Texas may require schools to carry elective on Bible

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by IJ Reilly, Apr 15, 2007.

  1. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #1
    http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-bible15apr15,1,6999959.story
     
  2. bill4588 macrumors 6502a

    bill4588

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    #2
    I hate the fact that a school would ever teach a religion. It doesn't belong in the school environment because religion is a matter of choice. Would it be ok for a school to teach racism/sexism/or another religion such as hinduism? I think not.
     
  3. it5five macrumors 65816

    it5five

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    #3
    I don't think there is a problem offering a class teaching the bible as literature. In fact, there was such a course at ASU (might still be, not sure. The guy that taught it for years retired). The difference between a course being required at all Texas high schools and a course being offered at a large public university is that the professors at universities are capable of teaching such a class; high school teachers aren't. The professor at a University level knows how to keep the class from promoting any particular point of view.

    Hits the nail on the head.
     
  4. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    #4
    Seems to me to be better to have an elective comparative religions course, Senior year...

    Anyhow, there's no mention of any introduction of a companion Senate bill, which would need to pass--assuming the House bill gets out of committee.

    The only real selling point is the "elective" aspect, SFAIK. It's one of those harmless things that doesn't hurt in conservative counties, and won't create a lot of excitement in the "separation" crowd.

    'Rat
     
  5. Queso macrumors G4

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    #5
    If you want to teach the Bible as literature, how about it gets included as one module of many in Literature Studies? Devoting so much teaching time to one book would not be tolerated for any other title. This entire idea is simply to convey by another method the idea that the Bible is worthy of special treatment, in all aspects of life.
     
  6. obeygiant macrumors 68040

    obeygiant

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    Maybe they should offer an elective on the Koran and Torah as well. Then have everyone read Dianetics... :)
     
  7. IJ Reilly thread starter macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #7
    Had that in my high school. It wasn't even an elective -- it was required. I expect it broadened many minds.

    Over the intervening 35 years, the thinking on this changed quite a lot, at least in some places -- and not for the better.
     
  8. Thomas Veil macrumors 68020

    Thomas Veil

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    An elective on comparative religion wouldn't be objectionable; but focusing on the Bible to the exclusion of other holy books certainly is.

    I don't care what they say, their intentions are not "objective and nondevotional". (And doesn't that phrase remind you a little of "fair and balanced"?)
     
  9. it5five macrumors 65816

    it5five

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    Exaclty. Considering the guy that introduced this has previously shown himself to be super Christian.
     
  10. macdaddy121 macrumors 6502a

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    #10
    What is the problem with making it an elective? If you want to take it, take it. If you don't want to take it, don't take it.

    I do they they will face stiff opposition if they don't offer other forms of religious books as electives as well.

    I doubt they would be considering this if there was not some form of a push by some group of people some where. Either kids take the class or they don't. If they don't then you cancel the class. Seems simple enough.
     
  11. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

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    Because schools will be compelled to use limited resources i.e. staff, rooms, materials to support this?
     
  12. macdaddy121 macrumors 6502a

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    #12
    Why would it be limited resources?
     
  13. miloblithe macrumors 68020

    miloblithe

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    #13
    Well, because schools' resources are finite. Essentially, to create a new class, they'd be canceling another. What does this replace?
     
  14. TheAnswer macrumors 68030

    TheAnswer

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    #14
    Because unless they are infinite, they are limited. Last time I went to school, there were not infinite numbers of staff, classrooms and supplies. In most cases, schools don't even have sufficient classrooms, staff and supplies to teach the basic subjects well...so I suspect BV's question boils down to something like: "How many kids won't end up learning math, but will be able to quote the Bible."
     
  15. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

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    #15

    Since this seems to compel all schools, then I assume that includes public schools, which in most economies, are constantly having to prioritise spending.

    Let's turn this around. Why exactly should schools be compelled by law to offer these classes? Why should the Bible alone receive this treatment?
     
  16. macdaddy121 macrumors 6502a

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    #16

    As far as I know the Texas public school system is one of the most well funded school systems in the country (Heard from two different teachers in Texas about the limitless supplies they are able to receive, and from my wife who was a teacher in Louisiana and was told on many different occasions about the funding that Texas gives their public schools). Again, this is word of mouth and I have not done any research on the topic. That does not mean to go spend a ton more because you can but the whole point is to educate the kids then why not give them more options. I believe that classes are dropped and added quite often. So this would probably not be that big of a deal to add this class and hire one teacher who has a religious degree of some sorts and buy some Bibles (which will probably be donated by local churches just to try and get these kids to be educated on what the Bible has to say). I don't see a whole lot of costs issues coming from adding this class.

    I said in my previous post that they will probably have to add other religious books as electives. I don't see how they will be able to get away with teaching one religion and not another.

    However, on that note, why are some classes taught more than others, like languages?

    But like you asked.....I don't know that it should be a law. I think it should go into the curriculum like all of these other classes and they can be offered if the school feels like it would be used by the students. I think it should be like the other electives available to these students. Not a law but an option.
     
  17. macdaddy121 macrumors 6502a

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    #17
    It's not Math v Bible but it is Architecture History v Bible (example). The core classes will still be in tact but there will be another option for which elective to take. And I don't see a problem if a kid wants to take Bible over Math as an elective and all his core is done. Just like I don't see a problem with a kid taking Architecture History over Bible or Sociology.
     
  18. IJ Reilly thread starter macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #18
    Assuming this bill passes -- then no, there's no reason to make this assumption, unless the state is successfully sued. They will attempt to hide behind the fig leaf (no pun intended, for a change) of teaching the "Judeo-Christian" Bible, because the Old Testament is included. If teaching neutral courses about world faiths was the purpose, then this is the bill the legislators would be advancing.
     
  19. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

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    #19
    Unfortunately there is the keyword: require.

    In College I opted to take a course on the Bible as Literature. It was by far one of the best literature courses I ever took. The class was unevenly divided. There were 15 students and three were clearly not there for the religious benefit; me being one of the three. The other 12 were downright upset that we would not be reading the new testament. I was informed in 18 weeks at least twice that I would burn in hell. However, this course really opened my eyes to the bible itself. I had read it before and will read it again, but I read it for other reasons. Now in this class I saw what a wonderful piece of literature it is. Don't agree with me, just know that's how I feel.

    Do I think the elective should be offered? Yes. Do I think it should be required of schools? No. Mixing Church and State is wrong and this is clearly mixing things up too much.
     
  20. macdaddy121 macrumors 6502a

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    #20
    I agree.
     
  21. halfprep455 macrumors regular

    halfprep455

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    #21
    Like I said earlier, this country is slowly becoming a theocracy! Why should someone who is not religious have to pay (tax dollors) for their childern to be tought religion? It has no place in public schools. I hope this goes to the supreme court and is struck down! In fact, I hope the legislators who try to enact this law are fired or even inprisoned for intentionally trying to undermine the Constitution! If the school is so diehard on teaching religion, then a class on Islam, Buddhism, Judiasm, Hinduism, Atheism, Sikihism, Janeism, Taoism, Scientology, Satanism, Agnostisism, Dieistism, Zoroastrianism, and every single other religion that has ever existed should equallly be tought!!!!!
     
  22. yg17 macrumors G5

    yg17

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    #22
    If I want to learn about the bible, I go to church. Just like if I want to learn about things that matter to me, I go to school. Thats how it needs to remain. You don't see people going to church to learn how to do calculus.
     
  23. hulugu macrumors 68000

    hulugu

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    #23
    Bingo. There's my concern about the bill, and indeed any bill that 'requires' the teaching of religion in schools.

    Incidentally, I went to a Catholic school which included as an elective course World Religions. Taught by a Carmelite priest, the class included not only selected readings of a world's holy books, but also lectures by members of various faiths. One week was the Hare Krishnas, another was a Orthodox Rabbi. We also visited churches and a Zen monastery. If this is the kind of experience the Texas legislature wants students to enjoy the language should reflect this. Otherwise, it's just another sly and cynical attempt to turn our schools into Christian madrassas.
     
  24. halfprep455 macrumors regular

    halfprep455

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    #24
    I am willing to bet that this law will end up in the supreme court in a few years. I would challange it if I were going to school or had kids going to school in Texas.
     
  25. macdaddy121 macrumors 6502a

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    #25
    Why does someone who doesn't send their kids to public schools have to pay (tax dollars) for their children to be taught nothing? There are many questions that can be asked very similar to this that have nothing to do with one elective religion class. This is an elective.....no one has to take it if they don't want to.

    You contradict yourself by saying it has no place in school and anyone who tries to see this through should be fired and even imprisoned! Then you say that they should teach all of them if they are going to do it. Is it against the Constitution to teach religion in public schools or not? You say it is and then say well, if your going to do it then teach all the religions. However, I don't think this is a religion class as much as it is a Bible class.
     

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