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Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by mactastic, Mar 12, 2007.
Not another set of religious creeps whose 'knowledge' of god spawns from about five minutes awake-time in a class probably taught by a mis-informed teacher...
I'm assuming they're going to be optional or similarly elective courses. So long as they take the same approach that they would in tackling Shakespeare, Dickens, Yeats, etc., I fail to see how this would pose a problem for anyone except the crowd that wants to pretend the Bible doesn't exist.
I think that the problem would be that some teachers may teach it as FACT not FICTION, as they do with Shakespeare etc...
crap - time to move.
As long as they don't move to ID too....
Are you saying that the bible is a fictional piece of work? If so, then fine, it's an historical document worth studying. If it's being studied as fact then, no, it doesn't belong in the schools. I would bet that more than a few "jawhjens" would view the study of the bible as fiction to be heresy.
Why does it need to be in public primary and secondary schools anyway? I wonder how many primary schools are studying Yeats, Dickens, Shakespeare, et al? Probably not very many because the subject matter as well as the historical context is beyond most ten year olds. The same goes for the bible.
This is cool, I already go to a Christian Private School in California though, but I'm glad to see that the Bible is finding it's way back into the school system. I hope that some other states follow suit. Prayer should also be allowed back in school IMO, as it's under the first amendment "Freedom of Religion".
Prayer has always been allowed in school. Nice to see you distort the law. What's not allowed is forcing other people to kowtow to your faith. Faith is private and personal, why don't you want it to stay that way? Are you hoping to convert every last US citizen to your particular brand of religion?
I never said that. As it said in the article, "The classes... will not be required". And I looked a bit into the prayer in school, and people can pray during non-instructional times, so I was wrong, it happens. Do people not have the right to promote their religion anymore? That seems to be your opinion on the matter, don't you agree that people should be exposed to all the options before making a decision? If yes, then what's different about religion?
Keep in mind that "freedom of religion" also means "freedom from religion". You can pray in a public school, but keep it private and keep that crap away from everyone else. I don't walk around campus telling people the joys of Atheism, I don't need some bible thumpers walking around telling me the joys of christianity.
If I want exposure to another religion, I'll seek out that religion and get exposed to it. If I'm happy with my beliefs, then I'm not going to seek another religion, nor do I want to be exposed to it.
It's just like the time before everyone had cell phones and you'd get calls asking you to switch long distance providers. I'm happy with my provider and have no reason to switch. If I wanted a new provider for any reason, I would've made a move a long time ago
Actually I think it's a combination of historical documentation and allegory. See also genre: historical fiction. But that's just me. Regardless of whether or not you think it came from divine inspiration, Man did the writing and the [re]translating, and in the case of King James, the rewriting. As such, it carries a certain historical context within it, and even I'll wager even an athiest could be persuaded to agree that exploring that context and everything that goes with it will help us to understand humanity as a whole better. Understanding the why is just as important as understanding the who, what, and where.
Or, I'll put it another way - we have classes on nearly every other mythology that aren't brainwashing kids, why not a course in Christian mythology, too? As long as whomever is doing the teaching lives up to the standard below, then all should be well:
The article failed to mention at what level these courses were being offered, but I would surmise that it would be at no less than high school level. I also can't speculate as to what public schools are like, never having attended one, but I do know I was being handed Willie, Dickens, and the like by the 7th grade. I didn't truly appreciate Yeats until my junior year of undergrad, and it's still hard to wrap my head around some of his stuff.
I'm glad you looked it up, the idea that prayer in schools is illegal is something spread by evangelicals who have an agenda.
Yeah, and every single sport known to mankind should also be offered in public schools as should every single human language. The point being that there's simply not enough time in the day to expose students to every possible aspect of life. Religion is something that belongs in the personal sphere, not the public one. The day that atheism, judaism, hinduism, buddhism, etc, etc, are offered up as legitimate options to xianity is the day that I'll have no problem with religion being offered in public schools. Until then, why don't we keep schools for what they're intended, education.
If parents feel the need to expose their children to religion, so be it but coercing children to pay homage to a particular god or cult is IMO, immoral.
Understanding humanity? That's a pretty big stretch. Historical context? What part of the bible is history?
I would say that it might provide some insight into the development of western culture. However, in order to fully understand the church in relation to that culture, one would also have to study the inquisition, the reformation, pogroms against the jews and the lusty King Henry VIII's need for divorce.
I would be all for a class on xian mythology, the problem is, the Georgia legislature didn't pass this law to promote mythology, they did it to promote xianity.
Challenging students is all good and well, so why not have a comparative religion class? Isn't the fact that Americans are woefully ignorant of the rest of the world one of the reasons why we're in Iraq right now? Much less the fact that very few Americans could find Iraq on a map.
Why should we be promoting one religion over another? Insecurity on the part of American Evangelicals?
Several thousand years' worth. A lot of it took place in the Middle East, you know.
The courses are called Literature & History of the Old/New Testament Era. I don't think Henry VIII would qualify as a contemporary of the New Testament. I get where you're going with this, though
As long as they don't approach it with the this-is-the-one-true-way mentality, where's the harm? These are not mandatory courses. It seems these days that it's perfectly acceptable to promote any faith that is not Christianity, all in the name of tolerance and diversity, but Christians (currently the big dog on the block in the US) are nutter crackpots.
I thought we were in Iraq because of an ignorant president, but I could be mistaken.
. Would you be arguing the same point if the course was called History & Literature of the Koran? I'm certain there would be a lot of people who would be all for it, but this time because it "celebrates diversity". Turning the glass is fair for both.
Ignoring the fact that a Bible has a lot to offer regarding the history of the world, either through its historical accounts or its effects on culture as it has spread, I think is more ignorant than anything Bush has done (and thats saying a lot). Is the Bible drastically more important than other religious documents? Thats debateable, and depends on the document, but I see no harm in offering students a chance to study what it really has to say.
I think a lot of Christians could really benefit if they actually read the Bible once in a while. Its suprising how many "devout" Christians couldn't even name 10 books.
Should this be accompanied by classes for the Koran and the Book of Mormon, etc.? If there's a demand, sure.
I went to a public high school in Georgia, and for my gifted 10th grade literature class, we were required to read sections of the Bible, as well as Siddhartha and other classics, over the summer, and we approached it as a historical text, not the word of God.
I am very touchy on the subject of religion in schools (and somewhat sick of some of the insincere religion in a lot of the South), but I personally feel that that there is nothing wrong with literature courses on the Bible. It is the best-selling book STILL and was the first book to ever be printed it was so important. You can still learn about the Bible without believing it is the word of God. I think this is an excellent idea -- if it is done right.
How much of it is verifiable history? Not much, huh!
My problem is that I believe few of these classes will be able to maintain any objectivity. The reason this is being pushed is to entrench christianity even further into the psyche of the south.
I'm actually all for this if it's taught as literature.
But I find it hard to believe that some teachers won't take this as a license to teach it as history rather than fictional literature. But, failing that trap, I see no real problem with exposing students to yet another mythology.
Would you say that homosexuals have a right to promote their views just as you argue Christians do? Don't you agree that people should be exposed to all the options before making a decision?
Yeah, from what I understood there would also be a study of the Quh'ran (I think I butchered that), Torah, and other religious books. At least thats how it was when the AJC (our State Paper) ran the story.
First, let's place our faith directly in our teachers -- most have the best interest of the kid at heart (read: they want to help the kid become an adult, not a Christian). That said, there should be stricter supervision over these courses by department supervisors, especially as regards assessments, unit plans, etc.
No room for play here (of course, no room to "play" in teaching literacy, either). Fundamentally -- teachers need to be trusted to construct curriculum, but they need to be prepared to defend the vitality of that curriculum to objective outside observers.
You can make that argument about any contested point in history. The winners get to do the (re)writing.
If your standard for teaching is perfect objectivity, then I suppose we can go ahead and do away with teaching anything that doesn't have hard and fast answers.
Interpretation can be startlingly objective, so long as we're open to the objectivity of the person next to us.
I 'spose some would counter immediately that that's subjectivity in disguise, but that flies in the face of democracy a bit.
Because, as said, it's going to turn in to that in some places. It already is. Would be great if it didn't, but the way these things tend to go, it's more than likely going to turn into preaching no matter what. Which is actually kinda too bad, because it could be a good subject as comparative literature and/or philosophy.
A plus for those who don't want to get involved, true.
Yes, but who voted for him?
I would assume it would be treated as History and Literature here, but in a Muslim country would it? There are some fanatical religious people in this country. If they're already doing it in other classes like Science and English (look around the forum here for some examples), wouldn't they do it here?
A good idea on paper, and one that already exists in some colleges, but it just seems way too easily open to abuse here.