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Texas to use Bible as Textbook in Schools?

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posted on Apr, 4 2007 @ 08:44 AM
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News Story

I don't like this at all.

I understand that the bible is the biggest selling book of all time.
I understand that many books and authors reference it in their literature.
I understand that colleges sometimes use the bible as a text for reference.

However, wanting to put bibles as text books in high schools paves the way for a whole lotta' abuse.

Which bible would be used? The WASPS in Texas loooooooove the King James version, but that bible isn't the only bible and it certainly isn't the most authentic.

Who would teach the class? English teachers? Those with divinity degrees? Neutral teachers without a religious agenda? Fundamentalists (or others) who would teach their version of 'truth'?

What would be taught? I can see it now ... someone standing up in front of the class giving his/her version of 'truth' and his/her version of a bible interpretation.

Seriously ... putting the bible in the hands of someone who is in a position of authority over children and making children take the class .... that's a major


Having lived in the deep south for almost 10 years, I can attest to the narrow minded garbage that spewed from allegedly educated people in reference to the bible. I see no way that a public school, especially in the south, could put a bible in the hands of a teacher and be able to expect that teacher to teach it as literature and not as a Divine Command. I see no way that the teachers would be able to refrain from making negative comments about other bibles that students from various religions would want to use instead of the KJV.

Yes, that sounds anti-south. My experience was very negative and therefore I don't look kindly upon the south in certain situations. This is one of them.

Thankfully this has not been approved .. yet. However, they are already talking about 'bible scholars' to be in place. Of course that means 'bible scholars' that are protestant-fundamentalist.

COMMENTS??

[edit on 4/4/2007 by FlyersFan]



posted on Apr, 4 2007 @ 09:12 AM
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There are already elective Bible study courses available. It's called church. Now this yahoo wants to make it mandatory to everyone in public schools???


Originally posted by FlyersFan
Who would teach the class? English teachers?


This is scary. From your source:



"These courses are often more about the religious beliefs of the teachers rather than true academic studies of the importance of the Bible in history and literature," she said.




COMMENTS??


This is a BAD idea. I love this line:



"We're not going to preach the Bible, we're going to teach the Bible..."


Oh, okay. That's different!
(Actually, it is different, but I don't trust the integrity of a religious person, who's mandated to proselytize by their religion, with a bible and the rapt attention of a roomful of impressionable and perhaps "troubled" students to respect that difference.)

I'd agree to it if the public school can take science texts into the churches and make mandatory science study in Sunday School.


Great post, FF!



posted on Apr, 4 2007 @ 11:13 AM
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As I understand it, the class, or classes, are going to be strictly on an elective basis. If you don't want to, you don't have to.

Some of the greatest works of literature are heavily influenced by the bible and other religious works from all over the world. To truely understand them, and what the author was, or is, attempting to say almost certainly requires a basic understanding of the bible.

Now having said that, this is a good thing only so long as the teachers are teaching the bible, not preaching the bible. As for abuse, that's a valid concern I agree, but that is what parents and the school administrators are for.



posted on Apr, 4 2007 @ 11:18 AM
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god damn religious yahoos...
I'm so happy to live in a country where we on autopilot shut the door in the face of anyone who looks like ultra christians.

Science ftw... or atleast have faith in yourself, not some made up god.



posted on Apr, 4 2007 @ 11:48 AM
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Originally posted by seagull
If you don't want to, you don't have to.

.... for now. I see this as a foot in the door. A slippery slope.


Some of the greatest works of literature are heavily influenced by the bible


Yes. I fully understand that. Totally. However, how many of these 'great works' are high schoolers reading? If they are reading any at all, do they really need a full 'bible class' to go along with it?


so long as the teachers are teaching the bible, not preaching the bible.


THAT is the problem. Right there. They are looking for scripture scholars. What kind of scripture scholars? Certainly not Catholic. Certainly not Episcopalian. I highly doubt Lutheran. These fundamentalist 'scripture scholars', along with their fundamentalist version of the bible, would definatley be putting their own spin on things.

- from the story - 'These courses are often more about the religious beliefs of the teachers rather than true academic studies of the importance of the Bible in history and literature,"




that is what parents and the school administrators are for.


Yep. But considering that they, too, could very easily be part of the fundamentalist majority that want the bible preached

It makes me nervous. I'm glad I don't live in Texas anymore. Mandatory HPV shots for pre-teen girls and now this. Very scary.



posted on Apr, 4 2007 @ 11:55 AM
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Despite what I posted previously, I agree with you. Unless watched very carefully, it could indeed be abused badly. I don't think it'll hurt anything to at least look at the possibility.

As far as high schoolers not reading that aforementioned literary classics, I've always thought that it mightn't be such a bad idea if they did. But that's a topic for another thread.



posted on Apr, 4 2007 @ 12:51 PM
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Already posted: www.abovepolitics.com...

Thread closed.
.

edit: nevermind. That's a news thread.

Re-opened.
.

[edit on 4/4/2007 by Gools]



posted on Apr, 4 2007 @ 01:34 PM
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Originally posted by seagull
As far as high schoolers not reading that aforementioned literary classics, I've always thought that it mightn't be such a bad idea if they did.


Then according to our government, they should also offer a course on the Qur'an, one on the Talmud, the Bhagavad Gita, the Veda and a few Wiccan texts as well.

My concern is that only the Christian holy book is offered as important enough to be considered a literary classic...



posted on Apr, 4 2007 @ 02:27 PM
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Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
Then according to our government, they should also offer a course on the Qur'an, one on the Talmud, the Bhagavad Gita, the Veda and a few Wiccan texts as well.


And there would be such an outcry! And rightfully so. There is absolutely no need for the bible, or any of these other religious books, to be given a full class of their own in a public high school. NO REASON.



posted on Apr, 4 2007 @ 02:57 PM
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BH. I wasn't refering to the bible...I was refering to the literary classics that were influenced in large degree by the bible. As I stated previously, a truely indepth understanding of what, and why the writer wrote what they wrote is only possible if one at least attempts to understand what is written in the bible. The same holds true to truely understanding works that are influenced by the Qu'oran, or any other religious texts.

Personally speaking, if handled correctly, and that is a big if, I agree; I see nothing wrong with studying the writings of any religious text, bible, qu'oran, or any eastern religion.

How religious philosophy influenced secular thought in mideval and Renissance Europe and elsewhere in the world is key to understanding the unpinnings of issues and prejudices we are dealing with today. The sooner kids are exposed to it, IMHO, the better.

I suspect that on this issue, as others we've discussed, we're going to end up agreeing to disagree
. At least we're keeping it civil.


[edit on 4-4-2007 by seagull]



posted on Apr, 4 2007 @ 03:07 PM
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I don't think we disagree, seagull.


As you said IF and it's a big IF... I don't have any problem with students studying the classics, even if they are religious texts, as long as it's done in a teaching and not preaching way and as long as the bible isn't the only religious text studied.

Of course, I don't have kids and if I did, they wouldn't come near a public school.



posted on Apr, 4 2007 @ 03:14 PM
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Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
I don't think we disagree, seagull.



Actually, I think the three of us agree. It's okay to study the bible (and other religious texts) in relation to classic literature. BUT ... (and this is the big BUT ...)

- in this case there is a wide open door for abuse

- too many questions left unanswered (which version of the bible, etc)

- teacher qualifications and teacher intent

- whose interpretation of the bible will be used? Fundamentalist? Catholic? Episcopalian? Lutheran? etc etc It's all very different.

- what high schools do such indepth studies of classic literature as to actually need to study the bible so indepth to have an entire separate class of it.

etc etc



posted on Apr, 4 2007 @ 03:16 PM
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Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
I don't have kids and if I did, they wouldn't come near a public school.


We homeschooled until 5th grade. At first, I was very afraid of it and thought I couldn't do it. However, once we got started, it worked out beautifully. We had the best field trips! Test scores were through the roof. AND ... socialization was just peachy-keen .... tons and tons of opportunities and sports, etc.



posted on Apr, 4 2007 @ 03:30 PM
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If and when I ever have kids...public school is not gonna happen. Home schooling, or private. Not one foot will they ever take into a public school. It took me years to learn how to study properly, some would say I still haven't
.



posted on Apr, 4 2007 @ 03:31 PM
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Yeah, this strikes me as pretty ridiculous. While I could see how the Bible could have some historical study purposes as far as culture, it shouldnt be mandatory in public schools. I've read a good bit of the bible and its very interesting reading, good stories in there with some good lessons, but we must remember that we can not allow church and state to be so mixed up like this.



posted on Apr, 4 2007 @ 03:33 PM
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Sometimes I wonder what in the world is wrong with Texas, we are always hearing all kind of debatable news from that state, usually that has to do with civil right challenges with laws or religious base challenges.

I am glad that my kids are not longer in grade school, and when one day the grand kids comes I will be the first one to give my time to home school.



posted on Apr, 4 2007 @ 03:35 PM
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We seem to be missing the part where it says that it would be offered as an 'elective' course.

What is the big deal? If you do not want to take a class on the bible and use it as a text for that class (which would make sense), then do not take the class.

So tell me, where is the problem with this?

And, in case it comes to someone thinking personal view point is affecting my thoughts on this: I am very against mixing church and state and blah blah blah. Making biology teachers teach intelligent design in their science class is a large step in the wrong direction. But offering an elective course that deals with the bible is not wrong as long as it is not a required course.

State colleges do this...so I ask again, Where is the problem here?

[edit on 4/4/0707 by spines]



posted on Apr, 4 2007 @ 05:29 PM
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Originally posted by spines
We seem to be missing the part where it says that it would be offered as an 'elective' course.


Yes it is an elective course, however the main concern was that the courses would basically be whatever the teacher viewed Christianity, therefore the interpretation would be biased.



posted on Apr, 4 2007 @ 05:31 PM
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Originally posted by spines
so I ask again, Where is the problem here?


So again I say -

- in this case there is a wide open door for abuse

- too many questions left unanswered (which version of the bible, etc)

- teacher qualifications and teacher intent

- whose interpretation of the bible will be used? Fundamentalist? Catholic? Episcopalian? Lutheran? etc etc It's all very different.

- what high schools do such indepth studies of classic literature as to actually need to study the bible so indepth to have an entire separate class of it.



posted on Apr, 4 2007 @ 07:41 PM
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Originally posted by seagull
BH. I wasn't refering to the bible...I was refering to the literary classics that were influenced in large degree by the bible.

Then they'd have to (by logic) include a course in Greek mythology, Nordic mythology, Roman mythology (because these are extremely influential in literature) as well as the laws of Rome and its history.


As I stated previously, a truely indepth understanding of what, and why the writer wrote what they wrote is only possible if one at least attempts to understand what is written in the bible.

I don't believe it's true. Anyone can analyze the symbolism of a text influenced by another with the proper guidelines. You don't have to have access to all the Egyptian papyrus texts to understand the context of Egyptian tales. You don't have to have read and understood the Enuma Elish in order to be able to understand the tale of Gilgamesh or the Code of Hammurabi.


How religious philosophy influenced secular thought in mideval and Renissance Europe and elsewhere in the world is key to understanding the unpinnings of issues and prejudices we are dealing with today. The sooner kids are exposed to it, IMHO, the better.

An excellent point, but I don't know that kids will be able to make the parallels. As with most people, they can see that the system was abused... but often don't understand how their "new and improved" version of the religion could possibly be abused.

In any case, for religious and secular leaders are against the proposal here in Texas and I don't see it having a chance of passing. They've tried this thing before in the past.




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