This site is not maintained. Click here for the new website of Richard Dawkins.

← Panel approves Bible classes for public schools

Panel approves Bible classes for public schools - Comments

Evilcor's Avatar Comment 1 by Evilcor

Whatever. . .

Sat, 20 Feb 2010 03:52:00 UTC | #442526

DanDare's Avatar Comment 2 by DanDare

And the Quaran? The Vedic scriptures? What about Mao's little red book?

Lets hope that they do proper literary critique, since the book stinks.

This strategy is world wide by the way. The leader of the opposition here in Oz (Tony Abbot) has suggested the same thing.

Sat, 20 Feb 2010 03:58:00 UTC | #442527

Whistler's Avatar Comment 3 by Whistler

Oh crap. I have kids in school here in Kentucky. There's no way they are going to attend those classes. I just hope that they won't be penalized for opting out.

Sat, 20 Feb 2010 03:59:00 UTC | #442528

reneehendricks's Avatar Comment 4 by reneehendricks

This makes me so very grateful that I live in Washington state!

Sat, 20 Feb 2010 04:05:00 UTC | #442531

InYourFaceNewYorker's Avatar Comment 5 by InYourFaceNewYorker

And I'm so grateful that I grew up in the Mid-Atlantic!

Sat, 20 Feb 2010 04:14:00 UTC | #442532

Carl Sai Baba's Avatar Comment 6 by Carl Sai Baba

Excellent! Now it's just a short court ruling away from requiring multiple religious texts to get past the establishment clause, and the exclusive grip of christianity is removed from American kids.

Sat, 20 Feb 2010 04:28:00 UTC | #442535

pkruger's Avatar Comment 7 by pkruger

Right now, I'd love to be a teacher in Kentucky. I would insist all the juicy bits of Exodus, Leviticus, Deuternomy be read out loud uncensored in class, and then insist a discussion follows. It's a perfect opportunity to have this despotic piece if shit be finally exposed for what it is. If anyone comes back to me and attempts to lambaste my curriculum, I would just say "Hey, it's all right in there in black and white--for all to see"

Sat, 20 Feb 2010 04:55:00 UTC | #442537

yanquetino's Avatar Comment 8 by yanquetino

Just goes to show you that those state senators have never actually read the bible. Can't wait for those public school children to read about Balaam's talking donkey, Onan's handiwork, Lot and his daughters, and all those divine edicts to commit genocide. This could prove the best decision yet to promote atheism.

Sat, 20 Feb 2010 05:02:00 UTC | #442538

mirandaceleste's Avatar Comment 9 by mirandaceleste

"There are so many aspects in the scripture relevant to literature -- it's relevant to art, to music, to social issues as well," Democratic state Sen. David Boswell, the bill's chief sponsor, told ABC affiliate WTVQ.

Well, yes, knowledge of the Bible certainly does help in understanding literary allusions, art history, classical music, etc., but this state senator is either stupid or naive (or both) if he doesn't think that some (or many) public school teachers will use this as an excuse to preach to their students.

"I know of no other book out there with the thousands of years of documentation on all of these social issues that can be used for instructional purposes."

What does that even mean? "thousands of years of documentation..."?? Perhaps I'm missing something?

Sat, 20 Feb 2010 06:03:00 UTC | #442544

Ignorant Amos's Avatar Comment 10 by Ignorant Amos

Will the censor be asked to give it a other books, movies, video games, etc.?

I mean, there are bits not suitable for certain age groups.

PG for parental guidence I suppose it'll be.

Now all is needed is for some disturbed
youngster(s) to bust up their school and citing some part of scripture as divine instruction and we're in business. Ha!

Sat, 20 Feb 2010 06:06:00 UTC | #442546

critica's Avatar Comment 11 by critica

Yup, God in the home = paradise on Earth. Have these people ever read... anything? This is what weak leaders focus on when they can't do their jobs properly.

Sat, 20 Feb 2010 06:11:00 UTC | #442547

TrickyDicky's Avatar Comment 12 by TrickyDicky

Comment #462269 by RightWingAtheist on February 20, 2010 at 4:28 am
"Excellent! Now it's just a short court ruling away from requiring multiple religious texts to get past the establishment clause, and the exclusive grip of christianity is removed from American kids."

I suspect that the devil will require a warm overcoat before that happens!

Sat, 20 Feb 2010 07:52:00 UTC | #442552

Stafford Gordon's Avatar Comment 13 by Stafford Gordon

"The Bible courses will be elective."

But what will be the social consequences of opting out?

Which ever way it's looked at it's divisive.

Divisiveness among children is very dangerous; that lesson should, by now, have been learnt.

Sat, 20 Feb 2010 08:45:00 UTC | #442555

prolibertas's Avatar Comment 14 by prolibertas

Good. Hell, don't just make it elective, make it compulsory for kids to read the whole Bible. Don't spare the gory details. Nothing will make them atheists faster.

In fact, atheists should make a big show of support for this legislation. If only to mess with the theists' heads a little.

Sat, 20 Feb 2010 08:50:00 UTC | #442556

jel's Avatar Comment 15 by jel

If they insist that the bible be studied at school then insist that it be read like any other book, from front to back, no dipping in and out, selectively picking out the bits that make your case, read the whole thing from "in the beginning" to "amen". I did it as a teenager, I had to force myself to read it. It's the most boring, dull, badly written book there is. It doesn't hang together at all, it contradicts itself, it doesn't make any sense what so ever and reading it in this way helps to emphasise the fact. As others have said, it's the best tool that atheists have.

Sat, 20 Feb 2010 09:02:00 UTC | #442558

bendigeidfran's Avatar Comment 16 by bendigeidfran

Comment #462292 by jel

And it says whodunnit on the first page.

Sat, 20 Feb 2010 09:27:00 UTC | #442560

Lapithes's Avatar Comment 17 by Lapithes

That's great! Anything to make the believers less dependent on the local ministry, if that is the correct term.

Sat, 20 Feb 2010 10:01:00 UTC | #442564

Aquaria's Avatar Comment 18 by Aquaria

I've said it a billion times before and I'll say it again: what will burn this lunacy to the ground will be when a Methodist teacher tries to edumacate a bunch of Southern Baptists about the bible. It won't matter how "objectively" it's done, just that one of "them" will be doing the teaching of "us."

That's nothing compared to how ugly it'll get if a Southern Baptist tries to teach the bible to a Missionary Baptist. Or an American Baptist.

And just wait to see what happens if a Jehovah's Witness gets hold of a class! Blood in the streets!

It's gonna be nasty, but I might just break out the Jiffy Pop for this one!

Point: Yeah, they hate us, but they hate each other, too. Whatever alliances they have are unstable at the best of times. If they could agree on anything, they'd all be Catholics still.

Sat, 20 Feb 2010 10:02:00 UTC | #442565

DoctorMelkor's Avatar Comment 19 by DoctorMelkor

I don't have a problem with the idea of it being taught as literature, though it scarcely deserves to be called that. We read the literature of the ancient greeks in school and Beowulf and various other mythological books. I agree with many of the above that reading the actual bible will actually force more people to recognize how inane it is...though I hope they use the King James edition, because the language at least is quite nice.

Sat, 20 Feb 2010 11:07:00 UTC | #442571

diavel's Avatar Comment 20 by diavel

Actually reading "Bible" made ma an atheist. But as mentioned before it should be read all the way from cover to cover.

Sat, 20 Feb 2010 11:32:00 UTC | #442573

bjornove's Avatar Comment 21 by bjornove

Learn from us Scandinavians. We have had mandatory teaching of religion in schools for ages, mostly christianity up till the nineties, now also including other religion (and humanism and ethics). Of course, all is tought as history of religion, although some teachers in the early days saw this subject as a way to evangelize their own christianity . Anyway, see where we are today, a highly secular society. Teach religion as objectivity as possible( this is what the christians believe, this is what the muslims belive...... and so on) and most people will see the stupidity of this old superstition

Sat, 20 Feb 2010 12:09:00 UTC | #442576

PERSON's Avatar Comment 22 by PERSON

18. Comment #462299 by Aquaria on February 20, 2010 at 10:02 am
"Point: Yeah, they hate us, but they hate each other, too. Whatever alliances they have are unstable at the best of times. If they could agree on anything, they'd all be Catholics still. "
I dunno. Me against my brother, me and my brother against my cousin, me, my brother and my cousin against the world. If it was Christians of any kind vs atheists, atheism or just loss of numbers, they'd band together pretty quickly. There are no underlying political separations between the groups you mention to speak of: that's what really creates factionalism. Variation in dogma is just an after the fact rationalisation. Currently it's just about petty power struggles, e.g. control of congregations. Any significant common threat will bring unification. That's why the evangelicals are so paranoid, and constantly claim Christianity is under attack from quarters that it isn't, really (think "war on Christmas").

Sat, 20 Feb 2010 12:36:00 UTC | #442579

Blue Powder Monkey's Avatar Comment 23 by Blue Powder Monkey

bjornove wrote:'Teach religion as objectively as possible....and most people will see the stupidity of this old superstition'.

I believe that Daniel Dennett has made this point on many occasions. The logical thing would be for critics of this legislation to demand equal time for other holy books, causing the policy to seriously backfire on the Christians trying to force there beliefs on the wider community.

Sat, 20 Feb 2010 12:39:00 UTC | #442580

Alternative Carpark's Avatar Comment 24 by Alternative Carpark

Hey, they are the fried chicken capital of the world - who needs a quality education?

Sat, 20 Feb 2010 12:56:00 UTC | #442583

Monkey Man's Avatar Comment 25 by Monkey Man

lol let em read the jefferson bible...

Sat, 20 Feb 2010 13:21:00 UTC | #442586

cklondon's Avatar Comment 26 by cklondon

God help us... (pun and irony intended...)

Sat, 20 Feb 2010 13:52:00 UTC | #442588

j.mills's Avatar Comment 27 by j.mills

It took me 6 months to read the damned thing. If students need to read the whole thing to pass, they will mostly fail. If they don't, then who does the cherry-picking? Perhaps the American Atheists could suggest a curriculum:

Talking snake; alleged "sin" prior to knowledge of good and evil, howzat work?
Flood, drunken Noah.
Lot screwing his daughters.
Hardening of Pharoah's heart.
Animal sacrifices (including that by jesus's step-dad).
Death to homos; death to adulterers.
Levite & concubine (love that one, so macabre!).
Punishing sons for sins of fathers (eg. David's).
The bears sent to kill the kids.
Jonah - inc. the little-known 3rd chapter that proves god a liar.
Job! Oh my. That one alone...
Numbers - to deaden the heart.
Discordance of the gospels.

Sat, 20 Feb 2010 13:59:00 UTC | #442589

Chrysippus_Maximus's Avatar Comment 28 by Chrysippus_Maximus

If they actually manage to get the kids to read it (and hopefully it's the KJV or one which is roughly analogous in literary merit), then this can be nothing but good.

No child is likely to read Leviticus (etc.,) and not be appalled beyond belief. I certainly was.

Then I was bored. Then I was confused. And look at me now!

Sat, 20 Feb 2010 13:59:00 UTC | #442590

Garic's Avatar Comment 29 by Garic

I agree with j.mills in that the Bible class curriculum should not leave out the very best "lessons" it has to offer. I would add to his list:

Uzzah the ox-cart driver's unfair punishment by Yehweh. (God=Justice, right?)
Human sacrifice is ok. (e.g.,Jephthah's innocent daughter being sacrificed)
The incineration of all the infants and unborn children of Sodom & Gomorrah. (What were they guilty of, I wonder?)
The drowning of all innocent babies and embryos in the worldwide flood. (I guess this falls under the "punishing sons for the sins of the fathers" idea - let's be glad our modern laws consider us innocent until proven guilty!)
Discuss all of God's commandments from the Torah, not just the tidy list of Ten we hear so much about.
God's rules for when it is ok to beat your male of female slave (Exodus 21)
Jesus' anti-family message (why Christians believe him to be the exemplar of "family-values" I cannot understand...)
The unfair demonization of Judas - without his "betrayal" leading to Jesus' death, nobody gets their sins forgiven! Has anyone else noticed this little fact? Judas is the true "hero" of the entire batch of disciples!
Highlight the questionable "wisdom" Jesus taught:
1. Accumulate no wealth or possessions. There is no need for them. Besides, you would run the risk of getting rich. If you do, be sure to give it all away.
2.Make no plans. Give no thought to the future.
3. Take no pleasure in this world. Constantly focus on the Kingdom of God, the coming of which is imminent. Anytime now, no really, it is...
4. Don't have deep love for your family. Abandon them, if you want to receive a "hundredfold" and attain everlasting life in heaven.
5.Love everybody. Have no special feelings for those who might otherwise endear themselves to you.
6.If a criminal robs you of $100, give him another $100.
7.Don't resist any attacker. Let him abuse you again.
8. Love all those who mistreat you. (This will encourage them to continue, since they have now discovered how to win your admiration and affection).

One final thought: How is it that Sen. Tori thinks having "God back into our households" changes society for the better? Has she forgotten that much of what we consider improvements in our society today (e.g., women's suffrage, civil rights, freedom of speech and religion, etc.) were gained despite resistance from those representing orthodox religion in their time? For the best example of what happens to society when the God of the Bible is truly followed, read up on the Pilgrims who settled in Plymouth and the Puritans in Massachusetts Bay. Theirs was not a society worth emulating today...

Sat, 20 Feb 2010 15:02:00 UTC | #442596

daftness's Avatar Comment 30 by daftness

The senate committee that approved this will soon begin to wonder why they are getting reports of children running home terrified or fascinated by all the gore and sex they had just been reading about in class.

Most of these people have likely never read the whole bible and think it's only 'gentle jesus meek and mild' from cover to cover.

If they don't cherry pick, this could turn out to be a consciousness raiser for more than the children when the irate parents actually get to find out what is in the bible and what a horrible piece of work it really is.

Rather than trying to prevent this move, the enlightened parents and school staff should welcome bible reading: but they must insist that it is all taught, full and unexpurgated: no cherry-picked version allowed.

That should net us a whole new generation of atheists.

I'm warming to this idea nicely.

Sat, 20 Feb 2010 15:06:00 UTC | #442597