Saturday, February 09, 2002

Bible-Dumping- The Tennessee public-school Bible class case that has made the headlines looks ugly for the religious side. One, it doesn't look winable, as it looks, even to me, that it's a couple notches over the line in that it was required unless parents asked out and that it was taught by kids from a local Bible college. Second, it's in the same county in Tennessee that the Scopes Monkey Trial was in. I think an elective class on the Bible as part of a broad history curriculum, taught for historical and cultural literacy from a spiritually-neutral perspective, might pass muster. If the class isn't promoting Christianity or Judiaism but simply explaining their historical roots, it would slide past the establishment clause. If it were elective, it would get around the free-exercise clause. There is a way to do it and get five Supreme Court Justices to sign off on it. I don't think this Tennessee class is it.

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