Guest Editorial: The Bible Course is a bad mix for the public high school curriculum | The Independent Green


The idea of ​​teaching the Bible in our secular public high schools is a nonstarter.

Aside from the constitutional issues of government favoring one religion over another, which Bible teaching would surely do, there are countless other issues that make the mixing of religious indoctrination and education problematic. public.

No religious books or writings belong in tax-funded public schools.

What would be the program of such a course? Which version(s) of the Bible would be used? Would the Bible be treated as the immutable word of God to be taken literally word for word? Would it be treated as a collection of parables and metaphors, probably fictional, but intended to guide human behavior? Is the Bible just a legend with historical overtones? Is it literature, open to analysis and interpretation?

Who will decide which interpretation is correct? What parts of the Bible would be used? Who makes this choice?

The Bible, by its very nature, is not intended to be taught as a completely secular document, with the possible exception of some university courses in comparative religions. It is evident by the innumerable sects, denominations, religions, synods, etc. that there are profound differences as to what the Bible is and what it means.

These differences have caused persecution, wars, bloodshed, massive suffering, displacement, discrimination and other horrors. What is the chance that a Bible course can be designed to appeal to everyone?

Even if it were possible, what about people who use other religious materials? Should there be classes for them too? What about those who do not subscribe to any religion? Should their tax money be used for religious instruction?

There is a relatively simple answer:

If you are concerned that our young people know too little of the Bible, accept your responsibilities as parents or other interested parties and teach them. Take them to church and Sunday school. Make sure they have interesting books on the Bible. Have a family or neighborhood Bible study.

Study a few verses a day with your children. Send your children to private schools for the indoctrination of your choice.

Our young people are ignorant in certain areas not because they are stupid, but because their time, energy and attention are stretched.

Because they are young, they need time to grow and learn to think independently. Because they are unique and separate beings, don’t be surprised if they reject your priorities.

Give them the basics of self-respect, respect for diversity in others, reading skills, the process of making good choices, self-discipline, the importance of lifelong learning life, the distinction between good and evil and how to affirm the freedom to become oneself. If the Bible helps you in this process, use it.

The greatest gift you can give your children is to help them believe in their potential. Praise them and encourage them.

For many, adolescence is a time of doubt. They often crave structure at the same time as they reject it. It can also be a traumatic time for their parents and teachers.

You can do a lot to make things easier by letting your children know that you love them and believe in them. Remind them that they are unique in the world.

There is only one of each of us. There has never been another like you, and there probably never will be.

The journey to becoming you can have its challenges. We all need guidance along the way. There are no guarantees. You have the power within you to make a positive difference.

What you do with the incredible gift of your uniqueness will be your destiny and your legacy. Make it count.

David W. Leibforth is a resident of Clarkdale. He was a high school teacher for 35 years and a former member of Clarkdale City Council, where he served as vice mayor.


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