Thursday, April 28, 2005

BIBLE BEATINGS. Norbizness offers not only a wicked cool Ween reference (now do one called IT REALLY HURTS MOMMY/STINKY VASELINE) but also an introduction to the National Council on Bible Cirriculum in Public Schools (tagline: "It's Coming Back..." which I think was also the tagline of one of the Alien movies).

To be fair, the Bible folk have both good and bad reasons to throw the Good Book at pre-teens. Among the bad:
Proponents say the course would utilize the Bible as a textbook to study history, literature and geography. Opponents argue the class, to be taught by a local minister’s wife, would indoctrinate students to Christianity.
Anyone who has lived among human beings (paper cut-outs of human beings don't count) for any length of time knows how this one works out. The minister's wife starts out in her demure, white Secular Humanist labcoat, merely using the Bible to help kids find Magog on a map, but before you can say "Funny, I don't feel tardy" she's stripped down to her Jesus-string and the kids are storming through the halls and pulling down the lanterne for godless biology teachers.

But I can get behind the Bible as Literature dodge -- mainly because, while this obviously is a dodge to these folks, it is also true that the Bible is literature, and vitally important literature at that. And we may see from this course the results that human experience leads us to expect: the weak-minded indoctrinated, the lazy confused, and the inquiring (especially if they are blessed with teachers who are not down with the zombies-for-Christ program) inspired to learn that the Good Book is not just something with which Granny consoles herself and upon which politicians place their hands when they lie, but a book with dizzyingly rich literary, religious, and political contexts -- which knowledge may make the world more interesting to them, and -- Hallelujah! -- lead some out of the stultifying swamp of ignorance (and religious bigotry) entirely.

Always bet on knowledge over ignorance, kids. It may not pay off very many times, but when it does hit the winnings are exceedingly large.

Of course, the law of unintended consequences cuts both ways. Since "important part of our culture" is a big hunk of the Bible justification, after a few frivolous lawsuits Cultural Relevance will become the standard by which Mr. Hand will be forced to accept papers about The Relationship Between Pulp Fiction and The Clinton Impeachment. Plus the poetry might inspire rhymes like this:
I'm black but comely, my bed is green
I use the myrrh and not the Afro-Sheen
Which would just be terrible.

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