State adopts curriculum for Bible study in high schools

Thursday, January 28, 2010 at 6:38pm
Staff reports

The Tennessee State Board of Education Thursday approved a curriculum that will both codify Bible classes in public high schools and provide schools a roadmap on how to teach the Christian text.

In a meeting this morning, a committee established by the board presented the six-page document, which includes guidelines on everything from which translation of the Bible students can use (their choice) to general objectives of such a class, which include teaching the history and literature of the text, as well as its ongoing social and religious ramifications.

The class is considered an elective. In the past, different school districts were allowed to establish their own approaches to Bible courses. In 2008, the General Assembly passed legislation to adopt a statewide curriculum for an academic Bible study that focused more on the intrinsic qualities of the text than any one religious group’s interpretation.

To that end, the curriculum includes this directive for teachers and school administrators: “It is important to remember that the student’s experience, or in some cases lack of experience with the Bible, may influence their perceptions of the assignments. Be aware that a broad range of religious and nonreligious perspectives among the students [sic] and be cognizant of student rights to their personal views.”

17 Comments on this post:

By: Loner on 1/29/10 at 6:49

This is quite incredible. The US Consttution forbids Establishing religion on the taxpayer's dime. Tennesseans don't seem to get it.

Bible studies belong in a church or synagogue, not in a publicly funded school. Imagine the uproar if the Quran was being studied in public schools using taxpayer money to fund the program. Studying the Quran would be condemned as establishing Islam using public funds; there is no similar outrage, however, when Bible studies in public schools is funded by the state.

The bigots who call themselves "Christians" are not satisfied with the freedom to teach their war-mongering Bible classes in their "white only" Christian schools; now, they are shoving their twisted theology down the throats of public school students and the taxpayer is financing this poorly disguised Chritian proselytizing.

Sometimes I think that the South should have been left to go it's own wicked way in 1861. That way, the rest of the USA could have developed into a modern, industrialized, secular nation without the constant drag of faith-based bigotry and Christian angst pulling the nation down into ignorance, fear and superstition.

By: Loner on 1/29/10 at 7:12

The 2008 law that enables this Christian proselytizing should be challenged in court, as it is probably unconstitutional. It's hard to say how a decision might come down. With six hard core Catholics on the nine-member SCOTUS, this present high court might actually side with the Jesus-loving TN State School Board.

Yes, the nation is sliding into theocracy. Bible classes in the public schools, Holy War in the Middle East and Asia, federal and state Faith-based Initiatives, presidential candidates vetted by Mega-Pastor Rick Warren, bankrolling apartheid Zionism etc. etc.

The Founders warned us about this sort of thing. Today, the Founders would be called "terrorist sympathizers", "anti-Christian" and even "anti-Semitic". The expediters of Armageddon have seized functional control of the American Experiment. Our precious and fragile democracy is being hijacked by bloodthirsty theocrats.

By: Kosh III on 1/29/10 at 7:36

I would have no problem with an elective class which surveys major religious texts: Jewish Bible+Talmud, Christian Bible, Koran, Buddist sutras, Hindu Vedas, Book of Mormon, Confucian texts etc etc

By: HankfromTN on 1/29/10 at 7:42

This nation was founded on freedom of religion, not freedom from religion. I believe that our true history will start being tought. People are starting to study it on their own. They are finding out that the revisionist buffs have been promoting their wishes from the (19)30's. Ever since the country started going down hill. It is interesting that the only way the revisionist can communicate is through hate and slander. If they ever studied the truth, they would find out how wrong they are.

By: house_of_pain on 1/29/10 at 7:50

Sorry, Hank, your argument holds no water. I'm with Loner on this one.

By: truth searcher on 1/29/10 at 7:51

I really believe that this is a victory for those who seek truth. It has been since the Scope's monkey trial that the true evidence of how the world was formed has been shunned. Many scientist now understand that all these "Big Bang" theories of how the world came into being can not hold water. Other research has been done over the last several years show that the earth is not as old as what the politically correct scientitst have been screaming and filling our schools with over the last 50 or so years.

It seems to me that the Bible is being taught as an elective. If you don't want your kids taking it, then that would be your choice. The Bible offers a lot of proven historical information. It amazes me how people discount the Bible, but even looking at external sources of exevation that has been done of the last century confirms the Bible's secrets. It is much more than a lesson in theology, it is the history of mankind. It is a box of jewels that tells of the many wars the Jewish people and others took on. It tells of love stories and dissapointments. It teaches sacrifice and honesty. It teaches lessons beyond what we have in our school systems now. Could you imagine a world in which every man spoke the truth. What about a world that a man would be faithful to his wife and family. A world that had no stealing or killing or swearing would be nice. That is what the New Testament teaches. No matter who reads the Bible, people do what they want. I can call myself a Christian and steal, cheat, lie, swear, and run around on my wife, but am I really a Christian. Not really! You should try to judge the book, not the people who claim to abide by it's principles.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 1/29/10 at 8:24

truth searcher, if you're secure in your faith you should encourage a class that explores many faiths, not just Christianity. that would be closer to "education" and less like proselyzing.

By: HighlyAnnoyed on 1/29/10 at 8:29

truth seeker - you are either a liar or a moron or both. Religion makes you retarded. Religion and belief in the supernatural holds mankind back from progress.

By: HokeyPokey on 1/29/10 at 9:14

Truth Seeker: Authentic Tea Inn gibberish.

By: miscueiam@hotma... on 1/29/10 at 9:45


Why not a course on Comparative Religion with an aside on humanism
and pantheism?

Do not these people realize they are not the end all and be all of this
planet? Other forms of life do exist. Do they not even know that the
arrogent term designating time, B.C. has been replaced by B.C.E.
(before the common era) therefore establishing a time designation
more global and philosophical and not in the least causing confusion.

what are they thinking or do they think?

By: Kosh III on 1/29/10 at 9:47

The Bible offers a lot of proven historical information. It amazes me how people discount the Bible, but even looking at external sources of exevation that has been done of the last century confirms the Bible's secrets"

And archaeology has also disproven many things. For instance, there is not one bit of archaeological evidence for the collapse of the walls of Jericho.
The Bible does contain many good directions for good living
but it is NOT a history or science text.

By: Loner on 1/29/10 at 9:49

I agree, Kosh. A course entitled Comparative Theology would not violate the Establishment Clause. Such a course could be invaluable to kids today, after all, many of them will be dying to make the world safe for Boeing, the Jewish State and Exxon-Mobil. These young people have a right to know what the Holy War is all about. Such a comprehensive course could justifiably be a required course for graduation.

By: njmccune on 1/29/10 at 10:48

I am speechless at the very thought of studying the bible in a public school... Now if this were to be a class comparing all the religions of the world then I think it might be an interesting elective class. Emphasis on ELECTIVE.

When are the bible thumpers going to learn that the bible is nothing more than a work of historic fiction?

Evangelical religion by any other name is Taliban!! Think about it!

By: pswindle on 1/29/10 at 11:06

This decision will not stand up. This is against everything that this country has stood for. What is wrong in teaching the kids to read, write and to do math. They can go to church for this regilious teaching and training. Nothing surprises me in TN anymore since the republican have taken over.

By: Siobhanne on 1/29/10 at 11:24

The course is an elective and not a requirement. If parental consent is required to take the class, I don't have a problem with it..... That being said...I came from a small town here in TN where there were lots of small town attitudes. There were two predominant denominations. Church membership affected many things in small town life besides what building one went to on Sun a.m. Each denomination taught that anyone who was not a 'member' of that particular church was an unsaved thus not worth associating with. Anyone else was pretty much ostracized. This affected every facet of a person's life: business contacts, friendships, club memberships etc. It carried over into the schools as well.. mostly in a negative way. Some teachers felt a christian duty to proselyte to those of us who didn't attend "their" church. Illegal, yes, but who to complain to... school board members who attended same church? If Bible History and Lit are used as a trojan horse to propagate this mentality, then I do have a problem with it

By: Loner on 1/29/10 at 2:40

Siobhanne, you would be justified in "having a problem" with this. The born-agains would have a problem with Quran studies in public schools, even as an elective. This Judeo-Christian "elective" course is nothing more than specific religious education, on the taxpayer's dime Do not be "OK with that"

Somebody has to bring suit against the TN legislature's ruling. This takes guts, time and money. In Tennessee few have the wherewithall to fight this kind of organized, state-sponsored religious indoctrination. No, this is a job for Superman...unfortunately, he died from a kryptonite overdose.

By: HankfromTN on 1/29/10 at 5:35

Loner sure proves my point. Without a doubt he/she knows nothing about history. He knows nothing about the founders of the constitution. He is surely the product of a progressive education. Talk about indoctrination. The schools are loaded with liberal agenda teachers and doctrine. I hope that global warming is not far behind this snow storm. I figured that Gore must have been in town early this month because cold weather follows him around. It snows anytime he has a global warming convention. Even in June. Have a blessed day. Yes, even you Loner.