OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A high-school curriculum supported by Hobby Lobby chain president Steve Green, billed as a way to teach archaeology, history and the arts through Bible stories, also tells students God is always there in times of trouble and that sinners must "suffer the consequences" of disobeying.
The Mustang School Board in suburban Oklahoma City voted this month to place the Museum of the Bible's curriculum in its schools as an elective for a one-year trial after being assured that the intent is not to proselytize but to use the Bible to explain key principles in the arts and sciences.
While the course does explain the inspiration behind famous works of art and holds a prism to historical events, it also endorses behavior for religious reasons and implies that bad things happen as a direct result of disregarding God's rules.
The Associated Press obtained a draft copy of the curriculum from the American Civil Liberties Union of Oklahoma, which got it from the school district. The ACLU and the Freedom From Religion Foundation say using the curriculum raises constitutional issues and wants the school district to reconsider.
The course is promoted by Green, the executive for the crafts store chain who is also a member of the Bible museum's board. Green, who has said he wants the program in thousands of schools by 2017, declined to speak to the Associated Press.