Monday, May 16, 2005

Christian Nation? You Decide

Here's a prime example of why I should be a fry cook:

So far no less than three of my World Lit students have, on their final exams, defined parable as "a short story with animal characters, with some moral point, usually found in the New Testament."

And before you ask, no, these are not furrin students.

These are straight-up white-bread American children.

And that sound you hear? That is indeed me banging my head against the wall.


Cynthia said...

After reading this entry, I asked my 14-year-old son to define a parable. He didn't hesitate - "a story that tells us how to behave." OK, I'll take that.

Then I told him what your students wrote. He looked at me, puzzled. "Animal characters? In the New Testament? Well, I guess they're partly right, since humans are animals."

OAN, biologists from the local university came to speak to the kids at the high school today about ID. They told them that it was appropriate for a philosophy or religious class, but was not science. Yay! (I've told my son to question anyone who supports ID as science to see if they would agree for astrology to be taught alongside astronomy as well.)

zelda1 said...

Actually, the fundamentalists, in my opinion, are the worse in leaving the religious education to someone else--that someone else being a volunteer Sunday school teacher who has as much education as a gnat. They interpret the bible according to how the Holy Spirit moves them to interpret it and will never search outside of their denomination for answers. They are the blind mice and they run around in circles teaching the children so little. However, it is true that most fundamentalists can tell you the story of Jonah, a little about Moses, and they know that Eve and the snake had a long talk in the garden and caused poor Adam to get evicted. Since most people in Arkansas are fundamentalists it is no surprise that your students would close their ears to your definition of a parable and remember only what the blind mice taught them and they, the students, actually had confidence they would be able to recall all of those magnificent insights. Sad to say, it is the blind leading the blind.