Hobby Lobby’s Steve Green launches a new project: a public school Bible curriculum

(RNS) The Mustang, Okla., school board voted Monday (April 14) to adopt a Bible course developed by Steve Green, clearing the way for the Hobby Lobby president, whose suit against the Affordable Care Act is currently before the U.S. Supreme Court, to enter another charged arena at the borderline of church and state.

The board, whose district is practically in Hobby Lobby’s Oklahoma City backyard, agreed to beta-test the first year of the Museum of the Bible Curriculum, an ambitious four-year public school elective on the narrative, history and impact of the Good Book.

For at least the first semester of the 2014-15 year, Mustang alone will employ the program, said Jerry Pattengale, head of the Green Scholars Initiative, which is overseeing its development. In September 2016, he hopes to place it in at least 100 high schools; by the following year, “thousands.”


As soon as somebody sues to launch a curriculum that includes the Koran, people here cheering this on will lose their ever lovin’ minds.

As a history or literature course I see no issue with it, but as a religious course I don’t want my kids being taught religion by our public schools (even if it was Catholicism).

I say get rid of public schools. Privatize them all and let the parents decide which school’s curriculum is best for their child. If someone wants an evangelical Protestant approach to the Bible in a school, they can send their kid to a school that has one. If someone doesn’t, they don’t have to. The government being in the business of determining curriculum is the problem.

I think we need to abolish the public school system all together. Education isn’t the states job, and it is a conflict of interests of epic proportions for them to undertake it as though it were.

:thumbsup: You beat me to it.

I will respect what the Constitution and the 1st amendment prescribe.

Or have our Jesuit brothers build more schools :smiley:

If the Koran was introduced in the same way, as a piece of literature, and studied in terms of its effect on Western civilization, I don’t see why it would be a problem.

We studied Genesis and Exodus in my state university required English class. We also read pagan works. Not a big deal.

You don’t find it to be a problem when the Bible is treated as merely a work of literature or as the equivalent of pagan works? That approach leads more astray than ignoring the Bible altogether.

:thumbsup: I like both of these.

A few years ago, a public school in California adopted a similar elective course called “Bible as/in Literature and History.” The discussion here at CAF had some good posts. Here are two of them.

From someone describing a similar course which he had taken:

Our school used The Bible and Its Influence. (Info here bibleliteracy.org/site/Curriculum/index.htm).
Yes it did explain the differences between Catholic and non-Catholic Bibles, it included the history and most importantly, the influence.

The class was heavily involved in finding allusions from the Bible in everyday life (movies, songs, novels, poems, speeches by famous people etc). Our teacher stressed the importance Biblical literacy. We all study Greek myth and literature and Shakespear, but why also not the Bible?

From someone who took a similar class at the college level:

I wouldn’t be so concerned about the teachers as I would be about the students. I took a college course which examined the Bible from a literary and historical perspective and the Evangelical students among us attempted to hijack the class and turn it into a religious debate and avenue for proselytizing on an almost daily basis. I question whether or not most highschool students are academically mature enough to examine the Bible from a religiously neutral perspective. If anything, it should be offered only as an AP course


Truthfully, as long as the curriculum were made available before registration for the class, I don’t disagree with having an “elective” class that discusses a religious text (or multiple religious texts). I do think several issues would need to be resolved first:

  1. Teacher must have a thorough understanding of the material.
  2. Teacher must not be prejudiced against the material.
  3. Teacher cannot endorse the material as true (religions recruiting in PUBLIC schools? ABSURD! Although we do have that whole Baccalaureate Ceremony where we invite religious leaders to speak and pray…And we do let the military and private companies recruit at fairs…)
  4. ABSOLUTELY NO PRAYING! Gather around the flagpole if that is your prerogative, but NEVER bring spoken prayer into schools (except for that Baccalaureate thing again…or if your School Board meets at your school and they begin with a prayer. And maybe Fellowship of Christian Athletes because that is a club you have to be a member of. BUT THAT’S IT!)

Will I think this will ever happen? Of course not - way too contentious. But in theory, I am not objecting to the idea of elective religion classes in public schools.

Not in a public school setting. But the OP isn’t talking about treating the Bible as merely a work of literature but also a a work that greatly influenced society. Public schools already cover the Koran, Martin Luther’s treatises and the teachings of Buddha as historically important. There is no reason the Bible should be left out.

From the article:

Green explained that his goals for a high school curriculum were to show that the Bible “is true,” that it’s “good” and that its impact, “whether (upon) our government, education, science, art, literature, family … when we apply it to our lives in all aspects of our life, that it has been good.”

That does not sound like something that would be appropriate to be taught in public schools. How will Catholics feel if Green’s curriculum includes the “truth” that the Bible says that Jesus had brothers and sisters? What “truth” will he present about the Creation accounts?

This sounds like something that may be possible in theory, but nigh on impossible in practice. And Green’s comments on his goals don’t give any confidence that he is even trying to make the course objective.

Well an elective course on “the narrative, history, and impact of the Good Book,” sounds rather like what used to be covered in a history of Western Civilization.

That would be on the parents who don’t bother to teach their children the faith versus a school using it as a piece of literature.

According to some media reports Hobby Lobby has invested millions of dollars of its employee retirement plan (401k) into pharmaceutical companies that manufacture contraceptive and abortion inducing drugs…is this true…anyone:confused:

The management of Hobby Lobby does not decide which money markets the 401K plans will invest. The employees make that decision.

The 401K of Hobby Lobby is invested in money market funds, it is not directly invested in any company. The money market funds are a wide basket of investments, with a goal of diversifying how the money is invested to shield against risk. Some of the money market funds include stock in pharmaceutical companies.These pharmaceutical companies make a wide variety of drugs, some of which are contraceptive.


So, no Hobby Lobby is not investing in the manufacture of contraceptives. However, the employees have chosen to invest their retirement money in money market funds, some of which is invested in pharmaceutical companies. And some of the profits, I am not sure how much, of those pharmaceutical companies come from contraceptive drugs.

But that is one of the main reasons this Steve Green dude says he’s doing this.
As per the article:

“Green explained that his goals for a high school curriculum were to show that the Bible “is true.”…”


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