Bible literacy program expanding

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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) -- A non-profit group advocating for classrooms around the country to include Bible teaching says this movement is taking off. Not only are more states legislatively approving these efforts but it's picking up steam globally. Other secular groups are concerned about where this is going.

“We need to teach the kids values," said Chuck Stetson, Essentials in Education CEO.

Tuesday, the Essentials in Education organization announced a new phase of its mission.

Since 2005, it has pushed for hundreds of schools around the country - public and private alike - to make sure teachers include lessons on the Bible. As that outreach grows, now CEO Chuck Stetson says leaders in the UK, India and beyond have an interest.

"If you don’t know the Bible then you can’t fully understand the English language, English literature, art, music, history or culture," said Stetson.

Stetson believes this program helps children in many ways and does not raise First Amendment concerns because coursework is educational and objective.

“There’s no argument. The Supreme Court has been totally clear on this"

But Robert Boston, Communications Director of the Americans United for Separation of Church and State says the devil is in the details.

“What we need to be careful of here is that we do not get into a system or approach that endorses one particular version of Christianity over others," said Boston.

While Stetson says students in dozens of states are learning positive lessons, Boston has concerns about crossing legal lines.

"I’m not saying that it can’t be done because obviously religion, Christianity, the Bible has had a powerful impact on our history and our culture. There are ways to discuss that in a public school setting that are constitutionally acceptable and there are ways to do that that are going to get a school district in trouble," said Boston.

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