Superintendent Of Oklahoma Schools Is Pushing The Bible Into The Curriculum

( — On Thursday June 27, Oklahoma superintendent of Public Instruction Ryan Walters announced that public schools in the state will now be required to incorporate the Bible and the Ten Commandments into their curricula for grades 5-10. Walters says that the bible is among the “most foundational documents” for the creation of the United States and for the constitution. The teaching materials will be provided by the state, and schools are expected to comply immediately.

There have been several instances in recent years in which efforts have been made to bring religion back into public education. Last month, Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt signed a bill that would allow students to be excused from their regular classrooms in order to receive religious instruction. On June 19, Louisiana Governor Jeff Landry signed legislation requiring schools to display the Ten Commandments in all public-school classrooms in “large, easily readable font”.

The Oklahoma Attorney General, Gentner Drummond, pointed out that state law already allows for Bibles in the classroom as well as their use by teachers. The new curriculum requirements seem to be more about historical context for the United States than religious faith. As Walters points out, the Bible has been interwoven in America since its formation. The nation’s founders were well-versed in biblical study, the Bible was cited in the movement to abolish slavery, and most civil rights leaders in the 20th century appealed to Biblical principles. Martin Luther King Jr. was a Baptist minister and frequently referenced biblical stories in his speeches and writing.

While Walters says that the Bible is a necessary historical document for understanding America’s history, its legal system, and Western history, many are critical of the decision. Americans United for Separation of Church and State CEO Rachel Laser calls it a transparent attempt to “religiously coerce” students in public schools. She is also not the only one to suggest that the new required curriculum is unconstitutional. While the Bible has been read by people of all faiths the world over, religious texts in schools are increasingly controversial. There will very likely be legal challenges to Walter’s decision.

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