May 03, 2007

Some Georgia Public Schools to Offer Bible Study

There was a story on the AP Wire a few days ago that I found interesting.

Muscogee County in Georgia decided to offer Old Testament and New Testament courses in their public schools this Fall. I found out that this plan is a rarity among the school districts that already offer Bible courses in the public school because this program will be funded with state government money-not local school district funds.

Lawmakers in Alabama, Missouri, Tennessee and Texas have considered similar plans, though none has been approved yet.

We can all guess what the ACLU makes of this.

My Dad told me a story a few years ago that shocked me. In his small town, after World War II, students were allowed to leave the public school in the middle of the day and go to their respective churches and receive instruction in their Faith. My Dad and his siblings trekked over to the Catholic Church for instruction by the priest. In the meantime, the Protestants went to their respective churches. These were all public school children. Can you imagine that happening today? I can't either.

I hear the reasons why Georgia and the other states want to do this. They are saying it's because the Bible is a part of history. It is. They are claiming that instruction will be non-denominational and no attempt will be made to indoctrinate students.

I am not in favor of this idea.


Note that these states are in the Bible Belt. What's the dominent faith in those areas? Southern Baptist. Protestant in any case. I'm highly doubtful that it is possible to leave any talk of personal belief and sectarian interpretation of Scripture out of these courses. Furthermore, I'm uncomfortable with the thought of Catholic children being outnumbered in these classrooms and possibly hearing and being confused by Biblical interpretations that are contrary to Catholicism.

One of the reasons Catholics started their own schools in this nation, was that Catholics did not like their childrens exposure to the fundamentalist Protestant and anti-Catholic overtones in the public education system.


Blogger Cathy said...

Very good point, Cathy.
It would be different if we could trust the local Catholic parish to correctly catechise the youngsters during their sessions. But can you imagine? They'd be doing nothing but making felt banners with "God is Love" on them all day.

(A friend of mine told me the other day that the area in this country where Roman Catholicism is growing the most rapidly is --- the South. Apparently there are just scads of conversions taking place down there, and speaking for my family, I can say that my Southern Baptist brother-in-law AND non-denom cousin both converted recently. Hope the trend continues...)

May 03, 2007 1:11 PM  
Blogger Cathy_of_Alex said...

Ma: You did it again! I should have you review my posts beforehand. :-) You reminded me of something I'd forgotten. Catholicism, CONSERVATIVE Catholicism, has made inroads in the South in the last 5-10 years.

Maybe WE can convert THEM? But, I wonder how many true Catholics are teachers in public schools in the South? I doubt there are statistics that specific around.

May 03, 2007 2:37 PM  
Blogger Cathy said...

No, I like your posts very much - they always make me think.

And you're right - I don't think many public school teachers are Catholic in the South. I never had one, of course, that was a hundred years ago.

May 03, 2007 3:14 PM  
Blogger Richie D said...

from a secular viewpoint:

The Chicago TRIBUNE ran an editorial two years ago about college literature professors complaining that students didn't know enough about the Bible as literature and could not relate to modern literature, ie, Steinbeck's East of Eden. Patience of Job? Doubting Thomas?

The Polish edition of NEWSWEEK (Easter week) indicated that many
young European Catholics think Original Sin can be confessed and forgiven in through Reconciliation.

May 03, 2007 4:25 PM  

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