Marge Arnzen, the Idaho County chair of the Republican Party, submitted a proposed resolution“supporting Bible use in Idaho public schools” to the state GOP’s Central Committee at a weekend meeting, in the hopes that her proposal ‒ with the explicit support of the Central Committee, which accepted her proposal ‒ might turn into a bill and, eventually, a state law.
The resolution calls for the Bible to be “expressly permitted to be used in Idaho public schools for reference purposes to further the study of literature, comparative religion, English and foreign languages, U.S. and world history, comparative government, law, philosophy, ethics, astronomy, biology, geology, world geography, archaeology, music, sociology, and other topics of study where an understanding of the Bible may be useful or relevant.”
Arnzen begins her proposal by citing the Idaho Constitution Preamble, which says: “We, the people of the State of Idaho, grateful to Almighty God for our freedom to secure its blessings and promote our common welfare do establish this Constitution.”
She then quoted the Idaho Republican platform, which reads: “We believe the strength of our nation lies with our faith and reliance on God our Creator, the individual and the family…” and “We believe the U.S. Constitution is the greatest and most inspired document to govern a nation…”
She also cited students’ and educators’ rights to freedom of speech guaranteed under the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the US Constitution and under the Idaho Constitution.
She did not, however, mention the Establishment Clause ‒ or freedom of religion ‒ also contained within the Bill of Rights’ First Amendment.
And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. 16) All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and isprofitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17) That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works- 2 Timothy 3:15-17 (KJV).
The problem critics have with Arnzen’s proposal is not bringing the Bible into the classroom for subjects like world history, literature, comparative religion and other similar subjects where the Bible and religion are normal topics of discussion. It’s when the Holy Book is used a reference text for astronomy, biology, geology and more science-based classes that the issue arises.
“While the Bible could add value to a number of curricula… it’s not widely recognized for being much help with plate tectonics,” Ars Technica’s John Timmer wrote.
The resolution initially asked Idaho lawmakers to support a bill that would allow public schools to offer elective Bible study courses “for any of the secular discipline study purposes stated above if students, parents, and/or school district electors request such a course.”
“That’s legal if there’s interest and if it’s taught in a secular way, but that just doesn’t happen very often in practice,” blogger Hemant Mehta wrote on the Friendly Atheist (emphasis original).
However, that language was struck from the final proposal after some members of the Central Committee “expressed concern with other religious texts, such as the Qur’an being used in the same way,”the Idaho Public Television’s Melissa Davlin reported.
“They got rid of the part that could be legal, and left in parts that could easily violate the law,” Mehta wrote. “It’s just another way to get Creationism into public schools.”
The Supreme Court banned the teaching of Creationism in science classes in a 1987 court decision, ruling that teaching that a supreme being created humankind endorses religion. In 1997, a US District Court barred the teaching of a related, religious-based view of intelligent design. Another District Court judge ruled that disclaimers stating that “evolution is a theory, not a fact” violated the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause in 2005.
And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.- Deuteronomy 6:7 (KJV).
The GOP has a 4-1 majority in both chambers of the Idaho legislature, and the state’s governor is a Republican.
“So bad ideas can become law without much opposition,” Mehta wrote. “I suspect it won’t be too long before a state legislator sponsors this disastrous bill.”
I truly believe that each child should be afforded the opportunity to learn about the bible and creation. The Bible is the foundation for educating children on science, animals, the heavenly hosts, and truth. The bible will also change the lives of those who read it and live by it. All children should be afforded the opportunity to engage in learning about their Heavenly Father, their creator! As Jesus said, “But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.”- Matthew 19:14 (KJV).
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But if ye turn unto me, and keep my commandments, and do them; though there were of you cast out unto the uttermost part of the heaven, yet will I gather them from thence, and will bring them unto the place that I have chosen to set my name there- Nehemiah 1:9 (KJV).
Thou, even thou, art LORD alone; thou hast made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth, and all thingsthat are therein, the seas, and all that is therein, and thou preservest them all; and the host of heaven worshippeth thee- Nehemiah 9:6 (KJV).
For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. Colossians 1:16-17 (KJV).
All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made- John 1:3 (KJV).
Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful- Psalm 1:1 (KJV).
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God – John 1:1 (KJV).
And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: 7) And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. Deuteronomy 6:6-7 (KJV).
To know wisdom and instruction; to perceive the words of understanding; 3) To receive the instruction of wisdom, justice, and judgment, and equity; 4) To give subtilty to the simple, to the young man knowledge and discretion.5) A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels:6) To understand a proverb, and the interpretation; the words of the wise, and their dark sayings.7) The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction- Proverbs 1:2-7 (KJV).
1) Give ear, O ye heavens, and I will speak; and hear, O earth, the words of my mouth. 2) My doctrine shall drop as the rain, my speech shall distil as the dew, as the small rain upon the tender herb, and as the showers upon the grass:3) Because I will publish the name of the LORD: ascribe ye greatness unto our God.- Deuteronomy 32:1-3 (KJV).
And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord- Ephesians 6:4 (KJV).
And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not- 2 Peter 2:2-3 (KJV).
While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage – 2 Peter 2:19 (KJV).
Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ – Colossians 2:8 (KJV).
”..keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called: Which some professing have erred concerning the faith…”-1 Timothy 6:20-21 (KJV).
Of old hast thou laid the foundation of the earth: and the heavens are the work of thy hands. They shall perish, but thou shalt endure: yea, all of them shall wax old like a garment; as a vesture shalt thou change them, and they shall be changed:-Psalm 102:25-26 (KJV).