Conservatives in Idaho, intent on dismantling the separation of church and state to impose their religious ideals on public schoolchildren have just approved a bill that would allow the Bible to be used as a “reference book” during the teaching of…pretty much any subject. The Idaho Senate Education Committee has green lit bill SB 1321, which states 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, United States 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.
A slap in the face to the religious pluralism that our nation was founded on, the bill’s founder Sen. Sheryl Nuxoll (R-Cottonwood) simply wanted to make sure that the teachers knew they were free to disseminate religious propaganda as part of a secular educational curriculum. “It’s to clarify and make sure teachers know their rights. A lot of teachers are scared to use the Bible.” While the bill does not force students to use the Bible as a reference source, one can imagine that the pressure from the teacher and heavily devout classmates would coerce an impressionable child into learning a nonscientific interpretation of many important fields.
Of course, Nuxoll is not exactly known for her rational opinions and concern for the well-being of others; in 2013, she notoriously compared the passage of Obamacare to the Holocaust, saying that “The insurance companies are creating their own tombs. Much like the Jews boarding the trains to concentration camps, private insurers are used by the feds to put the system in place because the federal government has no way to set up the exchange.”
She does not seem like a person who should be allowed to make decisions regarding the education of children.
Colin Taylor is the editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.