Wednesday, August 27, 2014
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The Mustang School Board approved a new curriculum that teaches the history of the Bible. (Staff photo by Jon Watje)

By Jon Watje
Managing Editor 

The Mustang School Board approved a new curriculum that will teach the history of the Bible. 

The board voted in favor of approving the curriculum entitled ‘The Book, the Bible’s History, Narrative and Impact of the World’s Best selling Book’ at their regular meeting on Monday evening. The course is an elective, meaning it is not required.

Steve Green, president and CEO of Hobby Lobby, visited the school board in November to tell them of the new curriculum that he worked on.

He and his family own over 40,000 Bibles and he now oversees ‘The Green Collection,’ which has grown to be the world’s largest private collection of rare biblical texts and artifacts.

Green is also working on building a national, nonsectarian Bible museum in Washington D.C. to house the collection.

"We wanted to find the leading scholars to help us and we pulled from this group to help write this curriculum and it will tie to the three parts we want to teach," Green told the board at the November meeting. "With the history, we want to show the archeological evidences of the Bible and then we want to show the impact of the Bible. Thirdly, is the story, meaning, what does the book say."

In December, the school board voted to send the curriculum through its new curriculum process. A curriculum committee looked over the material and the new course was offered to students in a pre-enrollment packet to see if it gained any interest.

"When we sent out our pre-enrollment packets we saw that over 170 kids wanted to take this class," said Superintendent Sean McDaniel.

Before voting on the curriculum on Monday, the board heard from Norman Berry, a concerned citizen who said he wished the board would not approve the course.

"I am a former employee of the school system and I have three grandkids going to school in this district," Berry said. "I am totally opposed to this class. I believe this is why our founding fathers created ‘separation of church and state.’

Berry said he believed there needed to be more public opinion about the course.

"I feel kind of upset that a well-known figure can come in here and push his agenda in regards to this class," he said. "I encourage the board to step back and think about this, it could save you a lot of trouble. Belief’s should be taught in places of worship."

School board member Jeff Landrith abstained from voting on the measure.

"I think the public should be able to look at this before we vote on it," Landrith said.

McDaniel told Landrith that the curriculum would be made available for parents to view.

"This is not a religion class, it is a class about the history of the Bible," said School Board President Chad Fulton. "There is a difference between the two."

The board went on to approve the curriculum.

McDaniel said the course could be available as early as next school year.

"The board has given us the green light so we will be working with our high school principal and our director of secondary schools with task of seeing how this class fits with the master schedule," McDaniel said. "So all signs show that this class will be offered to our kids next year."

McDaniel said a teacher in the district has offered to teach the course


Visitor Comments
Submitted By: Campbell Sadeghy Submitted: 4/16/2014
Not sure how I feel about this. Coming from a believer in evolution, I want to say that facts should stay in schools and religion needs to be kept in places of worship. I want freedom for people to practice what they want, and if they don't want to be taught evolution, that is fine, but I don't think teaching people about a book--that is found under fiction in the Library of Congress--is the right way to go.

Submitted By: Lynn Walker Submitted: 4/15/2014
All I can say is "Praise the Lord"!!! I don't care if it is taught as a History course. You can call it what ever you want, but the Bible is not just any book, it is the Word of God and just giving kids the opportunity to see it will also give them the opportunity to BELIEVE it as well. The Holy Spirit will begin to teach those who observed it "all things". Again, I say, "PRAISE GOD" and thank you Mustang School!!!!

Submitted By: Glenn Submitted: 4/15/2014
I lived in Oklahoma for four years. I have to wonder if this isn't merely a double dose of what the kids get in Sunday school? If you believe that Christ was a man of peace, and that he wanted Peace for all, shouldn't you fight ignorance by covering other religions? From my personal experience, the more facts you have, the harder it is to be manipulated and controlled by the government. Ignorance makes us fearful, angry, and decidedly not Christ-like. Ignorance makes us sign up for wars like Vietnam and the Crusades. I'd like to know if this agenda's supporters feel the same way, or have they bought into the the profit motivated Jim Baker like "Jesus Inc." sponsored "Christianity is a fragile flower. Now buy our products" agenda?

Submitted By: William allison Submitted: 4/15/2014
This is not new. I taught a course called Bible Literacy at Westville Oklahoma high school beginning in 2007 until I retired in 2011. It is still being taught

Submitted By: Susan Pena Submitted: 4/15/2014
What a great opportunity for the Bible to be heard and understood. It is the most interesting book ever written. This Country was Founded on freedoms of Speech and Religion!!! The fear of what The Bible represents and a lawsuit is what created separation of church and state!!! The Bible has never been given the chance to be understood! So I stand and applaud the school district!!! So strange we keep it in prisons but not schools!!

Submitted By: Dea Mengers Submitted: 4/15/2014
For a follow-up Senator Dan Fisher, pastor at Trinity Baptist Church in Yukon, is a excellent source.

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