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Will This Be the Year the Bible Manditorily Reaches Florida Public Classrooms?

October 18, 2019 - 6:00am

In another sign that the supposed move in the country away from conservatism is more media hype than political reality, a bill in Tallahassee is back for another shot at embedding Bible courses in Florida public schools. While the reactions to this proposal can probably be scripted (if not already heard) -- after all, the measure went nowhere last session -- there are a number of details to this bill that might jar knee-jerk opponents. 

What will surely come as a surprise to those who immediately leap to the "Separation of Church and State" argument is that Florida schools already are permitted to teach Bible courses. School districts currently have the option of offering Bible course study. The difference is, this new bill will mandate that districts offer these courses as electives.

In other words, students wouldn't have to take the courses, the courses would simply have to be available. The details are in the language. This means the state is not compelling anyone to practice or study a religion.

Christianity is not the primary thrust of this measure. As the bill language states, it "requires each school district to offer specified courses relating to religion, Hebrew Scriptures, & Bible to certain students as elective courses." Broad coverage of a variety of religions -- if so desired. 

One other facet to this is that the potential argument that this is an attempt by over-zealous conservatives attempting to force their religion onto others (please refer to the prior paragraph) is that the GOP is not behind this. The bill has been brought forward by Rep. Kimberly Daniels, a Democrat from Jacksonville. 

Kimberly Daniels
Kimberly Daniels
While many have said this will be a non-starter and never have any legislative traction, Daniels offered up a similar bill in March of this year, and it was approved easily in committee by a margin of 11-3. How the bill will fare in a wider vote in the Legislature is not yet determined, but one factor may be the education budget and how teaching a subject like this can be "expensed."

The curiosity of a Democrat, albeit a religious one, forwarding such a bill is possibly considered curious, but in light of the overall political climate in the country, it may not be all that surprising. November’s highly touted Blue Wave has not delivered a pronounced shift in the political landscape. 

One needs only to take a look at what has transpired on the state level after November. A number of states have since passed tougher abortion laws, a clear sign of a right-leaning shift. These bills are coming forward and passing just before a general election, a time when there is some political hesitancy on potentially controversial measures. Furthermore, in Louisiana, the "heartbeat abortion bill" was co-written by a female and signed into law by a Democratic governor. 

It becomes telling that when Democrats are forwarding bills that normally would be considered right-of-center, it may indicate they are reading the mood of their constituents, and passing legislation accordingly.

Brad Slager, a Fort Lauderdale freelance writer, wrote this story exclusively for Sunshine State News. He writes on politics and the industry and his stories appear in such publications as RedState and The Federalist.

Comments

Chuckle, chuckle, chuckle! I've known Trump since the late '70s, and "loud, rude and stupid" was definitely him! My guess is that he got into Fordham because his old man pulled some strings - flunked out - then, his brother was able to pull some springs to get him into Wharton business school - and I'd be surprised if he actually graduated. Like you say - a loud, rude, and stupid lout.

Jee Hillary, you loved him before he ran for president and donated to your previous campaigns. Why the change of heart?

Fugeddaboudit! if they want to spend a quarter/marking period on "Comparative Religion" - fine! But if the holy rollers just want to proselytize and propagandize their 'guns and god' schtick - fugeddaboudit!

How about an elective course on "Comparative Religions"....

Haven't the fine legislators more pressing business? The last thing we need is to breed more fanatics.

Most democrats would prefer a mandatory Koran reading/recital each day.

Most democRATs hate normal people too.

Nutty comment. (Are you a Russian bot???)

Bible study? These (you) are the same morons who voted for Trump. I had a friend who went to Penn when Trump was there. He was a joke (as he is now). Loud, rude and stupid.You use the constitution when it pleases you.Religion is something that you should keep to yourself- like jerking off.

Try to stay focused.

electives are electives, you don't need more stupid laws that are already allowed. As far as abortion and knee jerk reactions, the abortion stuff is exactly that in response to the House falling to the Dems... Another reader hit it right on the head. All are probably doomed to failure in the courts... Another ho hum piece...

Yes a number of states have passed illegal bills and the courts will knock them down as they should...…….. ……………...And such actions will only bring more women to vote Dem while losing in court, in 2020. ……………..Now add how many women, others come out to vote Trump out assuming he survives that long should be making repubs nervous ……......…..The Texas GOP was just secretly recording saying how Trump is killing them with women likely turn Texas dem along with other states...………...And that is what happens when one is fiscally and morally bankrupt like Trump, the biggest liar of all.

Somehow you overlook Mrs. Pant-suit-on-fire.

If the religion course is an elective and not mandatory then I am fine with it. The abortion issue is another topic for another time.

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