When asked about the Bible course at the local public high school, a West Texas minister told the Abilene Reporter News, “My hope is the end result is they read their Bible and start asking questions elsewhere and they become Christians. That’s the hope of the community, too.”
Sentiments like that would normally not raise an eyebrow. In this case, however, the minister was also the teacher of the course. His comments raise questions about how successful he is in presenting the material “objectively as part of a secular program of education,” as required in the 1963 U.S. Supreme Court ruling on the treatment of the Bible in public schools. To what extent is this teacher’s presentation of material affected by his hopes that students will adopt his beliefs?