public dollars for bible courses

From Newsweek, via the Huffington Post:

Fresh from a bruising federal court fight over the teaching of evolution, Georgia marched back into the culture wars last week when Gov. Sonny Perdue signed a bill allowing Bible classes in public high schools. An estimated 8 percent of the nation’s schools offer some form of Bible study. But the Georgia law is the first to set statewide guidelines and earmark public dollars for a Bible course. Five other states are considering similar measures. Georgia’s school board has until February 2007 to decide how the courses should be taught, and forces on both sides of the issue are bracing for a messy battle.

Just one question… How many years do you think it’ll be before we start hearing about high school science teachers being lynched for daring to speak Darwin’s name?

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  1. mark
    Posted April 23, 2006 at 8:59 pm | Permalink

    One wonders if Georgia will be funding high school Dianetics courses as well.

  2. jackalgirl
    Posted April 23, 2006 at 9:23 pm | Permalink

    The best way to teach the Bible in a school is pretty simple. Have one or two teachers who are schooled in Hebrew/Aramaic and Koine Greek sit down and tell students what the Bible really says. What will happen? The churches will go nuts. Suddenly, the students know God’s real name and it is not Jesus. The Trinity will be exposed as not Biblical. Immortal souls will be revealed to be a part of Greek philosophy. Eternal Hellfire will be doused as there is no evidence in the Bible to support its existence. Religious leaders will probably scream that the students are being turned into Jehovah’s Witnesses because they’ll learn that Christmas is not as scriptual as it was supposed to be. Anti-Bible fanatics don’t have to worry, mainstream religion will kill any objective Bible discussion quicker than they ever could.

  3. Tony Buttons Esq.
    Posted April 24, 2006 at 10:24 am | Permalink

    By “study the Bible”, I don’t think they mean actually approach the text critically.

    I suspect what they really mean is “listen to the testimony of those who have been saved.”

  4. Ted Glass
    Posted April 24, 2006 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

    An objective, comparative course in the religions of the world, if taught well, could be extremely beneficial to the students taking it. My guess is that the people behind this initiative, however, would sooner abort babies than allow the Koran to be taught to their kids.

  5. It's Skinner Again
    Posted April 25, 2006 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

    Veterans of the evolution skirmishes here may like to know that I’ll be lecturing on “Evolution and Pop Culture” in London this weekend, at the “Fortean Times” UnConvention. My talk will cover the cultural impact of the Scopes trial, the evolution of the caveman cartoon, bioluminescent pterodactyls in the Bible, and much more. Info is at Cheers!

  6. Hillary
    Posted April 25, 2006 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

    At the public high school I attended, the AP English course required “reading the Bible as literature”. They justified having students act out scenes from the Bible by including Siddhartha and Edith Hamilton’s Mythology on the reading list.

  7. mark
    Posted April 25, 2006 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

    Very cool, Doug. I’ll put a link up on the front page… Any chance we can see your slides, or read a transcript of your speach once it’s been delivered?

  8. mark
    Posted April 25, 2006 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

    And I’m not suggesting, Hillary, that the Bible isn’t a text that deserves to be read. It’s just the context in which it’s delivered that concerns me… and the fact that other religions most likely won’t be represented. I don’t think that our tax dolars should be put toward the creation of a state religion – regardless of how wonderful that religion might be.

  9. Hillary
    Posted April 26, 2006 at 9:22 am | Permalink

    I am. They were supposed to be preparing students for the AP exam, but were holding Bible study instead. Students also had prayer circles around the flag pole before school and 6th grade science class included both creationism and evolution. My science teacher seemed uncomfortable initiating a discussion on literal translation of the Bible, but was bailed out by the the other students who told us all about it. In high school sociology, I was the only person who objected to hanging portraits of Jesus in the school.

    Sorry I’m bitter this morning.

  10. Ted Glass
    Posted April 26, 2006 at 9:35 am | Permalink

    It wasn’t this portrait of Jesus, was it?

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