Recent legislation in Idaho has made it legal to have Bible study sessions during science lessons. In addition, the policy-makers involved in the process, were unwilling to repeal a ruling that protects faith – based healers who, as parents, may be responsible for their children’s death, when they don’t seek medical assistance.
The State Rep. John Gannon had petitioned a bill to revoke immunity towards faith – healing parents in a child injury law. However, state Sen. Lee Heider, who chairs the Senate Health and Welfare Committee, expressed the fact that he had never been made aware of a hearing, though he had already proclaimed that he would not entertain it, if put forward.
Conveniently, Heider communicated that the motion for a hearing had been set too late during the session. He added that it would be unlikely that he would back a motion to transform state law, in a way that would make it possible for parents to be put on trial for following their beliefs.
‘’I’m a First Amendment guy, and I believe in the First Amendment, which gives people freedom of religion, ‘’ he remarked. This is in spite of the attention that the contentious topic has stirred in the past years, as a number of fatalities have been reported, in which children from the Followers of Christ diocese in Idaho succumbed to such treatable illnesses as pneumonia and food poisoning.
The stubborn stance taken by the senator is thus surprising. This is particularly so, when one considers that a doctor working in southwestern Idaho attested that restructuring the law, could help to reduce stigma and reproach that parents may face from their religious sects.
The senate in Idaho also approved a bill that permits educators to implement the Bible as a learning tool that can be engendered in the curriculum. The bill, initially introduced by Sen. Sheryl Nuxol, does however negate the use of the Bible as a reference book in ‘’astronomy, biology and geology’’ classes.
Nuxoll firmly believes in the new law, and she recently stated, ‘’The Bible is the document brought to North America by our nation’s first immigrants, used in our public schools, and is the foundation of our Judeo – Christian heritage.’’ Some political analysts have welcomed the move, seeing it as an improvement on the previous law.