President Trump signaled his support on Monday for state bills that would allow public schools to teach courses in the Bible, ...
Trump’s tweet came minutes after “Fox & Friends” aired a segment Monday morning on pending legislation in six states — Florida, Indiana, Missouri, North Dakota, Virginia and West Virginia — that would allow Bible literacy courses to become a part of a public school education.
“Yet again, President Trump is exploiting religious divisions to score political points. Public school Bible courses are rarely taught neutrally and objectively as required by the Constitution,” Daniel Mach, director of the ACLU Program on Freedom of Religion and Belief, told Yahoo News in an email. “Instead, these courses usually resemble Sunday school classes that blatantly violate students’ and parents’ First Amendment rights."
Just as the pro-business American Legislative Exchange Council crafts model bills that can be adapted and introduced in states across the country, the Congressional Prayer Caucus Foundation’s blueprint for inserting the Bible into public schools follows a similar starter-kit approach.
While bills following the foundation’s template failed to pass in Alabama, Iowa and West Virginia last year, Kentucky passed its version, House Bill 128, in 2017, over objections from the ACLU, and it was signed into law by Republican Gov. Matt Bevin.
A new Florida measure authored by the Florida Citizens Alliance and sponsored in the state’s Legislature by Republican Rep. Dennis Baxley seeks to require public schools to teach alternatives to climate change and evolution. [emphasis mine]
Just more of Trumpty Dumbty's disingenuous ramblings to suck up to his base.
He is losing his base, so he has become desperate to cling on to what there is left, especially by appealing to the fundamentalists.
We will likely see him become more desperate and disingenuous as 2020 approaches.
The Florida bill is disturbing! Its language is stealthy, given the public views of its sponsor and promoters; it seems like it could open school curricula to whatever some Republican judge agrees is "factual, objective, and balanced".
The bill’s sponsor, Sen. Dennis Baxley, R-Ocala, said that schools need to teach “different worldviews” on issues like evolution and climate change. He asserts that textbooks now skew toward “uniformity” of thought.
Uniformity like whether gravity pulls things towards the Earth rather than away? Or whether 2+2=4?
Yes, that is disturbing, especially seeing America's education is already one of the worst in the western developed world, almost being beaten by third world countries, and it appears that with those bills introduced, it may fall below third world countries.
They want to teach biblical literacy? Fine – so long as they also teach the Quran, the Bhagavad Gita, the Zend Avesta, tales and teachings of the Buddha ... you get my drift. In any case, I fully expect the Freedom From Religion Foundation, Americans United, and American Atheists to fall on this like a ton of bricks. Unfortunately, yet more state money will be wasted in fighting those lawsuits when it should go to actually TEACHING the kids!
I volunteer to teach these courses, but school boards better be ready for a scholarly approach.
Scholarly ... comprehensive ... balanced ... and INCLUSIVE ... which means both the good and the bad get examined and critiqued. The Christers won't like that at all, of course, to which I say, tough shit. I'd be curious to know if those invested in Buddhism would be as upset if we talked about how Zen Buddhism could be traced to the banzai attitude of the Japanese during World War II?
It'd be an INTERESTING course, to put it at its mildest!
They are idiots! If any of this passes it is just a matter of time before it is challenged and legally they will have to teach all religions in American schools. This is then going to be self defeating because of a great lack of time. In the end Evangelicals gain nothing.
Teaching of comparative religion in school is considered one reason Britain became so much more secular. Because they did it in a scholarly way.
I have to believe that the second this became law, the FFRF, Americans United, and the ACLU at minimum were geared up to go after ANY such effort to teach the bible exclusively in schools and go after them tooth and nail. Judicial decisions on this are so solid, we're talking less stare decisis than we are SET IN STONE ... and when the districts which want to do the whole biblical thing discover 1) that this was a mistake and 2) that they are liable for court costs, those two simple facts will very likely dissuade any further such foolishness by any other body, state or federal, to attempt anything similar.
It's sorta like getting kicked in the balls for the first time. The first guy who catches it hurts like hell, but he might be smart enough to pass the knowledge along so that the second guy learns that it's no place he wants to go!