Thursday, August 16, 2007

Bible Studies in Public Schools

At the Rule of Reason blog, Edward Cline embarks on a tremendous discussion of the Bible as teaching tool in public education. He makes an ironclad case that such "Bible study" classes cannot be tolerated Constitutionally, and have no place in academics. I agree with Mr. Cline completely, and could probably think of other reasons why teaching the Bible (even ostensibly as an "academic" pursuit) is wrong on many levels.

In discussing the particular topic of Bible study in public schools, Mr. Cline attacks the generally irrational nature of public education, which I've experienced on numerous occasions with my two children.

There's so much there (it's a bit of a long read) that I'll quote a few particularly interesting parts, but leave the rest for you to discover for yourself:

So, it was with great interest and with not a little surprise that I opened the Sunday, August 12th Newport News, Virginia Daily Press and on page 3 found an article reprinted from the Los Angeles Times under this headline: “How do you teach the Bible without preaching?”

My snap mental answer was: Well, you don’t – unless you are Richard Dawkins or Christopher Hitchens, and then you are not so much teaching the Bible as exposing it as pure balderdash and bunkum.

It was a long article about the controversy of Bible studies in public schools.

In public schools?? Bible studies? Apparently, public schools are not as "Godless" as many parents assume.

“Exact numbers are unavailable, but experts agree that the number of Bible classes in public schools is growing because of new state mandates, increased attention to religion in public life, and the growing prominence of two national Bible curricula.”

On the general state of public education, Mr Cline says:

But I do not think these courses are merely “academic” or that the motive behind them is so innocent or blameless. And I had to laugh when I read this sentence in the article:

“High school English teachers and university professors say this lack of exposure to Bible tales has led to an education gap.”

It is an education gap evident in the Western canon being discarded in favor of Third World literature and the scribblings of “minority” writers, in students who think that George Washington helped found the United Nations, or that the Triple Entente is either an ice cream flavor or a video game, and in math and science test scores that are among the lowest in the world. These teachers and professors imply that such a “gap” can be compensated or corrected by a study of the Bible (or the Koran, or Buddhism, or American Indian mythology). Which is as absurd a notion as claiming that one can master calculus by a close study of numerology.

The “gap” in American education can be ascribed to the complete absence of the advocacy of reason in public school philosophy – except when reason is being attacked by nihilists or sabotaged by multicultural subjectivists.

Read the whole thing if you care at all about public education. And, incidentally, if you do, visit and join the growing community at, which seeks to bring students, parents, teachers, staff, and politicians together to resolve some of the issues in our public school system.

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