By ANDREA LANNOM
CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Although taking no action Thursday, members of the Senate Committee on Education discussed at length a bill that seeks to require schools to provide elective courses on religious texts.
Senate Bill 252, sponsored by Sens. Mike Azinger, R-Wood, and Sue Cline, R-Wyoming, seeks to require all schools to provide an elective social studies course on Hebrew Scriptures, the Old Testament or New Testament of the Bible and require that federal and state laws be followed regarding religious neutrality.
The purpose of the course is to teach students about biblical content, characters, poetry and narratives, which it says are pre-requisites to understanding contemporary society and culture including literature, art, music, morals and public policy.
Sen. Mike Romano, D-Harrison, said although he is a Christian, he is concerned that people with different religious views would leave out.
“Can we singularly teach one particular religion? Even though Hebrew Scriptures are part of the Bible, we are really only teaching Christian texts,” Romano said. “I’m fine with that. I’m a Christian but I’m just wondering if we have to leave this open to teach other religions.”
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