Wednesday, February 11, 2004

"Providing" Bibles

The Houston Chronicle reports on a California ballot initiative to cause California public schools to provide Bibles to students:
A drive is under way in California to have the state government provide a Bible to every public elementary school student in the state and suggest that schools use the books as texts for the study of literature.
Disappointingly, the Chronicle story is somewhat ambiguous as to what exactly is being considered. Is the suggestion that study of the Bible merely become part of the curriculum, with Bibles being "provided" the same way that math books are? Or are they buying new Bibles every year and sending them home with kids? For the record, I think there are good reasons to study the Bible, and don't have an objection to its study in public schools. But if they're giving students Bibles, that's elevating it to a special status with the pretty apparent motive of spreading Christianity. I'm going to go ahead and guess that's not what's at stake, and suggest that the Houston Chronicle ought to have been clearer on the issue.

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