December 11, 2005

DO BIOLOGY CLASSES HAVE TO DWELL ON EUGENICS AND NAZISM? (via Kevin Whited)

A new book tries to teach the Bible's role in culture without preaching religion. It doesn't quite succeed (Houston Chronicle, 12/11/05)

One of the few things both sides of the religion-in-schools debate agree on is that studying the Bible has its merits. [...]

A new book, The Bible and Its Influence...[c]ommissioned for $2 million by a nonprofit group called the Bible Literacy Project, [i]s the first Bible textbook ever written to conform to the First Amendment. Its publishers consulted 41 reviewers, including the nonprofit First Amendment Center, the American Jewish Congress and the National Association of Evangelicals.

Meant to give a neutral tool for teaching a keystone of Western culture, the project very nearly works.

The book includes color illustrations, discussions of The Matrix and Handel's Messiah, and studies of the Bible's influence on social activists from Martin Luther King Jr. to Cesar Chavez. It sidesteps contested questions. "Scholars and faithful readers differ on the date and author of Genesis," the text notes, leaving it at that.

Admirably, the book also states students' First Amendment rights in the first pages. "You are going to study the Bible academically, not devotionally," it reads. "You will not be pressed into accepting religion ... you will not be engaged in the practice of religion."

Even so, the textbook includes a few of the biases its authors tried so hard to fight. It doesn't mention that the Bible's influence has not always been positive.


Entirely typical, if unintentionally hilarious, that they think the First Amendment requires that students be taught that religion is pernicious.

Posted by Orrin Judd at December 11, 2005 4:37 PM
Comments

Knowledge of the King James Bible and Shakespeare is required to understand almost all English literature written from 1600 to around 1950.

Posted by: jd watson [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 11, 2005 7:34 PM

"Warning"

The influence of this newspaper has not always been "positive" and is almost always "biased", especially when reporting "news" concerning "Israel" or Republican "presidents".

Read at your own "risk"

Posted by: Randall Voth at December 11, 2005 11:35 PM
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