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North Dakota lawmakers want to require Bible study in public schools

Jan 9, 2019

By Zack Ford

A group of North Dakota lawmakers — all Republicans — have introduced legislation that would require the state’s public schools to teach a unit on the Bible. The unit could be on the Old Testament, the New Testament, or a mix of the two, and would count toward students’ social studies credit requirements.

As blogger Hemant Mehta points out, the bill does not specify anything about how the courses would be taught or even whether they would be secular or objective. Nothing prevents the classes from being derived from Sunday school classes or other forms of Bible-based religious indoctrination.

This is not an exaggerated concern. In 2017, Kentucky passed a very similar law creating elective social studies courses on the Bible, specifying that such courses would teach content that is relevant and influential to contemporary society. It also clarified that such courses should maintain “religious neutrality.”

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5 comments on “North Dakota lawmakers want to require Bible study in public schools

  • I’d just love to teach that unit.  Teaching it in an objective, analytical, dispassionate way,  whilst revealing my standpoint, would destroy any notion that the bible was the revealed word of God, and anything other than a mythologised, heroic, historical account of a neolithic/bronze age people, their small doings, prejudices, shibboleths, aspirations and folk tales, created and modified over centuries of fireside stories in the desert, transmission through countless generations, intrusion by priests and kings, editing by literati, referenced by changing knowledge, events, power relationships… ‘Twould be great!

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  • Yes Eejit, I too would love to teach the bible.  I would start examining Abraham’s attempted gutting of his son, the Book of Job, God using mind control  to stop the Pharaoh from agreeing to free his slaves (hardening his heart).  God killing the guy who stopped the ark of the covenant from falling over.  Gods demands of killing new born babies and keeping virgin girls as sex slaves, rules about slavery.  There would be some very difficult questions asked and religious parents would demand the bible not be taught very shortly after.



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  • …and would count toward students’ social studies credit requirements…

    Study of what social processes? Religious indoctrination? Mass-delusion formation? Or, perhaps, the study of ancient tribal practices in goat-hearder societies in the Middle East?

    Jokes aside, this is just another blatant attempt to sneak religion into public-school curricula by covering religion with a pseudo-scientific veneer.

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