Hobby Lobby President Proposes Public School Bible Course

The head of a major Christian retailer presently suing the federal government has proposed a Bible class elective for an Oklahoma high school.

Steve Green, president of the Oklahoma-based retail giant Hobby Lobby Inc., has proposed a class for Mustang High School with a curriculum focused on various aspects of the Holy Bible.

"There's still some fine-tuning, but the curriculum breakdown would include an intro course covering the Old and New Testaments and the Bible's impact on society. Three advanced courses would focus on deeper history and cultural influence," reported KOCO 5 News.

At present, Mustang Public Schools Superintendent Sean McDaniel has expressed an interest in the idea and the proposed course will get official consideration next month.

Green's proposal for a Bible course comes as his family-owned craft retail company may go before the United States Supreme Court regarding a lawsuit against the federal government.

Last year, Hobby Lobby filed suit against the Department of Health and Human Services over the controversial "preventive services" mandate.

Hobby Lobby's family leadership objected to the mandate stating that they had provide coverage for "morning-after" Plan B and "week-after" Ella One pills, citing religious objections.

In late June, the Tenth Circuit Court ruled in favor of Hobby Lobby, overruling a lower court decision. In September, HHS filed an appeal with the U.S. Supreme Court.

Hobby Lobby asked the Supreme Court to review their case in the hopes that a decision could be given that may resolve the scores of other lawsuits by other entities against the HHS mandate.

The highest court in the land is expected to consider the Hobby Lobby case next Tuesday when the justices go to conference, reported Mary Pat Dwyer of ScotusBlog.

While local officials have expressed an interest in the Bible course, some like the Washington, D.C.-based Americans United for Separation of Church and State have concerns over Green's proposal for Mustang.

In a blog entry, Sarah Jones of Americans United wrote that while an elective, nonsectarian Bible class was constitutional he doubted that such standards were met with Green's curriculum.

"Green has dedicated much of his personal fortune to the promotion of Bible education. And it's evident that he prefers a sectarian approach to the subject," wrote Jones.

"Objective courses about the Bible are permissible in public schools, but Sunday School lessons are a different matter entirely. Green's past statements and Religious Right connections indicate that he's actually trying to promote a specific perspective on the Bible: his own."

Oklahoma is one of six states that allow Bible classes to be taught in public schools; the other five are Arizona, Georgia, Tennessee, Texas and South Carolina.

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