- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 3, 2019

Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin encouraged students this week to participate in the annual event “Bring Your Bible to School Day” being celebrated Thursday.

“I would encourage you, please, don’t just bring your Bible to school, but read your Bible. Bring it, share it with others. If you have an extra Bible, bring it and share it with somebody who doesn’t have one, who maybe has never read this book,” Mr. Bevin, a Republican, said in a video posted to Twitter Tuesday.

“This is an extraordinary book. You don’t even have to be a person of faith to recognize that this is the most well-read, most published book in the history of the world for a reason…. I would encourage you, please let this be a document that is an important part of your life.”

This is the second year Mr. Bevin, who is up for reelection this November, has promoted “Bring Your Bible to School Day” — a national event promoted by the Christian organization Focus on the Family. Mr. Bevin’s video did not mention the Colorado-based organization.

Focus on the Family said over 650,000 students participated in the event last year.

A spokesperson for the ACLU of Kentucky said they support the event, but encouraged students to bring other religious and secular texts if they so desire.

“We encourage all students to share texts that are important to them, whether it’s the Bible, the Quran, the Handmaid’s Tale, or Harry Potter,” Samuel Crankshaw, ACLU of Kentucky communications associate, said in a statement to Courier-Journal. “All students have a constitutional right to free speech at school and during school activities.”

“Public schools are a place where all students should feel comfortable expressing themselves, regardless of race, religious belief, etc. Open discussions and learning from others are critical components of a well-rounded education. We hope school officials will give all students the same opportunity to share their texts, as required by law.”

In 2017, Mr. Bevin signed into law a measure well providing for “Bible literacy” classes to be offered as elective courses in the state’s public school. Earlier this year, he signed a bill into law that requires public schools to publicly display the national motto, “In God We Trust.”

• Bailey Vogt can be reached at bvogt@washingtontimes.com.

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