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Switch to Forum Live View Elective Bible Classes In Public School
6 years ago  ::  Jul 26, 2008 - 9:58AM #1
Chai008
Posts: 1,056
AUSTIN, Texas - The Texas State Board of Education gave final approval Friday to establishing Bible classes in public high schools, rejecting calls to draw specific teaching guidelines and warnings that it could lead to constitutional problems in the classroom.

The Legislature passed a law in 2007 allowing Bible courses to be offered as an elective. They are supposed to focus on the history and literature of the Bible without preaching or disparaging any faith.

State officials are still waiting for an attorney general's ruling on whether the classes must be offered to students or left to school districts to decide.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/25742567/
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6 years ago  ::  Jul 26, 2008 - 10:03AM #2
mountain_man
Posts: 39,270
This is just plain wrong and unAmerican. The christian religion has plenty of churches and other places they can teach their kids their religion. They do not need to have the government do it for them. This is just another dishonest attempt at having the government endorse, and favor, the christian religion.
Dave - Just a Man in the Mountains.

I am a Humanist. I believe in a rational philosophy of life, informed by science, inspired by art, and motivated by a desire to do good for its own sake and not by an expectation of a reward or fear of punishment in an afterlife.
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6 years ago  ::  Jul 26, 2008 - 11:00AM #3
Thaklaar1
Posts: 493
I don't think there's anything wrong with a class on the Bible from a secular perspective, per se.  However, with the complete lack of guidance on curriculum standards coming from the State Board of Education, some teachers are almost certain to cross the line into proselytization.
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6 years ago  ::  Jul 26, 2008 - 11:41AM #4
mountain_man
Posts: 39,270

Thaklaar1 wrote:

I don't think there's anything wrong with a class on the Bible from a secular perspective, per se.


I didn't read the whole article, but, come on, this is Texas. I sincerely doubt they have any intention of teaching a secular class on comparative religion. This will be a full on religions indoctrination, teach the bible as the truth, kind of class.

However, with the complete lack of guidance on curriculum standards coming from the State Board of Education, some teachers are almost certain to cross the line into proselytization.


That's exactly what they intend. They cannot be trusted.

Dave - Just a Man in the Mountains.

I am a Humanist. I believe in a rational philosophy of life, informed by science, inspired by art, and motivated by a desire to do good for its own sake and not by an expectation of a reward or fear of punishment in an afterlife.
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6 years ago  ::  Jul 27, 2008 - 9:16AM #5
Chai008
Posts: 1,056
[QUOTE=mastîm;650208]They can teach the Bible as Literature/History so long as Pagans get to have their stories taught in the same way, as well as the Buddhists, Hindus and Muslims.  I'd like to see the look on their faces if Muslims suggested teaching the Qu'ran "as Literature".  I also wonder how fast such an action would cause Christians to demand that the schools remove those electives.[/QUOTE]


Why not teach religious electives in school of any religion. It is an elective after all so no one is really forced to take the class. I would approve of anyone being forced to take a religious class, but why shouldn't the option be there. When I was in high we didn't get taught Creationism in science and we learned about evolution. When I was in school we were taught things that specifically go against our beliefs and other religions beliefs like the big bang theory and evolution.  It didn't affect me to hear these things, nor did it affect other religious person that I know. So why shouldn't a religious elective of any type be allowed, I don't see what the problem would be.
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6 years ago  ::  Jul 27, 2008 - 8:11PM #6
Chai008
Posts: 1,056
[QUOTE=Chai008;650900]Why not teach religious electives in school of any religion. It is an elective after all so no one is really forced to take the class. I would approve of anyone being forced to take a religious class, but why shouldn't the option be there. When I was in high we didn't get taught Creationism in science and we learned about evolution. When I was in school we were taught things that specifically go against our beliefs and other religions beliefs like the big bang theory and evolution.  It didn't affect me to hear these things, nor did it affect other religious person that I know. So why shouldn't a religious elective of any type be allowed, I don't see what the problem would be.[/QUOTE]

I would approve of anyone being forced to take a religious class

Should have read I wouldn't approve of anyone being forced
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6 years ago  ::  Jul 27, 2008 - 11:10PM #7
mountain_man
Posts: 39,270

Chai008 wrote:

Why not teach religious electives in school of any religion.


There is no valid reason to do so. Every religion or brand of religion has it's own members that can do their own teaching in their own way. There is absolutely no reason the government should be doing it for them - and every reason for the government not to do it. One little reason though; it's against the Constitution.

It is an elective after all so no one is really forced to take the class.


Irrelevant. it's not the government's business to be teaching religion.

...When I was in school we were taught things that specifically go against our beliefs and other religions beliefs like the big bang theory and evolution.


You were taught science. Since our public schools are to be neutral on the topic of religion (that's for the protection of religion too, you know) they should teach the scientific consensus and the scientific method. You can teach your religion to your kids at home or at your place of worship.

It didn't affect me to hear these things, nor did it affect other religious person that I know. So why shouldn't a religious elective of any type be allowed, I don't see what the problem would be.


Whose version of whatever religion is being taught is going to be taught? Why not just teach your own version to your own members and leave the government out of it?

Dave - Just a Man in the Mountains.

I am a Humanist. I believe in a rational philosophy of life, informed by science, inspired by art, and motivated by a desire to do good for its own sake and not by an expectation of a reward or fear of punishment in an afterlife.
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6 years ago  ::  Jul 27, 2008 - 11:28PM #8
mountain_man
Posts: 39,270

christiangal wrote:

Why is having an ELECTIVE class on the Bible or any other religion wrong? 


Simple. It's against the law.

The First Amendment]
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof...


That's the first line of the First Amendment. Why did they put that first, above all else? It was the most important. Having the government teach religion in schools would be an "establishment of religion," specifically the christian one. NOT teaching the class in no way prohibits the free exercis thereof since you can teach it all you want in your own homes or in your own place of worship.

And, of a parent can't be bothered enough to teach their kids their familial, or other, religion, then it's not up to the government to do it for them.


Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof...[/quote]
That's the first line of the First Amendment. Why did they put that first, above all else? It was the most important. Having the government teach religion in schools would be an "establishment of religion," specifically the christian one. NOT teaching the class in no way prohibits the free exercis thereof since you can teach it all you want in your own homes or in your own place of worship.

And, of a parent can't be bothered enough to teach their kids their familial, or other, religion, then it's not up to the government to do it for them.

It's an elective, which means that the student only has to attend that class if they CHOOSE to do so.


It doesn't matter. Elective or not, it's still an excessive entanglement. Study up on the Lemon tripartite test .

Dave - Just a Man in the Mountains.

I am a Humanist. I believe in a rational philosophy of life, informed by science, inspired by art, and motivated by a desire to do good for its own sake and not by an expectation of a reward or fear of punishment in an afterlife.
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6 years ago  ::  Jul 28, 2008 - 12:23PM #9
RiverMoonlady
Posts: 773
When I was in high school in 1972, we had about 80 English electives to choose from (4 per year.)  One of the was titled, "ESP and the Sixth Sense."  Some of the local religious wackos went completely nuts and accused the teachers of killing their sheep through witchcraft and other nonsense.  We ended up having a huge public meeting where at least 95% of the attendees approved of the class.

To placate the other 5%, an elective was added:  "The Bible as Literature."

Apparently, no more sheep died.  The elective system was not offered the next year, and it was back to plain old boring English classes.

Funny thing is, I took the metaphysical class and learned SO MUCH.  Especially, I learned about Satanism and the black arts to the extent that I NEVER got involved in them.

IMHO, schools should offer philosophy classes which include the world's major religions, not just Christianity.  It would help some people realize that humans are more alike than different in their beliefs.
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6 years ago  ::  Jul 28, 2008 - 2:54PM #10
mytmouse57
Posts: 9,782
It's best to leave courses on religion to the college level, IMO. People on both sides of the fence really get their panties in a wad when it gets brought up as a possibility in public Jr. high or high school.

BTW, as I understand it, the primary function of the First Amendment is to protect religion from government interference... not so much the other way around.
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