Talkline with Hoppy Kercheval  Watch |  Listen

Bible bill heads to governor’s desk

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The state Senate passed and sent to Gov. Jim Justice a bill clarifying that county school boards may offer elective courses on the Bible.

HB 4780 passed Wednesday 30-3-1, but not before warnings about the constitutionality of the bill.

Mike Woelfel

“I’ll bet you a Holy Rosary that this is going to be declared unconstitutional,” said Senator Mike Woelfel, D-Cabell, moments before he reluctantly voted for it.

Senator Patricia Rucker, R-Jefferson, defended the bill in a floor debate with Woelfel.

“Does it (the bill) have any provision for any other sacred texts to be studied except the Christian Bible?” Woelfel asked Rucker. “No, it does not,” Rucker responded. “It says Hebrew Scriptures, Old Testament or New Testament.”

But Rucker added that counties may, if they choose, still have courses on comparative religions. “This (bill) doesn’t exclude or prohibit that. This just gives guidelines for if you want to have a course on the Hebrew Scriptures, the Old Testament or the New Testament.”

The vote came one day after the Senate rejected 15-19 an amendment by Senator Stephen Baldwin, D-Greenbrier, to include other sacred texts. “The point is to be broad and inclusive and not name specific texts,” said Baldwin, who is a pastor.

The bill clarifies that public schools may offer students in grade nine or above an elective, Bible-based social studies course.

The House of Delegates also heavily debated whether the bill should include other religious traditions before passing it.

More News

MetroNews This Morning 5-24-22
Summary of news/sports/weather in West Virginia for Tuesday, May 24, 2022
May 24, 2022 - 6:26 am
Strike begins at Monroe County aerospace facility
The employees of Collins Aerospace Systems are members of the United Steel Workers.
May 24, 2022 - 1:11 am
US House Ethics Committee furthers Mooney review following report into Aruba vacation, personal errands and evidence tampering
The U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Ethics announced Monday an extension of its review into Rep. Alex Mooney, R-W.Va., following additional allegations against the congressman.
May 23, 2022 - 10:30 pm
Gee tells lawmakers Reynolds Hall is 'laboratory for creative thinking'
WVU president leads lawmakers on tour of showcase facility.
May 23, 2022 - 5:17 pm