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Up until this school year, high school classes where the Bible is the focus of study have only been available in some Texas public schools.
With these types of results....
Mark Chancey, associate professor in religious studies at Southern Methodist University, has studied Bible classes already offered in about 25 districts for the Texas Freedom Network.
"Some classes promote creation science. Some classes denigrate Judaism. Some classes explicitly encourage students to convert to Christianity or to adopt Christian devotional practices," Chancey said.
This school year Texas is implementing, as Bill Maher would say, 'new rules'. The Bible will be an accredited class this year in virtually all Texas public schools.
If, for a particular semester, fewer than 15 students at
a school district campus register to enroll in a course required by
this section, the district is not required to offer the course at
that campus for that semester.
Each school district that offers kindergarten through
grade 12 shall offer, as a required curriculum:
(1) a foundation curriculum that includes:
(A) English language arts;
(C) science; and
(D) social studies, consisting of Texas, United
States, and world history, government, and geography; and
(2) an enrichment curriculum that includes:
(A) to the extent possible, languages other than
(B) health, with emphasis on the importance of
proper nutrition and exercise;
(C) physical education;
(D) fine arts;
(E) economics, with emphasis on the free
enterprise system and its benefits;
(F) career and technology education; [and]
(G) technology applications; and
(H) religious literature, including the Hebrew
Scriptures (Old Testament) and New Testament, and its impact on
history and literature.
The Wall Street Journal... goes into the details about what Texas theocons have in mind with the Bible as a subject for public school study. It seems that recommendations for implementation of Texas' new theocon law is in the hands of three reviewers....
Three reviewers, appointed by social conservatives, have recommended revamping the K-12 curriculum to emphasize the roles of the Bible, the Christian faith and the civic virtue of religion in the study of American history. Two of them want to remove or de-emphasize references to several historical figures who have become liberal icons, such as César Chávez and Thurgood Marshall.
The conservative reviewers say they believe that children must learn that America's founding principles are biblical. For instance, they say the separation of powers set forth in the Constitution stems from a scriptural understanding of man's fall and inherent sinfulness, or "radical depravity," which means he can be governed only by an intricate system of checks and balances.
The curriculum, they say, should clearly present Christianity as an overall force for good -- and a key reason for American exceptionalism, the notion that the country stands above and apart.
"America is a special place and we need to be sure we communicate that to our children," said Don McLeroy, a leading conservative on the board. "The foundational principles of our country are very biblical.... That needs to come out in the textbooks."
ABC explains here that this has to do with Christianizing all U.S. public school textbooks.
Some in the Village think mandatory Bible classes in high school is a super idea....
Newsweek's David Waters... As a source of divine inspiration, prophetic imagination and poetic wisdom, the Bible is unsurpassed.
Willis Elliott, a dean of American Protestantism, wrote, "The Bible is the scriptural foundation of the American mind, including the mind of the American military . . . The American way establishes no religion and privileges biblical religion."
Newseek editor John Meacham....You cannot understand America or its institutions without understanding the Bible and its influence. But that is a different thing from saying that the country's public institutions elevate one vision of religious faith over another.
Naturally, The Reverend is not in favor of accreditizing Bible classes in public high schools. The First Amendment is crystal clear about government being prohibited from establishing religion.....and the Bible is ONLY a religious book.
This comment from the KLTV link captures the essence of this Texas theocon nonsense....and my sentiments on the matter....
Guest: This is truly an amazing story. Requiring The Judeo-Christian Bible to be taught in school serves no purpose but to begin raising generations of people to accept a theocracy and reject and destroy American Democracy. Texas has a church on every corner for worship, and instead of spending secular time on religion, children need to be spending that time learning math, science, music, art, etc. This is not progress. If the class were an elective in ancient literature, and said class included the Qu'ran, the Vedas, etc., it would make sense for children with talent and propensities toward history, language, etc. Human intelligence has to be given a chance to evolve and this will never happen if people just plain refuse to progress. We don't worship nature anymore like, for example the ancient American Indians did; we don't sacrifice babies like the ancient Incans; we don't kill people like the ancient Celts; or animals like the ancient Hebrews; and now it's time to quit bowing down to big black rocks, statues and pictures of a virgin mother, to quit believing in sacred cows, to quit dancing around with snakes, to give up Voodoo and all primitive thinking, and evolve. Good luck, Texas, you just dumbed down.
Dumbing down for Jesus. Or, No Child Leaves His Bible Behind. For radical extremists, like Texas' theocons, this is called progress.
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