Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Kentucky bill would institutionalize religion

Without being explicitly stated, I would not be surprised if David Boswell (D-Owensboro, KY) was some version of Creationist/ID-proponent.

I'm basing my opinion on some "reading between the lines" of statements made to the Lexington Herald-Leader (found here).

Here are some of Boswell's statements to Jack Brammer of the Herald-Leader:

--The bill is not intended to teach the Bible as "the only religion".

--The class would "teach students knowledge of biblical content, characters, poetry and narratives that are pre-requisites to understanding contemporary society and culture".

This amounts to little more than a power grab by Boswell and his associates. His re-election is impending, and it's time to secure some swing votes! Duh!

What is particularly disturbing about this information is not that someone wants the Bible taught in public schools; that is always the case. What is scary is that this legislation could be used in certain instances to impose a MANDATE of religious study.

What happens if, particularly in a small school, students begin to be ostracized for NOT taking this Bible course?

What happens when an angry Jew, or Muslim, or wiccan, or naturalist, decides their religious text has the same societal and cultural value, and demands it be taught. If it's shot down in the legislature, it's going to appear very much as if the government is indoctrinating on religion over others.

If you read the entire article, you would see a quote by Sarah Jenislawski of the Bible Literacy Project, that read "An educated person is familiar with the Bible". This is the mantra/mission statement of the Bible Literacy Project. My question to her:

Can you be an educated person without familiarity with the following books?
--The Prince
--The Wealth of Nations
--People's History of the United States
--The Dialogues of Plato
--The Constitution of the United States
--Koran
--Hamlet
--The Odyssey
--The Heart of Darkness
--Letters from the Earth
--Catcher in the Rye
--and on, and on, and on, and on, and on...

According to the Bible Literacy Project, you cannot properly understand the following books without a working knowledge of the Christian Bible:

--The Grapes of Wrath
--Animal Farm
--Great Expectations
--The Sound and The Fury
--To Kill a Mockingbird
--Song of Solomon
--Brave New World
--Romeo and Juliet
--Hamlet
--The Pearl
--A Separate Peace
--Lord of the Flies
--etc.

Are you kidding me? If I don't understand the Bible I can't possibly understand The Grapes of Wrath, or Animal Farm? This is a ridiculous argument. This advocacy group is simply trying to attach value to the Bible with EVERYTHING in life, to therefore raise the status of the Bible in the average person's life. This agenda has no place in our public schools.

The obvious fear here is that with all these types of legislation popping up all over the country, the ultimate goal is to prime the schools and soften them to eventually try to insert Intelligent Design creationism/literal Creationism into the science curriculum.

Such a slippery slope exists here I almost feel it foolish to keep pointing it out. Where will it end? The next thing you know, there will be legislation to institutionalize "elective" prayer sessions over the intercom before the Pledge of Allegiance every morning. This may sound far-fetched, but to people in very small, rural schools, this kind of behavior would not only be forthcoming, but the people in power have enough will to make it happen. I feel horribly for those kids who are not truly religious or who have serious questions to have to bend to this fervor in fear of being outcast.

This is the OPPOSITE of separation of church and state. It just comes in the more palatable form of "elective" academic study and pretends not to promote one religion over another, even though BY DEFINITION it is promoting the value (societal and cultural) over others.

Such hypocrisy, so little time. People that don't want to become a theocracy need to fight this, keep it out of schools, so that all children are not indoctrinated with Christianity the way children in Iran are with Islam.

There is no difference except in geography and title. Frightening.