Friday, August 05, 2005

Odessa steps to biblical literacy

The New York Times is worried. So is the Washington Post. Why? Because the town of Odessa, Texas, through their school board, has opted to introduce an elective course on the Bible as literature. A group called the Texas Freedom Network, based in Austin is protesting. This appearance on Chris Matthews's Hardball shows that TFN is a little vague on why they're protesting. Is it because the curriculum is actually religious indoctrination and they are stepping in to protect non-believers rights? Or is it because it uses shoddy scholarship? In her interview, she was unpersuasive about the first point. The creators of the curriculum stand by their claim that it is a guide to history and culture of the Bible. The course outline seems to support this. Regarding the second point, one has to ask why this particular curriculum is singled out for intellectual weakness, when lousy textbooks are sadly familiar to students and teachers alike. It would certainly help if the quotes from the actual curriculum were available, instead of hearsay accounts of what it contains from unnamed experts. Why isn't this a question for the people of Odessa to figure out, instead of know-it-alls in Washington and New York?

Hat tip: libertyWatch
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