July 14, 2024
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Did not know that the SBC (Southern Baptist Convention) represents only 4% of the US population.

there are probably more Americans who have thrown up on Space Mountain than have ever voted for a SBC resolution. Still, the fringe beliefs of this sect of American Christianity are driving the ship on the moral stances of the GOP as a whole. Just last week, GOP senators blocked the advancement of a bill that would have federally guaranteed access to IVF, all while purring empty platitudes about how of course they personally support IVF. Just not enough to upset any of the 8,000 or so jowly Southern geezers who thumbs downed fertility science. Just not enough to net an easy public relations layup in an election year.

Texas education leaders unveil Bible-infused elementary school curriculum

Mark Chancey, a Southern Methodist University religious studies professor who focuses on movements to put the Bible in public schools, said there is “nothing inherently inappropriate” with teaching the Bible or other religious texts, so long as it’s done neutrally. But he’s concerned by some of the proposed curriculum, including lessons that he said seem to treat biblical stories as “straightforward historical accounts.”

“It serves a civic good for students to be taught about religion,” he said. “But that’s different from giving students religious instruction. The question is going to be whether these materials teach about religion, or whether they cross the line into giving religious instruction.”

For example: The curriculum promotes lessons on Leonardo Da Vinci’s “The Last Supper” alongside the Gospel of Matthew, which centers on Jesus’ crucifixion and its atonement for human sin. “These are very strong, central claims of Christian theology,” Chancey said. “And students will have questions about that. How are teachers supposed to respond to those questions?”

It’s not unforeseeable, he said, for those conversations to lead to even thornier areas that are still divisive even among Christians.

Maybe have their churches be the ones to teach mythology, not the schools

Incidentally, hilarious, the law Louisiana signed into law to display the Ten Commandments has more than 10 on the list-hah.

(More astute readers may have noticed that there are more than 10 commandments on that list. If that’s you, congratulations on having a better education than Dodie Horton.)

Even beyond that, there are different translations of the Bible used by different kinds of Christians, and the Ten Commandments may change depending on which version you use. (For example, some say not to worship graven images; others say not to worship false idols. Those are not synonymous.) So to say that only one version of the Ten Commandments can go up in schools isn’t just an admission that the government doesn’t care about non-Christians. It’s an admission that the government doesn’t care about most kinds of Christians either.

It is also genuinely bizarre that the same people who don’t want high schoolers learning about sex, systemic racism, or LGBTQ people seem to have very specific things they want kindergartners to know about adultery and their neighbor’s maidservants. If this material first appeared in a book written by a gay author, the same Republicans would call it “grooming.”

People who don’t obey the Ten Commandments don’t respect the rule of law, says the governor from a party whose leader is a convicted felon. This is the same week when a Trump-aligned megachurch pastor resigned after it was discovered that he was once a child sex predator. Given all the crimes committed by the Christian Nationalist side, maybe we should give non-religion a try.

None of that phased Landry. When he spoke about the bill on Saturday, he dared critics to come after him.

During his keynote speech on Saturday at a Republican fundraiser in Tennessee, Landry touted the bill as a conservative victory in the ongoing culture wars and boasted that he “can’t wait to be sued.”

He didn’t have to wait very long. Just hours after the bill’s signing, the ACLU, the ACLU of Louisiana, Americans United for Separation of Church and State, and the Freedom from Religion Foundation announced that they would sue to stop this law from going into effect:

FFRF calls out Texas school district for bible distribution (Victoria, Texas)

Ken Paxton’s effort to shutter Catholic migrant shelter threatens religious freedom, lawyer argues

FFRF, others obtain court win in challenge to nation’s first religious public charter school 

A lawsuit seeking to block the state of Oklahoma from sponsoring and funding the nation’s first religious public charter school can move forward, an Oklahoma judge ruled today

FFRF, Satanic Temple plan to distribute materials in Park County, Colo., schools

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