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ARK Foundation Newsletter
National Council on Bible Curriculum in Public Schools
This is an description of a special project run by the for a BIBLE COURSE FOR PUBLIC SCHOOLS. The following is an outline.
  1. Policy Statement
  2. Why
  3. Bible Curriculum Policies

Policy Statement

Our recommendations are carefully constructed to accord with the First Amendment as the Supreme Court interprets it.

A number of justices have been eloquent in their claims that the study of religion is essential to good education.

The Bible Course Curriculum is supported by the school board and/or the private sector. The teacher is hired and paid, evaluated, and supervised by the county school administration. All state certification and renewal requirements are required and met by each teacher.

Though the Constitutionality of the teaching of the Bible in public schools is well attested in the opinions of the U.S. Supreme Court and in American history, in the event that the School Board of the local area should be challenged regarding the inclusion of the Bible Curriculum, the National Council on Bible Curriculum in Public Schools will assist the local school board in procuring competent counsel to defend the Constitutionality of its inclusion and work to provide adequate funds for the legal expense.


Many people do not realize that the Bible may be taught in our public schools. Often these people do not even realize that for the educational welfare of the students, the Bible needs to be taught. As the Congress who passed the First Amendment mandated, "(R)eligion, morality, and knowledge, being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education, shall be forever encouraged."

Id at 100 (Quoting the Northwest Ordinance, I Stat.52,n.a. (1787) (emphasis added).


No school can be considered a school of excellence if its students graduate without having received a basic knowledge of the Bible. The Bible has been the single most influential book in shaping Western culture. An understanding of the Bible opens up the understanding of our culture, our laws, our history, and even our speech. American youth need to know their nation's roots.

Northrop Frye, one of the most influential literary critics of this century has written,

The Bible forms the lowest stratum in the teaching of literature. It sbould he taugbt so early and so thoroughly that it sinks straight to the bottom of the mind, where everything that comes along can settle on it.

Such a vast amount of writing contains Biblical allusions that ignorance of the Bible cripples any meaningful study of literature. Every graduate of American public schools should have a thorough knowledge of the Bible. The public statements of our legislators are infused with Biblical allusions, so that one can't understand their comments without scripture references.

Just as literature cannot be understood fully without a knowledge of the Bible, neither can society or culture be understood without this knowledge of the Bible. E.D. Hirsh, in his book, The Dictionary of Cultural Literacy (p. 1) states,

The Bible, the holy book of Judarism and Christianity, is the most widely known book in the English-speaking world... No one in the English-speaking world can he considered literate without a basic knowledge of the Bihle... the Bible is also essential for understanding many of the moral and spiritual values of our culture, whatever our religious beliefs.

In 1963, the Supreme Court made a ruling, not against the study of the Bible, but against the devotional, religious use of the Bible. Supreme Court Justice Clark stated,

(1) (I)t might be well said that one's education is not complete without a study of comparative religion or the history of religion and it's relationship to the advancement of eivilizativn. It certainly may be said that the Bible is worthy of study for it's literary and bistoric qualities. Nothing we bave stated here indicates that such study of the Bihie or of religion, when presented objectively as part of a secular program of education, may not be effected consistantly with the First-Amendnent. (1)

1. School District of Abington Township v. Schempp, 374 U.S. 203, 225 (1963).


School Board of local area

0.00 RELIGIOUS STUDIES - Study of the Bible shall be permitted in the district for secular purposes, under the following terms and guidelines:

  1. "Secular purpose" is defined as those studies which instill in students values such as inde- pendent thought, tolerance of diverse views, self-respect, maturity, self-reliance, and logical decision making, and those studies which give students greater insight and appreciation of literature, the arts, politics, history, law, social studies and current events. Secular purpose, for example, should not mean "non-religious purpose" but "general public purpose."
  2. The studies shall be structured and presented in such a manner that the presentation of material neither enhances nor inhibits religion. Inculcation or proselytization of any particular doctrine, dogma, religious belief, or theory is prohibited.
  3. There shall be no requirement that a teacher shall have a particular religious belief (or non-religious belief) or persuasion in order to conduct religious studies.
  4. Funds for the presentation of instruction shall be provided by the school board. If school board funding is not available, then the funds may be raised by the private sector.
  5. The teaching about religion in public schools and the presentation or offering of an elec- tive course in Bible study and/or comparative religion in the secondary schools is expressly permitted and is Constitutional.
  6. Stucly of the Bible should stress the influence of the Bible on history, culture, the arts, and contemporary issues.
  7. Study of the Bible should permit and encourage a comprehensive and balanced exami- nation of the entire spectrum of ideas and attitudes pertaining to it as a component of human culture.
  8. Study of the Bible should examine the religious dimension of human experience in its broader cultural context, including its relation to economic, political, and social institu- tions as well as its relation to the arts, language, and culture.
  9. Study of the Bible should be objective and non-sectarian.
  10. Study of the Bible should be academic in nature, stressing student awareness and understanding, not acceptance and/or conformity.
  11. Study should be descriptive and non-confessional and should be conducted in an environment free of advocacy.
  12. Study should seek to develop and utilize the various skills, attitudes and abilities that are essential to history and the social sciences (i.e. locating, classifying, and interpreting data; keen observation; critical reading, listening and thinking; questioning; and effective communication).
  13. Study of the Bible should be academically responsible and pedagogically sound, utilizing accepted methods and materials of the social sciences, history and literature.
  14. Study about the Bible should center on the biblical text itself rather than extraneous material and theories which might express a particular theological position rather than the historical presentation found in the Bible.
  15. The following represents the general policy of the School Board of , relating to religious instructions:
It is accepted that no religious belief or non-belief should be promoted by the school district or its employees, and none should be disparaged. Instead, the school district should encourage all students and staff members to appreciate and be tolerant of each other's religious views. The school district should utilize its opportunity to foster understanding and mutual respect among students and parents whether it involves race, culture, economic background, or religious beliefs. In that spirit of tolerance, students and staff members should be excused from participating in practices which are contrary to their religious beliefs unless there are clear issues of overriding concern that would prevent it.

Copyright 1996 National Council On Bible Curriculum In Public Schools. All rights reserved.

Supported by: The ARK Foundation of Dayton, Inc. a non profit organization since June 1995, We support true science and Biblical religion. Email: ARKY Webmaster to send comments about this site. This site is scanned for viruses daily. This document was last modified 11:35 PM 5/9/98