Sunday, July 31, 2005

Texas schools offer dangerous curriculum

The ever vigilant New York Times has discovered sectarianism in Odessa, Texas, public high schools.

Seems that the schools are offering an elective Bible-as-literature course that Americans United for Separation of Church and State finds unacceptably conservative and unacceptably Protestant. (It's West Texas, and my bet is that most of the families in the school district are both conservative and Protestant; others can set up their own studies of the Bhagavad Gita on their own time.)

The course says such outrageous things as that for most of the past 2,000 years people have taken Scripture seriously and that biblical principles were incorporated into the U.S. Constitution. Gee, ya think?

The article also says that one Bible curriculum claims that NASA supports the Bible story about the sun stopping in its orbit, as recounted in the Book of Joshua, and that it cites scientific documentation of the flood. On the other hand, my kids' world history textbook entirely left out the Byzantine Empire, and that was a required course.

If I had kids in the school district, I might encourage them not to take the class, or I might figure that they'd learn something about one of the founding documents of Western Civilization, even if I could find fault with some of the information or perspectives.

Funny, I don't remember the New York Times or Americans United for Separation of Mosque and State reacting to the history texts released across the United States that said Muslims had come to Canada before Columbus sailed.

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