Idaho Republicans Propose Resolution Supporting Use of Bible in Public Schools

BibleRead-2-compressedBOISE, Idaho — Republicans in Idaho have proposed a resolution calling for support for using the Bible alongside public school curriculum.

Resolution 2015-P20 was submitted by Idaho County Chairman Marge Arnzen, and uses state history as the basis of the motion.

“[I]n 1782, the U.S. Congress voted this resolution: ‘The Congress of the United States recommends and approves the Holy Bible for use in all schools,’ and authorized a loan of money to help the printing and distribution of 10,000 copies to be made available to the public primarily for public schools,'” it notes.

The resolution also notes that the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that using the Bible in school for historical purposes is permissible under the Constitution.

“[T]he use of the Bible for literary and historic value is consistent with the 1st amendment of the U.S. Constitution, and the U.S. Supreme Court in the 1963 case of Abington School District v. Schempp declared that the Bible is worth studying for its literary qualities and its influence on history,” it states. “[I]n 1980, the Supreme Court ruling of Stone v. Braham stated that ‘the Bible can constitutionally be used in an appropriate study of history, civilization, ethics, comparative religion, or the like.’”

Therefore, for these and other reasons, the motion requests that Idaho lawmakers pass a resolution endorsing the use of the Bible in public schools.

“Therefore, be it resolved that the Idaho County Central Committee encourages the Idaho legislature to draft and support a bill stating that the Bible is expressly permitted to be used in Idaho public schools for reference purposes to further the study of literature, comparative religion, English and foreign languages, U.S. and world history, comparative government, law, philosophy, ethics, astronomy, biology, geology, world geography, archaeology, music, sociology, and other topics of study where an understanding of the Bible may be useful or relevant,” it reads.

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According to reports, the resolution initially asked that lawmakers propose a bill allowing elective Bible classes “for any of the secular discipline study purposes stated above if students, parents, and/or school district electors request such a course.” However, the language was removed after some expressed concern that the same could be done with the Koran.

Republican Party Committee Executive Director David Johnston told KBOI News that the resolution still leaves the use of the Bible as an option—rather than a requirement—and is meant as a statement of support for a teacher’s right to use it if he or she wishes.

“I don’t see it as a forcing upon anybody or interfering with it,” he said. “Whether it be geography, history, literature or frankly just the study of the world religions; if there is a school district that thinks having the bible as part of the curriculum would be useful, this resolution is basically saying, ‘we support the idea of allowing them to have that tool in their tool box.’

Some outside of the committee are taking issue with the motion because of its references to science and law, stating that Christianity should only be used in history courses but not anything of a legal or scientific nature.

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  • DNelson

    ” it represented a complete reversal of the district’s prior statements banning prayer at any time during the school day,””

    But the school never made any statement that prayer was banned “at any time during the school day”. Once again, the ADF shows it has no issue at all with lying. I wonder how they are able to reconcile lying with their supposed emphasis on the Christian belief system.

    • bowie1

      “But in September of last year, Pine Creek Assistant Principal Jim Lucas contacted Windebank and advised that he must discontinue the practice due to the “separation of church and state.” ADF then sent a letter to the school and district about the matter, and received a response from district attorney Patricia Richardson, who asserted that the period was rather not a free period but considered instructional time.

      “Seminar at Pine Creek is not homeroom time. It is class time and it is considered instructional time,” she said. “No non-curricular clubs are permitted to meet during that time period.”

      Richardson further stated that Windebank and the other students would have to hold their meetings either before or after school.” Does this sound like lying?

      • DNelson

        Do you see, anywhere in the article, a statement by the school which says that prayer was banned “at any time during the school day”?

        The ability to pray, and the holding of a group meeting, are two different things. The ADF statement is a lie that is designed to make the situation appear different – and more extreme – then it is. The school never said that students were not allowed to pray at any time during the school day. That is simply false. A lie.

        • bowie1

          Since prayer was part of the group meeting wouldn’t prayer be automatically assumed as being banned? However, a resolution was reached with an intervention by ADF.

          • DNelson

            “Since prayer was part of the group meeting wouldn’t prayer be automatically assumed as being banned?”

            No. The only thing that was banned was the group meeting during the specified period. Do you really think the school said: “Ok, students, none of you are allowed to say a prayer at school. Prayer is officially banned at any time during the school day.”

            Ludicrous. That would be a severe violation of 1st amendment rights. The ADF statement was false and intentionally inflammatory.

            “However, a resolution was reached with an intervention by ADF.”

            That option already existed. The ADF accomplished zero.

          • bowie1

            Still, I read stories of prayers, etc. being banned in many schools, sometimes as the result of atheist complaints alleging that prayer in schools violates the purported separation of church and state.

          • MoxRox

            Those stories, if you read them here, are always slanted and always omit vital information. Prayers are being “banned” from being held during morning announcements and in the class rooms, and rightfully so.

            Individually led prayer during lunchtime, recess, breaks, between classes…all perfectly acceptable.

          • DNelson

            From what I have seen, most of those cases involve the school itself promoting or providing prayer. For instance, I certainly remember in High School, that a Christian prayer was said before every sporting event – football games, basketball games, etc. That would not be allowed today – and reasonably so. It is not the job of a public school – which serves students of all faith as well as no faith – to include prayer (Christian or otherwise) at school events or to promote religion (Christian or otherwise) as a part of school activities.

            That is different, however, from a student simply saying a prayer in school. With that said, the time, place, and manner are also a factor, as with any speech, that it may not be disruptive.

    • BBP Vas

      Don’t be angry, good sir. I do not think that this article includes all of the district’s statements on the matter, legal or otherwise.

      • DNelson

        Not angry at all, but thanks for your concern.

    • Peter Leh

      the ADF does seem to misrepresent issues. Stutzman the florist for example.

  • Emmanuel

    so during the free period, texting and facebooking was a curriculum based activity but not prayer, bible time and discussions?

    • MoxRox

      More than likely “Seminar” was originally for study time, but lackadaisical students and teachers let it slip away over the years. Keep in mind, also, that that claim was put forth by the plaintiffs, not the school.

      • The Last Trump

        Just came across YET ANOTHER article detailing the rise of Islam in American schools and immediately thought of you Paul. I remember the astonishing ignorance you revealed in not knowing or accepting that this was the case despite all of the overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

        http://www .wnd .com/2015/06/teachers-bow-to-allah-celebrate-islam/

        Boy, how you are going to MISS Christianity! Hope the grandkids like turbans and hate bacon! Enjoy bud! You’re very welcome for my thoughtful updates! I’ve got you covered, bud.
        After all, who wants to remain ignorant, right? 🙂

        ( I know, I know. LOTS of people. Unfortunately. Like leftists, liberals, Darwinists, God deniers, global warming advocates, abortionists….)

        • MoxRox

          Let me get this straight…teachers and staff had a training day in which they had an opportunity to learn something about a culture, and you think it’s an example of the “rise of Islam”?


          That’s hilarious. Thanks for the laugh this morning!!!!

          • The Last Trump

            And the hypocrisy & denial continues. You never disappoint Paul!
            You have to love this guy folks. Anytime a student gets “caught” (!?) reading a Bible on their OWN time in a public school Paul and company lose their freakin’ minds and cry foul in pathetic attempts to twist and exaggerate the concept of “separation of church and state”. And if the school wants to send the kids to a museum run by Christians? Forget about it!!

            But, take the ENTIRE CLASS to an Islamic MOSQUE for the day and these loons have NO PROBLEM!!? Hee, hee! Their transparent and shameless anti-Christianity hypocrisy is blatantly astounding. NOW, it’s just about learning something about a different culture eh? And this from a guy who just 3 days ago said, “everyone is free to promote their “religion” legally…which means NOT IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS!” (HIS bold type!)

            Guess it’s ok if the public schools GO to the church though, huh hypocrite? The ISLAMIC church.
            That isn’t rising in America AT ALL!

            Hee, hee! Such willfull blindness and sheer ignorance to facts.

  • Michael Falsia

    Its better than nothing so I am glad for small victories! But truthfully such litigation should never be necessary under our constitution? It shows just how powerful the enemies of religion are or more accurately the enemies of Christ and his word. You can name the groups who have bewitched a willing and compliant Court that has given them the upper hand in this whole business? We should not be over confidant but circumspect when things favor Christianity. May God bless this young mans labor and bring many of his schoolmates to a saving relationship in Christ the redeemer.

  • Peter Leh

    it seems both educators AND christian have a need to educate themselves on what is allowed and not.

    this has been going on a while.

    i remember in the 80’s when i was told by the principal not to bring my bible to school. Being the contrarian i am (cough cough). i brought two the next day to carry on top of my books. 🙂

  • FoJC_Forever

    “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or
    prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of
    speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to
    assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

    These students have the legal right to assemble on school property.

    They stopped the seminar practice because the AP wanted to infringe upon the religious rights of students. He wanted to hamper them, to keep them from sharing their religious beliefs and religious encouragement. Seeing kids sitting quietly texting and playing games on their phones wasn’t a problem, but seeing them expressing their religious beliefs, which he most undoubtedly rejects, suddenly became a problem.

    The AP, acting as an agent of the government, infringed upon the Constitutional Rights of students, which the antichrists have no problem supporting. No one was forcing any student to attend, but those who hate God will always try to twist law and reality to support their unbelief and desire to force their will upon others.

  • SpeakTruth

    Articles such as this one are meant to stir the pot. These are the types of articles that are posted on Facebook and shared. Many read the headlines without finishing the article much less researching the facts for themselves providing the religious narrative.
    If any child was truly told they were not allowed to pray at school, atheists would be on the front lines with people of faith fighting for his/her religious freedom.

  • Reason2012

    (1) There is no such thing as “separation of church and state” in the Constitution. That phrase came from the time a Pastor wrote a letter to Jefferson expressing his fears that Jefferson would in some way restrict religious freedoms. In response to these fears, Thomas Jefferson wrote a letter back to indicate that he would in no way restrict the freedom of religious expression because he saw a wall of separation between church and state.

    So actually the phrase means the exact opposite of what a few claim it means: it re-iterates the First Amendment, that government shall make no laws prohibiting the free exercise of religious expression.

    (2) First Amendment: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; And yet those who reject God demand the government establish its own denomination of Christianity with its own version of marriage. A violation of the First Amendment.

    (3) Congress/government also cannnot make a law prohibiting the free exercise thereof.

    A school can decide to, for example, put up Ten Commandment displays and no one can force them not to.

    A school can decide NOT to put up Ten Commandment displays and no one can force them to.

    But in a Christian nation, the populace will be personally choosing to put up Ten Commandment displays often. Those that do not like this can start voting in a large number of people that believe differently and hope it changes.

    That’s liberty.

    That’s freedom.

    That’s the Constitution many died to create.

    That’s the United States of America.

    Start understanding the Constitution, the First Amendment and the lie about “separation to church and state” and take back our right to honor and worship God as people in positions of leadership personally choose and see fit to on a case by case basis.