Iowa lawmakers push for Bible study in public schools

Posted at 10:26 AM, Jan 26, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-26 10:26:10-05

DES MOINES (KCCI/CNN) - A group of Iowa lawmakers is pushing for the Bible to be part of the curriculum in public schools.

The goal of the bill is to establish an optional “Bible literacy” course in Iowa's public schools.

Rep. Skyler Wheeler, the bill's sponsor, said the measure has strong support in both the House and Senate.

But opponents say they don't expect the bill to make it that far.

Supporters say the Bible is a great educational source, but opponents, say this is a dangerous piece of legislation.

“We certainly don't need the government to indoctrinate our kids into one particular religion,” said Connie Ryan of Interfaith Alliance Iowa.

The line between church and state is hazy to some, and aren’t sure where the Constitutional line is.

Chuck Hurley, a member of the right-wing Family Leader group, says for 50 years now, schools have feared using the bible in school.

“In 1963, the U.S. Supreme Court said the Bibles could not be used for devotional purposes by public employees, by school teachers. And, many people thought that meant Bibles had to be totally excluded,” Hurley said.

But opponents see this as an effort to push Christianity.

“I do believe that's their intention. I do believe they want to indoctrinate our children into one particular religion, and that is not the goal of government,” Ryan said.

Some argue the Bible has literary significance.

“This book has had a huge role in great writing, great music, and great art,” Hurley said.

Ryan disagrees and said the Bible is not a literary piece that you would equate to something that another writer from the 1800s wrote.

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