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Times Article On Teaching The Bible


Evan
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http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/...1601845,00.html

 

I read the article when I received it the other day. I didn't read every detail but I got the gist of it by skimming through. I think the proposal is to make more people bible literate...

 

I don't like the idea at all. Xians argue that it brings multiple points of view to the scientific table. It brings the Xian view and that is it. I wouldn't mind if schools offered a Religion History class. There are definitely enough religions and events surrounding religion that a class like that could be offered. Learning more about another person's religion or your own religion's history could be beneficial.

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I think school should teach more about the Bible and Christianity, together with Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Atheism and read and study texts from all different groups. Even paganism and wicca. Basically there should be studies in comparative religion, and also in philosophy, critical thinking and logic. One of the reasons why people so easily accept Christianity is because so very few ever have read the Bible. If they read it and see all the atrocities (which should be included as a subject in the studies) it'll be easier for them to reject it. And I think by teaching all the different views, there could be more tolerance and acceptance for alternative views. A secular society needs to be built on knowledge, even about the things we don't agree on. But it has to go both ways, all the views needs to be represented, for and against.

 

But if they only want to teach the Bible and nothing else, then I think it's appropriate to demand that science and evolution is taught in sunday school.

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I think school should teach more about the Bible and Christianity, together with Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Atheism and read and study texts from all different groups. Even paganism and wicca. Basically there should be studies in comparative religion, and also in philosophy, critical thinking and logic.

HanSolo, I agree with you here (a Joseph Campbell approach)... except, reading just the beginning of the article, it seems to me that they are inclined towards a literal interpretation. How about the bible being taught as a piece of literature for those times, understanding the allegories, myths, fables, parables, and the meanings they might have been trying to convey. Teaching the bible is going to be tough, because no one can agree... unless they have moderators and do it like we do here. :)

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If the Bible teachings included the works by Joseph Campbell and Doc Robert Price, they students would get a pretty good understanding of how to interpret it themselves, but maybe I'm wishing for too much. Literal interpretations would be very devastating, that's for sure, since two congregations wouldn't agree on many fundamental concepts or verses.

 

Amanda, if you have an iPod or such, you should start subscribing to the Infidel Show and download some of the Bible Geek episodes. Actually you don't need the iPod to do it, you can download them and listen to them on your computer. I promise you, that you will like them alot. Doc Price got some really amazing knowledge about the Bible, and he got a very interesting view of how one can experience the "word". He goes to church, and he's an atheist... :eek: Very interesting indeed.

 

Anyway, I think if both sides (all sides) are presented, both criticism of the Bible and even the literalists view, everyone would get insights into the different views, and knowledge is good, even when one is presented with the opposite side. If the religous can not take it, then it shouldn't be taught at all; it has to be all or nothing. Also if other pagan religions and traditions from the same time of the Bible should also be presented and explained, and a seed would be planted in many to understand that the Bible was/is just another expression of the same religious concepts as the other ones.

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Anyway, I think if both sides (all sides) are presented, both criticism of the Bible and even the literalists view, everyone would get insights into the different views, and knowledge is good, even when one is presented with the opposite side. If the religous can not take it, then it shouldn't be taught at all; it has to be all or nothing. Also if other pagan religions and traditions from the same time of the Bible should also be presented and explained, and a seed would be planted in many to understand that the Bible was/is just another expression of the same religious concepts as the other ones.

 

I agree with that entirely. The similarities between pagan religions and Xianity is very peculiar. The study of ALL religions in school is a great way to promote critical thinking. The failure of America's public schools does not rely on what knowledge we can teach, but the narrow spectrum of knowledge that we do teach. That's another issue though :HaHa:

 

Emphasis needs to be placed in American schools on more broad history topics (such as learning about all the religions in the world). Learning just about American history just doesn't cut it.

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Wouldn't it be amazing if the kids learned to be critical and analyze not only religious literature and teachings, but also news and media in general. I think what's missing the most today is just that basic skill. People don't know how to use their brains. They learn "formulas" in school, but not how to figure out the formulas themselves. If something is wrong with the school, it's that it is a machine to create slaves and followers and not leaders and thinkers. And the reason to that is that a independent thinker is the biggest threat to the leaders of a country, they can't afford to have people that can analyze and see through the political lies and propaganda. Religion (or any ideology) is just another tool for politicians to keep the masses under control. The state of personal independence is real freedom.

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I don't feel like I should vote in here as I'm not a US citizen... but if I was my opinion would be:

 

Either teach no religion at all, or (very possibly...) teach at least the basic concepts of the major, more important religions without any claim to who might be right. Sadly, one wouldn't be able to cover them all, considering the sheer number of different belief systems, but "comparative religion" might be a valuable thing.

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If we want every kid in america to be critical thinkers, then god would exist. However, we're gonna have to separate those who we can get to think things through and who cannot.

 

Let's start with getting rid of the warning labels

 

@Thurisaz

I don't know much about German schools, but I do know that it isn't only America that needs to ponder this issue. America isn't the only nation in the world with religious toleration growing pains. How would religion impact your schools?

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Biblical literacy is important, the Bible is probably the most referenced book of al time.It enriches our understanding of the great works of our culture, even Richard Dawkins thinks this. Studying the Bible doesn't have to be religious in nature, and I'm for that. I'm not for teaching it as religion or as truth, so it all depends on how it is done for me.

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I don't know much about German schools, but I do know that it isn't only America that needs to ponder this issue. America isn't the only nation in the world with religious toleration growing pains. How would religion impact your schools?

 

Religion is already being taught in our public schools... as comparative religion, however. These classes are commonly sponsored by the protestant and catholic churches but don't try to shove morontheist propaganda (you know, "The Only Truth" and other crap) down their students' throats... and students/their parents can opt out easily and choose the alternative of "Werte und Normen" (ethical values and norms), which is - for all I know, I've never taken one of those classes myself - pretty much what the name suggests.

Back then as a student I found that okay. Today I'd choose differently of course :HaHa: but still... as far as I know, the basics of other religions are taught too (they certainly were when I was a student), so no one gets the impression that there's only the jebus cult and atheism out there, et cetera. Although naturally the emphasis is on the respective brand of the cult... but hey, if the churches pay for the teaching, and if the students aren't forced into it... ;)

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I don't know much about German schools, but I do know that it isn't only America that needs to ponder this issue. America isn't the only nation in the world with religious toleration growing pains. How would religion impact your schools?

 

Religion is already being taught in our public schools... as comparative religion, however. These classes are commonly sponsored by the protestant and catholic churches but don't try to shove morontheist propaganda (you know, "The Only Truth" and other crap) down their students' throats... and students/their parents can opt out easily and choose the alternative of "Werte und Normen" (ethical values and norms), which is - for all I know, I've never taken one of those classes myself - pretty much what the name suggests.

Back then as a student I found that okay. Today I'd choose differently of course :HaHa: but still... as far as I know, the basics of other religions are taught too (they certainly were when I was a student), so no one gets the impression that there's only the jebus cult and atheism out there, et cetera. Although naturally the emphasis is on the respective brand of the cult... but hey, if the churches pay for the teaching, and if the students aren't forced into it... ;)

 

Do they teach pagan religions and other world religions too?

If so, I'm so jealous of your schools :P

 

German public schools > sunday school

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Amanda, if you have an iPod or such, you should start subscribing to the Infidel Show and download some of the Bible Geek episodes. Actually you don't need the iPod to do it, you can download them and listen to them on your computer. I promise you, that you will like them alot. Doc Price got some really amazing knowledge about the Bible, and he got a very interesting view of how one can experience the "word". He goes to church, and he's an atheist... :eek: Very interesting indeed.

HanSolo, nope... no iPod, and my sound card doesn't work on my computer. Arghhhhh, I've got to get it fixed! :(

 

I'd like to know the church he attemds. I haven't been to a church I've enjoyed in years! These NT techings are very much in line with Atheism, I think. I liked my seminary, as my teacher was a lot like people here. He tried to tell me Noah's Ark and all those stories were pure fables. :Doh: Spiritual teachings are to focus on our internal state and discover what actually self empowers us, and to encourage us to strive to reach our full potential, IMO.

 

I see ALL these spiritual teachings of the world in the NT. I use to think Jesus traveled everywhere learning and "reconciling" these things, yet now wonder if others' teachings got absorbed into it as it spread. The main thrust of these teachings are for us to be reconciling, I think within ourself and amongst ourselves. The book very clearly mandates that we've been given the duty of reconciliation.... NOT division! You guys are the best at this! Maybe all religions absorb into itself others as we comingle?

 

How did "religion" evolve to where it included so much magic? :magic:

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Do they teach pagan religions and other world religions too?

 

In my times they didn't (heathen faiths, that is. Buddhism & Co, they did). Should check out how they do the thing today. :)

 

German public schools > sunday school

 

*bows thankfully*

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If there are classes on biblical literacy outside of normal religious education classes, without there being classes on literacy in the Vedas, the Dhammapada, the Qur'an and other scriptures, then I very strongly disagree with it. From what I can see, America is already being kept centuries behind where it should be in terms of progress because of the bullshit in the Babble. Whilst there are a lot of very good things in the Bible, to teach scriptural literacy based solely on that one book would not only be a great unappreciation of the other religious traditions, but a huge dis-service to the students.

 

Of course the Babble has had more effect on the US than any other scriptures...so what? The last thing the US needs is more ethnocentric, superior, self-righteous, imperialist, isolationist and down-right nationalist thinking.

 

However, I do think religious education is extremely important (but then I would say that, as I'm going to study Philosophy and Theology at university this year). To teach only the Bible however, is completely wrong.

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My general bias is more information not less however...

 

To me this is a blatent invitation to fundamentalists to preach in school. Of course... the contrary holds true too and I wonder whether the open minded or the fundies would have the most success.

 

Considering that there would be rioting in the streets if Kings 1 & 2 were taught for the bloody atrocities they really are, I have to fall on the side of no bible teaching in the schools.

 

Mongo

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In principle, I don't have a problem with it, especially if the class covered most major mythologies. But I doubt if many of the teachers would be able to do it in an academic manner, without their personal faiths influencing the way they teach.

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I'm curious as to what brought this on for even considering such a suggestion and support for it?

 

My city is having one of its highest crime rates this past year. Perhaps people see a great need for something in school to help people want to resolve their issues peacefully? The ten commandments, love thy neighbor, etc... However, I think this would be the wrong approach, unless insightful spriritual teachings were taught from all of the spiritual philosophies as ways to cope in our world. Perhaps some of the Pagan and Wicca outlooks would help us treat our planet better too. Tolerance would then be more of the emphasis and promote thinking instead of indoctrination.

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If there are classes on biblical literacy outside of normal religious education classes, without there being classes on literacy in the Vedas, the Dhammapada, the Qur'an and other scriptures, then I very strongly disagree with it. From what I can see, America is already being kept centuries behind where it should be in terms of progress because of the bullshit in the Babble. Whilst there are a lot of very good things in the Bible, to teach scriptural literacy based solely on that one book would not only be a great unappreciation of the other religious traditions, but a huge dis-service to the students.

 

Of course the Babble has had more effect on the US than any other scriptures...so what? The last thing the US needs is more ethnocentric, superior, self-righteous, imperialist, isolationist and down-right nationalist thinking.

 

However, I do think religious education is extremely important (but then I would say that, as I'm going to study Philosophy and Theology at university this year). To teach only the Bible however, is completely wrong.

 

I agree and disagree. If we're talking about K-12, I definitely agree. Teach it comparatively or not at all. OTOH, in college it could be a very helpful thing to be able to learn the Bible if you weren't familiar with it and trying to study western art history. The nonchristian students in Gothic and Renaissance art history classes are easy to spot because they always look a little lost. :shrug:

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I think it should be taught in schools, as part of English class, to help better understand great works of literature. As part of history class, as the reason for this war or that war.

 

But a much better reason for all of us to be behind it in school: Most kids hate school, and anything taught in school instantly becomes some thing not worth knowing...or knowing just long enough to pass a test, then instantly forgotten.

 

Can't think of a better way to destroy the Bible than making it part of the public school cirriculum. LOL

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I agree and disagree. If we're talking about K-12, I definitely agree. Teach it comparatively or not at all. OTOH, in college it could be a very helpful thing to be able to learn the Bible if you weren't familiar with it and trying to study western art history. The nonchristian students in Gothic and Renaissance art history classes are easy to spot because they always look a little lost. :shrug:

 

Oh, I definitely agree with you there. I think it's a whole other matter when it comes to university...the students have chosen exactly what they're studying, and if that includes a study of only one religious text or tradition, then I don't see the problem.

 

If I was studying Arabic at University, I would fully expect to study the Qur'an in its entirety as an example of 7th century Arabic literature. To complain that it was biased because it didn't cover, say, the Dhammapada, would be ludicrous...unless some scholar wants to translate the Buddhist Scriptures from Pali into Arabic, but that would be a little pointless. :HaHa:

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But a much better reason for all of us to be behind it in school: Most kids hate school, and anything taught in school instantly becomes some thing not worth knowing...or knowing just long enough to pass a test, then instantly forgotten.

 

Can't think of a better way to destroy the Bible than making it part of the public school cirriculum. LOL

 

:3::lmao:

 

Of course, over here we still have our fair share of christians even though their faith is taught at school... but then, they aren't literalists, so... ;)

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