Atheist doesn't have to read Bible in Newton
Wicked Local Newton reports an atheist student at Newton South High School won the right to make up two tests he failed in an honors literature class because he refused to read the "Bible as literature" passages on which they were based. School officials say they're not pushing religion but using excerpts from the Bible to help students learn "the cultural traditions and allusions found in much of Western literature."
Meanwhile, down in Taunton, the Globe reports, school officials deny they suspended a kid for drawing a picture of Jesus on the cross. The kid wasn't suspended and school officials say they were concerned for the kid because he identified the person he draw nailed to a cross as himself. The kid's father, meanwhile, is now demanding "a small lump sum" for his troubles.
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If you refuse to read something that, for better or worse, is responsible for so much of Western culture, maybe an honors literature class isn't the place for you. Maybe he can drop down to a "Living With Literature" class and watch great novels on DVD while the honors kids challenge themselves.
A little parable
A friend of mine signed up for a college-level course dealing with the bible and it's historic ramifications. She thought that her rabidly atheist communist parents were going to hit the roof.
Well, she was wrong. They were not only happy about it, they passionately emphasized that she really needed to learn the material because of the way that, in their minds, the Bible has infiltrated the thinking of Western civilization. Smashing the state means understanding that!
They also told her they would be very disappointed if she got less than an A.
Amen! (And to clarify, I'm an
Amen! (And to clarify, I'm an atheist. But not a communist)
Are they sure ...
that it isn't the kid's father on the cross here?
And, furthermore, why has nobody been disciplined for assigning a "what makes you think of Christmas" art project? Unless it was "holiday season". I doubt it.
Sounds like Taunton has a serious epidemic of microcephalic flu going around.
Why has nobody been disciplined?
Nobody was disciplined for assigning a "what makes you think of Christmas" art project because, according to the story Adam linked to, nobody made any such assignment.
Which also makes you wonder what else in the story has been fabricated.
I hope it wasn't the quotes from the father
"They owe us a small lump sum for this.’’
“He said he was uncomfortable,’’ he said. “I also think they should give him a fully paid scholarship to the school of his choice. We should be compensated for our pain and suffering.’’
I wonder if he lights candles to Our Lady of Perpetual Grift.
I wonder if he'd accept
a scholarship to a Christian fundamentalist college or university?
Wrong kid, I think
And stop Taunton him about it.
Attention all college admission officers...
Willful ignorance is unacceptable, regardless of your religious (non) affilliation. You cannot claim to be educated if you refuse to broaden your mind, even when you find doing so distasteful.
Taunton officials schooled in media relations
Dan Kennedy looks at how the story is spiraling out of control.
from the article:
"But Jack Summers said he would not take a class on world religions in school, either. He said he isn’t opposed to learning about religion, but would rather get his information on religions from media sources such as the BBC and NPR, plus a friend who practices Islam.
. . .
He would read summaries of religious stories, but opposes reading the original text, he said.
“You can learn about a religion without reading its holy text,” said Summers."
No. Just no. You can learn what other people think about a religion and you can learn about religious practices without reading its holy text, but I think you have no right to form an opinion about a source, be it book, movie or anything, you've never read or seen. Preferably in the original language, but I realize that's not practical in many cases.
I know clergy members of at least two faiths who consider the Bible their faith uses to be a collection of myths, in a good way. This kid can't read and study Genesis as mythology just because some people think it's literally true? I generally think of atheists as skilled critical thinkers, but he's being just as obstinately dogmatic as any religion-follower. How can you know what you're disagreeing with if you've never read it?
Too bad I didn't go to Newton
Too bad I didn't go to Newton South for high school -- I could've gotten out of reading Greek myths. After all, I don't believe in Zeus and all of 'em, so why should I have to read them?
Oh... literature, you say? As in, just because some people believe it's fact, there's still literary merit to it regardless?
Stephen Jay Gould Used to Sing In Churches
The late Harvard paleobiologist and general man-about-science had enough spare time to sing in a classical chorus called the Cecelia Society. This avocation caused him to sing such pieces as Haydn's "The Creation", based on the myths in Genesis. Many performances took place in churches.
By the way, all local newspapers are about to be banned from local schools, because Tom Brady is being worshipped in print on a daily basis.