Texans considering law to require bible classes

Filed under: Day Care & Education, That's Entertainment

The Texas legislature is considering a bill which, if passed and made law, would require public high schools to offer an elective class on the Bible. The bill says it should be an 'objective and nondevotional' course, but there is no mention of any similar requirements for courses on the Koran or the Book of Mormon, also culturally and socially significant works.

The bill's author, state Rep. Warren Chisum, a West Texas Republican who teaches Sunday school at a Baptist church, has said that the course would not treat the Bible as a "worship document" but would promote religious and cultural literacy by "educating our students academically and not devotionally." Hmmm... I'm sure that'll be the case every time. Of course, there's no provision to train school districts and teachers on how to teach the "the history and literature of the Old and New Testaments eras."

"The fear is that teachers with limited training and no guidance will be called upon to teach a course for which their experience draws largely from Sunday school," said Kathy Miller, president of the Texas Freedom Network. "It would be difficult for them to keep their own religious perspective out of the classroom. You can almost hear the lawyers lining up."

Mark Chancey, a religious studies professor at Southern Methodist University, did a study for Miller's organization and found that of Texas' 25 public school districts with a Bible course, 22 districts' offerings had a Christian slant. "When teachers don't have solid training in biblical studies and 1st Amendment issues, then they fall back on what they know from prior knowledge," Chancey told state legislators last week. "Courses end up being sectarian, often despite their best intentions."

While I'm all in favor of learning about religions, especially in the context of their impact upon our culture, I can't help but get the feeling that this is nothing more than an attempt at sneaking Christian bible study classes into public schools. Hopefully, the legislature will come to their senses before it costs the school districts time, money, and their reputation.

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.