Bible in the Schools

Mercer County, WV

 


  Home        FAQs News Donate About Us    
               

 

FAQs (frequently asked questions)  
   
Is my gift tax deductible?   
  Yes, Bible in the schools is a nonprofit 501c3 organization  
     
Can I make a donation online?   
  Yes, click Donate and use Paypal and your credit card.
Its fast, easy, and your transaction is secure.
 
     
Where would I send a check, or mail a donation?   
  Bible In The Schools   P.O. Box 543, Bluefield, WV 24701  or PO Box 5124 Princeton WV 24740

If desired, Make a notation that your gift is for a particular school (listed in ABOUT US) .
 
     
Are there any other ways to help?  
  Yes, contact your family, friends, businesses, community and civic organizations to support us as well.  
     
 
 
     
Have the courts said that the teaching of the Bible in the public schools is legal?  
 

Yes.

  In the 1963 ruling regarding prayer in the public schools Supreme “Court Justice Clark stated:

It certainly may be said that the Bible is worthy of study for its literary and historic qualities.  Nothing we have said here indicates that such study of the Bible or of religion, when presented objectively as part of a secular program of education, may not be effected consistently with the First Amendment.  (Abington v. Schempp, 374 US 203)

      This ruling has never been reversed. No court has ever ruled against the teaching of the Bible as history and literature.   Any school system that has stopped Bible classes has done so because of aspects unrelated to the actual teaching of the Bible as history and literature.

 
     
Is there any need for a Bible course in the public schools?  
 

Yes.

  Northrop Frye, the great literary critic of the 20th century, has said,

      The Bible forms the lowest stratum in the teaching of literature.  It should be taught so early and so thoroughly that it sinks straight to the bottom of the mind, where everything that comes along later can settle on it.  (The Educated Imagination, p. 110)

      According to Dr. Eileen Phy, professor of English and Alabama State University, John Milton, considered by most to be the second greatest English writer, can hardly be taught today on the college level due to the students’ ignorance of the Bible.  Literature contains so many biblical allusions that a biblical ignorance cripples any meaningful literary study.

 
     

If the Bible can be taught, should not any book on religion be allowed to be taught?

 
  It depends on the purpose.  If the purpose is to promote a religion, no.  If the purpose is the educational benefit of the child, yes.  Not all books, though, deserve the same attention as the Bible.  The impact of the Bible on the American culture merits for this book far greater attention than is merited by any other book.  To cut our children off from the Bible is to cut them off from their cultural roots.  This cannot be said for any other single book.  
     
Would not a high school course on the Bible adequately meet the students’ need of Bible knowledge?  
  By no means.  Northrop Frye, as quoted earlier, speaking purely from a literary viewpoint said, “It should be taught so early and so thoroughly that it sinks straight to the bottom of the mind, where everything that comes along later can settle on it.”  (Frye, P. 110.)  
     
What does it mean to study the Bible as literature?  
 

A survey of books on the teaching of literature reveals a variety of emphases, with the trend today being toward the third approach listed below.  (See Hans P. Guth, English for a New Generation¨).  All are legitimate, educational methods.
     

    A. Historical backgrounds, emphasizing the writer, the setting, and the sources.
    B.  Literary criticism, emphasizing analysis of style, structure, literary devices and craftsmanship.
    C. Relevance to life, emphasizing basic human meaning.  (The Commission on English of the “College Examination Board writes that the study of literature should bring “the work directly against the reader’s own experiences.”)
 
     
Should any community group who wishes to start a program be allowed to bring it into the schools?  
  It all depends on the educational value of the program and whether that educational need is already being met.  Generally there is a total vacuum of biblical knowledge in the school curriculum, which, as noted elsewhere, has created a generation of young people handicapped in their understanding of literature.  
     
How do you deal with differing doctrinal interpretations?  
 

They are neither taught nor dealt with.  When children ask doctrinal questions they are instructed to ask their parents.  Explanations of events are given but doctrinal explanations and interpretations are not.

     
Is this a church-operated program?  
  No.  The program is operated by the Mercer County Public Schools.  
     
If the teaching of the Bible is legal, why is the Bible program not financed by the Board of Education?  
  It could be, but the Board does not have the finances for it.  Community funding assures the continuance of the program when the Board of Education has to cut other programs.  
     
Is this in any way violating separation of Church and State?  
  No.  The Bible is not taught as religion but as history and literature according to the guidelines set by the Supreme Court.  (See question 1.)