New textbook on the block: About the Bible
CNN - Interfaith coalition unveils public school Bible course. The Bible Literacy Project, operating out of Virginia, spent two million dollars writing this supposedly objective textbook entitled "The Bible and its Influence". Says American Jewish Congress attorney Marc Stern, "this book is proof…that it is possible to acknowledge and respect deep religious differences and yet still find common ground."
Now. I'm a reporter. At least, in the middle-school-newspaper-that-covers-national-events sense. Consequently, the idea of objectivity appeals to me, as it should to everyone else. However, I think it is virtually impossible to be impartial about the Bible; it's just too crazy. There is bound to be some information omitted. I mean, the way I see this is that the textbook probably focuses on the "moral" aspects of the scriptures, and probably ignores most of the parts that condone beating women, convicts, killing homosexuals and the part that says bats are birds. If students are taught about the Bible, they should be exposed to the nonsensical parts as well as the moral.
Bible Literacy's editors accommodated Jewish sensitivities about the New Testament, attributed reports about miracles to the source rather than simply calling them historical facts and generally downplayed scholarly theories -- about authorship and dates, for example -- that offend conservatives.
Ah, political correctness. Do they also teach that the Bible is not about political correctness? Hmm...
Stetson said "the important thing was not to compromise on peoples' beliefs. They are what they are." To Schippe, the key to effective education is respect for the biblical text, constitutional law, scholarship, various faith traditions and divergent interpretations.
Call me crazy, but I think the best way for educators to avoid disrespect for conflicting faith traditions and interpretations is to ignore them completely.
Another program, favored by evangelical groups and used in hundreds of schools, comes from the National Council on Bible Curriculum in Public Schools of Greensboro, North Carolina. It provides a teacher's outline with the Bible itself as the textbook.
……brilliant. That is why I love conservatives (cough). They have such zany, original ideas. If only there were some way of getting them into the government...