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Another bibles-in-schools debate.

edited April 2007 in News
Bible elective class causes debate in Texas
The first surprising thing to me is that people are still people trying to sneak religion into the public school system.
The second surprising thing is the pan-religion opposition to the idea.
The third surprising thing is that there is a Jew anywhere near a state that has an official Jesus day.


  • I'm actually against that sort of thing despite my Christian faith, mostly because of the potential lack of neutrality
  • edited June 2007
    They used to have Bible studies in the 1940's in most public schools, and the world didn't end. The constitution is still here. These classes are also elective, class so they're not forcing kids to take the classes in question. I think that it's good that kids have a chance to study religion and all the it's aspects of it in a school setting.
    Post edited by Rym on
  • From the article - "Chisum has said the class would explore the scriptures' influence on the arts, literature and history and would not be a vehicle for religious indoctrination."
    That's probably a Trojan horse.  However, if it were true, then I would say that that makes it okay. 
  • If the class is strictly investigating the influence of the bible's influence on the arts, literature, and history, I think that it would be perfectly fine to allow the class to be an elective. I think such a class would be rather interesting. However, I think that there is a high potential for someone to teach the class in such a way that favors religion, especially in Texas. Because of this, I think that it would be best to not introduce such a class.
  • I say let them go with such a class. If they aren't lying, great. If they are lying, that means they know they aren't supposed to proselytize, they promised not to, and they did anyway. Let them teach the class, and keep a close eye on them. As soon as they screw up, nail them. If they never screw up, all the better.
  • edited June 2007
    This has many flaws. I am Catholic, but it would be fair to create one class for each specific religion. The weird part is that they do not say what version of the bible are they going to be teaching. So, most likely, it will go badly.
    Post edited by Rym on
  • This has many flaws. I am Catholic but it would be fair to create one class for each specific religion. The weird part is that they do not say waht version of the bible are they gonna be teach. So, most likely it will go bad.

    It would be fair to create a class for every religion. The problem is that there are too many religions, so it is impossible. They would have to have a class in Jedi, a class in pastafarianism, etc. Also, would it be ok for them to have classes in evil cults? What about religions that sacrifice humans as part of their rituals? In other words it is best to have no religion. The best solution I find is to teach religion in the meta. You study the role of religion throughout history from a secular perspective. You can also have a class about comparative religion where you examine what many different religions believe and why. Any class that singles out one particular religion is most likely going to involve some proselytizing action.
  • It seems fine to have a course like this if they stay true to the announced goal. I would argue that it should not just be the bible but include other religious writings that have had major influences on other cultures and civilizations.
  • Scott, a class in Jedi would be AWESOME!
  • edited July 2009
    I have an idea. How about we all proclaim Geek as a religion and try to force schools to teach it? :->

    Now to be serious. Texas schools already have religion in them. The school officials praise God. They recite the Lord's Prayer before school.

    The only thing missing is teaching the Bible. The Texas Legislature is even adding "under God" to the state Pledge of Allegiance. Here's the problem: Texas law requires for the US Pledge and TX Pledge to be recited. If not, you are written up and sent to detention.

    I may be a Christian, but I am also a Libertarian, and am insulted by this. When religion and state mixed before, chaos was rampant. Now that may be happening again.

    On another topic, I live in the area affected by Hurricane Rita. Recently in my Philosophy of Knowledge class, my professor told the class that if a worse hurricane hit, reason and good sense would go out the window and we would do best if we all left when this happens.

    I'm scared. I'll be one of the "heretics." And things like this Bible course will go unopposed.
    Post edited by Diagoras on
  • This question puts me in a sort of double bind.  I don't agree with teaching a full-on relgion class in a public school, however it is hard to deny that the Bible and Christianity played an important role in the shaping of Western Civilization.  I feel that if the Bible class is handled properly then it could lead to some very interesting discussions for the students of this class as well as opening the door for introducing other texts, such as the Torah or Koran, and discuss the effects they've had on art, literature, and society.  If you treat these books in the same manner that one would treat the Illiad or the Inferno then it can only lead to the enriching of the education system.
    As a side note I attended a Catholic High School and was required to take a religion class for all 4 years, not really a big deal for me because I'm already Catholic.  Aside from that I felt that by being in this institutition it offered my history and english teachers a much greater lattitude in choosing to discuss religious texts in the same manner that we did discuss other forms of ancient literature.
  • Agreed. Nice points there.
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