Skip to comments.Bible Course Becomes a Test for Public Schools in Texas
Posted on 08/01/2005 7:12:16 AM PDT by Crackingham
When the school board in Odessa, the West Texas oil town, voted unanimously in April to add an elective Bible study course to the 2006 high school curriculum, some parents dropped to their knees in prayerful thanks that God would be returned to the classroom, while others assailed it as an effort to instill religious training in the public schools.
Hundreds of miles away, leaders of the National Council on Bible Curriculum in Public Schools notched another victory. A religious advocacy group based in Greensboro, N.C., the council has been pressing a 12-year campaign to get school boards across the country to accept its Bible curriculum.
The council calls its course a nonsectarian historical and literary survey class within constitutional guidelines requiring the separation of church and state.
But a growing chorus of critics says the course, taught by local teachers trained by the council, conceals a religious agenda. The critics say it ignores evolution in favor of creationism and gives credence to dubious assertions that the Constitution is based on the Scriptures, and that "documented research through NASA" backs the biblical account of the sun standing still.
In the latest salvo, the Texas Freedom Network, an advocacy group for religious freedom, has called a news conference for Monday to release a study that finds the national council's course to be "an error-riddled Bible curriculum that attempts to persuade students and teachers to adopt views that are held primarily within conservative Protestant circles."
The dispute has made the curriculum, which the national council says is used by more than 175,000 students in 312 school districts in 37 states, the latest flashpoint in the continuing culture wars over religious influences in the public domain.
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
I know the entire quote from Jefferson thank you.
He also said...
"The day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the Supreme Being as his father, in the womb of a virgin, will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter."
Hoo boy, this sounds straight out of Kooksville. If anyone can suggest a mechanism for this sort of "large energy transfer", I would be most interested to read about it.
Jefferson believed most aspects of the creator could not be known. He rejected revealed religion because revealed religion suggests a violation of the laws of nature. For revelation or any miracle to occur, the laws of nature would necessarily be broken. Jefferson did not accept this violation of natural laws. He attributed to God only such qualities as reason suggested. "He described God as perfect and good, but otherwise did not attempt an analysis of the nature of God." Also in a letter to Adams, Jefferson said, "Of the nature of this being [God] we know nothing."
Although Jefferson never gave a label to his set of beliefs, they are consistent with the ideas of deism, a general religious orientation developed during the Enlightenment. Jefferson, being a non-sectarian, did not subordinate his beliefs to any label. He once said, "I never submitted the whole system of my opinions to the creed of any party of men whatever, in religion...or in anything else."
Deism was not actually a formal religion, but rather was a label used loosely to describe certain religious views. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the word deist was used negatively during Jefferson's lifetime. The label was often applied to freethinkers like Jefferson as a slander rather than as a precise description. Thus the deist label is not highly specific. Deists were characterized by a belief in God as a creator and "believed only those Christian doctrines that could meet the test of reason." Deists did not believe in miracles, revealed religion, the authority of the clergy, or the divinity of Jesus. Like Jefferson they "regarded ethics, not faith, as the essence of religion."
"Nature's God" was CLEARLY THE GOD OF DEISM in all important ways. That Jefferson included God in the "Declaration of Independence" is very significant because it helped lay the foundation for a civil religion in America. Paul Johnson addressed the civil religion begun by the founders in his article, "The Almost-Chosen People," saying that the United States was unique because all religious beliefs were respected. People were more concerned with "moral conduct rather than dogma." So Jefferson helped create a society in which different religions could coexist peacefully because of the emphasis on morality over specific belief.
Gravitational, due to close pass-by. (It doesn't have to be all that close with bodies as large as Mars and Earth.) Anyway, it was a model, with a naturalistic approach, attempting to explain events described in historical records from many cultures around the earth.
I don't know enough about this particular course to speak to its validity, but I see no problem with offering courses on the bible in schools. After all, the schools have been making the kids study the Quran for awhile. Turn about is fair play.
I'd be interested in reading this in context. Got a link?
False dichotomy. This is not an either-or situation.
"The truth is that the greatest enemies to the doctrines of Jesus are those calling themselves the expositors of them, who have perverted them for the structure of a system of fancy absolutely incomprehensible, and without any foundation in his genuine words. And the day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the supreme being as father in the womb of a virgin will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter. But we may hope that the dawn of reason and freedom of thought in these United States will do away with all this artificial scaffolding, and restore us to the primitive and genuine doctrines of this the most venerated reformer of human errors."
-- letter to John Adams, 11 April 1823
The Bible does not describe a government in any way remotely similar to that created in the Constitution. Nothing listed in the Bill of Rights could be squared with the Bible, either. There is no "Freedom of Religion or Speech" in the Bible. Indeed, much of the OT preaches against such concepts.
Methinks you really didn't put a lot of effort into your response, but simply reacted in a knee-jerk fashion.
I doubt this seriously. This sounds like a lot of New Age hogwash.
Then your misstatement pertaining to Jefferson referring to the Bible as a *dunghill* was not by accident, but by design.
He also said... "The day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the Supreme Being as his father, in the womb of a virgin, will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter."
Ahem...obviously, you're one of those FReepers who do not desire discourse, but only to say the same thing over and over hoping someone will believe it.
If you'll notice, my last post contains the ENTIRE quote the above was excerpted from, which ends:
But we may hope that the dawn of reason and freedom of thought in these United States will do away with all this artificial scaffolding, and restore to us the primitive and genuine doctrines of this the most venerated reformer of human errors
Also, who is David J. Voelker, and what makes him an authority on Jefferson?
Wouldn't it follow the laws of 'logic and reason' for someone who was interested in the truth to read the writings of Jefferson for themselves instead of giving credence to someone else's interpretation?
Now we're talking.
With the schools hire Episcopalian teachers?
Obviously, a 'deist' wouldn't care about 'enemies to the doctrines of Jesus'.
Maybeeeee..., But it sounded pretty cool at the time, accounting for a bunch of unexplained events around the world, that happened periodically. I really don't remember much of the details about either the natural solution for events that it provided or the cosmological model that it used. But it seemed very credible at the time, so don't just blow it off. See if you can find more on it and give us a post.
Urban Legend/Hoax/out-of-date info.
November 2005 is the next upcoming closest approach of Mars, not August.
Here's a link to all the: Jeffersonian letters
Here's the letter on CALVIN AND COSMOLOGY, which begins:
The wishes expressed, in your last favor, that I may continue in life and health until I become a Calvinist, at least in his exclamation of `_mon Dieu!_ jusque a quand'! would make me immortal. I can never join Calvin in addressing _his god._ He was indeed an Atheist, which I can never be; or rather his religion was Daemonism. If ever man worshipped a false god, he did._
Mars and Earth never get that close; the gravitational influence between the two planets is negligible.
Indeed it is hogwash.
LOL! Not a misstatement, just slightly out of context??
Kinda like 'six of one and half a dozen of the other'...oookay.
Jefferson was NOT a Christian, he denied the divinity of Jesus.
Please show me ANYWHERE I said *Jefferson was a Christian*
From my original post-
No one can understand the Founders intended meaning of 'Republic', or the principals of the Constitution unless they understand certain parts of the Bible, or as the Founders referred to it....'the laws of Nature and Nature's God.'
(Psst!...prohibitions against theft, murder, lying ARE in the Bible, you know)
You're so busy running around trying to put out the 'Jefferson was a Christian' fires, you don't even realize I never struck a match.
If it were up to me, school kids would also read all 4 volumes of Montesquieu, a wonderful treatise comparing different forms of governments, and one of the most quoted sources of the Founders:
Of the Simplicity of Criminal Laws in different Governments
In republican governments, men are all equal;
equal they are also in despotic governments:
in the former, because they are everything;
in the latter, because they are nothing.
THE SPIRIT OF LAWS Book VI By Charles de Secondat, Baron de Montesquieu
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