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New Braunfels OKs school Bible course

Web Posted: 01/18/2006 12:00 AM CST
San Antonio Express-News

NEW BRAUNFELS The New Braunfels School Board voted 6-1 Monday to spend $58,000 next school year to offer an elective course on the Bible at New Braunfels High School.

The class, which will be available to juniors and seniors, is based on the textbook "The Bible and Its Influence," which examines the Bible's impact on art, literature and popular culture. The course is less controversial than another, "The Bible in History and Literature," which has been criticized for pushing a fundamentalist Christian view.

"The Bible and Its Influence" has won endorsements from some Catholic leaders as well as the Anti-Defamation League and the American Jewish Congress, which have condemned "The Bible in History and Literature."

The course follows principles in a 1999 accord, The Bible and Public Schools, brokered by the Bible Literacy Project, which developed the book, and The First Amendment Center, a Vanderbilt University-based program that works to preserve and protect the First Amendment.

"The goal of the course is to teach religion in a way that is purely academic and not devotional," said Trustee Jorge Maldonado.


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