Log in Subscribe

A few of our stories and columns are now in front of the paywall. We at The Chief-Leader remain committed to independent reporting on labor and civil service. It's been our mission since 1897. You can have a hand in ensuring that our reporting remains relevant in the decades to come. Consider supporting The Chief, which you can do for as little as $3.20 a month.

Tightening the Bible belt


To the editor:

On June 25, Louisiana implemented a law requiring that the Ten Commandments be conspicuously displayed in every public school in the state.

On June 27, Ryan Walters, the Oklahoma superintendent of public instruction, required that the Bible be taught to students in grades five through 12 and a copy provided in every classroom. In a memo, Walters wrote his mandate was “compulsory" and “immediate and strict compliance is expected.”

Both the Louisiana and Oklahoma mandates violate the constitutional requirement of separation of church and state, yet both states are defying this longstanding principle, which the Supreme Court has consistently upheld.

Will we see additional Bible Belt states adding more and more religious notches that will result in a Bible tourniquet around the neck of public schools, cutting off individual religious freedoms making public schools de facto Christian schools?

Christians themselves more than anyone else should not endorse these laws. I assure you that inevitably there will be different interpretations of the Bible and many differences of opinion among individual teachers that will be forced on young impressionable school children.

The Bible is allegorical and full of parables and can have philosophical and sociological approaches, opening it up to interpretation many times based on personal experiences and the individual application to one’s life. In addition, Christianity has numerous denominations. Bible instruction by secular teachers will lead to misinformation and confusion.

Is it prudent to force a math teacher without theological expertise to teach their perspective of God, Christianity and spiritually to school children or should parents who so desire incorporate Bible readings at home and choose a reputable church and trusted pastor to provide Bible study and spiritual guidance for their children?

Proselytizing and religious indoctrination have no place in public schools.

Marc Bullaro


1 comment on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here