Monday, April 9, 2007

EDITORIALS on the proposed bill to mandate that Texas public schools offer an elective Bible course:
"Terrific," says an editorial in the Houston Chronicle. "The Bible has had a tremendous influence on Western civilization, and Texas students could benefit from studying its impact on all areas of American life, laws and culture." However, says the author, students only benefit if the course is taught without a religious bias. Given the record of schools that have such programs and the motivations of Rep. who introduced the bill, these courses would likely have a Christian slant, a particularly egregious situation in our post-911 world. "This bill as it stands offers none of these safeguards: It has no provision for statewide curriculum standards, specialized teacher training or course materials. It has nothing to recommend it and should be rejected by lawmakers."
Relax, says Grant Swank of The Conservative Voice. The course "will be presenting the Bible as the most sought after book. It will also instruct the Bible’s influence on culture down through centuries." If there is any denomination that uses its agenda to shape this course, it will be liberal secular. "The Bible, that literature which has outsold any other publication worldwide, is neglected in America’s Judeo-Christian backdrop. The prejudice is due to those who champion secularizing our society so as to rid the US of Christianity."
Chuck Norris (of Walker, Texas Ranger fame), writing for WorldNetDaily, offers an outline for how Christians can bring Bible courses to their school districts.

Wyoming News (WY): Skeptics seem to hit Christianity with especially forceful criticism during Lent, the 40-day period starting Ash Wednesday that marks the period Jesus fasted and prayed in the wilderness. "For film makers and publishers, it seems only logical to promote Christian-themed works when millions of Americans are contemplating the life and death of Christ. [...] Many Americans seem to suspect that information is being hidden from them, especially about Gnostic writings." But these works have been known to academics for years. They seem to get special attention during "the faith's most sacred days."

Laconia Citizen (NH): An interview with a teacher who has taught a course on the the Bible because she believes it gives students an advantage. An excerpt:

"Generally the students were very respectful of each other in the class. When one student questioned Mary's virginity, suggesting she may have been a woman of loose morals, Blinn simply asked, 'Where in any of the gospels is there any evidence of Mary's promiscuity?'
When the student replied that there is none, Blinn said, 'Okay then,' and moved to the next topic, defusing a potentially controversial situation."

Brandenton Herald (FL): "Our nation's founding fathers did not take a wishy-washy religious position." Some examples that a commentator believes prove that the founders of the U.S. did not intend a separation of church and state:
  • George Washington said, "It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible."
  • Patrick Henry said, "It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded not by religionists, but by Christians. Not on religions but on the Gospel of Jesus Christ."
  • John Quincy Adams said, "Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate for the government of any other." And: "The highest glory of the American Revolution was this: It connected in one indissoluble bond, the principles of civil government with the principles of Christianity."
  • The last bill that President Lincoln signed into law mandated that "In God We Trust" shall be placed on our currency. He proclaimed, on the very day that he was shot, that there ". . .shall be no recriminations, no vengeance taken on the South - malice toward none, charity for all."
  • President Grant affirmed the Bible's role in making this a great nation when he said, "The Bible is the sheet-anchor of our liberties."
  • In 1881, after his election, President Garfield took his stand for the Bible when he debunked a Bible-bashing professor in public debate.
  • President Woodrow Wilson said, "When you read the Bible you will know that it is the word of God."
  • President Calvin Coolidge said, of the Bible, "In this book will be found the solutions of all the problems of the world."

Waco Tribune Harold (TX): "We need to learn the Biblical principal of the stewardship of nature through school. Then we need to act as the planetary stewards we’re supposed to be, no matter what religion we espouse."