Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Are Bibles Bigger in Texas?

A new Texas law requires that all public schools in the state offer some sort of Bible-as-literature elective in their curriculum this year. And while it would be nice if this was an attempt to educate children about the important of the Bible in the development of Western civilization and culture (try understanding all of Shakespeare's references without knowing at least something about biblical myths [or semen]), that's probably not going to be the case. In defending the law, one public school social studies teacher said, "The purpose of a course like this isn't even really to get kids to believe it, per se, it is just to appreciate the profound impact that it has had on our history and on our government." Seems fair until you consider the fact that anyone who believes the Bible had much of an impact on the creation of American government obviously doesn't know much about history. The fact is that these laws are end-runs around the constitution. These classes aren't designed to teach students what the Bible is so much as how great it is. And unless there are similar laws requiring the teaching of other important religious texts, it's fair to call bullshit on the Texas Board of Education, a body which has repeatedly proven itself to be as interested in promoting real knowledge as The Disney Channel is in promoting good music. More details here.