A Florida lawmaker who once thanked God for slavery has filed a bill that would require public schools to offer Bible study classes as an elective for students.
Representative Kimberly Daniels (D-Jacksonville), a former “exorcist” and self-described “Demonbuster,” filed HB 195 on Wednesday.
As proposed, the legislation would require state-funded school districts in Florida to offer secular courses in religion, Hebrew Scriptures and the Bible as electives, meaning they are not required to graduate. The courses would be offered to students grades 9 through 12 and be included in the state’s Department of Education’s course code directory.
The courses’ teachings must comply with state and federal guidelines and may not endorse or disfavor a particular religion, perspective or faith.
If passed, the bill would go into effect before school begins on July 1.
Daniels is listed as non-denominational on the Florida House’s website. She made headlines in 2018 when she introduced a bill that would require Florida public schools to display the motto, “In God We Trust.” Last spring, the bill was signed into law.
Daniels, who founded a church in Jacksonville and wrote several books about religion, is known for her colorful remarks on the topic.
She once reportedly claimed “Jews own everything,” and thanked God for slavery.
“And let me say this to you — I thank God for slavery … If it wasn’t for slavery, I might be somewhere in Africa, worshipping a tree,” Daniels once told her congregation, according to reports.
Upon filing the bill on Wednesday, Daniels reportedly admitted to filing false financial disclosures. The Florida Times-Union reports Daniels didn’t disclose $1 million in debt owed on a Broward County home.
Daniels filed an agreement with the state regarding the admission. The statewide ethics commission will refer the case to House Speaker Jose Oliva for further action if required.