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Measure Allows Bible To Be Studied In Schools

January 27, 2012, 7:01 AM by Austin Hoffman

Measure Allows Bible To Be Studied In Schools
HARRISBURG, SD - A new resolution passed by the South Dakota House of Representatives is asking schools to look at adding Bible study into the course work.

House Concurrent Resolution 1004 is "supporting and encouraging the academic study of the Bible in South Dakota public schools.” It states that the Bible is an integral part of our nation's founding and philosophy and could be looked at in a non-devotional way. However, Harrisburg Superintendent Jim Holbeck said it be crucifixion if brought into schools.

"Well, our forefathers came to this country from other countries and one of the basic principals that they put into our Constitution was the separation of church and state," Holbeck said.

He said those forefathers saw past conflicts between church and state and wanted to keep that out of our future. While he is a religious man, one of Holbeck's biggest fears is trying to please each denomination while teaching the Bible.

"People are free to choose how they interpret the Bible and for a school to come in and say, 'Here, we're going to teach the Bible and we're going to teach it this way.' There's no way we’ll be able to keep all those denominations happy and do it the way they think it should be done," Holbeck said.

And if there's the possibility of not being able to appease everyone, the threat of lawsuits runs high.

"The last time I checked, the U.S. Supreme Curt makes the decisions as to what we can and can't do in interpreting the constitution. They have weighed in very strongly as to what you can do with bringing religion into schools," Holbeck said.

He also said most of South Dakota's schools are running on very tight budgets. Bringing in new course work means something else would have to go.

“If we're going to bring in a different curriculum dealing with the study of the Bible, I need to take something out of math or science or language arts. Those are the tough decisions that schools would be faced with," Holbeck said.

This is only a resolution and isn't forcing schools to do anything. In a phone interview, Brian Hansen, South Dakota's Fellowship of Christian Athletes director, said the Bible could be looked at just like a history book. If classes were not mandatory and up to the students if they wanted to take them, he believes it would be a safe route to take.

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