Well, add The Deist to that list! I just found out that the legislature of my home state did one of the stupidest things in the history of things that state legislatures have done… EVER!
Apparently Texas high schools are now required to offer (as an elective) a class that teaches The Bible. How did I miss this?… it passed two years ago and it begins this school year.
What I am hoping will happen is this will be challenged, defeated and left in church where it belongs. Hello 1st Amendment!
Until then, I suspect what will happen is the students who take this class will fall into one of three categories:
- kids who have been taking Bible study in church and are hoping to score an easy A.
- objective, smart kids who hope the class will actually teach them something new and will ask about the inconsistencies and contradictions or
- stoner kids hoping they can score on the churchy kids.
I am hoping the person who teaches this class is either:
- an atheist who knows the Bible inside and out and will bury the kids looking for an easy A.
- a fundamentalist who gets stumped by the smart kids and made to look like a dumbass or
- the football coach who doesn’t teach a thing except why it’s called a hail Mary.
Ok, in all seriousness, if I could be convinced that the class would be taught objectively, I would be all for it and would highly urge Little Fawn (to first time readers, Little Fawn is my daughter) to take the class. I’m sure it would be fascinating for her to see how the Bible has influenced so much of our culture. Unfortunately, I don’t think that is possible… from either side, fundamentalist or atheist. I can’t imagine there is a teacher out there in the Texas school system who is knowledgeable enough in Biblical archeology, Middle Eastern history, Biblical anthropology, Greek, Aramaic, Hebrew and the numerous other subsets of study that is certainly needed to effectively present objectively a tremendously complex piece of literature.
But the state of Texas is gonna give it a go and try to ramp up the teachers who’ve signed on to teach this class.
The Daily Texan sat in on a morning lecture to better understand the University’s role in educating teachers and, ultimately, avoiding lawsuits.
The session revolved around the first few sentences of the Book of Isaiah. After a few minutes, it became stunningly clear that the teachers, though extremely eager to learn, are unprepared to offer insights on the Bible’s historical and literary contexts. Granted, the Bible is a difficult text to understand, but the teachers struggled with the simple nuances of passages. Of course, as nearly none of the participants have formal experience in teaching the Bible, such a nascent scholarly understanding of the Bible is expected. But these educators, still learning themselves, should not be asked to teach such demanding and potentially controversial courses.
dumb asses in Austin. Bunch of dumb asses.
God, I hate saying I’m from Texas.