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Port: Bill would require Bible study elective in North Dakota schools

More than 35 percent of millennials consider themselves religious “nones,” meaning they are atheist, agnostic or not affiliated with any particular religion, according to the pew Research Center. Thinkstock / Special to The Forum

Here’s a candidate for the dumbest piece of legislation in the 2019 legislative session.

SB2136, sponsored by state Senator Oley Larson (R-Minot), would amend North Dakota’s law pertaining to required subjects for study in public schools to add in a unit on the Christian bible.

The pertinent language, added to a list of required units in the law:

  • One-half unit of the old testament of the Bible or the new testament of the Bible; or one-half unit of instruction covering both the old and new testaments of the Bible.

The full legislation is below. Note that this wouldn’t require that students take the course. Only that it be available as an elective.

It’s hard for me to fathom how a serious lawmaker could introduce something like this in the United States of America in 2019.

I mean that as no slight to Christians. I understand their bible is important to them, but requiring in a public school the availability of a course to study the Christian bible is unconstitutional.

That’s what this legislation does. It doesn’t talk about study of religion in general. It mandates a unit studying a specific religion.

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