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More on Bible Curriculum for Public Schools

I have previously expressed my concerns about Bible classes in public schools, even as electives. These objections come from multiple directions. Because I support separation of church and state, I prefer to keep such classes out, even though in principle they have been held to be constitutional. As a Christian, I believe there is a serious danger in having a Bible class which will necessarily be from one perspective provided at state expense. I think providing Biblical knowledge is part of the function of the church. As a Bible teacher I’m concerned with the competence of prospective public high school Bible teachers.

My objections do not apply to inclusion of scripture passages in literature class as appropriate to the academic goals, nor to references to the Bible at appropriate places in history. There is good reason to be acquainted with the Bible and how it has functioned in western history especially, but that goal is best attained by teaching the Bible as part of those other classes, not with a specific Bible curriculum.

In particular, the NCBCPS curriculum has been found not to meet the needs of teaching a neutral, academically sound Bible class. I have reviewed only the reviews and not the material, but the points brought up by the professional reviewer are well-taken, and precisely correspond to the objections I have to public school Bible classes.

Ed Brayton has an excellent post on this which quotes a letter from a Jewish teacher in the Odessa, Texas public schools. The link also leads to other letter that illustrate some very unchristian attitudes about this program.

I strongly oppose the inclusion of this curriculum in any public school program.

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