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FRIDAY, DECEMBER 2, 2005
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EDITORIAL

Perhaps schools could offer a class on religion as politics

Alabama Republicans staked out religion as their political platform and they'll be danged if Democrats are going to horn in.

Merry Christmas!

How sad it is that the debate over Democratic lawmakers pushing for Bible literacy classes in state schools is about political turf rather than safeguards to protection of independent religious thought.

It is equally sad that Democrats don't have to pass legislation to accomplish their goal. Taught as literature or as history electives, the Bible already is in Alabama classrooms.

The politics of religion is designed to dupe voters. If it were not, Democrats and Republicans would tackle the controversy as bipartisan partners. Or leave religion to churches and synagogues.

Democratic leaders announced Thursday a plan for legislation to put Bible literacy courses in public schools as electives as part of a larger Bible Literacy Project.

Not so fast, countered Rep. Mike Hubbard, R-Auburn, the minority leader in the House. He said the bill and an effort by Democrat Steve Hurst of Talladega County to put "In God we trust" on license plates is just politics, as Republicans complain that Democrats are stealing their ideas.

In the Bible Belt, it's easier to run against the evil forces of Satan then it is to grapple with illiteracy and poverty. Allowing Democrats also to become Bible thumpers isn't good politics.

If that happens, one side's got to thump louder in a state where we pay blind homage to our religious heritage rather than put it to work building a better society.

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