When it comes to religion in public education, Americans struggle between aspects of the First Amendment forbidding establishment of religion (government sanctioning religion) and prohibiting government from hindering the free exercise of religion (government rules of worship or non-worship).

What is important in education is making the study of religion a part of education. And that includes potential use of the Bible as a text.

An Arizona lawmaker is aiming to create through legislation a high school course about the Bible and its role in culture. South Carolina is among five other states with a similar law.

The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Terri Proud, R-Ariz., says students will benefit from the elective course, as biblical references are everywhere in Western culture, from Michelangelo’s paintings and Shakespeare’s plays to modern movies and television.

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