Like my Dad used to say: Just because you can get by with something, doesn't mean it won't bite you in the butt one day.
Well, teaching the Bible is public school is one of those things that will come back to haunt us one day.
Now I'm sure the folks up in Idaho at this charter school think they will be educating the students but we all know that indoctrination is ever so closely behind. One doesn't have to whip out the King Jim to teach the Genesis Creation Myth in comparison to the Enuma Elish since most literature books include the relevant passages.
The problem is not the legality of teaching the Bible but the functionality of teaching the Bible in a public school. The dangers are legion. Too many extremists on both sides have prayed for a class like this (pardon the pun) --- the Extremist Religious Right/Dominionists just can't help proclaiming the Genesis Myth as historical fact, that dinosaurs were on the Ark & that our nation was founded on Christian principles; ardent atheists can't wait to impress on these young, evolving minds that the Bible is a collection of fairy tales.
The possibility of a Pat Robertson teaching a high school Bible class scares me as much as Richard Dawkins teaching it.
Or what about a Bishop Spong teaching a Bible class? Would a conservative believer want Spong's ideas presented to high schoolers?
Then comes the very real political question: if the Bible can be taught in public schools at the insistence of a majority, the same law should then allow any other religious text to be taught in the schools. Who wants the possibility of a radical Islamo-Fascists teaching the Koran to 16 year old Johnny? Is that any different than a Christian Fascist telling high schoolers that the Bible teaches anyone associated with abortion is a murder & the righteous thing to do is to do everything possible to protect life --- imagine what can happen when impressionable minds hear that sort of rhetoric?
It is the same thing teenagers in Iran are told when they become suicide bombers to get Allah's glorious reward.
Here in GA, the Macon Telegraph reports that despite the Georgia State Board of Education's approval in 2007 of courses in the Bible as history and literature, at least ten school systems in central Georgia are not offering the courses in their high schools. Their reasons are varied-- cost, scheduling problems, church-state concerns and problems in finding impartial teachers. A spokesperson for the Hancock County school system said: "We found that since many of our students have such a strong spiritual upbringing that is firmly grounded in Christianity, there was very little interest on the part of the students to take such a class."
1) What Bible translation will be used? KJV? NIV? NLT? Catholic? Jehovah Witness? Jewish OT?
16) Who's version of creation is given the preferred Biblical interpretation?
17) Will evolution be dismissed as anti-God?
18) Will it be taught that there were dinosaurs on the Ark?