Story last updated at 8:13 a.m. on Thursday, August 12,
Bible classes in public schools sanction one religion
If the Georgia public school system is going to be preaching - make that
teaching - religion in its classrooms, the course should cover all the
world's faiths and not just the Bible as proposed by State School
Superintendent Linda Schrenko.
Schrenko has recommended that the State Board of Education add to its
curriculum social studies courses based on the Bible. History of the Old
Testament I and II and History of the New Testament I and II would be
taught in Georgia schools if Schrenko's idea is approved.
She said the courses focus on the Bible in the context
of history, and that through that historical context students would get
a great deal of value from the Bible and the course lessons.
If the Georgia Board of Education were going to
seriously consider this proposal, the members would - putting it into
context - have to ask several questions.
Which translation of the Bible would be used for context? What
denominational perspective will be applied to the course for context?
Should the Bible's stories be taught as literal or symbolic?
The school board should think twice before voting on
the superintendent's unconstitutional recommendation.
Schrenko's comments about the course's relevance through the context
of history is so much malarkey. What she is really trying to do is slip
her own Christian beliefs into the school curriculum.
The idea represents a blatant violation of the
constitutional separation of church and state. Teaching the Bible
singles out the Christian faith to the exclusion of other beliefs and
forces that specific faith on our children.
It's alarming and disappointing that the head of our
state's school system would even propose such an idea.
If Schrenko were really interested in educating our children about the
value and impact of religion on history she would be pushing for a course
that discussed not only the Bible and its Christian context, but the
Torah (first five books of the Old Testament) which the Jewish faith
follows, and the Koran which would present the Islamic perspective.
There are several other major world religions such as
Baha'i, Buddhism, Confucianism and Hinduism as well as many minor
spiritual movements. Why not include the sacred writings of these faiths
in furthering our children's educations?
Of course, that's not what Schrenko is about in this
matter. She is into indoctrination, not education, and rather than
expanding students' minds, she would narrow them.
There are plenty of opportunities available for
children who want to pursue an interest in the Bible.
Parents seriously concerned about having their children learn the "Good
Book" can send their boys and girls to Sunday school or enroll them in
Bible study courses outside the public school system.
Schrenko should leave her personal agenda outside of
the classroom, and the Georgia Board of Education should forget about
making the Bible part of the curriculum for Georgia children.
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