By Jeff Schweitzer The Huffington Post
Tennessee has thrown caution, and reason, to the wind, deciding to use taxpayer dollars to indoctrinate children in public schools in the ways of Jesus Christ. The quaint notion of separating Church and State be damned. A curse on the prohibition of governments establishing religion. Who needs the First Amendment when we have the Lord?
Not to be outdone by the Texas State Board of Education, (see here) the counterpart in Tennessee doubled down with a state-approved curriculum to “teach the text” of the Bible under the guise of literature rather than religion. The stated rationale is “to enable students to acquire an understanding and appreciation of the Bible’s major ideas, historical/geographical contexts, and literary forms.”
But the thin veneer of religious zeal and the real motivation for this decision by the Tennessee Board of Education are laid bare by the recommended “biblical readings” that are officially part of the curriculum. What the Board means by the “Bible” is the “New Testament.” If the Bible is to be taught as literature ignoring the Jews is a bit of an oversight. Other than Genesis, which of course cannot be passed over since that is where Creationists look to refute evolution; all other readings are from the New Testament: Psalms, Matthew, Mark and Luke. Nothing is included from Exodus, Leviticus, Deuteronomy, or Numbers. And only the first two chapters of Genesis are on the menu; the remainder 48 chapters are ignored.
If fundamentalists keep insisting that we teach the Bible in school, then I say here again let us teach the book in all of its bloody, misogynous, murderous, fratricidal glory. Let’s teach our impressionable children the following facts about the word of god:
• Exodus 21:20-21
It’s OK to kill a slave, because he is nothing but property, but only as long as he does not die from a beating until at least one day later.
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