If Hobby Lobby President Steve Green gets his way, students at an Oklahoma high school will be using a different kind of textbook next year.
Green, leader of the Oklahoma-based Christian retailer, has recommended a class for Mustang High School with a curriculum that focuses on the Bible.
The curriculum would include an introductory course covering “the Old and New Testaments and the Bible’s impact on society,” KOCO 5 News reports. Three advanced courses would teach deeper history and cultural influence.
Mustang Public Schools Superintendent Sean McDaniel invited Green to give a presentation of the teachings at the latest school board meeting. McDaniel says the class would strictly be an elective and still must go through a curriculum committee, the school board and a vote before it is approved.
“A state law that passed several years ago made a provision for public school districts to offer an elective course through social studies or through the English department called ‘The Bible in the Curriculum,’” McDaniel told the high school’s newspaper, Mustang Times.
The Green family owns more than 40,000 Bibles, and Steve Green is overseer of the Green Collection, the world’s largest private collection of rare biblical texts and artifacts.
Green is in the process of developing a new, nonsectarian Bible curriculum, which he says would cover three parts of the book: the history, the impact and its story.
“We have a list of universities that we are working with today all over the world,” he was quoted saying in the Times. “We want to find the leading scholars to help us, and we will be pulling from this group to help write this curriculum and it will tie to the three parts we want to teach.
“With the history, we want to show the archeological evidences of the Bible, and then we want to show the impact of the Bible. The Bible has had an impact on just about every area of life—whether you like it or not, it has. It has impacted government, education, art, science, literature, you name it. Thirdly is the story, meaning what does the book say.”
Green argues the Bible has a large impact on literacy.
“If someone calls someone a ‘Good Samaritan’ and you are not familiar with the Bible, you have lost the context of what they are saying,” he says. “If you know the Good Samaritan story, whether you like it or not, or believe it is true or fictional, it is a story and something a lot of our conversation in our culture comes from.”
He also says the Bible is one of the most important objects in world history. He mentioned that in an issue of Life Magazine ranking the 100 most important events in the past 1,000 years, Gutenberg printing the Bible was first.
“The History Channel listed 101 objects that changed the world,” he continues. “Guess what No. 1 was. The Bible. Imagine a school that would not teach about Columbus, which was No. 2 on the list. Or imagine a school that would not teach about Luther and the Reformation in history class or the Industrial Revolution. Can you imagine these things not being taught? But No. 1 is not.”
The school district’s curriculum committee is set to discuss the teachings in December. Green will make another presentation to the school board at its first meeting of 2014 in January.