Pyrrho wrote: Beleth wrote:
Pyrrho wrote:The Bible does not belong in public schools as part of the curriculum. Neither does the Koran, the Talmud, the Bhagavad-Gita, nor the tenets of any other active religion. Allowing study of the Bible--whichever version of the Bible it is--is not an acceptable compromise, it is the proverbial camel's nose in the tent.
This is a position that I believe is uncommon amongst names in the skeptical community.
Names? Sorry, their opinion is no more valid than mine, and the so-called "skeptical community", whatever that is, is largely irrelevant as regards this issue.
Your second sentence nullifies the reason I would answer the first, but I will anyway: pretty much the entire panel of the second day of TAM4, which included Julia Sweeney and Michael Shermer.
It is state-funded Bible study, and that serves the goals of one particular religion.
The article says otherwise. "Assessing scripture and its subsequent influence on literature, art, philosophy and political culture, it was specifically designed to avoid the Constitution's church-state barriers." It is not "Bible study" as the term is commonly used. It is study of the Bible's influences on multiple facets of the country we live in.
The rationale is that various elements in culture and literature can be linked to stories and passages in the Bible. While true, the Bible is not the only source, and perhaps not even the most widely used source, for culture and/or literature.
What source is more widely used?
Recall the rationale commonly used for the placement of copies of a particular version of the Ten Commandments in public places? Same rationale.
The rationale was that they were the cornerstone of our legal system, which is demonstrably false, as there are only three commandments which are also illegal acts. Is the statement "Scripture has influenced Western literature, art, philosophy and political culture" as demonstrably false?
Would mainstream America sit still for state-funded study of the Koran in public schools? How about the various books of Scientology?
Heck, the Sci*nt*logists
wouldn't sit still for state-funded study of Sci*nt*logy. And neither those books nor the Koran had had anywhere near the impact on American culture, art, etc. as the Bible has.
If you can imagine possible objections to that, those objections should apply equally to making other "Bibles" into textbooks with handy study guides.
Except that those other books haven't had the same level of influence.
Other religions will have the right to demand equal access, and I fully expect that they will.
As do I. I, however, see that demand, and the aftermath which wold inevitably follow, as a good thing.
As someone who is raising a skeptical, non-religious kid, I would welcome
the chance for him to take this class. There are a lot of idioms, icons, and other assorted bits of information that children raised in a Christian home will know and understand that my son, unfortunately, will not. How can one fully understand, say, Dali's Crucifixion (Hypercubic Body)
without an understanding of both Christianity and math?