Tag Archives: First Amendment

No, the Bible Should Not be taught in Public Schools

There is an interesting, ahem, “conversation”  going on at Unsettled Christianity.

Last year I reported on my Old Kentucky Home and its bi-partisan push for an established state Church. As a faithful Christian, I do really that the Christian canon is a sacred text.  There will try to be some post-modern philosophizers who will want to try to blur the line between the sacred and the secular, but I see that in Scripture, there is a clear difference between the sacred and the profane.

Above all, humanity has the freedom of conscience, the freedom to recognize or not recognize a relationship with God.  This very right is grounded in the notion of the imago Dei for Christians, so when I hear politicians misquoting bible passages to push their agenda, I get suspicious.

In addition, I find the arguments that the Bible can be taught as some “neutral” history text or piece of literature to be nothing but baloney.  Especially when it comes to the SBL’s Bible Literacy Project, which sounds more like a plan to keep the biblical text in the hands of a few elites, mainly scholars and public school teachers. No, the Bible should not be taught as an elective anymore than the Psalms are “poetry”; far from it, the Psalms are not history or poetry, but a pro-YHWH, pro-Monarchy theology meant for worship.  Any analysis that falls short of this in the name of making a “neutral” curriculum is just kidding themselves.

A while back I quoted Sugi on the need of Christians to STOP using the Bible as exclusively a “literary” text since that is a false myth. Suffice to say, I must quote him once more.

“Is a literary approach really an important hermeneutical device or has it become a counterpart of the heritage industry,  an escapist activity which replaces an historical and praxilogical engagement with nostalgia? It may serve as a stimulus not for critical engagement but for luring readers into dreaming for a long lost imaginary idyllic past.”

This “long lost idyllic past” is the drug that keeps the advocates for teaching the Bible in public schools going.

Public official, politicians, and the like do not need to be using scripture to justify their political goals, taking God’s name in vain. Rather, the government, and the powers that be, need to be told that they are NOT God, and it is the mission of the church to remind them of that. Indeed, that is was the vocation of the prophets of Israel, to remind the monarchs of the law, as a reminder that YHWH is the final lawgiver and ruler of all.

If you want children to learn about the Bible, show them to a church with a children’s ministry, full with Sunday Schools and everything.

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