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January 24, 2012

Comments

Ethan

It's kind of sad that public schools cannot teach the Bible (as literature and history), or hymns (as music, to kids old enough to understand it's being treated as simply music), or the philosophy of St. Thomas Aquinas. I put most of the blame on fervent believers -- looking for any way to twist everybody's arm into public prayer and religious training. Even though Hell No! was a legit after-school club, they just had to twist a little arm with their posters, thus crossing the line and bringing down some enforcement for them to gripe about.

I had figured that the Ahlquist thing had happened in some Gaia-forsaken backwater of the Deep South or something ("we haven't heard much about the separation of church and state around these parts"); the fact that it happened in Rhode Island really suggests that the religious hardliners are getting nastier over recent history.

Kris

Actually, the Bible can be taught as literature, but that sometimes becomes just a way to smuggle in religion. Same with hymns. Did you read some of the comments Ahlquist got over FB, Twitter etc.? Really nasty. I understand that the police have taken some of the threats seriously enough to investigate.

cindy

You have to be so proud of Ethan, Kris. I have noticed my own reaction to the word "christian" has changed dramatically in the last dozen years or so. Where the connotation was once benign, it now fills me with existential dread.

Ethan

The Bible -can- be taught as literature. The teachers at my schools were as afraid to teach the Bible as they were to teach evolution.

Kris

Even Hitchens thought that knowledge of the bible as a literary and cultural artifact was important, because it's played such a significant role in western civilization and because without understanding various allusions to biblical myth you lose out when it comes to literature etc. I'm not surprised that many atheists/agnostics know way more about the bible than many Christians. This is what amuses me when proselytizers come around--do they really think nonbelievers have never investigated the topic??

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