Bible Classes In Caddo Schools

So desires school board member Barry Rachal. Thankfully, he’s not simply shouting nut job talking points about courts taking God out of the classroom, yada, yada, yada. He does have an actual formal curriculum in mind. The article does a nice job explaining that there are two well known curriculums designed for Bible classes in public schools: One that is more of a pretext for religious education, and one that takes a more independent and scholarly approach. Rachal wants the pretext.

I have mixed feelings.

I’m a strict separationist. The less government involvement with religion and religious issues, the better. Done right, the course would not cross the line, but it’s close enough that I’m more than willing to say why risk it.

I’m also doubtful it would be done right. I’m extremely distrustful of the administrators and teachers who would implement the curriculum. Plenty of them are heavily involved in their churches, probably even Sunday School teachers. Most are also either ignorant about the First Amendment, or resent it. So I doubt the ability or willingness of the average teacher to remain objective.

Moreover, being objective would also cause problems. All it takes is one fire breathing little fundamentalist going home crying that his teacher is attacking his religious beliefs. Now everyone has to deal with an angry parent, or even a lawsuit about how the poor baby is being persecuted.

Finally, is this really necessary? The knowledge is certainly interesting, but what good is this course for the average public school student? Most of them are struggling to even understand the basics of western thought and culture, never mind advanced topics like how some obscure Psalm influenced Botticelli. Based on the intellectual level of my average student, I’d say this class would work better in college.

All that said, though, I’d still be tempted. One of the biggest shortcomings of the average education in this country is religion. Especially in this age of conflict, a little knowledge of how other people think would go a long way. Granted, most folks in these parts already think highly of the Bible, but maybe this could be a start. In other words, anyone who supported this Bible class would be hard pressed to find a logical objection to other classes about the texts of other religions. Not that it would stop them, of course.

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