Objectivity in Public School Bible Classes

27 03 2007

Time magazine has an interesting article about teaching the Bible in high schools.  The article does a decent job of covering most of the issues surrounding this issue, but also misses some things.

The author seems to get a little confused when talking about the Bible as literature, and even goes so far as to claim: 

Without the Bible and a few imposing secular sources, we face a numbing horizontality in our culture–blogs, political announcements, ads. The world is flat, sure. But Scripture is among our few means to make it deep.

Which, you guessed it, is perhaps the most rediculous sentance writen, ever.  If the author finds culture flat outside of the bible, perhaps the author would benifit from getting out more.

Beyond that, the article talks about the different sides of having a class on the Bible in public schools, wether or not it could be objective, and all that jazz.  One possible solution that it does not come outright and suggest however, is that a study of the bible in any public highschool should be done only as part of perhaps a comparitive religion class – something that focuses on more than just one subject. 

There are no other classes that you can take in highschool, electives or otherwise, that study just one book.  This kind of in-depth study is usually undertaken in college and graduate school, so why are we trying to do a half-assed job of it at the highschool level?




2 responses

28 03 2007

I attended Seventh-Day Adventist schools up until highschool. I learned about everything the SDA thought was right, yet it wasn’t until I was accepted into the Communications Academy that I really learned about religon.

The Communications Academy (CA) was a magnet program offered by the Vancouver School District (Washington, not BC). Every month we studied a different religon. Everything from Hinduism, Christianity, to Taoism. That was the most informative time I ever had in a class room. Why? Because the teachers barely did anything.

Granted, we were all bright students, but when a teacher stands at the front of the class and says: “These people believe this way, these people believe a different way. Which is correct?” The arguments that insued were not only informative, but sometimes outright funny!

As to the quote. WHAT THE HELL? It really “grinds my gears” when I hear people with any sort of power use big flashy words to get their non-logical point across.

28 03 2007

That sounds like an interesting program. There are too few studies of religions (emphasis on the plural) in the modern classrooms.

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