I am strongly in favor of teaching about the Bible in all schools, including the public schools. In fact, especially the public schools, where all my children attend. The Bible is unquestionably the most important book in the history of Europe, Australia, South America, and North America. It will soon have that status in Africa, if it does not already. I think the 21st century will ultimately be one of the great Christian centuries of Asia, where it all began. Not teaching about the Bible in American schools would be an absurd folly.
On the other hand, the public schools cannot teach the Bible as true. This is the deal we have made in order to have state-supported common schools.
The same is true, in miniature, of the Ten Commandments. Of course you may post the Ten Commandments on the public school wall – just teach about them and their influence in your class. Of course you may not post the Ten Commandments on the public school wall as the school's rules for conduct – not the first four commandments, anyway.
For years there has been a movement to teach the Bible itself in school. Over and over again, the courts have rejected with as an impermissible endorsement of a particular religion. In principle this is not a partisan issue, though most of the politicians who still make such proposals are Republicans. Democrats have learned the lesson, and are now trying a new and different approach. A book, The Bible and Its Influence, has been written specifically for use in public schools to teach about what the Bible says and why that has been so determinative for Western history and culture. Legislators in Georgia and Alabama have proposed legislation to authorize school districts to have such a course.
Republicans should support teaching about the Bible and its influence. Instead, they have been fussing that Democrats are Pharisees and hypocrites for stealing "their" issue. Yet teaching the Bible and teaching about the Bible are quite different, pedagogically and constitutionally. Religious politicians of all parties should support teaching about the Bible in the public schools in the only way possible. If not, they should give up on the public schools altogether – and stop being politicians.