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Ghostbuster 04-19-14 10:36 PM

Hobby Lobby owner brings Bible curriculum to public schools (Irony Alert)
 
I have no problem with the ACADEMIC study of religions in public schools. In fact, I fully support the idea because religion is an important part of human culture, and as long as major world religions are studied and compared, I believe the net effect of a course would be greater religious tolerance and deeper understanding of people throughout the world.

But I oppose the Mustang School Board's decision to pilot the Museum of the Bible Curriculum, which was created by the owner of Hobby Lobby. Based on the owner's words, this move is a blatant attempt to skirt the law and advocate Christianity. Moreover, the hypocrisy on display here is absolutely staggering. The owner has legally challenged birth control requirements of the Affordable Care Act because he believes that these parts of the ACA violate the first amendment (freedom of religion). And yet he seeks to use public schools as a tool to indoctrinate young people and advocate one religion.

Hobby Lobby’s Steve Green launches a new project: a public school Bible curriculum at HuffingtonPost.com


The Mustang, Okla., school board voted Monday (April 14) to adopt a Bible course developed by Steve Green, clearing the way for the Hobby Lobby president, whose suit against the Affordable Care Act is currently before the U.S. Supreme Court, to enter another charged arena at the borderline of church and state.

The board, whose district is practically in Hobby Lobby’s Oklahoma City backyard, agreed to beta-test the first year of the Museum of the Bible Curriculum, an ambitious four-year public school elective on the narrative, history and impact of the Good Book.

In an award acceptance speech last April before the National Bible Association, Green explained that his goals for a high school curriculum were to show that the Bible is true, that it’s good and that its impact, “whether (upon) our government, education, science, art, literature, family ... when we apply it to our lives in all aspects of our life, that it has been good.”

If realized, these sentiments, although shared by millions of Americans, could conflict with the court’s requirement that public school treatment of the Bible be taught in a secular, academic fashion.

In the same speech, Green expressed hope that such courses would become mandatory, whereas now they are usually elective.

Contrary to popular assumptions, there is nothing unconstitutional about teaching about the Bible in public schools. The same Supreme Court ruling that outlawed school-sanctioned prayer in 1963 qualified that “Nothing we have said here indicates that such study of the Bible ... when presented objectively as part of a secular program of education, may not be effected consistently with the First Amendment.”

The key words, of course, are “objectively” and “secular.” Haynes suggested that “the bar is actually low — I think it’s hard for judges to get beyond the surface to questions of what a sound academic course looks like — but much more difficult to develop materials that actually both reflect constitutional principles and are academically solid.”

kvrdave 04-19-14 10:47 PM

Re: Hobby Lobby owner brings Bible curriculum to public schools (Irony Alert)
 
While I would never want to see it, I do think it is possible to create a religious based curriculum that is biased towards no particular religion. Not saying this one is, though, and again, not saying I would ever want to see it happen.

Ranger 04-19-14 10:56 PM

Re: Hobby Lobby owner brings Bible curriculum to public schools (Irony Alert)
 
Forget it, Jake. It's Oklahoma.

Josh-da-man 04-20-14 10:13 AM

Re: Hobby Lobby owner brings Bible curriculum to public schools (Irony Alert)
 
If a company can be a christian, does that mean it goes to heaven when it's liquidated after a bankruptcy?

Artman 04-20-14 01:46 PM

Re: Hobby Lobby owner brings Bible curriculum to public schools (Irony Alert)
 

Originally Posted by Ghostbuster (Post 12082770)
I have no problem with the ACADEMIC study of religions in public schools. In fact, I fully support the idea because religion is an important part of human culture

Agreed. We had a religion segment in my social issues class, I think it went maybe four weeks or so...not too in depth. I remember enjoying it quite a bit, I wouldn't mind something like that expanded a bit more.

But yeah, this one doesn't sit well with me either... Private schools can take the pro side of a given faith, but public schools should be as neutral as possible.

DVD Polizei 04-20-14 01:52 PM

Re: Hobby Lobby owner brings Bible curriculum to public schools (Irony Alert)
 

public school treatment of the Bible be taught in a secular, academic fashion
What does that mean.

The only issue I have is that it would be mandatory. Of course, science is mandatory...whatever constitutes science these days.

wmansir 04-20-14 03:19 PM

Re: Hobby Lobby owner brings Bible curriculum to public schools (Irony Alert)
 
You can watch the speech referenced in the article here. It's only 20 minutes, jump to 11 minutes in to get to the curriculum part.

I think Mr. Green is probably right that public schools do short change the Bible as a subject considering it's cultural impact and historical significance. I think most schools are understandably hesitant to risk offending both the law and parents by tackling the subject in any depth.

That said, a four year curriculum is ridiculous. As is making such a class mandatory. This is high school, not seminary school.

I also am skeptical of the neutral, academic nature of the material his group will produce, but he at least appears to genuinely believe that the message of the book is not diminished when presented in a factual manner.

Groucho 04-20-14 05:19 PM

Re: Hobby Lobby owner brings Bible curriculum to public schools (Irony Alert)
 
I do think such a class could have value...I certainly got a lot from the Bible classes I took in high school and college...however, I think the curriculum should come from a multi-faith panel, not just one person. And given that most people in Oklahoma already have exposure to Christianity, a comparative religion class would be equally valuable, if not more so

yoshimi 04-20-14 05:23 PM

Re: Hobby Lobby owner brings Bible curriculum to public schools (Irony Alert)
 
I took a Greek Mythology class in high school when I lived in Kansas that was a lot of fun. As crazy as the people are there now I wonder if it is still available in that school.

rw2516 04-20-14 06:15 PM

Re: Hobby Lobby owner brings Bible curriculum to public schools (Irony Alert)
 
Whether you believe in any religion or not, any education person should be aware of what the bible contains. I'm not religious but Adam & Eve, Cain & Abel, Noah, David & Goliath, Tower of Babel, Moses, Exodus, the main events of Jesus' life seem like common knowledge to me. I would consider someone ignorant if they didn't have some awareness of this. It would be like not knowing who shot Lincoln.

Why So Blu? 04-20-14 06:17 PM

Re: Hobby Lobby owner brings Bible curriculum to public schools (Irony Alert)
 

Originally Posted by rw2516 (Post 12083265)
Whether you believe in any religion or not, any education person should be aware of what the bible contains. I'm not religious but Adam & Eve, Cain & Abel, Noah, David & Goliath, Tower of Babel, Moses, Exodus, the main events of Jesus' life seem like common knowledge to me. I would consider someone ignorant if they didn't have some awareness of this. It would be like not knowing who shot Lincoln.

I though Lincoln was a vampire hunter?


I guess I'm not an "education" person.

Spiderbite 04-20-14 10:08 PM

Re: Hobby Lobby owner brings Bible curriculum to public schools (Irony Alert)
 
Teach all the religions. When people get actual education about this stuff and if it presented unbiased, many will see how silly it all really is. I think actual education and not indoctrination would create more agnostics and/or atheists and would actually backfire on the Christians that want this.

But then again, most Christians would likely be against ALL religions being taught.

Sean O'Hara 04-20-14 10:55 PM

Re: Hobby Lobby owner brings Bible curriculum to public schools (Irony Alert)
 

Originally Posted by Ghostbuster (Post 12082770)
I have no problem with the ACADEMIC study of religions in public schools.

I don't. I remember my high school history books treated Abraham, Moses and Jesus as historic figures. To get around the church-and-state issue, they did the same for Buddha, and reported Muhammad talking to the angel as fact.

story 04-20-14 11:42 PM

Re: Hobby Lobby owner brings Bible curriculum to public schools (Irony Alert)
 

Originally Posted by Ghostbuster (Post 12082770)
I have no problem with the ACADEMIC study of religions in public schools. In fact, I fully support the idea because religion is an important part of human culture, and as long as major world religions are studied and compared, I believe the net effect of a course would be greater religious tolerance and deeper understanding of people throughout the world.

I agree with you here completely and I'm not sure about your next paragraph. I don't necessarily see some of the assumptions you're making about his intent in the article. I agree it feels like that at least a little bit to me but I don't know if I can say that with certainty. The recent Hobby Lobby lawsuit doesn't help in that either, at least, for me. I think you're right, he probably isn't doing this unless he wants students to be(come) Christians but when I read curriculum aspects like this:


Asked to describe a typical chapter, Pattengale (who also serves on the Religion News Service managing board) outlined a “narrative” segment on creation that includes a summary of the Bible account; a section on how subsequent scientific discoveries relate to what the Bible says; and a consideration of key reasons it was written.
...that sounds pretty scholarly / academic to me. I mean, it all depends on how they approach it, of course, but on the surface that doesn't seem like proselytizing. In fact, it seems to acknowledge the cultural and historical context of when and why the Bible books were written and canonized, something which is sometimes important, sometimes dismissed, depending on how one weighs its value or not (I value it tremendously). Seems like the sort of stuff a good study Bible would have at the beginning of each book and/or with special articles in the front or back, too, except incorporating various media. Looking over the scholars / advisory board of the Green Scholars Initiative making the push, I don't think I recognize any names but the schools are a mixture of what could be called conservative, liberal, and still some unknown to me. Many varied voices coming together on this sort of thing can be a good thing.


The vote Monday night was closer than might have been expected: four yeas and one abstention. One former pastor spoke out against adopting the curriculum, citing the innate difficulty of finding common language about the Bible. Abstaining board member Jeff Landrith grumbled that the community had not had enough chance to review curriculum. Board President Chad Fulton responded that it would available shortly for examination. One party promising to take a look was the Oklahoma ACLU: “to ensure no students... have their right of religious liberty compromised.”
That's an interesting paragraph. The former pastor's position is a pretty glaring issue they'll need to confront; I think he's right. I love how the writer wrote that Landrith "grumbled." Paints a picture but as a word choice it feels a little editorial. As for the ACLU party, yeah, that's probably not the worse idea and I would bet the Hobby Lobby guy anticipated that, if he were smart in putting this together.


Originally Posted by DVD Polizei (Post 12083132)
The only issue I have is that it would be mandatory. Of course, science is mandatory...whatever constitutes science these days.

I thought the article said it was an elective. Yeah, I would take issue with it being mandatory, too.

Supermallet 04-20-14 11:49 PM

Re: Hobby Lobby owner brings Bible curriculum to public schools (Irony Alert)
 
It is an elective. The Hobby Lobby CEO says it should be mandatory, but it's not going to be.

Also, I do think that students should have to learn about Greek/Roman religions, Judeo-Christian/Muslim religions, Buddhism, Hinduism, Shintoism, Confucianism, and a few others I'm probably forgetting at the moment. A year long curriculum of comparative religions would be very useful in a country as diverse as the United States.

story 04-20-14 11:54 PM

Re: Hobby Lobby owner brings Bible curriculum to public schools (Irony Alert)
 
I think that would be cool, too. Do many high schools dive into world history and/or comparative cultural studies? Or do they pretty much keep focusing on American history?

DVD Polizei 04-20-14 11:59 PM

Re: Hobby Lobby owner brings Bible curriculum to public schools (Irony Alert)
 

Originally Posted by story (Post 12083440)
I thought the article said it was an elective. Yeah, I would take issue with it being mandatory, too.

Yeah, I read it again. I guess I'm ok with it now, but I don't like this: "In the same speech, Green expressed hope that such courses would become mandatory, whereas now they are usually elective."

If this guy wants to force religion on kids, he needs to take a serious look at what he thinks is education and learning. You don't force kids to learn. They end up resenting everything you represent.

Supermallet 04-21-14 12:09 AM

Re: Hobby Lobby owner brings Bible curriculum to public schools (Irony Alert)
 

Originally Posted by story (Post 12083448)
I think that would be cool, too. Do many high schools dive into world history and/or comparative cultural studies? Or do they pretty much keep focusing on American history?

Granted, I didn't go to a public school, but I had a world history class that IIRC never once talked about anything outside of North America and Europe, a European history class, an American history class, and a US government class.

RichC2 04-21-14 12:17 AM

Re: Hobby Lobby owner brings Bible curriculum to public schools (Irony Alert)
 

Originally Posted by kvrdave (Post 12082779)
While I would never want to see it, I do think it is possible to create a religious based curriculum that is biased towards no particular religion. Not saying this one is, though, and again, not saying I would ever want to see it happen.

This is 4 years for the bible, and only the bible. I don't see this working well at all. Though at the rate our public schools are going, perhaps it will take 4 years to get through it.

arminius 04-21-14 08:25 AM

Re: Hobby Lobby owner brings Bible curriculum to public schools (Irony Alert)
 
I went to high school in the early 70s. We had a bible as literature class for English. It was treated as a book reflecting various authors throughout it's history. We also had alot of stuff on Greek mythology and Roman gods. There was not much on the Norse pantheon or atheism and Islam was non-existent. Nothing on Shinto or Buddhism either.

I think a course highlighting all the really ridiculous stuff int holy texts would be great. Treatment of women, afterlife stuff, views on how Others should be treated and so on.

Draven 04-21-14 11:08 AM

Re: Hobby Lobby owner brings Bible curriculum to public schools (Irony Alert)
 
How about we keep religious study in church and religious schools and non-religious study in secular schools? Too crazy? Gotta have as much religion as possible whenever possible no matter what?

Unclejosh 04-21-14 11:50 AM

Re: Hobby Lobby owner brings Bible curriculum to public schools (Irony Alert)
 
Hypothetical question. IF this were to become mandatory, could parents choose to homeschool and omit this particular class or would it still be required as part of homeschool? I have zero knowledge of homeschool requirements and didnt know if they had to follow the state requirements or the school district's. I wouldn't want my kids to be subjected to this class as posited by the HL guy.

Supermallet 04-21-14 11:52 AM

Re: Hobby Lobby owner brings Bible curriculum to public schools (Irony Alert)
 
Since you're not in the same state, I don't see how your kids would be subjected to it.

And even if homeschoolers were required to teach the Bible, you could obviously put your own slant on it, which is part of the point of home schooling.

yoshimi 04-21-14 12:09 PM

Re: Hobby Lobby owner brings Bible curriculum to public schools (Irony Alert)
 
This will never happen anyway.

Navinabob 04-21-14 12:25 PM

Re: Hobby Lobby owner brings Bible curriculum to public schools (Irony Alert)
 
A train leaves Deb's house and travels at 50 miles per hour. Two hours later, another train leaves from Deb's house on the track beside or parallel to the first train but it travels at 100 miles per hour. How far away from Deb's house will the faster train pass the other train?

A) "As far as God wanted it to go"

B) "If God wanted it solved, God would have solved this problem"

C) "No more than 6,000 years"

D) "Math is Satan's trickster language"


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