Reading, Writing & Religion II — a new report by the Texas Freedom Network — investigates public schools in Texas and the results are mind boggling. School kids are taught that the Bible gives scientific proof that the Earth is 6,000 years old, and the United States was founded as a Christian nation based on biblical Christian principles. At least one district’s Bible course includes materials suggesting that the origins of racial diversity among humans today can be traced back to a curse placed on Noah’s son in the biblical story of the flood. Such claims have long been a foundational component of some forms of racism, the report notes.
This is interesting: Astronauts have discovered “a day missing in space” that corroborates biblical stories of the sun standing still.
Mother Jones reports:
The report, written by Mark Chancey, a professor of religious studies at Southern Methodist University, found that more than half of the state’s public-school Bible courses taught students to read the book from a specifically Christian theological perspective—a clear violation of rules governing the seperation of church and state.
Many school districts pushed specific strains of fundamentalism in the classes:
“The Bible is the written word of God,” proclaims a slide shown to students in suburban Houston’s Klein Independent School District (ISD). Another slide adds: “The Bible is united in content because there is no contradictions [sic] in the writing. The reason for this is because that Bible is written under God’s direction and inspiration.”
A PowerPoint slide in Brenham ISD in Central Texas claims that “Christ’s resurrection was an event that occurred in time and space—that is was, in reality, historical and notmythological.” (emphasis in original)
In North Texas, Prosper ISD promotes the Rapture, claiming in course materials that “the first time the Lord gathered his people back was after the Babylonian captivity. The second time the Lord will gather his people back will be at the end of the age.”
Dinosaurs and humans were besties:
Some Bible classes in Texas public school appear to double as “science” classes, circumventing limits placed on teaching creationism. Eastland ISD, a school district outside Fort Worth, shows videos produced by the Creation Evidence Museum, which claims to posess a fossil of a dinosaur footprint atop “a pristine human footprint.”
I have to go walk my pet dinosaur now, but there’s more at Mother Jones.
Image: Creative Revolution.