Thursday, January 26, 2006

The Bible Goes Public

Public schools in several states, including some traditionally “blue” ones, are now adding Bible classes to their curricula.

I wholeheartedly support the endeavor. Seriously.

Schools are about educating kids. The Bible falls within the “realm of knowledge,” i.e. it's yet another thing for them to learn about.

As is unfiltered, objective sex education, for example.

However…

Public school Bible classes are electives, and must remain that way if the schools are going to maintain church-state separation.

Further, the classes must not be taken as license for students or teachers to go around trying to convert or witness to others at their school.

And additional courses along similar lines, e.g. the Talmud or Quran, should in all fairness be considered.


Though I have written vociferously against prayer in public schools, this is different. It’s a class, not a conformation exercise that students are required to participate in en masse, like morning prayers or the Pledge of Allegiance.

Nor does my support for Bible classes contradict my rejection of the teaching of Intelligent Design in science classes (here, here and here). ID isn’t science and doesn’t belong in any science class. If you want to have an “unsupportable theories” class, however, have at it.

By allowing Bible classes in public schools, we’ll steal some of the divine thunder of the “Christianity is under attack in America” crowd. It may be just what we need to derail their self-pitying, self-serving crusade and pacify them for a little while.

15 comments:

Click here to open your mind said...

We should always listen to every side of any matter so we can deduce the truth and follow our conscience.

You should watch this video to learn what the ID people really believe.

copy and paste this link

http://www.illustramedia.com/wdtelinfo.htm

Peace

Pete Bogs said...

we should listen to every side... I'm a liberal and I'm saying allow the Bible in public school... a lot of my friends might disagree with that, but it makes sense to me...

I see some evidence of design in this world, and much evidence of chaos... I also see a whole lot of dinosaur and hominid bones that are strangely missing from the Bible... listen to both sides? yes... taint science with faith in public schools? no... teach anything you like in a private school... that's what they're for...

peace to you...

K9 said...

/bark bark bark

John Paul II wrote in one of his encyclicals
that the theory of evolution and
christian faith were not mutually exclusive.
The catholic church maintains one of the largest observatories on the planet as the holy see has an intense interest in astrophysics. order and chaos are a complimentary couple as are faith and science. to question is our birthright and obligation and it brings a much needed mystery to what might have been a dull world of absoluteness.

/grrrrrrrrrrrrr

Pete Bogs said...

the Pope has also said ID is nonsense and that science should not be mixed with faith... that's great, but I still ain't going back to the Catholic church...

thanks for stopping by, K9... we like it doggie-style up in here...

K9 said...

/bark bark bark

clearly you are unaware that the church has replaced wine in favor of guiness.

infinitesimal said...

2 serious questions for clarification...

1. Who is "We"?
and
2.please define "Them"

thanks teach

ps working on how to link up the SFriends list...

SwallowedAlive said...

God rules!
Anyone in charge of killing so much is tops in my heart. The Bible was my first book which I was forced to memorize. I'd get some milk out of the fridge, close the door and there's my mom, crouching down, demanding "Corinthians 13:11!"
It's the best God Damned book in this world. I'll never put it down.

K9 said...

/bark bark bark

swallow,

"anyone in charge of killing so much"

God kills people the same way my inanimate firearm does.

K9 said...

/bark bark bark

swallow,

reading your post reminded me of the mom in the movie "carrie".

/grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

Pete Bogs said...

"They're all gonna laugh at you!"

(Carrie's Mom)

InfiniSupaB - "we" are people like me who are tired of hearing that people of faith are "under attack" in this country... that just because there's no prayer in public schools, we're somehow taking away people's right to worship as they wish... this is what Justice Sundays I, II and III were all about, but from a legal perspective... their idea was to foment anger at "liberals" and "activist" judges who are allegedly trying to put an end to faith in America... it's a ridiculous exaggeration that would be funny if so many followers didn't buy into it... people who think that way are "them"

Mr Q said...

What takes a piece of my slimy brain is that if we start to "try" to accomodate everyone's rights, reasons and religions then where are we all going to be in 25 years? Most of us will be here, but what will the landscape look like then? Think about
Spanish becoming mandatory in school, how far is that? then the next biggest group is right behind demanding their own right. I can not help it here, but the shit will hit the fan. This freedom project will be put to the test right here in our own house and what will the outcome be? Look at England, they're free, but they did not hesitate to put a few holes in a couple of bodies. Here in our yard everyone is pulling in their own direction and where that leads is to freaking stinking civil war. What is the best example?
Iraq after Us. The fact that I am stating this here and that so can anyone else is what makes it all scary. Look at the "minorities" in your community, they want to say something on the Board meetings, but once they do is not enough.
Freedom is not free.
But this is a free for all.

Pete Bogs said...

I'm essentially saying that we should throw them a few scraps... I realize, though, that once you tell them they'll have to tolerate a Quran class in their public high school if they want their Bible class, they'll back off... the lesson is that freedom for one is freedom for all, and that's something they may not want... my local school board recently did away with ALL religious holidays in order to avoid acknowledging Muslim and Jewish holidays, which people were starting to ask for... after an outcry, they reversed their ruling...

Mr Q said...

In the books, I am a minority. I think of myself as an American, since I started to spread my seeds here and now I must watch the crops. But think of me as Stephen Feherty. It is the love of my native land what allows me to love this one.

No dark for me. I gets the Oban.

Ben said...

Very interesting topic. May I expand it just a little? How about:

NO Bible, Quran, Talmud classes but comparative thology that includes Buddhism, Hinduism and so on. And while we are there:

How about going even further and teach - in that above-mentioned course - about alternative religions and sects? How about telling people about the common basis of all major religions?

How about showing where standard religions as well as many sects RESTRICT free expression by telling you what makes you a "bad" human being? How about letting kids now what mechanism are used to teach religious hate and fear AND show them how that exact same thing happens in politics?

And yes, there's a problem with intelligent design. It is this: If the teachings are based on ANY given faith that already rules out a REAL discourse about the subject. IF you want to discuss that thing in school, open it up.

So, then, how about a course - would that be in the philosophy department? - called "Free thinking"?

Pete Bogs said...

comparative religions would be good... teaching how they came to be is especially important... seems like free thinking need not be a course, though... something you can't teach...