Rejoice Now for Tomorrow All Hell Breaks Loose

Local Baptists, who firmly believe we are fighting to take back the world from the *heathens, are rejoicing today over the passage of Tennessee House Bill 4089.

The bill authorizes the state board of education to develop and adopt a curriculum for a state-funded elective course consisting of a nonsectarian, nonreligious academic study of the Bible and its influence on literature, art, music, culture, and politics.

The course must be taught in an objective and nondevotional manner with no attempt made to indoctrinate students as to either the truth or falsity of the biblical materials or texts from other religious or cultural traditions.

The legislation sponsored by Rep. Mark Maddox, a Dresden Democrat, was approved 93-3 on Tuesday. The companion bill unanimously passed the Senate last week. Both chambers must now work out differences in the legislation before it heads to the governor for his consideration.

Personally, I support the proposal. After all, the Bible is inarguably the most influential book ever written, and some knowledge of the text is key to understanding ideas, movements, attitudes and rhetoric which have shaped US history.

It could, however, be tricky developing a curriculum equally pleasing to atheists, who will oppose indoctrination to a majority religion and tend to get all pissy if the President signs an official letter “God Bless America” and vigilant Christians, who will be on the lookout for subliminal messages promoting doubt, backsliding, misinterpretation, Islam, emboldened women or the homosexual agenda.

However, as similar programs have been accepted in Georgia and Texas, I do think the curriculum will likely be adopted.

Of course, as soon as the elective course raises some questions about creation, reveals that the Apostles did not start the SBC, other religious text is given equal consideration or instructional time, and/or the Baptists realize non-believers are signing-up for the elective course to strengthen arguments against religion – all hell will break loose.

*Heathen: n. pl. hea·thens or heathen: a. One who adheres to the religion of a people or nation that does not acknowledge the God of Judaism, Christianity, or Islam. b. unconverted people, c. Person’s who are not Baptist; and/or d. Any Baptist caught in the liquor store by another Baptist, who upon seeing the first Baptist will quickly conceal the bottle of Jack Daniels behind his back and loudly declare, “George! I thought that was your car out front, but I had to come in here and see with my own eyes! Well, shame on you!”

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9 thoughts on “Rejoice Now for Tomorrow All Hell Breaks Loose

  1. Pingback: Religious Exposure : Post Politics: Political News and Views in Tennessee

  2. talk about the Devil in the details …

    creating a statewide public school curriculum including the textbook (or textbooks) used and the criteria for a teacher for the class seems most thorny indeed.

    why not just add lesson plans in Literature classes which would include excerpts from and influences of …

    school boards have enough woes without lumping this one on them. and c’mon, it’s Tennessee – churches every mile, plenty of instruction available.

    signed,
    another Heathen

  3. I second that Amen.

    I am not opposed to the class. Religion is often the single most compelling factor for political movements and considering politicians routinely use Bible verses to support their ideology or actions, I think it would be wise for everyone to study the book in an academic manner.

    I also think secondary school level is the appropriate age to do this – so discussion can remain rational, open, no name-calling or spittle flying. (This is something adults cannot seem to manage.)

    But I don’t think this is what lawmakers or parents had in mind.

    In discussing the influence of the Bible, particularly in American History and World Civilization or even literature, there is a strong possibility you’re going to touch upon other religious/holy text in the process. And what if studying the Bible in relation to how it influenced history, politics or literature challenges students to think beyond whatever presuppositions they’ve been given.

    Parents will go bonkers. School boards would still be bombarded by complaints from both ends of the spectrum. Yep, no matter how we go about it – the reality of this is going to be a disaster. I’m talking tent revivals, email campaigns, protests, steep rise in the number of Republican voters… (I tossed that last bit in for you, Joe.)

  4. 🙂 heh heh.

    i went to a a big ol’ family-style buffet place for lunch once a few years ago in Bradley County, just outside of the town of Cleveland, TN. as i had been working in that county for a job, i happened to be wearing a blue button-down shirt and a nice tie.

    this older gent standing outside the restaurant said to me as i went in “now there’s a nice looking young republican man!”

    only time anyone has ever said THAT to me. and i was kinda worried he might have been hitting on me. still, i simply replied “why thank you, sir” and went in to eat a lot of not very good food. all i know is, in Bradley County, i made the cut.

    elsewhere, not so much.

  5. Why not study one of the most influential books in history academically?! At least when they are done, students will know what it says so they can make informed opinions one way or the other. Funny how a lot of Biblical opponents as well as proponents have never actually read it themselves but rather base their position on generalization or comments by others. High school is where most people begin to define who they are so that’s a perfect time if it can be done objectively. I’ll be interesting to see how this plays out.

  6. Pingback: One Who Confines Themselves to Facts… Mostly « DeMarCaTionVille

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