Wednesday, January 14, 2004

Truly scary. This guy Matt McLaughlin wants to make the Bible "a textbook for grades one through twelve" in California schools "to pupils whose parents do not opt-out by specific objection." (Note: The above links directly to a PDF file.) He tries to spin it by adding that it'd be "for voluntary reading and study" and as part of "as part of a secular program of education." Fine. As long as the Bible is one of several books, say, the texts of the world's five largest religions. That way the kids can get a truly well-rounded religious education.

More on the King James Textbook web site where we learn the following in answer to the predictable question about the separation of church and state:
This initiative provides for the King James Bible to be studied as a great work of literature only. The King James Bible was first published in 1611 and it has become a very important part of our cultural heritage and of the history of the English language.

There is so much to learn by reading the Bible that we should not keep future generations ignorant of one of the most influential books ever written!

The United States Supreme Court has said that studying the Bible is perfectly fine in the public schools when it is presented objectively as part of a secular program of education.

This initiative provides for voluntary study of the King James Bible without devotional or denominational purpose and it allows parents to "opt out" if they do not want their children to participate.

Therefore, because the initiative is for educational purposes only it is Constitutional and does not violate the First Amendment.
Guess that's right. Of course, reading the Koran or, say, Marx's Communist Manifesto would be just as appropriate under those guidelines, too. And just as easy to make sense of for first through twelfth graders, I'm sure.

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