Quote# 92277

In 2007 the Texas Legislature passed a law encouraging the state’s public schools to teach about the influence of the Bible in history and literature. Schools can do that either by weaving such instruction into existing social studies and literature courses, or they can create full courses about the Bible. Today the Texas Freedom Network Education Fund released a report, authored by a religious studies professor at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, that examines what students are learning in the 57 school districts and three charter schools that teach Bible courses. Examples from Texas public schools:

•Instructional material in two school districts teach that racial diversity today can be traced back to Noah’s sons, a long-discredited claim that has been a foundational component of some forms of racism.

•Religious bias is common, with most courses taught from a Protestant — often a conservative Protestant — perspective. One course, for example, assumes Christians will at some point be “raptured.” Materials include a Venn diagram showing the pros and cons of theories that posit the rapture before the returning Jesus’ 1,000-year reign and those that place it afterward. In many courses, the perspectives of Roman Catholics, Orthodox Christians and Jews are often left out.

•Anti-Jewish bias — intentional or not — is not uncommon. Some courses even portray Judaism as a flawed and incomplete religion that has been replaced by Christianity.

•Many courses suggest or openly claim that the Bible is literally true. “The Bible is the written word of God,” students are told in one PowerPoint presentation. Some courses go so far as to suggest that the Bible can be used to verify events in history. One district, for example, teaches students that the Bible’s historical claims are largely beyond question by listing biblical events side by side with historical developments from around the globe.

•Course materials in numerous classes are designed to evangelize rather than provide an objective study of the Bible’s influence. A book in one district makes its purpose clear in the preface: “May this study be of value to you. May you fully come to believe that ‘Jesus is the Christ, the son of God.’ And may you have ‘life in His name.’”

•A number of courses teach students that the Bible proves Earth is just 6,000 years old.

•Students are taught that the United States is a Christian nation founded on the Christian biblical principles taught in their classrooms.

•Academic rigor is so poor that many courses rely mostly on memorization of Bible verses and factoids from Bible stories rather than teaching students how to analyze what they are studying. One district relies heavily on Bible cartoons from Hanna-Barbera for its high school class. Students in another district spend two days watching what lesson plans describe a “the historic documentary Ancient Aliens,” which presents “a new interpretation of angelic beings described as extraterrestrials.”

Texas Public Schools, TFN Insider 80 Comments [1/25/2013 4:28:25 AM]
Fundie Index: 91

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The South. Making America look stupid since 1861.

1/25/2013 4:31:42 AM


Could we just let Texas secede from the Union or something?

It would be nice if they took the rest of the South with them too.

1/25/2013 4:54:15 AM


They can seriously do this?!? Dafuq? No separation of church and state? What if there are atheist/pagan/jewish/muslim students?

That's it! Texas HAS to secede from the rest of us, lest we catch the stupid too.

1/25/2013 4:59:08 AM


I thought US home-schoolers were the nutty ones and the state schools were teaching a reasonable syllabus. Clearly I was at least partially mistaken.

1/25/2013 4:59:15 AM


@RiJayden, no, they cannot, but will continue to do so until they are finally challenged and properly pwned for it.

@TZL, this is Texas wer're talking about here. There isn't much difference between home school and public school.

1/25/2013 5:10:01 AM


They can seriously do this?!? Dafuq? No separation of church and state? What if there are atheist/pagan/jewish/muslim students?

Why, they have the same right to pray to the Lord Jesus as the Christians do, natch.


1/25/2013 5:19:50 AM


Meanwhile students in the rest of the developed world are continuing to excel in math, science and language, and we're all sitting around wondering why all our jobs are being outsourced, and what few products will still do produce are getting crappier and crappier.

1/25/2013 5:42:16 AM

Is this even legal ?

1/25/2013 5:44:00 AM

Doubting Thomas

This is why I'm against "teaching the bible as literature" classes. It's way too easy to use them as a chance to proselytize. It's just way too easy for evangelical teachers to climb over the wall of separation of church and state.

1/25/2013 5:47:52 AM

It gets worse. I read that Texas is also influencing what gets into the textbooks that are used in other states, so apparently no place is safe from their nutbaggery.

1/25/2013 6:30:05 AM


@LDM, #1498500

I hate to pull a Headache here but I really think the US is screwed. We have too many fundies and they're determined to either take the system over or blow it up. Democracy is a fragile thing and the fundies are taking a sledgehammer to it. I wouldn't be surprised if in 10 years this becomes our new flag:

The fundies will win. They always win. Fundamentalism destroyed what was once a scientifically advanced and prosperous middle east. Don't think it can't destroy the US. They have a lot more time and a LOT more motivation than any reasonable person and they will eventually impose their will upon us.

1/25/2013 6:43:56 AM

D Laurier


1/25/2013 6:49:18 AM

Nah, not buying the pessimism. There aren't as many fundies as all that, They're just noisy.

1/25/2013 7:20:11 AM


Y'know, why don't we just have all the hard-core Far-Righties move to Texas & let Texas secede? There's actually a clause somewhere where, when Texas became a state, that allowed Texas the right to secede. Just let the fundie zealots & bigots be relocated to Texas so they can finally have their stupid Dumbhickistan?!

The U.S. Government can also help the few progressive, normal, sane Texans (probably mainly around Austin) to relocate & perhaps provide a modest reimbursement to help out (like 'Eminent Domain'). Zealots & Bigots don't want to learn, are incapable of reason & resistant to change. They're weighing the U.S. down!

Let the Zealots, Bigots & Neo-Confederates have their wish, let them have their ChristoFascist Theocracy! Perhaps by "winging it" in Texas, they'll get some sense that way! When things go kerflooie, maybe...just maybe...these bozos will wake up!

I think we should very seriously consider petitioning the Govt. to implement this idea. The most ultra NeoCon of U.S. politicians can be leaders there.

I'm sick of fighting for this nation. I want it to succeed but victories are not as frequent as they should be. These NeoCons are weighing us down! Give them their Theocratic wonderland and perhaps their influence will be far less in The States & we can be the great Progressive nation we were meant to be! A shining light on Earth...instead of a bunch of jingoistic bullies!


Commenter #1498537, however is right.

Besides, if we implement what I and others have suggested, then it's victory for the Real Americans, the PROGRESSIVES! The Good Guys, the ones whom Karma favors, the more numerous, The MAJORITY!

1/25/2013 7:26:40 AM


I'm not sure which is more offensive that the Bible is used in the classroom or that "Ancient Aliens" is used in the classroom.

1/25/2013 7:33:01 AM

D Laurier

They wont learn. They will just look for a minority group to blame.

1/25/2013 7:42:46 AM


I'm sorry to say this, but I think we have as much to fear a fundie takeover, as fundies have to fear a homosexual takeover.

1/25/2013 7:47:53 AM


"In 2007 the Texas Legislature passed a law" tl;dr...

Aaaaaand then all the parents of non-fundie kids have to do is take the relevant school boards to court, and their prosecutor simply has to cite Kitzmiller vs. Dover - as well as the Establishment Clause of the US Constitution - and Texas's Legislature is fucked.

...or they simply up sticks and leave for another state. Y'know, Texas, a not dissimilar thing happened in the early 1970s, in Uganda. A certain Idi Amin thought that non-Africans teaching in their schools, doing their surgery/treating people medically, conducting their research, running their businesses & generally contributing to their economy was a bad thing. So, what did he do? He forced them to leave Uganda.

All those of Indian/Pakistani ancestry left Uganda. Some went to the US, to Australia/New Zealand, to (then) Rhodesia, but mostly to the UK. My physician was one of those people, who came to this country. He said that Idi Amin making him do so was the best decision he'd ever made.

Uganda never really recovered from this 'Brain Drain', educationally, developmentally (especially scientifically), and economically. But hey, their loss was ultimately Britain's gain.

China. No religion hamstringing their unlimited pool of educated talent pouring out of their universities, and into their state-run R&D facilities, corporate labs, managerial & executive positions in said companies & especially banks.

In Soviet China, God worships you.

...but hey, you want to be inferior to China, you go right ahead. But only you, Texas. Meanwhile, the rest of the educated US goes on, ensuring their part of the US keeps ahead of everyone else, technologically - and particularly militarily.

1/25/2013 7:52:23 AM


"One district relies heavily on Bible cartoons from Hanna-Barbera for its high school class."

- Very appropriate, as most fundamentalists' understanding of the bible never progress beyond the picture bibles they were read as children in Sunday school.

1/25/2013 7:54:19 AM


Yeah, they'd be seeing my natural snark ass in court.

My children have enough challenges without adding stupid fundy religious bullshit to their curriculum. If I don't feel as if they can grasp religious concepts well enough to raise them Pagan, why the hell would I force-feed them christian concepts? Pure nightmare fuel.

1/25/2013 7:58:25 AM


This one really blindsided me:
“the historic documentary Ancient Aliens,”

Uhm, just because the so called History Channel shows it does not mean it is an historic documentary. The only place for this 'documentary' in any school, should be in a course teaching critical thinking.

1/25/2013 7:59:01 AM


For all of the fundamentalists who want to know why we don't allow the Wholly Babble to be taught in schols, this is why.

Normally I would say that I have no problem with it being taught in an appropriate class--as was suggested here--but that was only because I gave people the benefit of the doubt that they would be professional and wouldn't turn their World Literature or Social Studies class into an impromptu sermon. Apparently I was wrong. Now I think it just shouldn't be anywhere near a public school classroom for any reason at all.

1/25/2013 8:05:22 AM


@D Laurier

I wouldn't be surprised. These folks are so damned STUPID!

Screw them! Let them wallow in their stupidity!

1/25/2013 8:06:11 AM


So I'm gonna add TNF to my list for activist donations - they look as good as Southern Poverty Law Center.

1/25/2013 8:07:57 AM

The Crimson Ghost

For the longest time, I thought Mississippi was the worst state in the union. How wrong I was; it's Texas. Always was, always will-unless they boot those fundies out.

I support the plan to ship them to TX; let them have their stupid little theocracy. We let the sane Texans join us & then we watch the fireworks.

1/25/2013 8:07:58 AM

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