Civil rights group warns new law is “part of Project Blitz, a coordinated attempt by the Religious Right to enshrine Christian nationalism in our schools.”
Georgia Republican Governor Brian Kemp has signed into law a bill that will allow the teaching of the New and Old Testaments of the Bible in public schools. SB 83, as passed, says it’s designed to teach “knowledge of biblical content, characters, poetry, and narratives that are prerequisites to understanding contemporary society and culture, including literature, art, music, mores, oratory, and public policy.”
It’s clear the bill’s authors believe America is based on the Christian Bible, given the inclusion of “public policy” in the legislation’s text.
But earlier drafts of the bill, which appear to go back at least as far as 2007, expose a more insidious intent.
“The purpose of such courses shall be to accommodate the rights and desires of those teachers and students who wish to teach and study the Old and New Testaments,” a portion of the bill’s now struck language reads.
The bill does caution that the courses must be “taught in an objective and nondevotional manner with no attempt made to indoctrinate students as to either the truth or falsity of the biblical materials or texts from other religious or cultural traditions.”
But another section of the bill opens the door wide for local school boards to teach the Bible as they please, “provided, however, that no state funds” are used for those classes.
SB 83 makes these classes elective.
Meanwhile, cvil rights groups advocating for separation of church and state opposed the bill.
“Our public schools should not act like Sunday schools, but that’s exactly what this bill invites,” Americans United warned earlier this year.
And they warn SB 83 is part of a larger religious attack on America:
Bills like SB 83 are part of Project Blitz, a coordinated attempt by the Religious Right to enshrine Christian nationalism in our schools, in our communities and in our government. Learn more: https://t.co/QgnTxEMFGi pic.twitter.com/2Ri4pf7i3j
— Americans United (@americansunited) March 4, 2019