Friday, November 14, 2008

Alabama First State to Adopt Bible Textbook for High Schools

45th in education..... I wonder why.

Alabama has become the first state to approve a Bible textbook for statewide adoption, makers of ”The Bible and Its Influence” announced Monday.

The Bible Literacy Project, an interfaith group that released the book in September 2005, said the decision by the Alabama State Board of Education last Wednesday also makes ”The Bible and Its Influence” the first textbook for academic study of the Bible to be adopted statewide. read more now or get someone from Vermont to explain it to you


More info here too
http://www.aclualabama.org/News/PressReleases/Highlights/102808.html

21 comments:

Tyler said...

Wow I am glad this was not on the curriculum when I was in school even more disturbing is that it has been adopted by schools in 35 states according to the link at the bottom of the article. What is happening in this country this bothers me a lot. I can assure that if and when I ever have children they will not attend schools who feel that this propaganda is a necessary part of the educational experience. Religion teaches people not to challenge ideals and simply accept things on faith. This is not education it is brain washing. Education encourages the debate and the need to question the validity of ideals. We as Americans must look like a bunch of bumbling idiots to the Europeans for thinking it is necessary for such materials to be taught in our public school system. Religion (well the judea christian islamic type) teaches intolerance and creates hate against others who don't believe and live there lives in the same way. I mean give me a fucking break through the crusades and holocaust have we not learned our lesson about religion it is fucking dangerous and causes more so much more harm than good that could ever possibly come out of it.

clintpatty said...

Tyler I think that's just the reason to have it taught in school. The title makes it seem like it could be a good book. The Bible and it's associated religions have had a huge impact on history. History in the past few thousand years in much of the world can't be understood without it. College courses don't ignore its importance, and neither should high school due to an extremism about separation of church and state. It's also important in American literature. I guess this has a lot of potential for teachers to feel justified helping to spread Jesus' word instead of teaching history even though the textbook is intended to be “academic” and “non-devotional."

Tyler said...

To me I see this as an attempt to push religious Ideals in school. I think it would be extremely difficult for teachers to teach this subject objectively and without bias. And as far as its importance in history many historians are now approaching history through means of excavation and evidence from artifacts instead of putting great importance on written records. It is important to note that history in the past was written down by people who were literate and were in position of power are a victor of war so many thing once believe to be true by historians are now appearing to be contradictory of physical evidence. I also feel the problem with both high school and college history courses is the main focus is on war and religion instead of other human achievements. If someone wants to study religion I think they should do that on there own time are people who are educated and have the evidence and are willing to present the subject in an objective way could and should do so in and educational center outside of public schools. Which is essentially my problem it has no place in the public school system and many people with bachelor educational degrees do not have the proper in depth knowledge about religion to simply teach it from a text book and this would most likely lead to them incorporating there own personal beliefs in the the subject. And let us not forget about the constitutional separation of church and state, private schools can teach what ever they like as far as I am concerned but this subject needs to be kept out of public schools.

ash said...

I would really like to believe that this book and its resulting curriculum would provide an objective view of the Bible and Christianity. But such a sensitive subject demands that a qualified person present the dialogue in a purely objective and academic manner...something that can't be guaranteed when implemented in such a widespread fashion.

On paper, this doesn't seem to blur the line between church and state. Its implementation is what scares me. There is no guarantee that this will not result in proselytizing and pushing Christianity on children, some of whom may feel ostracized for not being a Christian, or offended by the lack of equal representation of their own primary religious text.

Spirituality is wholly personal and any exploration of religion should be done electively by a mature person at their own chosen time. Religious indoctrination of children is criminal. It basically teaches them that it's not okay to think for themselves!

This is yet another reason why Uma will not go to public school. She deserves to decide for herself what and how to think and believe, and to not be indoctrinated at a young age in such a vulnerable setting. I know that the states teaching this material have the best intentions, but this is a very, very bad idea.

Tyler said...

I agree with you points ashley. It is good to here this argument from a person who is a parent and is concerned about the influence of public schools. And all though some of these people may argue this book is objective than why was it produced and released by a religious group and not by an accredited historical publication. The fact that its subject matter originates from a religious organization leads me to believe that this text book is not objective and therefore has no right to be taught in public schools.

Bello Velo said...

Well Clint here we go again. While your point is sort of valid I think if you look as to where this book is coming from and it's curriculum it is from "the church" not from academic scholars. So separation of church and state should be enforced here.While I agree that christianity has shaped the last couple of thousand years not for the better in my opinion and should be taught. That being said it should come from academia not the church. Which this is. I am thankful and supporting the Alabama ACLU on this and It looks like lawsuits will be happening.

Also what if my child is Jewish, Muslim, or worse and Atheist do I have to subject them to this myopic view of history?

I guess what really troubles me is how some people see no harm in this! I agree with ash indoctrinating your child into religion is child abuse. If they want to believe in santa claus for adults ( jesus) then they can make that choice as adults.

This is for you Clint:

I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever
human beings endure suffering and humiliation.

We must always take sides.

Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim.
Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.

~ Elie Wiesel

livekindly said...

Thank you for that lovely quote. Ignoring wrongs is equivalent to endorsing them unfortunately. We can see this today in the DR Congo with the homocides (genocides, really, rape, starvation... The USA failed to act, in a timely manner, to the Nazi Holocaust. Not only did 10s of millions die in concentration camps, even more endured horrific tortures and loss.

Perhaps on a smaller scale, Americans have failed endorse the anti-bullying campaign. Routinely people say, well they must have deserved it (blame the victim); oh, it's just a part of normal life (fail the victim); oh, that wasn't really bullying (deny the victims suffering); I see both sides (until it is you), I'm afraid they'll come after me (& why would someone stand up for you if you aren't willing to do the same?).

It is important to remember that tickling can go from fun to legitimate torture in milliseconds, and truly only the person being tickled really knows when the line has been crossed.

Additionally, even otherwise educated people think they are being fair even Switzerland-like by "seeing both sides", that is not what political neutrality is. Have you even heard the Swiss Government expressing similar comments, nevertheless pointing out the good or bad qualities from opposing sides? Nope, not often, if at all.

Everyday you have a choice to make the world better for someone else or fail to. World peace starts with every one of us.

You CAN change the world by speaking up!

Please choose to live kindly & pass it forward.

Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.
~ Elie Wiesel

Bello Velo said...

well said, livekindly!!!
thank you

alwayslovethoseurbanlegends said...

P.S. Can anyone show me/prove that the Constitution ACTUALLY says anything about separation of church and state???

After you look that up, you might be interested in looking up that bit about "not being guilty until proven innocent".

Bello Velo said...

can anyone prove it should be crammed down our throats. keep it in your home and churches. not in our schools or politics. if you want some say then have your churches pay taxes like the rest of us. Either pay or shut up.

Anonymous said...

Separation of church and state is a political and legal doctrine that government and religious institutions are to be kept separate and independent from each other.[1] The term most often refers to the combination of two principles: secularity of government and freedom of religious exercise.[2]
The phrase separation of church and state is generally traced to the letter written by Thomas Jefferson in 1802 to the Danbury Baptists, in which he referred to the First Amendment to the United States Constitution as creating a "wall of separation" between church and state.[3] The phrase was then quoted by the United States Supreme Court first in 1878,[4] and then in a series of cases starting in 1948.[5] This led to increased popular and political discussion of the concept.
The concept has since been adopted in a number of countries, to varying degrees depending on the applicable legal structures and prevalent views toward the proper role of religion in society. A similar principle of laïcité has been applied in France and Turkey, while some socially secularized countries such as Norway have maintained constitutional recognition of an official state religion. The concept parallels various other international social and political ideas, including secularism, disestablishment, religious liberty, and religious pluralism.

Anonymous said...

The The Bible Literacy Project book has been endorsed, its press release says, by “leading evangelicals” and its materials have been given a stamp of approval by the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, a far-right legal outfit that works to undermine the separation of church and state. All of this may make the Religious Right happy, but it only underscores claims by church-state separationists that the effort to get The Bible and Its Influence in public schools is largely a Religious Right scheme.

The Bible Literacy Project is run by a wealthy right-wing activist named Charles Stetson. Although his name appears on The Bible and Its Influence as editor, Stetson is not a professional educator or a religion scholar. He’s just a man with enough money to fund a project to increase the amount of Christianity in public life.

Tyler said...

well put from the anonymous poster thanks for your input

Anonymous said...

wondering wtf bullying has to do with this thread...

inc123 said...

The precursor to learning is admitting you understand. Thank you for taking the first step. If re-reading the whole series doesn't help you, try reading more about Elie Wiesel, DR Congo, the Holocaust, indifference, religious & intolerance, etc. Perhaps, you will then see how it all fits together.

Let me repeat Bello Velo's Elie Wiesel quote for you:
Everyday you have a choice to make the world better for someone else or fail to. World peace starts with every one of us.

You CAN change the world by speaking up!

Please choose to live kindly & pass it forward.

Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.
~ Elie Wiesel

Bets of luck with your studies & future insight of our world & how actions inter-play & effect others.

inc123 said...

Oops wrong copy & paste: here's the quote I meant to copy:

I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever
human beings endure suffering and humiliation.

We must always take sides.

Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim.
Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.

~ Elie Wiesel

Anonymous said...

no, i get how the wiesel quote ties into this thread about THE BIBLE IN SCHOOLS. the whole tyraid about bullying threw me off. i though this was a debate about separation of church & state...not "the anti-bullying campaign"

inc123 said...

It's all inter-related:
The Jews & other groups were bullied prior to the beginning of the holocaust.
Many Americans immigrated here becuase of intolerance / mistreatments / bullying etc for being different or unliked in some way.
Isn't religion is one of main justifications for mistreatment & intolerance?
It is a often a matter of scale. Bullying is not limited to kids & playgrounds, nor is its effects.

Anonymous said...

The word TIRADE (used above) speaks volumes-- obviously, it is meant to express Annonymous' need to bash a participant in this discussion. He doesn't have to agree, but why not choose to be more respectful of others? One can disagree without trying to put someone else down.

Anonymous said...

lol wow. no one is bashing you or trying to put you down livekindly/inc123/anonymous. just curious about how this very specific convo became your pulpit for something i felt was a little bit unrelated. never accused you of anything or disrespected you. chill out.

oh and btw if you are going to call me out on a misspell, you should consider spell checking your own entry (Annonymous).

:) have a nice day.

clintpatty said...

I'd like to see the book. The authors could have biases and try to be objective in the book. I know Christians who do not ignore the negative impacts of Christianity throughout recent history. But I was probably wrong about my previous post. Plus I guess it's better to start with the suits now instead of trying to punish/fire a bunch of individual teachers for trying to spread the gospel.