22 December 2005

The Ector County Independent School Board of Odessa, Texas, has approved the teaching of the King James version of the Bible as an elective course for high school students, picking the KJV over another curriculum option, The Bible and its Influence, that some observers considered more inclusive of minority religious views. The King James Bible, they argue, will be used to proselytize rather than educate, and may moreover be promoting a specific denomination of Christianity: fundamentalist Protestantism. Critics of the decision have complained that the motivation for the course was religious preaching, rather than instruction, citing the religious rallies that accompanied the decision — i.e., a largely Pentecostal group sang songs about victory over Satan when the news was announced — as proof that the issue was “‘all about religion, not academics.'”