The One Wall Trump Doesn’t Like

President Trump may be the world’s most renowned fan of building walls, but there’s at least one wall he loathes: the wall of separation between church and state. From the Muslim ban to his so-called “religious freedom” executive order, Trump and his theocratic supporters have pushed laws and policies aimed at demolishing the First Amendment’s protections against government promotion of religion and favoritism of particular faiths. And now, he’s targeting church-state separation in our public schools.

After Fox News aired a segment on “[b]ringing the Bible back to the classroom” on Monday morning, President Trump tweeted, “Numerous states introducing Bible Literacy classes, giving students the option of studying the Bible. Starting to make a turn back? Great!”

But there’s nothing “great” about legislation proposing Bible-study classes in our public schools. Public schools are for education, not religious indoctrination. More often than not, public school Bible classes resemble Sunday school lessons and violate students’ and parents’ First Amendment rights.

For example, an ACLU investigation last year of elective Bible classes in Kentucky public schools uncovered course materials instructing students to “[d]o your best to build close relationships with other Christians, so that you may help one another through tough times,” and asking them, “What are some promises in the Bible that God gives everyone who believes in him?” In the same school district, students watched devotional and proselytizing films, such as “God’s Not Dead 2” and “The Five People You Meet in Heaven” as part of the curriculum. And in other school districts, class assignments included memorizing and reciting Bible verses.

Rigorous academic study it’s not.

As our Kentucky investigation made clear, courses focusing on one faith or religious text create conditions ripe for proselytizing and official promotion of religious beliefs. No matter what President Trump says, students are the ones who pay the price. That’s why many courts have ruled that such classes, as implemented, violate the Constitution.

We’ve successfully challenged Bible courses in court before. We won’t hesitate to do it again if public schools cross the line.  

View comments (39)
Read the Terms of Use

Anonymous

Wonder if they will be teaching that the Bible prohibits the death penalty, optional wars and judging other people? Will they teach that Jesus never never condemned LGBT folks? Will they teach the Bible allows polygamy and incest? The First Amendment was originally created to prevent Christians from persecuting other Christians for having different interpretations of the Bible.

Anonymous

Stupidity at its worst. Must have been educated in a public school

Anonymous

You my friend, have no idea what the Bible even is. I don't know what you are reading, but it ain't the Bible. Jesus did condemn the LGBTQ crowd, and he openly spoke out against incest (which isn't good for anyone no matter what religion you are). And you also don't know the meaning of the first amendment. You have been sooo badly brainwashed. No way around that. Just someone with a below average IQ could out reason you easily. Go study history, not politics.

Ms. Gloria Anasyrma

Freedom of religion means freedom from religion. I wish that was made clearer to everybody.

Anonymous

Ignorant

Ms. Gloria Anasyrma

There is nothing ignorant about being free from the 3 D's, Doctrines Dogma, and D__kheads.

Anonymous

Seriously,this is the man who treats people like shit. If you don't jump to his tune,you are gone. He has cheated on everyone of his wife's.he encourages people to lie instead of speaking up. He is a bully. Does he go church ever??? He is on tweeter bad mouthing anyone who who has an opinion.

SgrA*

It seems that the rule of law, being blind in regard to judicial review, must somehow arrive at righteousness to find its fulfillment. Is this biblical? Which ever political side is played it's obvious that watching and knowing the truth doesn't provide virtue. Take for instance, the L.A. Rams/N.O. Saints football game; last minutes of game with no referee calling a terrible foul on pass interference that changed the final score of the game. Did it happen? What is the truth? Yes it happened, and the truth is it was an utter foul that cannot be denied, but still the referee didn't make the call. Does the Rams leadership have a responsibility? Does the institution of the game have a responsibility? Do the rules of the game need to reconsider camera proof of obvious game-changing fouls? Was a $26,739 penalty enough?

What is the "rank" virtue that can be had here, is justice blind or does it just remain "uncalled" because no one sees it? This was way more apparent than deflated balls used by Brady last year? It's like arguing a straw-man issue, playing on ideal choices and denying practical decision-making. In Alaska, a bear and her cubs were caught on camera being murdered while hibernating, and there was enough of a moral concern to use that video documentation of the act to prosecute the perpetrators. That wasn't per the bible, but it was an obvious virtue of the rule of law.

Anonymous

All education and worship is selective. Human rights do not exist without duty. Duty only exists in a religious context. Schools will always teach religious philosophy and people in charge will always select which ones will be taught and honored.

Anonymous

Your opinion here is selective perception. Duty does exist without religion; and the term 'religious philosophy' is an oxymoron.

Pages

Stay Informed