Friday, August 05, 2005

More on Bible As Literature

I've been reading the report of the Texas Freedom Network Education Fund, which I found via Amanda over there on Pandagon.

It's enough to make a Saint pissy, and as regular readers likely know, I ain't any sort of saint.

The TFNEF is reporting on the National Council on Bible Curriculum in Public Schools -- that's that group which is ever-so-innocently working to have the Bible taught, purely as literature, mind you, in our public schools, purely because the Bible is part of our history, you know, part of our culture, and not because anyone on the National Council on Bible Curriculum in Public Schools wants to spread JESUS in the public schools or nothing like that.

Laws no.

Here's a link to the pdf file of the whole report --

Among other things, it has a list of who is on the National Council on Bible Curriculum in Public Schools -- no major shock when we discover they're all Far Right Religious figures, including David Barton, founder of WallBuilders. (And, of course, James Dobson endorses it. Not to mention the Concerned Women for America:

Among other things, the report notes that this curriculum teaches that "Jesus is presented as fulfilling “Old Testament”prophecy"; that the terms "Old Testament" and "New Testament" are used throughout the text; (as the report notes, the scholarly name for what Christians like to call the Old Testament is, in fact, the Hebrew Bible); the recommended use of Protestant texts (rather than scholarly texts such as the New Oxford Annotated Bible, my own personal favorite) and the total absence of any mention of any other sort of texts -- including Catholic and Jewish texts -- in the curriculum; and the repeated assertions that the Bible is, in fact, the Word of God; that the Bible is, in fact, historically true; that Biblical events happened, without any doubt, at historically verifiable times.

"It confidently dates the Exodus to 1446
BCE and presents no other scholarly views, such as
those that place the Exodus in the 1200s BCE. The
date of 1446 BCE is derived by a literalistic reading
of a passage in 1 Kings 6:1 — a method that
many scholars would greet with skepticism. The
curriculum also ignores theories that raise other
questions about the historicity of the Exodus.31
The curriculum also adopts a tone of assumed
historicity when it discusses miracles and divine
intervention. Its account of the Exodus is one
example; others include its handling of Noah’s
flood (p. 60), the giving of the Ten Commandments
at Mount Sinai (p. 99), the destruction of the
Tower of Babel (pp. 168-169)...."

This is teaching mythology as fact in the public schools. None of this stuff can be dated. Why? Because none of this stuff, in fact, happened. If Funavangelicals can't handle that, they need to huddle in their own masses somewhere. They don't need to corrupt our systems of education with their silliness.

Bible as Literature is one thing. I'm for it. I teach it. It's a great text. Further, it is indeed what the literature and the culture is based on, so we ought to be able to understand it.

But Bible as fact -- grow up.

Religion in the schools -- that's what these folk are actually after. Stop them now.

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