More Schools Mix Jeremiah with Gerunds Florida District's Plan to Offer Old and New Testament Classes Reignites Debate over Teaching the Bible in Public Schools

By Warren Richey, writer of The Christian Science Monitor | The Christian Science Monitor, October 29, 1997 | Go to article overview

More Schools Mix Jeremiah with Gerunds Florida District's Plan to Offer Old and New Testament Classes Reignites Debate over Teaching the Bible in Public Schools


Warren Richey, writer of The Christian Science Monitor, The Christian Science Monitor


A high school course that seeks to teach the Bible as history has set the stage in Fort Meyers, Fla., for what looks to be the nation's next legal showdown over the place of religion in public schools.

Supporters say the subject matter will be taught in a secular manner and that enrollment is voluntary. Opponents say unless changes are made, the courses will violate the constitutional separation of church and state.

"To use the Bible as a text and say this is how history unfolded is not history, it is a religious interpretation of history," says Charles Haynes of the Freedom Forum First Amendment Center at Vanderbilt University. The classes come at a time of growing interest - and controversy - over the study of the Scripture in schools. From Utah to North Carolina, students are enrolling in courses that seek to tell the past through the Bible. In some cases, proponents are trying to circumvent constitutional problems by instructing teachers how to teach - not preach - religion. In other cases - particularly when the curriculum is more overtly religious - they are holding study groups off campus to avoid disputes. But Fort Meyer's curriculum, which is already used in 22 states, will be taught in the schools - and thus is becoming a test case of where the law stands on mixing the study of Jeremiah with gerunds. Both Old and New Testament courses are to be offered as electives in January at all eight high schools in the Lee County School District. The school board made the decision last week, but some critics say they may seek an injunction in federal court to block the classes. John Dowless, executive director of the Christian Coalition of Florida, says the school board is merely seeking to offer the option to those students who want to study the Bible at school. "This is a curriculum that is an elective. If students want to take it they can, if they don't want to they don't have to," he says. "The Bible is the No. 1. best-selling book in the history of the world." The courses were developed by the National Council on Bible Curriculum in Public Schools, a nonprofit group based in Greensboro, N.C. "The Bible is history and literature," says Elizabeth Ridenour, who heads the council. "Most of the founding documents of our country were based on the Bible. Without a working knowledge of the Bible, students couldn't even understand the basis on which our Constitution was founded." Ms. Ridenour adds, "You don't get that kind of information in a Sunday school class." Opponents say that if the classes are conducted as planned, they will violate US Supreme Court rulings that prohibit the use of public funds to promote one religious view at the expense of others. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

More Schools Mix Jeremiah with Gerunds Florida District's Plan to Offer Old and New Testament Classes Reignites Debate over Teaching the Bible in Public Schools
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.