Public schools in Tennessee may soon offer an elective Bible course to high school students, according to the Associated Press. Kids, and their parents, can decide if they want to take the class for a social studies credit or not.
As you might expect, many people are calling in the "separation of church and state" argument here. But it's not a clear cut case because students are not being forced to take the class. Also, the course is being specially structured so it focuses on the content of the Bible and its historical context.
The schools know this is a very touchy subject, and have hired a college expert to make sure the course and the way it's taught doesn't cross any lines that might end up in a courtroom.
For instance, who actually teaches the class is very important and they must not profess that the Bible is the right or only way.
Moms are torn. Some feel elective or not, it's plain wrong, religion has absolutely no place whatsoever in public school. Period. Others say as long as the option for classes on other religions like Hinduism or Judaism exist if the interest and staffing is there, there should be no problem.
"It's an elective," says one CafeMom. "I don't understand the issue. Nobody is telling kids,'You must take religion courses!' It will be there as an option for those who want to take it and I think that's great. Are people afraid their kid might see my kid's Bible?"
Others say the problem is not about the good intentions, here. It's about the reality.
"What a joke," another CafeMom says. "Bible class in Tennessee? C'mon, that's like code for Bible study. It's f*****g Tennessee for crying out loud! The Bible belt. Where are they going to find someone to teach from a neutral academic perspective?"
What's the harm in offering historically based classes on religion as electives in public school?
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