The Freedom From Religion Foundation is appalled at a new law in Kentucky that promotes the bible in the public school system.
"A new Kentucky law going into effect Thursday will allow bible courses to be taught in public schools," states an article in The Hill. "Gov. Matt Bevin (R) signed the bill Tuesday, NBC News reported, but watchdog groups concerned about church and state separation fear the classes may cross the constitutional line and go from teaching to preaching."
You can bet that FFRF is concerned. For months, it had been watching the bill, which permitted local school boards to develop an elective bible literacy class as part of social studies curriculum. The state/church watchdog is dismayed that Bevin would sign such a transparent attempt to impose religion on other people's children, but not surprised given that he thinks prayer can cure crime.
As FFRF members said when they contacted their legislators several times during the process to explain the problems with the bill, the law is ripe for abuse. And it likely will lead to a losing lawsuit, which could cost schools hundreds of thousands of dollars.
"How will the Kentucky Board of Education ensure the course does not become devotional?" FFRF Co-President Annie Laurie Gaylor has said. "The bill already shows bias by singling out only one so-called 'holy book' for study."
FFRF attorneys and members will be closely observing the implementation of the bill. Any school districts that overstep the bounds will end up like Mercer County Schools in West Virginia, facing FFRF in a losing court case. FFRF has a high-profile legal challenge in federal court over weekly fundamentalist bible classes in elementary and middle schools there. The courses have been suspended as the lawsuit proceeds.
Kentucky parents who are concerned about a bible class in their schools are urged to monitor or get involved at their local school board meetings and to contact FFRF early in the process if a bible course is implemented at their child's school.
FFRF has successfully stopped other illegal bible classes, most notably a class in Mustang, Okla., promoted by the Green family, which owns the Hobby Lobby chain.
If the Kentucky law results in the imposition of religion onto the state's public schools, FFRF will not hesitate to push back.
The Freedom From Religion Foundation is the largest freethought association in North America, with more than 29,000 members and chapters all over the United States, including membership and a state chapter in Kentucky.