The Pen

Bible Literacy Should be Included in Public Schools Touts Trump

[Washington Post] President Trump gave his blessing Monday to lawmakers in several states who are pushing legislation to allow Bible literacy classes in public schools.

“Numerous states introducing Bible Literacy classes, giving students the option of studying the Bible,” Trump wrote in a morning tweet. “Starting to make a turn back? Great!”

As president, Trump has no formal say in state legislative processes.

His tweet came shortly after a segment on Fox News Channel’s “Fox & Friends” reporting that bills have been introduced in at least six states that would allow public school children to study the historical significance of the Bible.

The legislation has drawn objections from groups seeking to protect the separation of church and state. The groups argue that the bills are backdoor attempts to promote Christianity in public schools.

The “Fox & Friends” segment included an interview with Aaron McWilliams, a Republican state representative from North Dakota, one of the states where lawmakers are weighing such bills.

“There’s a separation of church and state, but there’s not a separation of books from education,” McWilliams said.

The other states where such bills are under consideration include Missouri, Indiana, West Virginia, Virginia and Florida, according to the Fox News report.

Last year, Bible literacy bills were considered in at least three other states — Alabama, Iowa and West Virginia — but none passed, according to the American Civil Liberties Union, which has opposed the efforts.

Lawmakers in Kentucky passed legislation in 2017 creating state regulations for public high schools to offer elective literature courses on the Bible and Hebrew Scriptures.

[Editor’s Note: This article was written by John Wagner and originally published at The Washington Post. Title changed by P&P.]