left biblioblography: Teaching The Fable - Again, I Agree With Norris

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Teaching The Fable - Again, I Agree With Norris

(Cross-posted at Gods4suckers.net)


Recently, (Chuck) Norris' kata of cognitive dissonance actually resembled something of note.

Bringing the Bible back into public schools

Three hundred eighty-two public school districts have voted to implement a course on it.

Over 1,350 schools in 37 states can now offer it as a textbook.

Approximately 190,000 students have already been taught from it as a course curriculum.

I'm talking about the Bible in public school. It's no joke! And I want to help you get a course on it offered in your school district, too.

I'm actually in agreement with this idea. More on this a little later on.

The Bible is big news!

Over the past few years dozens of news agencies from all over our nation have reported on the re-entry of Bible curriculum back into classrooms.

Just this past week, Time ran a cover story, "Why we should teach the Bible in public school."

Georgia's Legislature approved and is preparing its 180 school districts to offer two literature classes on the Bible.

More than 800 Craig, Colo., residents are petitioning to get an elective class at Moffat County High School on the history and literature of the Bible.

In my own state of Texas, the House Public Education Committee is presently considering requiring the state's 1,700 school districts to offer history and literature courses using the Bible as the primary text.

History and literature? The bible is most distinctly not historical in the slightest. Literature? Sure. Just like the Popul Vuh is, or Homer's The Iliad.

But of course, them thar nasty 'libruls' are hatching nasty plots in the background (supply your own farcical vaudevillian laughter):

Liberal attacks on Bible curriculum

Of course, liberal groups are fighting at great expense to keep the Bible from being taught in public classrooms.

The Texas Freedom Network, or TFN, is one of them – a self-admitted adversary of any biblically conservative movement, calling themselves "a mainstream voice to counter the religious right." The TFN, for example, is requesting five unnecessary changes to the Texas bill, which is intended to assure students are taught this classic text:

  • Mandate that teachers have appropriate academic qualifications and sufficient training on legal and constitutional issues surrounding instruction about the Bible in public schools.
  • Require rigorous, scholarly reviewed textbooks and other curriculum materials for all courses.
  • Include strong and specific language that protects the religious freedom of students and their families by barring the use of Bible classes to evangelize or promote personal religious perspectives.
  • Require the Texas Education Agency to regularly monitor and report on the content of public school Bible courses to ensure that they are academically and legally appropriate.
  • Continue to allow districts the option to offer – or not offer – such courses.

These are all RATIONAL intelligent responses. Note #3 (must really stick in their craws): NO EVANGELIZING OR PROMOTING PERSONAL RELIGIOUS PERSPECTIVES.

I'll bet when the Koran is offered as such, they'll all be nodding their heads in agreement at that clause. Because of course, 'That's DIFFERENT!'

Much more subtle than the TFN are the liberal ''compromises'' being offered by such individuals as Charles Haynes, the head of the Freedom Forum First Amendment Center, who purports to be a helper ''for schools and communities [to] find common ground on conflicts involving religion and values in public schools.'' Haynes' address of this issue remains suspect due to his continued track record of pushing a very pro-liberal platform – something that would make any card-carrying member of the ACLU proud. His conflict of interest also lies in the self-promotion of a textbook, ''The Bible and its influence,'' which he has partnered in developing and marketing to public schools.

Oh, the horrors! Oh, the humanity! Think of the children! How dare they promote tolerance of anything else?!?!?

Groups like TFN, or masked secular progressives like Charles Haynes, are offering a paranoid and polemic reaction to protect children from being preached at with the Scriptures. In the end, however, if they have their way, they will inadvertently prohibit the children of our land from learning about the one sacred text that has influenced more spheres in our nation than any other. Even more, they are fighting against the very positions and purposes for which our Founding Fathers raised up this country.

Hello? First amendment, anyone? There's plenty of real world examples where people get preached at at the drop of a hat. Gimmee a break here.

The Word from your Founding Fathers

Anyone who has studied early American history knows that the Bible has always been embedded throughout our culture, from classrooms to congressional halls. This was especially the case in the origins of our nation.

I get sick to death of people who claim that they 'speak for the Founders' (what're you using, the Ouija board? Get spirit messages?) - but of course Norris is listening to my least favorite propagandist, Barton, so small wonder there.

A study by the American Political Science Review on the political documents of the founding era, which was from 1760-1805, discovered that 94 percent of the period's documents were based on the Bible, with 34 percent of the contents being direct citations from the Bible. The Scripture was the bedrock and blueprint of our Declaration of Independence, our Constitution, academic arenas and heritage until the last quarter of a century.

Bad news, chuckles: that's called plagiarism. Spouting off biblical verses for eighty percent of your speech (or document) is just what my old English writing teacher called using 'driftwood'. ('Psst! You've got half an hour to kill!' 'Quick, hand me a bible!') No, the scriptures weren't the bedrock nor blueprint for our society. Bibles were brought in via the Northwest Ordinance because we didn't have a school system - what's the cheapest possible textbook you can use? That's a rhetorical question, by the way.

Citing a few of our Founding Fathers, the NCBCPS website notes:

"The Bible is a book worth more than all the other books that were ever printed." – Patrick Henry

"It is impossible to enslave mentally or socially a Bible reading people. The principles of the Bible are the groundwork of human freedom." – Horace Greeley

"I have always said, and will always say, that studious perusal of the sacred volume will make us better citizens." – Thomas Jefferson

While president of the United States, Thomas Jefferson was elected the first president of the Washington, D.C., public school board, which used the Bible as a reading text in the classroom.

Besides the fact that Horace Greeley isn't even on the Founder's list, Paine was a Deist and anti-Christian, Jefferson was a (closet) Deist, Franklin was an open Deist, Washington didn't even hang around for the communicant (and when criticized for not doing so, stopped attending services altogether), Jefferson AND Madison both were advocates of Separation of Church and State - I could go on at length on this alone.

If men like Jefferson believed in biblical education, it is not difficult to understand why liberal groups like TFN are losing the battle to prohibit the Bible and its influence on Western civilization from being taught in public schools. Try as they might, they will succumb to a force far bigger than themselves.

Oh, please. Jefferson trimmed all the crap out of the bible (read: Old Testament and all miracles in the New), thereby creating his own bible.

National Council on Bible Curriculum in Public Schools

Gena and I ponder and pray through many requests to endorse certain causes and products, but it took us only a few minutes to decide to support and even join the National Council on Bible Curriculum in Public Schools, or NCBCPS.

Oh geez. I'm glad there is that provision that doesn't permit evangelization.

NCBCPS's course helps students understand the Bible's influence and impact on history, literature, our legal and educational systems, as well as art, archaeology and other parts of civilization. In this elective class, students are required to read through their textbook – the Bible.

Um, let's see, yes (influence), yes (history), yes (literature) no (legal, no, educational, provisional), yes (art), archaeology's pretty much savaging the 'historical' part, and it HAS had a profound effect on our culture. Not all of it good. Most of it not good, in fact.

Unknown to most, it's legal and our constitutional right to be taught the Bible in public schools!

As a literature/historical elective? Sure.

That is why, from California and Alaska to Pennsylvania and Florida, 93 percent of boards approached with NCBCPS's Bible curriculum have voted to implement it.

You can preview some of the curriculum or the teacher's guide at their website.

This is a stupid maneuver on their part: I'll get to that in a moment.

Your first step to get God back into your public school

To learn how anyone can help their local school board to implement Bible curriculum, please write or call NCBCPS at the contact information below.

I'm all for this. As a compilation of literature that's had a profound impact on Western civilization, there's no argument.

Problem is, when I first started 'cracking the books', I had the Internet to balance the perspective. I began weighing all the elements, the debates, the points/counterpoints, and spent many, many hours of research looking into the subject.

I am now an atheist. For good reason. The book comes apart at the seams with an alarming regularity (especially given the claim that it was divinely dictated). It is by no means an historical work. Between contradictions, interpolations (both obvious and subtle), the nearly weekly archeological finds that contravene its allegedly 'holy' contents, it is, as Mary says in The Amber Spyglass, "A powerful and convincing lie."

"The More You Know," as the commercial states. I'd quote Asimov again, but then perhaps we should take a clue from one of the Founders:

"To talk of immaterial existences is to talk of nothings. To say that the human soul, angels, god, are immaterial, is to say they are nothings, or that there is no god, no angels, no soul. I cannot reason otherwise ... without plunging into the fathomless abyss of dreams and phantasms. I am satisfied, and sufficiently occupied with the things which are, without tormenting or troubling myself about those which may indeed be, but of which I have no evidence."
-- Thomas Jefferson, letter to John Adams, August 15, 1820

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Mesoforte said...

The Texas Freedom Network got the safegaurdes added, according to their web site.

Krystalline Apostate said...

MF - the TFN? Hadn't heard of them till now.
Safeguards? I got this off WeirdoNut Daily.

Mesoforte said...

Reread the "Liberal attacks on Bible Cirriculum"-

The Texas Freedom Network, or TFN, is one of them – a self-admitted adversary of any biblically conservative movement, calling themselves "a mainstream voice to counter the religious right." The TFN, for example, is requesting five unnecessary changes to the Texas bill, which is intended to assure students are taught this classic text:

On their site, www.tfn.org, the first section says that the safeguards were kept by Texas Legislators.

Krystalline Apostate said...

MF - yeah, I caught that afterwards. D'oh!