Taking Liberties: Bible School or History Class?

tjadams

Ad Honoris
Mar 2009
25,362
Texas
#1
Taking Liberties: Bible School or History Class?
By Douglas Kennedy-Published September 15, 2011

To school teacher Isaac Moffett, the Bible is not just a religious document. “It’s so much more,” he said. "It’s a primary source of history. It’s a primary teaching source of actually people who lived during the time period.”
Moffett is making his case as he walks across a dirt field in Nampa, Idaho.
“This used to be our campus,” he said. “This is where the classrooms were. Everything was right here.”
That was last year. This year it’s all gone, and all because Moffett and his fellow teachers used the Bible and other “religious texts” in their classrooms.
Taking Liberties: Bible School Or History Class? | Fox News
 

Jake10

Ad Honoris
Oct 2010
11,960
Canada
#2
As long as students can contest anything they read I see no problem with using the bible. In fact, the idea that you can't mention it in schools is silly, because students grow up without knowing what it is.
 

bunyip

Ad Honorem
Sep 2010
2,960
#3
As long as students can contest anything they read I see no problem with using the bible.

Agreed.I have no problem with the Bible,the Qur'an an or any other religious text being taught in public schools as part of say a course in comparative religion or mythology.

I have BIG problems with such books being taught as 'truth',history or or science. To do is to abrogate the principle of separation of church and state, crucial in a secular society. I don't care what the citizens of other countries choose to do.

I agree it's an overreaction to forbid the Bible to be mentioned at all,and that is not the case in my country. However,public schools have no business teaching religion. I agree such knowledge may be of some use, but is not necessary to be a good citizen or a good person. Religious education is the sole responsibility of parents.
 

pixi666

Ad Honorem
Nov 2010
2,534
The Great Indoors
#4
The Bible is a brilliant piece of fictional literature. If taught in the right context, it's just as enriching as reading the Iliad, the Epic of Gilgamesh, or the Divine Comedy.
 
Feb 2011
871
The Bitten Big Apple
#5
Fox Link said:
At issue is the Nampa Classical Academy, a charter school, founded by Moffett in 2009. One year later, Idaho’s Board of Education shut the school down, citing its use of “religious texts” inside classrooms. Moffett says he only used the texts to teach history and is now suing the Board in federal court.
Presenting the contents of the bible as a history text, however, is rife with issues in so far as history texts are "supposed" to be fact based. This sets up the use of the Bible as being a fact based source document. While religiously speaking it is very much a fact based document presenting the Bible in such a manner in a secular history class places the publicly funded school in the position of representing to the class that the Bible is a factual reference sourcebook.

This is counter to the US Constitutions establishment clause, imo.
 

Jake10

Ad Honoris
Oct 2010
11,960
Canada
#6
Presenting the contents of the bible as a history text, however, is rife with issues in so far as history texts are "supposed" to be fact based. This sets up the use of the Bible as being a fact based source document. While religiously speaking it is very much a fact based document presenting the Bible in such a manner in a secular history class places the publicly funded school in the position of representing to the class that the Bible is a factual reference sourcebook.

This is counter to the US Constitutions establishment clause, imo.
History classes can examine the works of Homer and Shakespeare, not because they're fact based but because they reflect historical perspectives. Of course, using the bible in a class requires the acknowledgement that much of the information in it cannot be verified and contradicts scientific findings, but that doesn't mean it violates the constitution. The bible is an excellent reference because it enables students to grasp the psychology of the generations mentioned in it, and to ban it denies freedom of speech.
 
Nov 2010
7,890
Border of GA and AL
#7
Agreed.I have no problem with the Bible,the Qur'an an or any other religious text being taught in public schools as part of say a course in comparative religion or mythology.

I have BIG problems with such books being taught as 'truth',history or or science. To do is to abrogate the principle of separation of church and state, crucial in a secular society. I don't care what the citizens of other countries choose to do.

I agree it's an overreaction to forbid the Bible to be mentioned at all,and that is not the case in my country. However,public schools have no business teaching religion. I agree such knowledge may be of some use, but is not necessary to be a good citizen or a good person. Religious education is the sole responsibility of parents.
+16 :cool:
 
Apr 2010
362
New York
#8
Agreed.I have no problem with the Bible,the Qur'an an or any other religious text being taught in public schools as part of say a course in comparative religion or mythology.

I have BIG problems with such books being taught as 'truth',history or or science. To do is to abrogate the principle of separation of church and state, crucial in a secular society. I don't care what the citizens of other countries choose to do.

I agree it's an overreaction to forbid the Bible to be mentioned at all,and that is not the case in my country. However,public schools have no business teaching religion. I agree such knowledge may be of some use, but is not necessary to be a good citizen or a good person. Religious education is the sole responsibility of parents.
This sort of thing extends far beyond separation of church and state. Someone who can teach the Bible as fact insults their own intelligence. Church historians and theologians agree and have found that the Bible is nothing more than a compendium of second hand accounts, selected by various members of the Catholic Church. When the Bible was assembled, it was put together without much objectivity. As subsequent denominations were formed, they changed the Bible to fit their own needs and tastes.

Public schools have a duty to teach religion in school, in a historical sense, not in a doctrinal or theological sense. At best, a student should understand how such a "sacred text" fits into the scheme of the history of the religion, not the material within. This country has a rich religious history and to say that the reason the U.S. is here today wasn't in some way shaped directly or indirectly by religious beliefs is a misnomer.
 

Recusant

Ad Honorem
Sep 2009
2,624
Sector N after curfew
#9
According to this story from the Idaho Press-Tribune the school was closed because of financial problems, not because it was using the Bible as a history text.

The state Public Charter School Commission revoked the first-year school’s charter in June because it found the academy to be financially unstable. The academy then appealed that decision.
There was indeed an issue regarding the school's curriculum, but that is not why it was closed.
 
Apr 2010
362
New York
#10
According to this story from the Idaho Press-Tribune the school was closed because of financial problems, not because it was using the Bible as a history text.



There was indeed an issue regarding the school's curriculum, but that is not why it was closed.

I'm only familiar with New York, but do all other states have State mandated curriculums?