Bible Study to be banned from West Virginia schools in lieu of indoctrination

The Freedom From Religion Foundation filed a lawsuit seeking to ban Bible study classes in West Virginia schools.

The FFRF filed a motion on Jan. 18 to have the “Bible in the Schools” program removed from schools in Mercer County, West Virginia. The program is offered in 19 schools, including 15 elementary schools, one intermediate school and three middle schools.

The lawsuit was filed under the belief that religious indoctrination in a public school violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment and Article III, Section 15 of the West Virginia Constitution which states, “No man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship,” according to the lawsuit.

The “Bible in the Schools” program has been utilized for voluntary weekly classes in Mercer County since 1939, adhering to a strict curriculum of guidelines set forth by the West Virginia Attorney General in 1985, according to the FFRF website.

The bible classes begin in first grade and are taught by rotating teachers. The curriculum includes the Old and New Testaments, covering the Creation, the Ten Commandments, understanding baptism and the events leading to Christ’s death, according to the lawsuit.

The Mercer County Board of Education has administered the program since 1986.

Jane Doe, a member of FFRF and Mercer County resident, is the primary plaintiff behind the lawsuit. Her daughter, Jamie, is a kindergarten student at a Mercer County school.

Doe is an atheist and wishes to raise her child without religion. Although the classes are voluntary, most students attend. Doe believes Jamie will be ostracized by her peers for choosing not to attend the classes, according to the lawsuit.

'Bible Study to be banned from West Virginia schools in lieu of indoctrination' have 9 comments

  1. February 10, 2017 @ 12:16 pm Chuck Anziulewicz

    My family moved from Rockville, Maryland, to Bluefield, West Virginia (in Mercer County), in the fall of 1974, shortly after I had started 10th grade. I was enrolled in Bluefield High School, where to my astonishment Bible study classes were taking place. One did not dare question this practice; to do so would be to invite the vilification of the entire community, which considered the Bible classes a tradition worth supporting.

    The lawsuit alleges the Bible classes include “Creationism instruction” that involves “having students imagine that human beings and dinosaurs existed at the same time.” It quotes one lesson as saying “So picture Adam being able to crawl up on the back of dinosaur! He and Eve could have their own personal water slide! Wouldn’t that be so wild!”

    Adam and Eve frolicking with dinosaurs? The existence of “Adam & Eve” notwithstanding, humans and dinosaurs did not coexist. By the time dinosaurs became extinct, the earliest proto-primate species, Purgatorius, resembled a lemur more than anything else.

    So this sort of “Young Earth” creationism is indeed doctrine, not science. As such, it has no place in the public school system. Is it not enough that kids are being indoctrinated with Christianity in the homes and churches? Why is it necessary for the schools to become involved?


    • February 11, 2017 @ 11:18 am LInda K. Wertheimer

      Chuck, I’m fascinated by your comment. I had similar experiences in an Ohio school system in the ’70s. I’m now an author of a book, Faith Ed, Teaching About Religion In An Age of Intolerance. Would love to connect.


      • February 11, 2017 @ 2:13 pm Chuck Anziulewicz

        Please feel free to contact me if you like. I’m on Facebook.


    • February 14, 2017 @ 12:42 pm Tony Smith

      Chuck. Your complaints about voluntary classes on Christian “indoctrination” are curious vis-a-vis your silence when Islam is FORCED upon our children in government schools. We won’t fall for it. There is a backlash winding-up, and one day it’s going to let loose.


      • February 16, 2017 @ 7:11 pm Neil Johnson

        “when Islam is FORCED upon our children”



  2. February 11, 2017 @ 4:45 pm Herman Cummings

    As usual, atheists are bias against the truth of our origins, and do not understand Creationism. They are quick to yell “the Bible is not a science book”, without honestly investigating the facts. All of current Creationism is false. Young Earth creationism is foolish, and Old Earth creationism is full of infidelity. Both mis-represent the truth of Genesis.

    My objection is that atheists and evolutionists try to keep the truth of the Bible from students. The fact is, the first chapter of Genesis tells us of the 4.6 billion year history of life on Earth, and the second chapter tells us of the 8000 year history of modern mankind. That’s why the sequence of events are different!!

    There had been five advents of mankind on Earth before Adam & Eve were made. Genesis 1:26 tells of the 3rd advent, and was not Adam and Eve. Each advent was terminated (with remnants saved within the hollow Earth) by unknown events (war, extinction, etc). The truth of our past is told in the PowerPoint presentation called the “Observations of Moses”.

    Herman Cummings


    • February 12, 2017 @ 10:06 am Chuck Anziulewicz

      Hollow Earth?


      • February 12, 2017 @ 3:59 pm Herman

        Yes, both the Earth and the Moon are hollow. NASA has known this since 1969. Where have you been?


        • February 14, 2017 @ 12:44 pm Tony Smith

          That’s where the Mother Ship is based.


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