Excerpts from an article on newsweek.com
The Missouri House this week passed a bill that would allow public schools in the state to teach elective social studies courses on the Bible.
The bill, sponsored by state Representative Ben Baker was passed by the Republican-led House with a 95-52 vote on Monday, according to The Associated Press, and awaits passage by the Senate.
The bill would allow Missouri public schools to offer Bible classes to their students as an elective, although institutions cannot make the courses mandatory. It also requires state education officials to set clear guidelines and standards if they chose to offer classes on the Old and New Testament.
Baker, a minister and dean of students at Ozark Bible College, said the proposal was intended to clarify existing law, which had been inconsistently interpreted across the state to signal that Bible classes were prohibited.
“The Bible is simply a part of the fabric of life,” Baker told the Missouri House Special Committee on Student Accountability last month, before they voted to advance the bill. Baker did not immediately respond to Newsweek’s request for comment.