Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Bible study. Emphasis on the word "study."

When I was but a wee lad, I spent a few days at a Bible study class run by a local elderly couple and, hard to believe as it may be, I won the award for best little Christian based on my ability to, in one evening cram session, memorize over 30 Bible verses, which I obediently spewed out the final day of the course to collect my prize.

This, as I'm sure you can appreciate, had nothing whatsoever to do with Bible "study." It was simply Bible regurgitation, which is in fact what you find nowadays. All of those pious hypocrites who wander around being sanctimonious are, in fact, hideously ignorant about actual Christianity -- their sole talent comes in being able to quote chapter and verse, even when they have no clue what any of it means. And, sometimes, they have trouble even with chapter and verse:

  • 75% of adults believe the famed Benjamin Franklin saying “God helps those who help themselves” is one of the Ten Commandments.

  • 10% believe Joan of Arc was the wife of Noah from the Book of Genesis.

  • 50% of high school seniors believe Sodom and Gomorrah were married.

  • 17% agree that Ramadan is the “Jewish day of atonement.”

  • Most believe Saint Paul led the Israelites from their enslavement in Egypt.

  • Only one in three Americans can name the four Gospels, while less than half can even name one of them.

  • A majority couldn’t identify the preacher of the “Sermon on the Mount.” (Hint: The Bible says it was Jesus.)

And for pure, unadulterated Christian dumbassitude, who could forget Stephen Colbert's interview with Congressman Lynn Westmoreland? Ah, good times, good times.

So when someone suggests that what America needs is actual Bible study in its public school system, it might surprise you to learn that I am so all behind that idea, as long as it's done correctly:

One solution to this civic problem is to teach Bible classes in public schools. By Bible classes I do not mean classes in which teachers tell students that Jesus loves them or that the Bible is the inerrant word of God, but academic courses that study the Bible's characters and stories as well as the afterlife of the Bible in literature and history. Last week, the Georgia Board of Education gave preliminary approval to two elective Bible courses designed to teach religion rather than preach religion. As long as teachers stick to the curriculum, this is a big step in the right direction.

Damn straight. I think this is a terrific idea, and so should you, since it would be such a relief to suddenly have a religious population that actually had a fucking clue about their own religion, rather than the mouth-breathing trogs we have now who are invariably dumb as a sack of wet hammers. (Hello, Jinx McHue.)

Bible study in the public school system? You bet. I'm all for that. And make sure they learn the Ten Commandments. All of them. Especially the one about cooking a goat in its mother's milk. I'm betting a lot of Christians are really slacking on that one.


ADHR said...

...isn't the second bullet point from the first Bill & Ted movie? The idea that 10% of Americans are as well-versed in history as Ted "Theodore" Logan worries me.t

Jennifer Smith said...

Why confine it to the Bible? I would be even more happy to see World Religions taught in grade school again. You know - the whole 'fear is rooted in ignorance' argument?

I went to an Anglican private school that, despite daily morning 'prayers' and frequent hymn singing in music class, actually had an amazingly even-handed approach to religious education. I remember one Rel. Ed. teacher who used to go to Sunday brunch at the Hare Krishna Temple every week and talked as enthusiastically about Buddhism as about the Bible.

'Course I ended up a Pagan...

Anonymous said...

Mmmmmm...seethed kid.

Weasel said...

Yep, teach the Bible in public schools.

We'll have more atheists that way. :)

lu said...

it would be better to teach them how to know God, who Christ is and how He is a part of their lifes-