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Conversations from the Four Rivers Region

Posts Tagged ‘Ed Worley

morning cram [boehner edition]

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kerrywaghorn.comOhio Republican Rep. John Boehner takes up the gavel today as speaker of the House.

~NPR reports Boehner’s mantra is “smaller, less costly and more accountable government.”

KENTUCKY~ Murray’s 5-points intersection is closed (again) today. A Calloway County middle schooler gets recognized for saving a man’s life. The parent company of Cape Girardeau-based KFVS is in a contract dispute with DirecTV. 10k chickens fry in a barn fire. Women’s Bball: MSU > IUPUI. Fewer Kentuckians are finding themselves back in jailFind out who’s leading this year’s general assembly? State Senate Republicans are filing an immigration bill that’s (possibly) broader than Arizona’s.

TENNESSEE~ Clarksville’s state legislators will seek the Attorney General’s opinion on the legality of ex-Mayor Johnny Piper taking over at CDE Lightband.

ILLINOIS~ Democrats have a plan ready for Governor Quinn’s signature that promises to let voters redraw political district lines.

morning cram (drug war edition)

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Not surprising.

KY~ If you’re a registered party (animal), GO VOTE! There’s a contentious race to be the next Hopkinsville mayor. 2 men have a September trial date for robbing a US Bank in Paducah. A creepy Benton man gets the max sentence for downloading tons of child porn. Primary battles today: 9 Senate and 25 house districts. Whitfield’s kicking back for today’s primary, but has a challenger in November.

TN~ Clarksville businesses can get $2mil low-interest loans to recover from flood damage. No new Montgomery County property taxes leave the school system strapped.

Here We Go Again?

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by Todd Hatton

As you may have already heard, a bill, SB 142, sponsored by Democratic state senators Dave Boswell of Owensboro, Julian Carroll of Frankfort, and Senate Minority Leader Ed Worley would allow Kentucky schools to offer an elective course on biblical literacy.  You can take a look at it for yourself at this link: http://www.lrc.ky.gov/record/10RS/SB142.htm

A non-scientific sampling of online opinion reveals something surprising; namely that no one is much surprised.  There are the extremes of opinion, with triumphalist satisfaction on one end and angry disdain on the other, but far and away the majority of opinions can be summed up thus: “Isn’t is wonderful that Kentucky’s legislators have balanced the budget, solved the problem of 10% unemployment, and overhauled the more fundamental parts of the Commonwealth’s education system so that they’re free to worry over something that was never much of a problem?”

In that light, one does wonder why Senators Carroll, Boswell, and Worley have chosen this moment to advocate such legislation.

What is more unusual is the fact that, according to Bible Literacy Project Executive Director Sarah Janislawski, nine Kentucky public schools are already using their curriculum to teach just such a class.  This raises the additional question of whether a bill like this is even necessary.

Some online commentators are concerned that Senate Bill 142 will end up cost the state money through lawsuits that it can ill afford.  Kentucky ACLU Executive Director Michael Aldridge says the bill doesn’t appear unconstitutional, but he told the Lexington Herald-Leader that “it opens up the back door to curricula that is unconstitutional.”  Louisville Senator Gerald Neal agrees, saying “There are teachers I know that would probably cross the line in terms of prosilitizing in the framework of this particular type of bill.”  All things considered, it’s beginning to look irresponsible, however well-intentioned,” to advance a bill like this.

Constitutionality and appropriateness aside, I do wonder why we have such trouble talking about the Bible, either in the classroom or in the public sphere.  I’m well aware that we’ve invested the Bible, no matter what translation or version, with a deep importance, but has that significance put it outside the public, and hopefully civil, realm of criticism or discussion?  And if it has, does that mean the Bible is no longer as accessible as it once was, confined as it could be to specific interpretations?