As bills in several states would require public schools to offer Bible history classes, a new poll revealed that only about one in 10 Americans support the idea of Bible history electives.
A Hill-HarrisX poll of over 1,030 Americans released last week found that just 12 percent of respondents believe that states should require schools to offer new history classes that teach only about the Bible and no other religious text.
The poll, which has a 3.1-percentage-point margin of error, comes as bills in at least 10 states have been introduced this year that would require public schools to offer Bible classes but would not allow for texts from atheists or other religions to be offered as electives, according to Americans United for Separation of Church and State.
Such classes are already legally recognized in seven states, according to The Gospel Coalition.
The new survey found that 16 percent of respondents believe that states should require schools to offer history classes that teach about all major religions, not just Christianity and the Bible.
Seventeen percent of respondents said that they think schools should offer history classes that not only teach the history of all major religions but also the history of atheism.
Nineteen percent of respondents feel that schools should not offer history classes focusing on “any religious books.” The poll also found that 18 percent of respondents believe states should allow schools to decide whether or not to offer history classes on religion or atheism.
Almost two out of 10 respondents (17 percent) said they were “unsure” when answering the question.
In 2017, Kentucky passed what has been deemed the “Bible Literacy Act,” which requires schools to offer elective social studies classes “on the Hebrew Scriptures, Old Testament of the Bible [and] the New Testament” in order to “provide to students knowledge of biblical content, characters, poetry, and narratives that are prerequisites to understanding contemporary society and culture.”
“The purpose of these courses is to focus on the historical impact and literary style from texts of the Old Testament and/or New Testament era, including the Hebrew Scriptures to teach students knowledge of biblical content, characters, poetry and narratives that are prerequisites to understanding contemporary society and culture, including literature, art, music, mores, oratory and public policy,” the Kentucky Board of Education states online.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Samuel Smith