A new bill that aims to roll out optional Bible classes across Florida’s public schools has advanced to the state Senate.
The bill, SB 746, was filed by Ocala Republican Sen. Dennis Baxley and would require the state to offer elective courses in New and Old Testament Biblical studies and Hebrew scriptures, according to Florida Politics.
The House version of the bill, HB 341, was introduced by Florida evangelist Kimberly Daniels, a Democrat.
Daniels boasts some success in achieving the passing religious provisions through the state legislature. The “Florida Student and School Personnel Religious Liberties Act,” passed in 2017, banning school districts “from discriminating against students, parents, & school personnel on basis of religious viewpoints or expression,” and requiring a school district “to adopt limited public forum policy & deliver a disclaimer at school events.”
She also led HB 839, a successful 2018 provision that requires school districts to display Florida’s motto “In God We Trust.” However, Daniels’ previous attempt to introduce Bible classes, House Bill 195, died at the subcommittee stage in May of this year.
Daniels is also a charismatic pastor and is founder of the Jacksonville-based “Kimberly Daniels Ministries International,” a ministry that is “under the covering of ‘Spoken Word Ministries,'” according to her website.
“Our vision is to release present day truth to the nations that will teach, impart and activate believers to walk in the principles of the apostolic and prophetic,” the ministry website explains. “At KDMI we have the passion and compassion to win souls for Jesus Christ.”
Similar bills have been introduced in Missouri, North Dakota, Virginia and West Virginia, with President Trump voicing his support for the classes.
“Numerous states introducing Bible Literacy classes, giving students the option of studying the Bible. Starting to make a turn back? Great!” he tweeted at the start of the year.