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The Bible, Shakespeare and public schools
The Washington Times ^ | 08.15.05 | Ernest W. Lefever

Posted on 09/17/2005 8:09:34 PM PDT by Coleus

When I attended public school in York, Pa., in the 1930s, the teacher began each day by reading 10 verses from the Old or New Testament without comment. We then recited the Lord's Prayer and the Pledge of Allegiance -- two decades before the words "under God" were added.

But things have changed. Since the turbulent 1960s, the secularization of American culture has proceeded apace. The "free exercise" of religion guaranteed by the First Amendment has been under increasing pressure by the ACLU, the National Education Association and other liberal voices who insist that "religion" be banned from the public square.

Americans differ on the role of religion in society, but virtually all of them believe that public schools should not be used to proselytize for one religion over another. But they disagree on whether the Bible, sacred to Jews and Christians alike, should have any place at all in the curriculum of tax-supported education.

Some educators insist that the Bible be banned from public schools because its presence would seriously breach the "separation of church and state" -- their words, not the Constitution's. They contend that teaching the Bible would promote sectarian strife and subvert our multicultural society.

But the tide may be turning. A recent survey conducted by the Bible Literacy Project funded by John Templeton found that 90 percent of the top American English teachers consulted agreed that the Bible has had a profound and positive influence on the "laws, morals, politics and other literature" of Western civilization, and that knowledge of the Bible is crucial to a well-rounded high school education. They emphasized that there are no legal barriers to teaching the Bible as literature and that the Supreme Court has not banned the Bible from public schools.

(Excerpt) Read more at washingtontimes.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society
KEYWORDS: bible; culturewars; pspl; publicschools; shakespeare; undergod
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1 posted on 09/17/2005 8:09:35 PM PDT by Coleus
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To: Coleus

It's been a number of years since this nation was truly "under God". Many citizens and residents are still "under God", but the nation isn't.

So, though I hate to say this, it wouldn't be a tragedy if they dropped the "under God" phrase from the Pledge.

I don't want that to happen as a result of Newdow's suit, because his suit is a loser. But still, the truth be known . . .


2 posted on 09/17/2005 8:14:09 PM PDT by savedbygrace ("No Monday morning quarterback has ever led a team to victory" GW Bush)
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To: Coleus

there is a fabulous thread on FR called Shakespeare, The Secret Rebel, about Shakespeare being a Catholic and giving coded messages in his plays and sonnets!!


3 posted on 09/17/2005 8:15:15 PM PDT by Ann Archy (Abortion: The Human Sacrifice to the god of Convenience.)
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To: Coleus
When I attended public school in York, Pa., in the 1930s, the teacher began each day by reading 10 verses from the Old or New Testament without comment. We then recited the Lord's Prayer..........

And the Republic survived?

4 posted on 09/17/2005 8:18:38 PM PDT by Skooz ("Political Correctness is the handmaiden of terrorism" - Michelle Malkin)
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To: savedbygrace

When I was in grade school in the early 60's in Kentucky we went to Weekday School of Religion every Wednesday. That was the day for our particular class.We walked single file three full city blocks to a Baptist Church where we spent an hour in class, much like a Sunday School Class. This was a regular classtime for public school children from the time I was in first to sixth grade. As I remember now, it was very important to all of us to be able to go to this class each week. One reason was because it enabled us to get out of regular class for an hour to take a walk,lol, but also, to study, sing and hear stories about the Bible. I remember my friend Rhonda Cohen and I used to hold hands as we entered the Church and sat next to each other in class, we had such a good time. For some children it was the only time they were in a church, hopefully it stayed with them as it did me.
We need to get back to basics.


5 posted on 09/17/2005 8:21:57 PM PDT by debboo (Stop socialism, vote conservative)
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To: Coleus
But the tide may be turning.

Thank God! (literally)

6 posted on 09/17/2005 8:23:20 PM PDT by concerned about politics ("Get thee behind me, Liberal.")
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To: savedbygrace

When I was in grade school in the early 60's in Kentucky we went to Weekday School of Religion every Wednesday. That was the day for our particular class.We walked single file three full city blocks to a Baptist Church where we spent an hour in class, much like a Sunday School Class. This was a regular classtime for public school children from the time I was in first to sixth grade. As I remember now, it was very important to all of us to be able to go to this class each week. One reason was because it enabled us to get out of regular class for an hour to take a walk,lol, but also, to study, sing and hear stories about the Bible. I remember my friend Rhonda Cohen and I used to hold hands as we entered the Church and sat next to each other in class, we had such a good time. For some children it was the only time they were in a church, hopefully it stayed with them as it did me.
We need to get back to basics.


7 posted on 09/17/2005 8:24:43 PM PDT by debboo (Stop socialism, vote conservative)
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To: Coleus

I guess banning anyone who makes Biblical references would be the next logical step.


8 posted on 09/17/2005 8:26:23 PM PDT by TBP
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To: Coleus

In Japan, they have "morality training" based on various religions, fables, etc. for grades (equivalent) 1-6. Now Japan isn't perfect crimewise (as even a cursory glance of an English translation of their local papers will show you), but in general they do a hell of a lot better job heading off the budding criminal before he commits his wrongs.


9 posted on 09/17/2005 8:26:34 PM PDT by Alien Gunfighter (Socialist liberals never imagine themselves as peasants under their 'perfect' socialist regime)
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To: Coleus

We've homeschooled all our kids until this year. We moved and although we didn't know it at the time, landed in an exceptional school district. My son has been wearing his Christian t-shirts to school and nobody has complained. (yet) The school's only requirement is that it not be obscene or profane.


10 posted on 09/17/2005 8:59:38 PM PDT by metmom (Welfare was never meant to be a career choice.)
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To: Coleus; Salem; SJackson; NYer

BTTT


11 posted on 09/17/2005 9:22:58 PM PDT by Fiddlstix (This Tagline for sale. (Presented by TagLines R US))
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To: debboo

In a small town in MN (Princeton) in the late 60s, we had that too. It was called "Released Time Class" where students voluntarily were "released" to go to a church instruction meeting if they so desired, for one hour during the last hour on Fridays. I hated it because I was not yet a Christian. But my parents forced me to go and the pastor would tell them if I didn't attend. Thankfully, I was in sports most of the time, so I had a good excuse to not go.


12 posted on 09/17/2005 9:45:26 PM PDT by DeweyCA
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To: DeweyCA

I hated it because I was not yet a Christian.

Hopefully, people realize when they are old enough to understand, that you don't begin as a Christian, you learn and become one.


13 posted on 09/17/2005 10:18:05 PM PDT by debboo (Stop socialism, vote conservative)
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To: Coleus
American English teachers consulted agreed that the Bible has had a profound and positive influence on the "laws, morals, politics and other literature" of Western civilization,

That's a no-brainer. Try to comprehend Paradise Lost (and all the other glorious things John Milton wrote), Edmund Spenser's The Faerie Queene, the morality play Everyman, or the Faust legend without the Bible and you are lost. The professor in my Lit class had to give a summary of Christian (Catholic and Protestant) theology in class so that the students (most of whom had no clue) would have a better understanding of the texts we were reading.

14 posted on 09/17/2005 10:49:25 PM PDT by Seņor Zorro ("The ability to speak does not make you intelligent"--Qui-Gon Jinn)
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To: thompsonsjkc; odoso; animoveritas; mercygrace; Laissez-faire capitalist; bellevuesbest; ...

Moral Absolutes Ping.

I'm really too tired to say anything that makes, so this is a stream-of-concsiounses comment.

Very good, very good, very very good. It's not freedom FROM religion. It's freedom OF religion.

Anyone who has never read the Bible is at the least culturally deprived. Even atheists can read it as literature and be none the worse for wear. And it might plant a seed...

Is - could - the tide be turning?

Freepmail me if you want on/off this pinglist.


15 posted on 09/17/2005 11:01:22 PM PDT by little jeremiah (A vitiated state of morals, a corrupted public conscience, are incompatible with freedom. P. Henry)
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To: Coleus

I am not surprised at all. My highschool English teacher Senior year was a devout Catholic and made the class read Dante's Inferno, I was thinking some one would try to sue him. I read it previously however I did love having an in class discussion on it, I still cannot beileve we actually talked about morals and hell and God in school, seems somewhat outlandish.


16 posted on 09/17/2005 11:19:26 PM PDT by Xenophon450
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To: Seņor Zorro

As a HS English teacher, I had the same situation in my British lit. classes.


17 posted on 09/18/2005 5:32:13 AM PDT by Carolinamom (Life is a journey, not a destination.)
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To: TR Jeffersonian

ping


18 posted on 09/18/2005 6:15:54 AM PDT by kalee
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To: Coleus

I went to school in the country '40s, and there was a terrific discipline problem in the classroom. The thugs (older boys) had actually driven the previous teacher out!

Her replacement, a serene lady with her hair pulled back in a gray bun, led us in reciting the 23rd Psalm each morning to begin the day.

Peace descended on that classroom and the problems were a thing of the past.


19 posted on 09/18/2005 6:31:26 AM PDT by RoadTest (The Bible Says It All)
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To: Coleus
I was accused of quoting the Bible by the Marxist troll Carolina Guitar Man here on FreeRepublic, when it was really a paraphrasing of Shakespeare's Macbeth:
‘Who is he that is not of woman borne?’

“Nothing is but what is not.”

20 posted on 09/18/2005 6:41:29 AM PDT by Sir Francis Dashwood (LET'S ROLL!)
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