Monday, August 01, 2005

Getting Edumacated in Texas

where things are moving very fast...backwards! Soon schoolchildren will have an opportunity to take an optional Bible-course at school:

When the school board in Odessa, the West Texas oil town, voted unanimously in April to add an elective Bible study course to the 2006 high school curriculum, some parents dropped to their knees in prayerful thanks that God would be returned to the classroom, while others assailed it as an effort to instill religious training in the public schools.

Hundreds of miles away, leaders of the National Council on Bible Curriculum in Public Schools notched another victory. A religious advocacy group based in Greensboro, N.C., the council has been pressing a 12-year campaign to get school boards across the country to accept its Bible curriculum.

The council calls its course a nonsectarian historical and literary survey class within constitutional guidelines requiring the separation of church and state.

But a growing chorus of critics says the course, taught by local teachers trained by the council, conceals a religious agenda. The critics say it ignores evolution in favor of creationism and gives credence to dubious assertions that the Constitution is based on the Scriptures, and that "documented research through NASA" backs the biblical account of the sun standing still.

I sometimes get confused whether we are talking about Texas in 2005 or some part of medieval Europe. For example, I remember reading that this "sun standing still" argument was settled a few centuries ago. But I must have been wrong.

The democracy-in-action here is fascinating: if enough people believe something demonstrably false, presto, it becomes the truth! Or at least something to squeak into the educamation curriculum. - And yes, I'm writing this while sipping a cool latte under a loverly liberal umbrella. So sue me.