Texas

The Houston Chronicle reported today that the Texas Senate "easily passed and sent to the governor" a bill to teach Bible classes to high school students. The claim is that young people need to know about the Bible. This class is supposed to provide a forum for students to discuss religion's role in history. The class will be taught if 15 students want it taught.

This makes me very concerned because we all know that there is no one trained in our secondary educational system to teach these courses from a religious studies or historical perspective. When untrained people think about 'Bible' classes, they think this means 'Bible Study' and further that this means 'Christian Bible Study,' which at best is comparable to 'adult education' on sunday mornings at church, at worse a prayer circle. I know this from years of experience teaching the Introduction to the Bible courses at various universities. I agree that it is a crying shame how illiterate Americans are when it comes to religious education, but I do not trust for a moment our secondary educational system to consistently provide non-faith-based religious education.

I am afraid that this bill is nothing more than another attempt to get bible study into the public curriculum. The language is more sophisticated, and given the aura of "historical" study, but what this means is let's teach our kids in the public schools that the bible is history. We are on the edge of the slippery slope.