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Transparently wrong

The ACLU has filed suit against a Texas school district for offering a certain Bible elective in its schools. The Religious Right is having none of it:

The American Civil Liberties Union is being accused of filing a baseless lawsuit against a Texas public school district that allows Bible elective courses to be taught in two high schools. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of eight parents against the Ector County Independent School District in Odessa, challenging the Bible elective courses.

Hiram Sasser is with the Liberty Legal Institute, which is advising the school district. He says the Ector County schools are not doing anything wrong.

“The ACLU and people of that ilk, they just hate the Bible so much that they fundamentally disagree with the U.S. Supreme Court in its suggestion to be able to teach a Bible course in a secular way,” Sasser asserts. “That’s not even good enough for them. They just don’t want the Bible to even go into the schoolhouse gates at all,” he says.

Is that so? Not at all. You see, the Bible course in question is an obvious violation of church-state separation. Here’s a passage from the course material, as quoted in the ACLU brief (go here):

First, it (the gospel of Matthew) clearly establishes that Jesus was the Messiah that was prophesized (sic) throughout the Old Testament. Second, it proves that Jesus was the son of God, whom He claimed to be through living a sinless and perfect life.

There’s more, too. The ACLU brief claims:

Course materials characterize Roman Catholic beliefs in the transformation of communion bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ as “warped” thinking brought on my “mysticism.”

Well, that actually seems correct, but it probably shouldn’t be in a public school class.

So, the ACLU has sued the school, which is explicitly endorsing Protestant dogma in the classroom. Seems obvious to me.

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Categories: Church and State
  1. May 21, 2007 at 6:18 pm

    I dunno. What’s the difference between that course (an elective, BTW) and this one?

  2. May 21, 2007 at 8:36 pm

    There are problems with that course (as I’ve noted here) and I don’t think it should be allowed either, but role-playing seems to be a fairly neutral (if confusing) activity.

  3. May 21, 2007 at 11:50 pm

    Seems to me that the King James version should be taught as literature since it has some of the most powerful language in literature used in many titles and phrases in the secular world today. Ecclisiastes is a powerful piece of writing and the Song of Songs is sexier than almost anything written today.

  4. May 22, 2007 at 7:20 pm

    There’s no question that the Bible should be taught as literature and KJV should feature prominently in any discussion of the Bible’s impact on our culture. Sadly, we keep getting courses like the above, which are indoctrination, not education.

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