Bible class now offered throughout Arkansas

Students share opinions of the blurred lines between church and state.

On March 19 of this year, the Arkansas State House passed a bill that would require all public schools in the state to offer a class about the academic study of the Bible if at least 15 students requested to take it. That means Har-Ber could be one of the schools required to offer this class. Students expressed their opinions on whether this is a good idea or not. Senior Rob Mason agrees with the bill.

“I think if there is an interest in taking the class by enough students, it should be offered, especially it if applies to a future job field,” Mason said. Although Rob probably wouldn’t take the class, he said it would be beneficial to other students.

“If I was going into the field of ministry or theology then I probably would have taken it,” Mason said. Junior Alexia Brito also has a positive opinion of the bill.

“I don’t mind the bill, it makes sense to me since we’re in the Bible Belt that only a class about Christianity would be offered, and maybe in time there will be various classes for other religious books,” Brito said. Unlike Robert Mason, Brito expressed interest in taking the class.

“I think I would like to take the class, I think it would be a fun experience,” Brito said. To Brito, a bill like this makes sense.

“Maybe they’re making this law for the large percent of Christians that attend school, or for the newer generations to not lose touch with religion. But I also believe it’s possibly a dangerous route for schools to take since they could probably get sued if it is taught wrong,” Brito said.

Not all students have such a high opinion of the bill and the class that would be required to be offered. Sophomore Owen Collins does not agree with the bill, and he would not take the class if it was offered at Har-Ber.

“I think that schools shouldn’t offer any classes dealing with religion. Also, if they want a Bible class then they should offer a class on other religious material like the Quran or the Torah,” Collins said. Collins was also not very surprised over the passage of a bill like this, due to the fact that Arkansas is a majority conservative state, and there are many Republican lawmakers in the Arkansas House.

“I think they made the law because they want to insert conservative Evangelical values into education and they want students to think that Christianity is the only religion worth having a class about,”  Collins said.