Target: The Arizona state legislature
Goal: Don’t allow public and charter schools in Arizona to offer an elective on the Bible without including any other religious text.
It’s one thing to offer kids in Arizona public schools an elective course that would teach them about the influence of sacred texts in an academic manner. It’s another matter entirely to offer a class only on the Bible without regards to other significant religions. A possible form of indoctrination, anyone? Tell the Arizona state legislature to stop favoring the Christian religion, especially when it comes to public and charter school students.
According to an article published on the Los Angeles Times’ website on February 22, 2012, the Arizona House approved a course titled “The Bible and Its Influence on Western Culture.” It would teach students about how the Bible as a whole shaped western ideas and values. It would cover subjects like law and literature, for example.
But quite troublingly, the same legislators who approved the Bible as a topic of study also struck down an amendment that would have allowed the Book of Mormon to be taught to students who wanted to learn about that text in an academic setting. Essentially, these lawmakers are telling the public that the Bible is the only religious book worthy of studying in the classroom.
In addition, the Los Angeles Times argued that how the texts will be presented to students still remains a question. The Times reported, “Opponents also raised questions about how teachers would present Biblical stories. As parables? Myths? Literal truth?”
However, the Arizona Republic has stated that five states already teach courses just like the one proposed in Arizona. Those states are Georgia, Texas, Tennessee, South Carolina, and Oklahoma.
Opponents still have time to voice their opinions, as this potentially proselytizing bill still must be voted on by the Arizona state Senate.
As it stands, a course focusing only on Biblical texts, even as an elective, is unfair for public and charter school students. If this is supposed to be an academic course, children shouldn’t be forced to learn only about the Bible in a manner that might be indoctrinating. By signing the petition below, you will tell Arizona legislators not to pass this bill without further scrutiny and changes.
Dear members of the Arizona state legislature,
Teaching public and charter school children about the Bible’s influence without including other religious texts is biased and wrong, even if the class is offered as an elective. Not only does this show preferential treatment to Christianity, but it also leaves the door open for some educators to potentially indoctrinate impressionable children.
A fair, unbiased education is crucial to the young people of Arizona. Unfortunately, this course teaches a one-sided story through a Christian lens.
It is imperative that you cease trying to push Biblical beliefs onto public school students. Please commit to taking action immediately.
[Your Name Here]