Originally created 08/07/99

Ban Bible history in Ga.?



Is Jesus Christ a towering historical figure who told great parables contained in the Bible? Does this renowned teacher have one of the world's major religions named for him? Isn't the world's calendar even dated backward and forward from His birth?

The answers are all yes. Yet ultraliberal Georgia Board of Education member Cathy Henson is lobbying to censor stories by Jesus and other biblical prophets from a state-sanctioned list of classroom elective courses. She knows not what she does.

That's why Georgians must urge Board Chairman Otis Brumby and a Board majority to keep History of the Old Testament I and History of the Old Testament II on the list of more than 1,300 approved courses.

"There is no mention of creation," says State School Superintendent Linda Schrenko. "They are just looked at as stories. There is no evaluation part in it to say this did happen or didn't happen." Yet Brumby is worried after the left-wing People for the American Way threatened a lawsuit. At Thursday's upcoming Board meeting, he wants to table the history courses until getting an opinion from the attorney general.

There's no need to table anything!

Don't School Board members know the federal courts have ruled schools can teach about religion as long as a particular religion is not promoted?

The classes in question are based on a curriculum published by the National Council on Bible Curriculum in Public Schools, based in Greensboro, N.C. More than 129 school districts in 29 states have used its courses without challenge, says Elizabeth Ridenour, the organization's founder.

At least three Georgia school systems -- including McDuffie County's -- are interested in teaching the courses. In fact, we're told over 50 McDuffie County students have already expressed an interest in enrolling. (A footnote: Even if the state Board removes the courses from its list, local systems may still teach the classes. It's just that they must be underwritten with local tax dollars.)

In the meantime, we urge readers to contact Chairman Brumby. Urge him to retain the Bible history courses on the state's list. His telephone number is (770) 428-9411, extension 300.