Bible Literacy Project News
BIBLE IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS. YES.
By J. Grant Swank, Jr.
November 17, 2006
1963, the US Supreme Court stated that "the Bible is worthy of study
for its literary and historic qualities" if "presented objectively
as part of a secular program of education." At the same time, the
decision concluded that Bible recitations were barred from public
Now we have a textbook with teacherís manual that introduces the
Bible into the public schools without legal and religious hassles,
according to the Associated Press. Thatís good news, particularly
for devout Jews and Christians who are concerned about the
secularization of America which is pushed by the political and
Forty-one specialists in religion worked on the project. These
individuals included prominent evangelicals, mainline Protestants,
Roman Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, Jews and secular scholars. Thatís
a broad spread for working on such a sensitive subject;
nevertheless, it appears as if the final product is workable without
compromising the core beliefs of those holding to the Bible as
"The Bible and Its Influence" is what Bible Literacy Project,
Fairfax, Virginia, has offered the nation. Five years and $2 million
dollars have been expended on the effort. Now the end result has
been presented to the media, winning "initial endorsements from
experts in literature, religion and church-state law experts."
What about the mention of miracles in the Bible? The text reports
miracles by referring the reader to "the source rather than simply
calling them historical facts." That is good. Presenting the actual
biblical statement is sufficient, particularly in the perspective of
those who hold those statements to speak to historical fact. The
records, in other words, can speak for itself without editorial
This is especially meaningful to devout believers who hold to a
miracle-working God who has performed that which is beyond human
reason. However, secularists who hold to the other end of the
spectrum are now presented with religious data that goes to the
source rather than "preaching" from the textbook formulators.
In other words, according to the AP report, the text presents the
beliefs as original material. If the reader does not agree with that
original material, that is the readerís choice but still does not
take away from what the religious material presents in the original
American "educators know biblical knowledge is valuable ó 60 percent
of allusions in one English Advanced Placement prep course came from
the Bible." Further, "polls show teens donít know much about
Yet Americaís original colonies were built upon a Judeo-Christian
faith. That cannot be erased from our nationís persona, though
secular, anti-God organizations are trying their hardest to do just
This text overviewing the Old and New Testaments is needed in
American public schools. The school districts should give it itís
chance to work.
Copyright © 2005 by J. Grant Swank, Jr.