Action Alert

ACTION ALERT: Oppose Christian Bias in Public Schools!

House Bill 2563, “schools; elective; biblical influence,” (being heard in committee tomorrow, January 30) will unconstitutionally preference the teaching of the Christian bible in public schools! Currently, Arizona Revised Statutes (ARS) requires school boards to exclude all books, publications, papers and audiovisual materials of a sectarian, partisan or denominational character from public schools and public school libraries. HB2563 creates an exception to the ARS specifically for teaching the Christian bible in public schools. Other religious texts continue to be excluded from schools by the ARS.
The bill also requires the State Board of Education to include the history and literature of the Christian bible in History or English Arts standards and sets up guidelines for a school district or charter school to offer an elective course on “The Bible and Its Influence on Western Culture.”
There is no question that religion has had tremendous impact on Western culture; however, allowing public schools to teach from the Christian bible and no other religious text clearly privileges the Christian religion and suppresses the voices of religious minorities and nonbelievers whose traditions have also contributed to Western culture. HB2563 violates the First Amendment of the United States Constitution by supporting and preferencing a particular religious perspective to the exclusion of all others. Further, HB2563 may violate Article II Section 12 of the Arizona State Constitution by applying public money to religious instruction.
What you can do:

This bill will be heard in the House Education Committee tomorrow (Monday, January 30). Please call or email the members of the committee and ask them to oppose HB2563!
Chairman: Representative Doris Goodale,, 602-926-5408
Vice-Chairman: Representative Kimberly Yee,, 602-926-3024
Representative Heather Carter,, 602-926-5503
Representative Chester Crandell,, 602-926-6409
Representative John Fillmore,, 602-926-3012
Representative Eric Meyer,, 602-926-3037
Representative Lynne Pancrazi,, 602-926-3004
Representative Justin Pierce,, 602-926-5495
Representative Terri Proud (bill sponsor),, 602-926-3398
Representative Anna Tovar,, 602-926-3392
Talking points:

  • HB 2563 allows the teaching of the Christian bible in schools, but excludes all sectarian and denominational materials that present other belief or nonbelief perspectives (including the Book of Mormon; Jewish texts like the Tanakh, Talmud and Midrash; the Koran, etc). This is unconstitutional.
  • Expensive constitutional lawsuits, costing taxpayer money, are sure to follow.

Please TAKE ACTION on this bill today. Call or email Seráh Blain if you have questions, or if you would like to attend the House Education Committee hearing on this bill: 602-363-8018;
Remember, Secular Coalition for Arizona’s full-time advocacy at the State Capitol would not be possible without the generous contributions of nontheists like you; please consider a gift TODAY and help us continue the essential work of keeping religion out of government!
No public money shall be appropriated for, or applied to, any religious worship, exercise or instruction...
- Article II Section 12, Arizona State Constitution