North Carolina State Senator Gene McLaurin signed on Thursday to be the cosponsor of Senate Bill 138.
If passed, the bill would allows N.C. boards of education to offer an elective course in Bible study in high schools. The bill, which was originally sponsored by Senator Stan Bingham, representative for District 33, would give course credit for those courses on the Old Testament, New Testament, or a combination of both.
McLaurin said that his faith in God has sustained him throughout his life. “I think the opportunity for future generations to gain knowledge and wisdom from the Bible is a real positive for North Carolinians and an issue far above party politics,” he said.
The bill says that the course must follow federal and state law “in maintaining religious neutrality and accommodating the diverse religious views, traditions, and perspectives of the students of the local school administrative unit … .”
The bill also said the course will not endorse, favor or promote, or disfavor or show hostility toward any particular religion or nonreligious faith.
“My faith in God has sustained me throughout my life — as a husband, father, businessman, former mayor, and now legislator. The Bible is consistently the number one selling book in the world,” said McLaurin.
State Representative Garland Pierce, for the 48th District, said that he is definitely not opposed to the class because it will be an elective and not a mandated course. “People can choose to be in the class or not be in the class,” Pierce said.
Pierce said that as long as the class is taught “purely for the history of the Bible,” and is not used for preaching, then he doesn’t have a problem with the class.
The bill has been referred to the Committee of Rules and Operations of the Senate and is waiting to be heard.
— Staff Writer Laura Edington can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 18, or by email at email@example.com.