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Author Topic: Texas Public Schools Required to Teach Bible This Year  (Read 20290 times)
RyanCSmith
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« Topic Start: August 19, 2009, 02:32:25 pm »

Article here
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« Reply #1: August 19, 2009, 02:42:21 pm »


if it was ACTUALLY Bible as literature, I wouldn't mind so much.  But it clearly looks like a way to push Christianity, not a way to explore the way religion has affected our history.  And that's a big problem.

Of course, there are ways this class could be made delightfully subversive .. which would be interesting to see the fallout of!
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« Reply #2: August 19, 2009, 02:53:19 pm »

if it was ACTUALLY Bible as literature, I wouldn't mind so much.  But it clearly looks like a way to push Christianity, not a way to explore the way religion has affected our history.  And that's a big problem.

I'm with you there, but...  I'm not seeing that in the article, actually; I don't see anything there that suggests to me that this is more than just Bible-as-literature (or possibly Bible-as-cultural-element, which is still different from Bible-as-Truth).  Am I just missing it?
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« Reply #3: August 19, 2009, 03:04:18 pm »

if it was ACTUALLY Bible as literature, I wouldn't mind so much.  But it clearly looks like a way to push Christianity, not a way to explore the way religion has affected our history.  And that's a big problem.

Of course, there are ways this class could be made delightfully subversive .. which would be interesting to see the fallout of!

From what I recall in the seminar on historical writing I took for my BA the ONLY field of history that considers the Bible to be a reputable primary source document is Biblical History.  Every.  Single.  Other.  Field considers the Bible to be a piece of literature for use as a secondary source at best or to understand justifications that were used in period as relevant.  Most of the reason for that is because the Bible has been edited more times than most people change their underwear.  If they were examining it as a piece of literature and its genuine historical impact that would be one thing, although a class like that sounds more like upper division college coursework not something to do in elementary school to do it right, but this doesn't sound like that especially with recent debates (I'll post the link when I find it) on revising the history curriculum in Texas to include more religious influences and downplay people like Cesar Chavez for example.
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« Reply #4: August 19, 2009, 03:05:16 pm »

I'm with you there, but...  I'm not seeing that in the article, actually; I don't see anything there that suggests to me that this is more than just Bible-as-literature (or possibly Bible-as-cultural-element, which is still different from Bible-as-Truth).  Am I just missing it?

Well - not exactly.  But A) it's Texas, there's a history.

And b) there's more than one comment about teaching religion.  and "showing the religion's roots in the American government" - which is loaded.  goes right back to the "the US was founded as a Christian nation" rot.

So, really, I'd need to see proof that it ISN'T something like that, rather than assume it might not be.
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« Reply #5: August 19, 2009, 03:18:08 pm »

Well - not exactly.  But A) it's Texas, there's a history.

And b) there's more than one comment about teaching religion.  and "showing the religion's roots in the American government" - which is loaded.  goes right back to the "the US was founded as a Christian nation" rot.

So, really, I'd need to see proof that it ISN'T something like that, rather than assume it might not be.

For bonus points the article indicated that the STATE won't be funding this new addition to the curriculum.
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« Reply #6: August 19, 2009, 03:33:18 pm »


I can promise you the intent of the law was religious. The Texas Legislature is controlled by Republicans and the Texas Republican party is controlled by the Religious Right.
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« Reply #7: August 19, 2009, 04:41:43 pm »


I saw this on my LJ this morning- another friend of mine posted it, and I think it's stupid. I don't mind using the Bible for literary standings but using it for the "history of country" is a crock of crap. From what I've read, most of the founding fathers were deists, not Christian. Not to mention religion shouldn't be in school, unless you're going to teach about more than just Abrahamic faith (mainly Christian).

I personally think it's a waste of money.

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« Reply #8: August 19, 2009, 04:44:55 pm »

Well - not exactly.  But A) it's Texas, there's a history.

OK, point.

Quote
And b) there's more than one comment about teaching religion.  and "showing the religion's roots in the American government" - which is loaded.  goes right back to the "the US was founded as a Christian nation" rot.

If this were a different state, I'd argue that Christianity has had a great deal of influence on this country, socially and probably politically.  Might not have been founded as a Christian nation, but that doesn't mean it's not an influence worth exploring.

Since this is Texas, though, and there is a history, I'll just concede the point and drop it.  Wink
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« Reply #9: August 19, 2009, 04:46:00 pm »

OK, point.

If this were a different state, I'd argue that Christianity has had a great deal of influence on this country, socially and probably politically.  Might not have been founded as a Christian nation, but that doesn't mean it's not an influence worth exploring.

Since this is Texas, though, and there is a history, I'll just concede the point and drop it.  Wink

heh - as I said, it COULD be legit.  it's just that those words tend to be code for a very specific agenda.

I absolutely think the influence should be explored - but that's not the same thing! Cheesy
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« Reply #10: August 19, 2009, 04:56:17 pm »

I saw this on my LJ this morning- another friend of mine posted it, and I think it's stupid. I don't mind using the Bible for literary standings but using it for the "history of country" is a crock of crap. From what I've read, most of the founding fathers were deists, not Christian. Not to mention religion shouldn't be in school, unless you're going to teach about more than just Abrahamic faith (mainly Christian).

I personally think it's a waste of money.

-Devo

There's QUITE a few pages of quotes floating around that pretty conclusively shoot down the idea that the Founders intended this to be a "Christian Nation" (whatever that is) and I know in George Washington's case he never accepted communion during his adult life and did not ask for any kind of religious person to attend to him as he lay dying.  There's also quite a few quotes from Tom Paine and John Adams that (paraphrasing) pretty much say Christianity is a crock in Paine's case VERY forcefully.

Quite frankly anything that the Religious Wrong likes gets my hackles up pretty quick; those people don't do things JUST out of the goodness of their hearts from what I've seen.
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« Reply #11: August 19, 2009, 06:10:11 pm »

I can promise you the intent of the law was religious. The Texas Legislature is controlled by Republicans and the Texas Republican party is controlled by the Religious Right.

Oh yes. No question that's the intent.
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« Reply #12: August 19, 2009, 06:13:56 pm »

There's QUITE a few pages of quotes floating around that pretty conclusively shoot down the idea that the Founders intended this to be a "Christian Nation" (whatever that is) and I know in George Washington's case he never accepted communion during his adult life and did not ask for any kind of religious person to attend to him as he lay dying.  There's also quite a few quotes from Tom Paine and John Adams that (paraphrasing) pretty much say Christianity is a crock in Paine's case VERY forcefully.

Do not ever make the mistake of thinking that the Religious Right doesn't cherry pick their historical information. They do. Consistently and constantly.

And this is Texas we're talking about. The "Christian Nation" bit is written into the state's GOP platform.
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« Reply #13: August 19, 2009, 06:19:15 pm »

Do not ever make the mistake of thinking that the Religious Right doesn't cherry pick their historical information. They do. Consistently and constantly.

And this is Texas we're talking about. The "Christian Nation" bit is written into the state's GOP platform.

Oh no, those people will distort, twist, and outright fabricate ANYTHING that can be used to support their ideas.  I've spent too much time reading up on them to think they wouldn't do that or to dismiss them out of hand just because the horse they hitched their wagon to in November lost. They'll take whatever they can get to justify an American theocracy and this one item is a small part of the overall strategy of changing the dialogue, discussion, and facts to support their position.

I love the bonus points that this new program while mandated by the state legislature won't be paid for by state monies.
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« Reply #14: August 21, 2009, 10:37:30 pm »


So, wait. All schools? Or all highschools?
I heard anything about this before now, and I don't see how it can be enforced if every one has already chosen their courses, at least at my school. I just checked on its website, and that course is definitely not offered.
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