Petition to Allow the Bible to be Used as a Textbook

( [email protected] ) Jan 08, 2004 08:55 PM EST

Would the Bible be used as a textbook in class? This might happen if Matt McLaughlin from Orange County can collect 598,105 valid signatures by May 24, which would then put the initiative on the statewide ballot. People would be given the chance to decide whether or not to amend California’s constitution to allow the voluntary use of the King James version of the Bibles for grades 1 through 12.

Secretary of State Kevin Shelley's office says the Bible would be used "without devotional or denominational purpose." Under the initiative, Bibles would be distributed free to every public school student, unless parents objected.

According to WorldNetDaily, supporters of the use of the Bibles in class say “one of the supreme achievements of the English Renaissance, and is rightly regarded as one of the most influential books in the history of English civilization, which has served as a model of writing for generations of English-speaking people, and is an acclaimed literary work of great historic importance.”

In addition, they say the Bible worthy of study in "such secular disciplines as history, literature, culture, poetry, law, language, ethics, science and philosophy."

Backers note the U.S. Supreme Court found, as recently as 1980, the Bible may be "integrated into the school curriculum, where the Bible may constitutionally be used in an appropriate study of history, civilization, ethics, comparative religion, or the like."

This project would cost the state and local school districts about $200 million, according to legislative analysts.