Rich Lowry pens an article about the Bible Literacy Project which seeks to expose American schoolchildren to Bible instruction. The organization has the support of groups as diverse as People for the American Way and the National Association of Evangelicals which seems like a pretty mean feat to me.
But do we really need to have Bible study in public schools? Couldn’t teachers use this as an excuse to force their religious views on their students? While there is certainly the chance that the class could be abused by zealous teachers, I don’t think the risk is large enough to outweigh the potential benefit. Religious implications aside, the Bible is the single most influential book EVER. Period. The idea that a child could be considered educated without being exposed to the Bible is absurd.
So I think that some sort of Bible study should be a mandatory part of a high school English curriculum. Otherwise we will be graduating students who will be severely handicapped in their cultural literacy (and appreciation of U2 lyrics). Will some religious parents object to the notion of looking at the Bible as a literary work? Sure, but if they want their children to view the Bible as a divinely inspired creation, they can instruct their children in that at home. That is part of their job as parents anyway, right?