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Hobby Lobby President's High School Bible Course Faces Delays; Secular Group Claims Class Is 'Christian Evangelism'

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By Michael Gryboski , Christian Post Reporter
July 18, 2014|2:58 pm
Mustang High School (Photo: Courtesy of Mustang Public Schools)

Mustang High School in Mustang, Okla.

A Bible class elective scheduled to be introduced into an Oklahoma school district's high school this fall might be delayed due to concerns over the content of its curriculum.

Championed by Hobby Lobby President Steve Green, the Bible course was slated to be introduced to the Mustang Public School District in the fall.

However, possible legal action against the curriculum and the need to review the course content might push back the date of the class, according to Jon Watje of mustangpaper.com.

  • steve green
    (Courtesy of The Green Collection)
    In November 2009, Hobby Lobby President Steve Green purchased his family's first biblical artifact. Today Green devotes much of his time to what has become known as The Green Collection, among the world's newest and largest private collections of rare biblical texts and artifacts. The collection of more than 40,000 biblical antiquities features this copy of the first printed English Bible in America, the Aitken Bible, a personal favorite of Green's.

"Superintendent Sean McDaniel informed the Mustang School Board on Monday that although the district has signed off on the curriculum, he was proposing to hold off on offering the course until the second semester of the school year to allow a nonprofit organization to review the curriculum," reported Watje.

Mustang has retained the services of the Alliance Defending Freedom, which will be reviewing the curriculum and present for any legal issues that may come.

In April, the school board for Mustang Public Schools approved a curriculum about the history and influence of the Holy Bible.

The proposed curriculum was put together by the Green Scholars Initiative, a group of over 70 scholars on the Old and New Testaments from diverse faith backgrounds, and already had a great deal of interest from the Mustang High School student body.

"When our pre-enrollment packets were returned by students earlier this semester, more than 170 students indicated the course would be their first choice for an elective class," said Superintendent McDaniel in an earlier interview with The Christian Post.

From the onset the Bible curriculum was criticized by church and state watchdog groups, who argued that the elective would be used for unconstitutional religious proselytizing.

Americans United for Separation of Church and State has argued that the Bible course curriculum will be skewed toward Christian evangelism.

Sarah Jones of Americans United wrote on the group's blog "Wall of Separation" that the news of a possible delay in the curriculum is "a setback for Steve Green and the Green Scholars Initiative."

"Americans United also obtained a copy of the curriculum, which our legal team is reviewing," wrote Jones on Thursday.

"The class seems to be written from a Christian standpoint — and not just any Christian standpoint, either. It's a peculiarly Protestant perspective, and the influence of Biblical literalism on the text is unmistakable."

"Here's hoping this 'delay' means that public classrooms in Mustang will be treated as the educational centers they are, rather than trenches in the culture war," concluded Jones.

 

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