FRANKFORT, Ky. (BP)–The Kentucky Senate, on a 37-1 vote Feb. 15, approved a resolution encouraging schools to post the Ten Commandments and teach about the influence of religion on American history.
The resolution, if also passed by the Kentucky House of Representatives, would instruct state education department officials to calm “any climate of fear created by those who would discourage teachers from teaching about Judeo-Christianity’s historic influence on the founding of America and the development of its law and government.”
And the resolution calls for an end to the “suppressing or censoring” of historic documents acknowledging God.
The resolution, however, faces a Republican-Democrat tussle, with the Senate controlled by Republicans and the House by Democrats.
The House “won’t be in any hurry” to consider the Senate resolution, Rep. Greg Stumbo of Prestonsburg, House floor majority leader, told the Louisville Courier-Journal after the Senate vote. Stumbo has authored a proposed bill for religion to be taught in public schools as part of comparative religion classes.
The resolution was passed the same day hundreds of people held a rally at the Kentucky Capitol to urge legislators to support the posting of the Ten Commandments in schools.
In two hours of Senate debate Feb. 15, the original resolution, submitted by Sen. Albert Robinson of London, was amended with “Judeo-Christian” replacing “Christian” on a 29-9 vote.
“I think we have done the Christians and the Christian history of this nation a terrible injustice,” Robinson, a Pentecostal layman, told the Senate after the amendment’s approval, The Courier-Journal reported. Noting that political correctness and court decisions have made teachers afraid to talk about the role of Christianity in U.S. history, Robinson said, “When the boat came to these great shores, it did not have an atheist, a Buddhist, a Hindu, a Muslim, a Christian and a Jew. Ninety-eight percent plus of these people were Christians.”
Sen. Tim Shaughnessy, a Democrat from Jeffersontown, proposed the Judeo-Christian amendment. “Even the nuns at St. Bart’s (St. Bartholomew Catholic school in Jefferson County) taught us that God gave the Ten Commandments to Moses, who was Jewish,” Shaughnessy told the Senate, according to The Courier-Journal.
Senate President David Williams of Burkesville supported Shaughnessy’s amendment, saying, “I won’t be a part of” telling Jews their contributions and their faith are not valued, the newspaper recounted.
“If 98 percent of the people who came to this country were Christians, then the other 2 percent were probably Jews,” the Senate leader was quoted as saying.