About Humanism

Friday, February 1, 2013

Bible Courses in Texas Public Schools Teaching Fanaticism and Intolerance

Non-theists everywhere are threatened by Texas public schools bible courses. Legislation such as the 2007 Texas House Bill 1287 that promotes specific curriculum for elective bible courses in public schools violates the first amendment.Five other states: Tennessee, Oklahoma, Georgia, South Carolina and Arizona followed suit with their own versions of the bill. Arkansas is currently considering similar legislation. This is simply outrageous on many different levels.

What is more disconcerting are findings from a Southern Methodist University study; "Reading,Writing & Religion II Texas Public School Bible Courses in 2011 – 12". This study examines course curriculum's and test questions given to Texas students.

Among the test questions are fictitious quotes such as, “The Bible is the source of liberty” attributed to Thomas Jefferson. The study goes on to point out a real Thomas Jefferson quote: “The Bible is such a book of lies and contradictions there is no knowing which part to believe or whether any.”

A Huffington Post article summarizes a few other distasteful study findings concerning teachings offered to Texas students:

"Christ's resurrection was an event that occurred in time and space -- that it was, in reality, historical and not mythological (cf. 2 Pet. 1:16)."
"Survival of the Jewish nations [sic] is one of the miracles of history and her greatest agony is yet to come."

Teachings even include that we may be living in the time of the "end of days" and that scientific evidence points to the Earth being 6,000 years old.

Keep in mind that the author of this study is an award winning, distinguished professor at a Methodist University! This man, Mark Chancey, supports religious electives and realizes the folly of these teachings. His folly is that he is devoting time to making recommendations on how to teach Christianity in a better way. The better way, seems to be his way.

Christian double standard

Any specific religious teachings in public schools are clear violations of the first amendment. My guess is that most of the people supporting this violation are also screaming the loudest about how banning an assault rifle is a violation of the second amendment.

I thought we sent our soldiers to foreign lands like Afghanistan to fight similar teachings of hate by Muslims. We place embargoes and all sorts of financial restraints on Iran for such hate speech. Yet we allow it in Texas. Is it all right to be a fanatic as long as your brand of fanaticism is the right brand?

The federal government must put a stop to "elective" bible courses in public schools before it gets worse. Maybe some Americans want to raise ignorant, intolerant children with a closet full of AR-15's but I do not think most of us do. And I know we should not have to be the ones to deal with these hate-filled children when they grow up! This is another example of how Americans do not need more religion we need more empathy


  1. Wow! I just attended a "Freedomfest" sponsored by a local church. It was the strangest event I've ever attended. I knew it was a "church" thing, but my family attended because it was broadly publicized in our community--and quite frankly, we were very curious.

    The church gave away all sorts of "goodies," free food, money for bills, and...wait for it...a free fire arm.

    We live in a rural community, so the audience was perfect. We have a healthy community of hunters and poor folks who love free food and guns. They're good, hard-working people--and the church came in like a sparkling circus--tent and all--for this event.

    I almost lost my free food when the preacher started explaining to us why the attack on second amendment rights was an attack on our religion and on God. After all, the founders were Godly, Biblical people who intended for us to be a nation of Bible folks.

    For the record, I do believe in God, and I have read the stories of Jesus. I took something different away from those readings than what was being taught by this guy. I don't believe in absolutes, so while my 11 year old followed along with the "Praise Jesus" hoots, I found it funny that afterward, she reminded me that she's an "atheist." I'm comfortable with that, so long as she keeps an open mind, and she agrees: we just don't know.

    The church coerced some older women with arthritis to "run" up to the preacher to have him lay his hands on their heads and speak in tongues. One lady said nothing, and after two or three attempts to "get the spirit to speak through her," she uttered a weak "yabba dabba do" to appease the guy and all the photographers who were thoughtlessly putting the poor woman on the spot.

    My husband insisted we wait to the end to see if we won any money. I know. Isn't it funny? So we sat there, despite my smiling whisper in his hear, "I don't think I can handle this for too long. Let's just go."

    I can kind of handle the religious sell, but not the blatant political spin. I found the whole mess to be terribly hypocritical and manipulative--it was politics. It was all politics--from the "freedom" angle, right down to the "we don't judge ANYBODY," followed by the assertion that some of us may have marital problems with our wives and husbands--and God help us all if a husband has another man at home (add brilliantly critical shudder to that scene).

  2. Great stuff, and is a great example of exactly why the second amendment needs to apply to all of us, not just Christians. Giving away a gun at a church function! I really have to laugh at that one.
    We have a 12 year old and she has said she is an atheist before and I want her to think for herself because as you stated "we just don't know." Atheism can become like a religion of its' own.

    Thanks for the story, lightened up my morning!