Political Wrinkles  

Go Back   Political Wrinkles > General Discussion > Religion & Philosophy
Register FAQDonate PW Store PW Trivia Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Religion & Philosophy Discuss Alabama Picks a Bible Textbook at the General Discussion; Alabama has became the first state in the union to approve a textbook for a course about the Bible in ...

Reply
 
Share LinkBack (1) Thread Tools Display Modes
  1 links from elsewhere to this Post. Click to view. #1 (permalink)  
Old 10-23-2007, 08:50 AM
foundit66's Avatar
Moderator
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: California
Gender: Male
Posts: 25,620
Thanks: 10,112
Thanked 15,316 Times in 9,287 Posts
Post Alabama Picks a Bible Textbook

Alabama has became the first state in the union to approve a textbook for a course about the Bible in its public schools, and its surprisingly uncontroversial decision may prove to be a model for others.

According to Dr. Anita Buckley Commander, the Alabama Director of Classroom Improvement, there was no opposition to the October 11 vote by the state Board of Education to include The Bible and Its Influence on the state's list of accepted textbooks. The Board held a hearing on the issue and no-one showed up; the book was approved by a vote of 8-0.

The textbook is a product of the Bible Literacy Project, founded and run by Chuck Stetson, a conservative Christian New York-based equity fund executive. Assessing scripture and its subsequent influence on literature, art, philosophy and political culture, it was specifically designed to avoid the Constitution's church-state barriers. Although the text, which has been on the market for two years, is now taught in 163 schools in 35 states, no state had previously endorsed it.

The Bible and Its Influence The Bible and Its Influence
has a fascinating constellation of supporters and critics. Some of its more liberal champions, such as the American Jewish Congress's counsel Marc Stern, feel that the republic can not only survive but will actually benefit from public school courses on a document as culturally central as the Bible as long as the classes avoid being devotional. Evangelical heavyweight Chuck Colson hopes that God will speak to students even through a class that is secular in intent. Those opposed to the book include secularists who argue that it already violates the First Amendment and fundamentalists who see its approach as secular and therefore diluting the value of what they see as God's inspired word.

Despite the book's smooth passage through the Alabama school board, it had caused a firestorm in the state's House of Representatives only a year ago. Democrats who liked the book and may also have been interested in burnishing their religious credentials had submitted a bill making it the mandatory text for any public school bible-study classes. State Republicans who didn't like the book, and may also have wanted to deny the Democrats the political God Card in an election year, ensured by their vociferous opposition that the Democratic bill was eventually voted down in committee. Something similar happened in neighboring Georgia, where Democrats submitted a bill prescribing The Bible and its Influence, but Republicans turned it into a much less specific endorsement of bible classes.

Precisely why the Alabama Board of Education succeeded where the legislature failed (with one distinction: the school board didn't rule out the use of other texts) remains something of a mystery. Presumably most Alabamans would welcome a public school course on the Bible, even if it were from a secular standpoint; "I don't see how [the book] would scare anyone" who has read it, comments Commander. It may be that the Board of Education, which she describes as politically "balanced," is not as caught up in partisanship as is the Alabama House. Moreover, the book was not the Board's sole focus: in fact, its attention was monopolized by a discussion about school reading texts.

Although the Bible Literacy Project officers are thrilled with its success in Alabama, they are not necessarily counting on replicating it elsewhere fast. There are 22 states with similar low-key selection methods, but they tend to consider different curriculum categories year by year, and in some states the category including a bible course textbook will not roll around for another eight. So, says a spokesperson for the Project, "we have to sit around and wait." In other states, the book doesn't appear to fit into any of the established categories of study. And then there are the 28 states where such decisions are made by local rather than statewide school boards.

The Bible Literacy Project is philosophical about the delays created by the different legislative processes in different states. Although a more centralized legislative initiative would result in faster adoption of the text, that process can fall victim to politics, as Alabama's experience shows. And, for advocates of studying (as opposed to preaching) religion in the public school curriculum, the low-key introduction of the text, whether locale by locale or through the workings of state boards like Commander's, offers an opportunity to assess its fairness and effectiveness before it becomes a nationwide fact.
http://www.time.com/time/nation/arti...674427,00.html
Reply With Quote
  #2 (permalink)  
Old 10-23-2007, 08:53 AM
tristanrobin's Avatar
Scholar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: New Haven, CT
Posts: 2,633
Thanks: 964
Thanked 2,010 Times in 1,049 Posts
Default Re: Alabama Picks a Bible Textbook

Quote:
the republic can not only survive but will actually benefit from public school courses on a document as culturally central as the Bible as long as the classes avoid being devotional.
I agree.

But, we all know some wackjob Christian lunatic is gonna have those classrooms of kids on their knees and praying ... probably in tongues.
Reply With Quote
  #3 (permalink)  
Old 10-23-2007, 04:19 PM
AlicornsPrayer's Avatar
Top Brass With Minions
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Illinois
Gender: Female
Posts: 647
Thanks: 1,038
Thanked 216 Times in 156 Posts
Default Re: Alabama Picks a Bible Textbook

Tongue is good. Tongues is better?


Anyways, on a serious note now...We are talking about a state that is almost the heart of the bible belt...My concern is, what will be the reaction when other religions are introduced into this format, in a non-secular study time.

Last edited by AlicornsPrayer; 10-23-2007 at 04:22 PM..
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to AlicornsPrayer For This Useful Post:
  #4 (permalink)  
Old 10-23-2007, 05:22 PM
Idealogically Promiscuous's Avatar
Do I Look Like a Bitch?
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: West Hollywood, CA
Gender: Male
Posts: 11,087
Thanks: 4,153
Thanked 6,673 Times in 3,956 Posts
Default Re: Alabama Picks a Bible Textbook

You know, I remember when this issue came up the first time around. I'll say now what I said then...How can a child in America get a proper education if we intentionally leave out a text as influential as the Bible has been. Further, it's an elective class and its not an indoctrination class...its more of a historical reference survey.

I say go for it...what a wonderful class!!!
Reply With Quote
  #5 (permalink)  
Old 10-23-2007, 05:31 PM
KnightOfSappho's Avatar
Serenity Incarnate
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: NY
Gender: Female
Posts: 986
Thanks: 179
Thanked 459 Times in 259 Posts
Default Re: Alabama Picks a Bible Textbook

I have no problem with teaching about the cultural influence of the Bible. It is actually a good subject.

I DO wonder... in what grade this book would be used?
Reply With Quote
  #6 (permalink)  
Old 10-23-2007, 05:33 PM
Idealogically Promiscuous's Avatar
Do I Look Like a Bitch?
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: West Hollywood, CA
Gender: Male
Posts: 11,087
Thanks: 4,153
Thanked 6,673 Times in 3,956 Posts
Default Re: Alabama Picks a Bible Textbook

Quote:
Originally Posted by KnightOfSappho View Post
I have no problem with teaching about the cultural influence of the Bible. It is actually a good subject.

I DO wonder... in what grade this book would be used?
Feel free to correct me if I am wrong, but I recall it being a high school elective. I guess that could mean any grade 9-12?
Reply With Quote
  #7 (permalink)  
Old 10-24-2007, 12:02 AM
saltwn's Avatar
PW Enlightenment
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Esto perpetua
Posts: 87,328
Thanks: 56,908
Thanked 26,776 Times in 19,233 Posts
Send a message via AIM to saltwn Send a message via MSN to saltwn Send a message via Yahoo to saltwn
Default Re: Alabama Picks a Bible Textbook

Historically, Philosophically, and culturally the book has probably had more influence (in America) than any other.
It's not surprising, though, that we never put it in public schools given the turmoil since the Scopes trial every time Christianity and Atheism butt heads.
But perhaps it is a timely occurrence. Maybe we are mature enough to let it just be a study and not a passion.
And I think Alabama is pretty progressive. I doubt there will be prayers in these classes.
Of course a lot of out of the way country schools throughout the nation still have prayer anyway.
__________________
I just hate to give up my Christmas spirit.
Reply With Quote
  #8 (permalink)  
Old 10-24-2007, 02:37 AM
cnredd's Avatar
Administrator
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Philadelphia
Gender: Male
Posts: 56,924
Thanks: 2,402
Thanked 38,689 Times in 21,619 Posts
Default Re: Alabama Picks a Bible Textbook

Quote:
Originally Posted by tristanrobin View Post
I agree.

But, we all know some wackjob Christian lunatic is gonna have those classrooms of kids on their knees and praying ... probably in tongues.
Gotta love someone part of a "victim group" attacking another group...

The irony brings a smile to my face...
__________________
"You get the respect that you give" - cnredd
Reply With Quote
  #9 (permalink)  
Old 10-24-2007, 08:57 AM
KnightOfSappho's Avatar
Serenity Incarnate
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: NY
Gender: Female
Posts: 986
Thanks: 179
Thanked 459 Times in 259 Posts
Default Re: Alabama Picks a Bible Textbook

Quote:
Originally Posted by Idealogically Promiscuous View Post
Feel free to correct me if I am wrong, but I recall it being a high school elective. I guess that could mean any grade 9-12?
High School would be appropriate for this subject. (Younger than that, the children wouldn't have the capacity for the subject yet, so it would just be teaching bible stories.)
Reply With Quote
  #10 (permalink)  
Old 10-24-2007, 11:01 AM
tristanrobin's Avatar
Scholar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: New Haven, CT
Posts: 2,633
Thanks: 964
Thanked 2,010 Times in 1,049 Posts
Default Re: Alabama Picks a Bible Textbook

Quote:
Originally Posted by cnredd View Post
Gotta love someone part of a "victim group" attacking another group...

The irony brings a smile to my face...
what is ironic about somebody not having any kind of great affection for a group who wishes to marginalize him and deny him equal rights as a citizen?

I don't get it.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
alabama, bible, picks, textbook

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

Forum Jump

LinkBacks (?)
LinkBack to this Thread: http://www.politicalwrinkles.com/religion-philosophy/250-alabama-picks-bible-textbook.html
Posted By For Type Date
Political Wrinkles This thread Refback 12-26-2007 08:13 PM


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 03:51 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2022, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Content Relevant URLs by vBSEO 3.2.0