Texas legislators are moving full speed ahead with a bill mandating elective Bible classes in the state’s public high schools that appears crafted to facilitate use of a fundamentalist Protestant curriculum. Jewish groups have opposed that sectarian curriculum, but they were unable to testify at a hearing scheduled during Passover.
The bill is moving at a time of heightened interest in public school Bible classes sparked by a new book advocating such courses and a Time Magazine cover story about it.
Texas House Bill 1287 requires all school districts in the state to establish “elective courses in the history and literature of the Old and New Testaments eras.” It also requires the use of those two books as texts.
While we all know I normally get hysterical aboutthis stuff, I am less so about this. If you read the link, it is clearly designed to bypass more “moderate” Bible Study classes, but overall, I will do less hyperventilating about elective courses than I will the wholesale destruction of science classes to cater to creationist whims.
And a minor quibble- both Sullivan and Jews on First use a phrasing that could be considered misleading.
They’re mandating a Bible study elective in Texas schools, and they’ve geared the materials for a Protestant fundamentalist tilt.
Jews on First:
Texas legislators are moving full speed ahead with a bill mandating elective Bible classes in the state’s public high schools that appears crafted to facilitate use of a fundamentalist Protestant curriculum.
If read carelessly, one could conclude that they are mandating bible study. They are not. They are mandating that an elective course in Bible Study be offered. That is, in and of itself, not problematic. The problematic aspect begins when you look at the content, which appears to be a very sectarian version of religious truth, which should not be what schools offer if they feel the need to provide electives in religious studies.