March 2019 Church & State Magazine - March 2019

Indiana Legislator Seeks Religion In Public Schools

  Rob Boston

An Indiana legislator has introduced a bill that would introduce religion into public schools in a variety of ways.

Sen. Dennis Kruse (R-Dist. 14) is pushing Senate Bill 373, which would require that public schools post “In God We Trust” signs in every classroom, mandate that every public school offer elective courses on world religions that “may also include as part of the survey course’s curriculum the study of the Bible” and promote the teaching of creationism.

Kruse’s proposal says that “the governing body of a school corporation may require the teaching of various theories concerning the origin of life, including creation science.”

The bill is unusual in that most anti-evolution bills these days don’t mention creationism by name. Instead, they employ euphemisms such as claims to teach “controversies” in science (even though there is no controversy in the scientific community over the validity of evolution, where it is accepted as evidence-based fact) or mandate that teachers instruct about “strengths and weaknesses” of certain scientific theories.

Americans United’s Public Policy Department is monitoring Kruse’s bill and similar measures in other states. AU noted that creationism bills have also surfaced in Arizona, Florida, Oklahoma and South Carolina.

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The Do No Harm Act will help ensure that our laws are a shield to protect religious freedom and not used as a sword to harm others by undermining civil rights laws and denying access to health care.

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