“This issue is about teaching, not preaching”…

In an effort take a mental break from the bombardment of news coverage concerning the ghastly events that took place in Blacksburg this morning, I took to the Internets! I needed to find something to divert me from the vacant feeling in the abyss of my soul. I mean really! How many times can Wolf Blitzer say the words “blood bath” in the span of an hour? Turns out, a lot. Icky, icky poo.

Anyway, I came across this article in The Register talking about how Huntington Unified School District is actually debating weather to teach “the most important piece of literature in Western culture” to its students. They are hearing arguments on weather to offer an elective course on The Holy Bible in High Schools. Suddenly CNN sounds appealing again.

I can’t believe we are having a debate on weather or not to use public funds to teach children about The Bible in Orange County. First of all, I don’t care how “important” people say the Christian bible is; Danielle Steel’s Daddy is still a better read. If they have a course about The Holy Bible then I also want a course about the complete works of Jacqueline Susann.

Here’s a suggestion, if you want to teach about the literary merit of the “good” book then let the church teach and pay for it. Sunday mornings in a church seem like a good time to me. I’m sure that lady with the pink hair on TBN would make a wonderful guest speaker.

The school board members will come to a decision on whether they will examine the proposal during the next meeting on May 8. Back to you Wolf.

11 Comments so far

  1. Michael Doss (unregistered) on April 16th, 2007 @ 9:48 pm

    The concept of teaching the bible in relation to all the other literature read in high school is a very good idea, in my opinion – the bible (and other Christian concepts) are widely alluded to and referenced.

    That said, I don’t trust any implementation that would suggested and championed by Christian groups…pretty ugly conflict of interest. Not to mention different teachers are, of course, going to have a different spin, and while I’m a huge fan of public schools, I’m not a huge fan of all public school teachers. Tell the kids what the reference is, let them do the work on their own if they’re interested, but keep a bible-focused class in Sunday School.


  2. Gina (unregistered) on April 16th, 2007 @ 10:24 pm

    If you teach the Bible as literature, which is what I understood from the article, I don’t see anything wrong with it. In fact, that allows you to draw in references to other religions and some common themes found in religious texts.

    I don’t see it being any different than a course studying the Koran or the Bhagavad Ghita.


  3. Dave Share (unregistered) on April 17th, 2007 @ 7:05 am

    The problem is that they’re not teaching the Koran or the Bhagavad Ghita. It’s just the Bible. I’m a Christian and while I personally have no problem with an elective course like this one, I can very easily see where the problems arise. A class on the literature of MANY religious books would not only not single anyone out, but would also be better for the kids to learn, to help strengthen their beliefs. In Christian Universities, the religion classes are about many different religions, not just Christianity. It gives a better understanding of one’s personal beliefs. So I guess in too many words I’m saying, as long as it’s not just the Bible, I’m all for it.

    PS TBN is a scar on the face of Christianity…..just sayin’


  4. Jon (unregistered) on April 17th, 2007 @ 8:05 am

    I think Michael hits the nail on the head here. It’s not that I am opposed to an academic study of The Bible or the Koran or the Bhagavad Ghita for that matter.

    What makes me uneasy is the people that are championing this cause. Something inside me tells me their reason are less about academics and more about sneaking religious pathos into our public schools.

    I feel that while they may say “This issue is about teaching, not preaching”, they really mean just the opposite. It might be the skeptic in me, but I just don’t believe their motives are completely scholarly.


  5. Gina (unregistered) on April 17th, 2007 @ 8:16 am

    But would there be this huge discussion if it was the Koran we were talking about?

    Maybe it is because my degree is in literature that I don’t see a problem with a critical analysis of The Bible. Many universities, including public ones, teach similar courses. I don’t see how an elective class, which no one is forced to take, could be seen as a takeover by the Christian right.

    And listen, I am far from being a representative of the Christian right.


  6. Jon (unregistered) on April 17th, 2007 @ 10:02 am

    Gina,

    That’s why it makes me nervous. There wouldn’t be a Koran class offered. It would most likely be religious studies class that covered the Koran and many many other religious texts from various faiths.

    A Bible-only class seems suspect and inappropriate (out of context at least). I would wager that the same people championing this cause also wish to limit a lot of the secular studies in public schools that directly contradict their faith. I have no proof of this, but if I were a betting man, it would seem to be a prudent gamble.

    In the end, I’m just not buying what they are trying to sell.


  7. Michael Doss (unregistered) on April 17th, 2007 @ 12:28 pm

    You have a lot more “experts” on the college level than the high school level – even at a public college, I don’t think this class has the same problems as it does as a High School elective.

    There’s nothing stopping a teacher from saying “this is referencing the Song of Songs” or “this is an allusion to Cain and Abel”, and allowing the students to research on their own. Without knowing the intent of the people pushing the class, or knowing if there’s a qualified teacher, I’m iffy about the whole thing.


  8. Erin (unregistered) on April 17th, 2007 @ 2:18 pm

    Bible as Lit in my high school and university (CSUF) were *never* taught as anything but literature. Most of the kids there are Christians, so the Bible is more accessible to them–as literature. The Koran isn’t offered for the same reason we didn’t read 100 Years of Solitude in Lit or English class, but we did read The Scarlet Letter and The Grapes of Wrath. (We read it in Spanish class.)


  9. Betty (unregistered) on April 18th, 2007 @ 1:25 pm

    Dana Hills High School in Dana Point has a class for seniors “The Bible as Literature”. The Bible beats several of the books I have had to read when I was in high school. Taught objectively, I think it would be an interesting study.


  10. diane (unregistered) on April 19th, 2007 @ 1:37 pm

    ok first what is going on in are country i truly would love for the bibble to be in school it fredom of choise right not what you only want have you hard of hell thank you


  11. Jane (unregistered) on April 19th, 2007 @ 6:58 pm

    For some reason, this seems like a silly argument to me. Perhaps it is because it hits home for me. When you want your child to learn about the bible, you send him/her to Sunday school. Or better yet, if you need for the bible (or other religious book of choice) to infiltrate their every-waking moment, send them to private religious school. In fact, if you want every single subject introduced with a decided slant in a particular religious direction, there are even schools for that. In my opinion, public, federally and locally funded school has no room for religion of any kind. It is a clear “separation of church and state” issue. Incidentally, I personally attended a private Christian school and the benefits that I gleaned from it were small class size, the sometimes superior education that a private school affords, and a critical eye when it comes to information that is being provided to me.



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