Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Public School Bible Classes

Blog Against Theocracy. To participate in this, get your guidelines at that link.

I saw this topic over on John Good’s blog, an opportunity to blog against theocracy that’s being held this “holy week”. It’s important to understand what theocracy is. It’s having a State Religion. It’s being forced to observe religious customs by law. It’s being denied basic rights such as employment and shelter because your personal religious beliefs have been declared to be in conflict with the ones required. It's being forced to abide by laws that have no rational reason for existing.

A lot of Christians in this country see no problem with establishing Christianity as a National Religion, meaning that Christian beliefs would be required and non-conformity would have repercussions. (I would like to ask the Protestants reading this if they would mind if their government was officially Catholic. Thought so...) They don’t understand that this is the very thing that they hate about the Taliban and many other organizations and governments around the world. The thing that they hate is the very thing they would like to establish here, and that movement has made plenty of progress since Bush got into power. One of ways this movement had made inroads is in the changing of public school textbooks and curricula.

It's the following kind of stuff that makes me wish we could cut off the Texas panhandle and give it away. Who wants it? Oklahoma? Any takers? Really though, the problem is bigger than one extreme right-wing fundie member of the Christian Taliban (Pampa's Warren Chisum) with legislative power. Chisum has filed a bill to make Texas required to teach elective Bible classes in public schools. [LINK] The classes would cover the Old and New Testaments.

It’s already being done in many places in Texas (25 districts out of 1,000), and being watchdogged by the Texas Freedom Network: See Bible Curriculum, and only a handful of districts have managed to keep the studies within the guidelines of the topic as history, literature or social studies. I don’t disagree with offering classes on the subject of religious texts as long as they are presented in this way, and literature from other religions such as Islam, Eastern religions and Paganism must be required alongside. It would also be helpful for students to know about all the different translations of these books (particularly the Bible), how they got there, why some versions include chapters that others don’t.

Links: First Freedom First - Blog Against Theocracy

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7 comments:

Progressive Texas Chicano said...

hi blueberry. thanks for stopping by.

as a secular humanist, i find even an iota of religion being taught with my fucking tax dollars an afront. as a kid, my mom shoved catholicism down my throat. that was bad enough one day a week. if i had to endure that shit at school too, i would go apeshit.

religion: kills people dead. ck out landoverbaptist.org for absolute hysterical satire on the fundies.

In progressive unity,
Angelo BKA Anj

Progressive Texas Chicano said...

btw, i added you to my blogroll.

peace sweetie!

Anj

Blueberry said...

Thanks Anj!

I agree if they are teaching religion as devotional, but teaching the books as literature/mythology/an influence on culture I have no problem with as long as they are not telling kids what to believe. They need to teach kids to ask questions when it comes to this stuff, not be tellin' them the answers -- since they don't have the answers anyway.

Undeniable Liberal said...

You touched on something that I agree with. A world religion class covering the world's major religions, as an elective would be alright IMHO. But the christian bible? Which one?

beepbeepitsme said...

Good for you for taking part. I am going to blog about this tomorrow too.

niCk (Mem Beth) said...

I'll be participating. Thanks for the links

Ziem said...

What happened to a seperation of church and state? Can you just see a priest letting the state dictate? Religion, or the lack of, should be taught at home, or at least out side of school. Teach don't preach.
However, for the observers in private life, I don't agree with removing certain words, "Christmas" and "Hanukkah" and "Easter" ... I just think this is removing, yet another, choice. We are a country made up of thousands of different religions. The state should not intervene. Choice.

lol, am I making my point here? I haven't had my first cup of coffee yet.