A bill signed by Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin will bring the Bible front and center in the state’s public schools. Students will soon be able to learn about Jesus Christ, walking a fine line constitutionally, as the ACLU watches on.
A ceremony in the Capitol Rotunda on Tuesday marked the signing of House Bill 128, which will take effect on June 30. Several other bills that made their way to the governor’s desk will also go into effect on that day, according to WDRB.
The controversial bill “allows public schools to offer an elective social studies course on the Bible that teaches Biblical content, characters, poetry and narratives and their impact on today’s world,”according to a press release.
“It really did set the foundation that our founding fathers used to develop documents like the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights,” said Rep. DJ Johnson (R-Owensboro), adding, “All of those came from principles from the Bible,” WDRB reported.
Governor Bevin went on to question the lack of Biblical legislation in other states around the country.
“The idea that we would not want this to be an an option for people in school, that would be crazy. I don’t know why every state would not embrace this, why we as a nation, would not embrace this,” Bevin told the crowd.
Not everyone is rejoicing with the signing of this bill, however.
ACLU of Kentucky Advocacy Director Kate Miller, said that “a Bible literacy bill that, on its face, may not appear to be unconstitutional, could in fact become unconstitutional in its implementation,” WDRB reported.
Miller continued: “We want to make sure that teachers can teach and make sure that they don’t go in to preach.”
Supporters of the bill have countered that the state’s Department of Education will help schools develop the course.
Rep. Johnson said that “as long as we’re careful with the curriculum itself, there won’t be any constitutional issues.” He added, “And we’ll do that.”
“You could be an atheist, and you would appreciate there is a lot of wisdom in the Bible,” Governor Bevin proclaimed.
The bill-signing ceremony began with a Christian prayer, according to the Independent.