Gagflex: Bibles in Schools, Fantastic Idea

Sen. Roy Herron out of Dresden, Tenn., has been pushing to have the Bible taught in public schools. The bill recently withstood votes from the House and Senate and now goes on to face the mighty pen of Governor Bredesen.

Contrary to what many of you loyal Pulse readers might be thinking, there’ll be no ranting or gagflexing over this particular issue. I am 100 percent behind a bill that would educate people in the ways of some of the most ludicrous beliefs ever assembled in one book.

I know many people may be worried about the prospect of a government-sponsored religious class, but as Sen. Herron says, the classes will be designed to be secular in nature. And if you believe that for two seconds then may you wind up being the tool on the bottom of my pyramid scheme. Roy Herron is a former minister, so it’s hard to imagine him promoting a legitimate secular Bible class here on the sacred soil of Bible belt USA.

That being said, what exactly would a secular bible class encompass? Herron’s assertion is that The Bible could be studied as a great work of influential literature.

You could definitely do that. You could follow along with the angry God of the Old Testament as he actually drowns everyone on earth because they won’t abide by his vision. Classes could read Leviticus and debate what smoldering animal flesh God enjoys smelling, or what allegory the author was going for when he said God will send beasts among the people to rob them of their children for being contrary.

Then we could seamlessly transition to the New Testament where God has a son who speaks in parables so people won’t understand him, and banishes entire cities into an eternal fire known as “hell” for not accepting his followers. It could be like studying “The Scarlett Letter,” except the outcast of the story has magical powers.

No book could be labeled great by just tossing out tales of murder and slavery. The greatest hits are the parts that could be considered fantasy in the same vein as “The Lord of the Rings.” These are the parts that are highlighted in Sunday school, and the first stories that children learn from The Bible. Who could forget Noah and the ark, the parting of the red sea and the talking snake in a tree? Then there are gems like people living to be hundreds of years old, God turning people into salt and the revelations of the end of times.

So no, I am not at all against teaching The Bible in public schools. If the concern is about our government attempting to spread Christianity by teaching The Bible, schools then allow me to put some of those fears to rest. The Bible is not very good recruiting if you are actually reading it. There’s no doubt that some less cynical youth will read into every word as some sort of sacred truth, but that kid probably wasn’t going to comprehend Shakespeare anyway. The only thing that I would warn Roy Herron about in his push for kids to learn the Bible is to beware of what you wish for. They might actually comprehend it.


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