Debate rages over Bible in public schools

Aug. 5, 2007 at 6:58 PM
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LOS ANGELES, Aug. 5 (UPI) -- Various U.S. public schools are adding the Bible to their curricula, with mixed reactions from parents, school boards and advocacy groups.

The implementation of the Bible in public schools comes from a broad agreement, particularly among the conservative population, that knowledge of the religious tome can help students gain a better understanding of art and literature, the Los Angeles Times reported.

But battles over how to teach Bible courses in public schools are raging, with some liberal groups saying academia is only a guise for pushing the Bible and Christianity onto students. The Times reported that in some cases, Bible courses were being taught by unqualified teachers or, in some cases, clergy members.

But some teachers argue their Bible courses are taught constitutionally. At one high school in California's Orange County, one teacher offers a "Bible as/in Literature" course. The text for the course is "The Layman's Parallel Bible" which offers various translations of the Bible. Whether or not the Bible is believed to be the literal word of God is irrelevant to the course, the Times reported.

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