Okla. School District Approves Hobby Lobby President's Bible Course

An Oklahoma school district has approved a Bible course created by Hobby Lobby President Steve Green.

Mustang Public Schools approved the Bible course Monday, which would be a class focused on teaching the history, meaning and influence of the Old and New Testaments.

Mustang Schools Superintendent Sean McDaniel told The Christian Post that he is "excited to offer the elective."

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"The Green Scholars Initiative has brought in more than 70 renowned scholars of different faiths from Jerusalem and Oxford to Baylor University to create the curriculum," said McDaniel.

"The course is an elective. 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."

McDaniel also told CP that they have selected the teacher who will oversee the elective class in the fall and that she is "already a certified teacher on staff at Mustang High School."

When asked by CP about constitutional concerns, McDaniel responded that the Bible course will be nonsectarian given the process it went through to be finalized.

"The professors with the Green Scholars Initiative who put together the curriculum come from different personal faith backgrounds, not just Christianity," said McDaniel.

"The curriculum has been through a rigorous review to check for bias and ensure the content is neutral."

Last year, Green announced his intentions to propose a Bible course elective for Mustang Public Schools that would focus on the history and influence of the Bible.

"We want to find the leading scholars to help us, and we will be pulling from this group to help write this curriculum and it will tie to the three parts we want to teach," Green told the Mustang Times.

"With the history, we want to show the archaeological evidences of the Bible and then we want to show the impact of the Bible. The Bible has had an impact on just about every area of life, whether you like it or not, it has. It has impacted government, education, art, science, literature, you name it. Thirdly, is the story, meaning what does the book say."

The proposal has had its share of critics, including the Washington, D.C.-based organization Americans United for Separation of Church and State.

Sarah Jones wrote on the AUSCS blog, "The Wall of Separation," about the objections her organization has with the Bible course.

"Classes about the Bible don't necessarily violate the separation of church and state. It all depends on what is taught and how it's taught," wrote Jones.

Jones added that, given a speech Green made last year, she believes he "doesn't intend to simply teach students history."

"In the speech, Green does state the curriculum will be taught in a non-sectarian manner. But in the same breath, he added that this is because he believes the evidence stands for itself. The goal – to prove the Bible correct – remains unchanged," wrote Jones.

"If that's the approach, then this class isn't intended to teach the Bible. It's intended to teach Christian apologetics and promote a fundamentalist view of that tome. And there lies the trouble."

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