Bill would allow high class credit for religious activities

A bill passed by the Ohio House would give high school students a chance to get class credit for religious activities they attend during regular school hours.
Associated Press
Jan 18, 2014


The bill approved Wednesday would give school boards authority to excuse students from school to receive religious instruction with parental permission in classes conducted at churches or by others at no cost to the schools. Students could get two class credits for the activities.

The Columbus Dispatch reported the school boards could approve the curriculum, hours of class time, testing methods and instructor qualifications. School districts could not spend any public funds on religious education, including transportation.

Annie Laurie Gaylor, co-president of the Freedom From Religion Foundation, objected to the “religious purpose” of the bill, which now goes to the Senate for consideration.


Erie Sniper



Double no. Separation of Church and State,would they allow me to pull my daughter out of school and receive credit if she is Wiccan and would attend an event related to our religion and receive credit for it?. Mm Need more details.


I wondered that too. What "religion" is pushing for this? HHhhmm I could ONLY wonder! I bet it is the Buddhists. (notice the hint of sarcasm) Can ANY religion take time out of the day to study and receive credit? I bet they try and "help" you choose which religions you can study. Which ones are authorized? Is there a list you can pick from?


it can only be one because the KING will only ALLOW 1 you GUESS


THE KING??? Like Elvis? You can study Elvis? Amen!

indolent indiff...

i think you get credit in Iran for religious work too that is an example of a country without separation of church and state


I don't object to students receiving credits for elective courses, even if they're religious in nature. But they'd better be electives, and NOT credits counted toward (as an example) history or classic literature! And if a student is short on legitimate (as in "needed to graduate") credits, elective courses, including these, would have to be off limits.


Agreed. But like I stated before, which religions would be "allowed" by school boards...we know how religion is handled by the general public. If it is a non main stream religion how would a local school board be able to properly set the guidelines for the curriculum, qualifications of instructors or testing standards?


That's another point. The government can neither endorse nor prohibit the free exercise of a given religion. It seems schools will have to come up with some sort of standard to ensure all religions are treated equally. If a Catholic class meets the standard, and a Buddhist class meets the standard, and a Wiccan class meets the standard, and some kind of atheistic class meets the standard, then all must be permitted.

Between you and me, I kind of hope it does work out that way because the tempest-in-a-teapot over a Wiccan class would be a LOT of fun to watch. :-D

thinkagain's picture

I see the godless hellbound are wringing their hands in fear and trepidation that our children may find the spiritual truth within themselves...


MY children can learn whatever THEY want....NOT what you force down their throat. They can read, learn, study, worship whatever religion, god, deity, tree, bug, spirit, or NOTHINGness they choose. I have taught them to have a mind of their own. I have no problem with them taking a class of THEIR choice. If only one religion is approved or available that is where the problem would be.


This isn't about the "godless hellbound." It's about having respect for religions other than your own.

Legally speaking, the Constitution doesn't say that we have the freedom to be Catholic or Baptist. It doesn't say that the government can't declare an "official" religion UNLESS it's Christianity. No, it says that the government won't interfere with ANYbody's religion or the "free exercise thereof."

Philosophically speaking, EVERYbody is going to hell by SOMEbody's definition! What you believe is in your own heart and mind. What you teach your children is your choice, and WHO teaches your children about your religion is, again, entirely up to you. But to suggest that everybody is wrong EXCEPT you? That they can't teach their children THEIR beliefs? Well, that's just hubris. And since you're so into the Christian thing, I'll point out that the Bible itself says that "pride goes before a fall."

thinkagain's picture

Sure thing Sam! I always get a chuckle when Scripture is contorted by biblical illiterates in a vain attempt to thwart Christians from proclaiming the truth.

This life is over in the blink of an eye, what comes next is forever. Jesus, and only Jesus has paid the price for our sins. He wants you to receive His free gift and have assurance of everlasting life.

Those who won’t accept the redemptive work of Jesus, will have forever to regret their choice.

"…what advantageth it me, if the dead rise not? …let us eat and drink; for to morrow we die." After all, I fully understand that a life without God is without purpose. Take another toke, have another Cheeto…


The problem, thinkagain, is that the Q'uran demands the same kind of thing from its adherents. It claims that Islam is the one true faith! Even amongst Christians, there's disagreement as to what is and isn't sinful.

I don't question for a moment that you believe your own faith to be right and true, and that's as it should be. Why would anybody bother, after all, adhering to something they DIDN'T believe to be the truth?

I agree wholeheartedly that you have every right (and, depending on your own particular strain of Christianity, the DUTY) to share what you believe. What you DON'T have the right to do, however, is go beyond that to convert by force or coercion. And nobody else has the right to make such an attempt against YOU.

thinkagain's picture

The article merely states that this bill would give students a chance to get class credit for religious activities. Please explain how this equates to force or coercion?


I didn't suggest that such classes would constitute "force" or "coercion" as long as they're electives. What I SAID was that, if classes focused on one religion qualify, so do classes focused on OTHER religions. YOU were the one who started talking about the "one true way!"

Be that as it may, as long as nobody is forced or coerced to attend, will you support Catholic classes? Will you support Wiccan classes? Will you support Muslim classes? Will you support classes that delve into the philosophy of non-belief? If your answer to any of these questions is "no," please explain how you support the free exercise of religion. I'll wait.

thinkagain's picture

If the Pharisees, who studied the Scriptures day and night could not recognize their Savior, I don’t expect you to be able to either. That is because the truths of God can be known only by the revelation of the Holy Spirit. Maybe one day you’ll be looking up at a night sky, pondering in awe the wonder of our universe. What would you do if the Creator of all that infinity, made His presence known to you? And knowing that Jesus made that reunion possible, do you think you would still be in support of others not finding what you had found?


Must be the Amish.

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

I understand the gist of the law, but the above questions should be answered. I almost wish it actually was a comparative study elective that had participants learn about three or more religions. The "final test" for the course, as I imagine it, would be half well-composed opinion on the journey and half compare/contrast of the religions studied.

It's fun to have my thoughts in the clouds about how this could be implemented, but as they say, the devil's in the details.


America's 1rst freedom was....? "The right to w....................


Excellent points by both SamAdams and Ladydye. I don't remember growing up as a child having so many bibull thumpers around. I do recall as a kid my mom signing me up for an after school class called "Religious Education. I'm thinking it was for two weeks, and if mom would have her druthers now, I wouldn't have ever gone--she's quite the radical these days for an 80 year old woman. But, this was in 1967 and that's just what kids did if they wanted to make a leather heart-shaped purse at the end of the class (that was all I wanted). But, my point is, is was extracurricular, not for credits. Go to church if you want spirituality..god will give you credit for attending I suppose.

thinkagain's picture

“…god will give you credit for attending I suppose.” Wrong! I recommend you thinkagain.

I’m sure you’ve heard the old adage, “going to church doesn't make you a Christian, any more than standing in a garage makes you a car.

Your mother stands at the brink of eternity. Perhaps one day you will regret that all you got out of the Bible was a heart shaped purse.


I still cannot get over the whole...." DO NOT JUDGE" issue. You are very judgmental for a Good Christian.

thinkagain's picture

If you would actually take the time to read Matthew 7:1-5 in its entirety, and were intellectually honest, you would admit that it is actually teaching Christians how to judge, not to refrain from judging.

There are many other passages and verses in the Bible about God commanding his own to judge according to the Word of God. Should you require those scriptures let me know.

AJ Oliver

Right Wing legal "scholars" have argued that the Constitution only prohibits the FEDERAL govt. from establsihing an official religion, but that states are free to do so. The American Taliban.


Loosely speaking, that's true. The problem? State constitutions aren't permitted to contradict the federal constitution, so the question as to the legality of establishing a state religion isn't possible simply by default.

Yes, I know that won't stop radicals from making such an attempt, or from claiming such an attempt ought to be made. But radicals on BOTH sides of the religious issue are, thankfully, the minority.