Brewer OKs bill allowing schools to offer elective on Bible's influence
by Yvonne Wingett Sanchez - Apr. 17, 2012 10:51 PM
Gov. Jan Brewer on Tuesday signed into law a bill that allows schools to offer a course on the Bible's influence on American history and culture.
House Bill 2563, sponsored by Rep. Terri Proud, R-Tucson, allows public and charter schools to offer a high-school elective called "The Bible and Its Influence on Western Culture."
The course must address the influence of the Old and the New Testaments on laws, history, government, literature, art, music, customs, morals, values and culture.
State law doesn't ban the use of the Bible as part of a public-school class curriculum as long as it is for academic purposes and doesn't involve sectarian ideas or religious devotion. Proud has said teachers and school districts are still often afraid to talk about religion in the classroom.
Opponents believe the bill will face constitutional challenges. Supporters say the class will better prepare students for the future.
Arizona will become the sixth state to allow schools to offer a high-school course on the Bible.