Is The Bible Literature?


Amber Reddish

Mr. Hay reads aloud to his class with pure joy written across his face.

Amber Reddish, Photojournalist

Ever since the French Revolution in 1789, the idea of the separation of church and state has been a prominent idea of many governments around the world. This idea has protected citizens’ choice of religion in any given location that adheres to this, as well as keeping the government from becoming too powerful. Here in the United States of America we strongly adhere to this policy by not specifically identifying a religion for our country and allowing our citizens the freedom of religion in the first amendment. If our country so strongly follows the ideals of separation of church and state, how is it possible for a public school, such as Yorba Linda High School, to offer a course titled “The Bible is Literature”?

This course, despite being titled “The Bible is Literature”, is not centered around religion. Instead the class studies the effects that the bible has had on the world which it exists with in. It studies its effects on art, on society, and most importantly, on other literature. Despite public schools not being allowed to study religion, here they are permitted to study the effects of what many would consider the most influential book in the world.

Although this class does primarily entail the study of the effects of the bible, it also includes grammar lessons, vocabulary lessons, the study of other books, and, most importantly, life lessons. Having a teacher like Mr. Hay allows a student to not only grow as a student, but also as a person. According to Jessica Ryan (12), in this class she often “learns more about the world and it’s ups and downs than [she] does about repetitive common core requirements.” Some language arts teachers may not agree with this method of teaching, yet if you ask Mr. Hay (Staff) he will often tell you that he “aims [more] to have his students leave his class as better human beings than as better readers or writers.” I personally believe this is a rather admirable goal for any teacher, as do many, if not all of the students, who have been granted the unique opportunity to learn in his classroom.

This class, despite being centered around the bible, is not a study of the bible, but rather a study of the rippling effect it’s word has throughout the world. For this reason, public schools like ours are able to offer such a course. I personally feel that this class is a great option for the students of Yorba Linda High School and that it offers a great sense of diversity that isn’t normally seen in the courses offered at a public school. This is just one of many contributions to what makes Yorba Linda High School one of the best public schools in the nation.