HF2031: Bible “Literacy” in Public Schools

Bill Number:

HF 2031 to allow public schools to teach classes on the Hebrew Scriptures and the New Testament in order for students to learn of their influence on ‘law, history, government, literature, art, music, customs, morals, values, and culture.

STATUS:

Interfaith Alliance of Iowa provided this update:

HF2031 was passed out of sub-committee to the full House Education Committee on 2/6/18. The proposed legislation would direct the Department of Education to adopt rules allowing school districts to provide an elective course on the study of the “Hebrew Scriptures and New Testament.”

We believe high schools should teach comparative religions or world religions, especially in today’s society. Additionally, the impact and influence of religion should be taught as part of secondary courses in art, music, political science, history, and social studies.

We oppose HF2031 because it chooses one religious tradition over all others and uses public schools, a public government entity, to give favor to and promote that religious tradition. It is a dangerous piece of legislation that allows public schools to be used to indoctrinate our children in one religious tradition. 

ABOUT:

A dozen Iowa legislators filed HF 2031, which, similar to the WV bill, would allow public schools to teach classes on the Hebrew Scriptures and the New Testament in order for students to learn (among other things) of their influence on ‘law, history, government, literature, art, music, customs, morals, values, and culture.’

MORE INFORMATION:

 

Iowa professors: Why we do not support the ‘Bible literacy’ bill in Iowa
~Iowa City Press Citizen, 1/26/18

Push at state level for Bible elective in schools
~NE NEWS, 1/30/18

12 Iowa Republicans File Bill to Teach Elective Bible Courses in Public School
~Friendly Athiest, 1/18/18

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More about this bill from the Interfaith Alliance of Iowa has to say about this bill:

Bible “Literacy” in Public Schools

There has been a lot of chatter in the media about HF2031. The proposed legislation would direct the Department of Education to adopt rules allowing school districts to provide an elective course on the study of the “Hebrew Scriptures and New Testament.”

We are not opposed to high schools teaching a comparative religions or a world religions course. We actually believe it is important to do so, especially in today’s society. Additionally, the impact and influence of religion should be taught as part of secondary courses in art, music, political science, history, and social studies.

We oppose HF2031 because it chooses one religious tradition over all others and uses public schools, a public government entity, to give favor to and promote that religious tradition. It is a dangerous piece of legislation that allows public schools to be used to indoctrinate our children in one religious tradition. We oppose HF2031 because it is contrary to the US Constitution and is detrimental to our democracy.

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