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POLL: Bible & Public Schools

[poll]
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Re: POLL: Bible &amp;amp; Public Schools

  • Regardless of your beliefs, the Bible ( Torah Quoran- whatever you call it)  is probably the most important piece of literature in the world. It has been used to justify countless historical events.
  • I think it should be taught but only as a piece of literature in a public school setting, like sunshine said, it is probably the most well known piece of writing around the world . . .

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  • This is touchy subject, so please realize that I'm not trying to be snarky or hurt anybody's feelings. I have strong opinions on this particular matter, but I know everybody else does too. I respect all opinions. :-) 

    I agree that the Bible is a very important historical text, but I still don't think it should be taught in public schools, it would cross the line of seperation of church and state, and I can't trust that all school officials would use it just for its historical context. I think that's why parochial schools exist.

    I also want to point out that the Qur'an and the Torah are not the same as the bible. They are seperate religous texts for two different religions. IF schools are teaching with the Bible, should they be required to teach with other religious texts, too?

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  • I agree with Jennrs. Separation of Church and Sate is a good thing.  I say this as a practicing Catholic.  

    I would add that teaching them as 'historical literature' would be troublesome since even Christians - using the same (largely) bible as each other and similar beliefs have vastly different interpretations of passages and meaning.  That's not even touching other religious texts and how their messages differ.

    The Torah, from what I understand, is actually present in most bibles as 5 founding books (the books of Moses) of the Old Testament.  So it's kinda sorta part of the bible - but agree that's it's separate too.

  • I should add that I think it would be perfectly acceptable to have an elective course that teaches religous texts from a historical context.
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  • imageJennrs:

    I also want to point out that the Qur'an and the Torah are not the same as the bible. They are separate religious texts for two different religions. IF schools are teaching with the Bible, should they be required to teach with other religious texts, too?

    They are not the same, but I think they should be taught in schools as part of a similar line of literature. For example, like Naylon mentioned the Torah is the Old Testament of the bible. I think its remiss to teach the bible and not mention this fact.

    All three books also have many similarities. I just didn't want to point out the bible and not mention the other religions that make up the big three and derive from a similar context.

  • imagesunshine608:
    imageJennrs:

    I also want to point out that the Qur'an and the Torah are not the same as the bible. They are separate religious texts for two different religions. IF schools are teaching with the Bible, should they be required to teach with other religious texts, too?

    They are not the same, but I think they should be taught in schools as part of a similar line of literature. For example, like Naylon mentioned the Torah is the Old Testament of the bible. I think its remiss to teach the bible and not mention this fact.

    All three books also have many similarities. I just didn't want to point out the bible and not mention the other religions that make up the big three and derive from a similar context.

    Gotcha! :-) I agree that if we teach one then we should teach them all.

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  • I prefer the religious aspect to stay out of the schools.  Or, if you're going to study one, you study them all.  We had an amazing history professor who taught us cultures and would tie in religious beliefs of the cultures, and would supplement a culture with the basic beliefs of the people.  It was a great class.

    I also had a classic lit class where we read the first books of the King James Bible as literature.  She in no way brought belief into it.  I had some interesting classes in HS, looking back.

  • I am required to teach evolution, so why shouldn't creation be taught?

    Of course, it shouldn't be taught in the science classroom (like evolution, which is based on scientific evidence).

    I think that if the Bible is taught, it should be in conjunction with other religious texts. I think the best idea is to have a religion class as an elective. That way kids have a choice.

  • There are some stories from the Bible that are listed as recommended literature on the Massachusetts curriculum frameworks.

    I don't see any reason for it to not be used in that way (just like how we teach other traditional literature), but it can be very shakey ground, so I have never used it myself.

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  • No offense, but I wouldn't want to teach the Bible, nor would I want to teach the Torah, etc...  I feel these should be taught in religious classes, or at the high school level feel free to make it an elective.  I mean, I am not Christian, nor do I have a good understanding of Jewish religion, and therefore how would I possibly be able to teach either, let alone both?  I feel that religion needs to stay out of public schools.  If you really want it taught to your child then send them to a religious private school.  I have so much to teach to meet the state standards, I cannot imagine adding that in as well.
  • Okay- I'll add this in too. I'm Christian, but I also believe in evolution. I mean, you can't deny that species evolve. Look around- bacterial resistance to antibiotics, insect resistance to pesticides, on a larger scale... people! We're much different from homo habilis or homo erectus.

    I teach evolution (it's in the state standards) in a VERY conservative state and school. It's challenging. I approach it like this: I tell the kids that no matter what you believe in, you need to understand the other side(s) of the argument. You can't intelligently argue that you don't believe in something if you don't understand it. Studying something doesn't mean you have to believe in it.

    Using the same logic, I see why teaching religion could be useful (under the conditions I stated in my pp).

    I do understand the need for separation of church and state, though.

    I just don't understand why it's okay to teach evolution but not creation. Yes, evolution is based on science and creation isn't. But it's still a gray area.

    FWIW, I'm glad evolution is taught.

  • I think this is a no-go, except in a HS literature class where knowledge of a particular Biblical story would be required in order to understand an allusion in a piece of classic literature.  But I think the focus should remain on the classic text being studied, and not on the Biblical text. 
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