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Idaho Republicans have drafted a bill that would allow the Bible to be used as a reference book in science class, as well as any other subject in public schools. The bill would grant teachers permission to teach and preach the bible in any classroom across the state. The bill does say that no student will be required to use Biblical text for reference purposes if their parents object, but students can still be subjected to its use by teachers during lessons.

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/progressivesecularhumanist/2016/02/idaho-bill-allows-teachers-to-use-bible-as-science-textbook/#sthash.OWcQCoPD.gbpl&st_refDomain=www.facebook.com&st_refQuery=/

http://ncse.com/news/2016/02/bible-as-science-reference-bill-idaho-0016927

This is one of an endless list of examples of the Republican party eroding church/state barriers specifically to advance Christianity. This practice not only forces Christianity on students and breaks the church/state barrier but also grants special permissions to one specific religion.

I imagine most of us would agree that this bill, along with the many other examples of granting Christianity privileged status in the public sector, is a dangerous move that will ultimately be overturned by the courts if passed. There is likely little discussion value on that front, but I would be interested in hearing thoughts on the origins and normalization of this problem.

Is this as simple as conservatives courting Christians for votes and then losing control of the party? How can conservative Christians condemn theocracies around the world but then promote their own version? How do fiscal conservatives feel about conservatism being dominated by the religious, and what can be done about it? Why do so many on the right defend or stay silent about issues like this?

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Probably for the same reasons that people stay silent about Christianity preferences in Canada's Constitution Act and reference to the "supremacy of God" in the Preamble to the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Government funding of parochial schools continues to this day in several provinces. This is just one example granting Christianity a privileged status in Canada...there are others like residential schools and forced Christian religion perpetrated on First Nations children for over 100 years.

The "US theocracy" will probably never reach the constitutional heights of today's "Canada theocracy", but some people will try.

Edited by bush_cheney2004

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Probably for the same reasons that people stay silent about Christianity preferences in Canada's Constitution Act and reference to the "supremacy of God" in the Preamble to the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Government funding of parochial schools continues to this day in several provinces. This is just one example granting Christianity a privileged status in Canada...there are others like residential schools and forced Christian religion perpetrated on First Nations children for over 100 years.

The "US theocracy" will probably never reach the constitutional heights of today's "Canada theocracy", but some people will try.

What do you think of the proposed legislation in Idaho?

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Idaho Republicans have drafted a bill that would allow the Bible to be used as a reference book in science class, as well as any other subject in public schools. The bill would grant teachers permission to teach and preach the bible in any classroom across the state. The bill does say that no student will be required to use Biblical text for reference purposes if their parents object, but students can still be subjected to its use by teachers during lessons.

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/progressivesecularhumanist/2016/02/idaho-bill-allows-teachers-to-use-bible-as-science-textbook/#sthash.OWcQCoPD.gbpl&st_refDomain=www.facebook.com&st_refQuery=/

http://ncse.com/news/2016/02/bible-as-science-reference-bill-idaho-0016927

This is one of an endless list of examples of the Republican party eroding church/state barriers specifically to advance Christianity. This practice not only forces Christianity on students and breaks the church/state barrier but also grants special permissions to one specific religion.

I imagine most of us would agree that this bill, along with the many other examples of granting Christianity privileged status in the public sector, is a dangerous move that will ultimately be overturned by the courts if passed. There is likely little discussion value on that front, but I would be interested in hearing thoughts on the origins and normalization of this problem.

Is this as simple as conservatives courting Christians for votes and then losing control of the party? How can conservative Christians condemn theocracies around the world but then promote their own version? How do fiscal conservatives feel about conservatism being dominated by the religious, and what can be done about it? Why do so many on the right defend or stay silent about issues like this?

The only people on the right who stay silent about issues like this are those who don't have a problem with it. I can't imagine any sane person not having a huge problem with the bible being used a science text.

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The only people on the right who stay silent about issues like this are those who don't have a problem with it.

Which all too sadly is a very large chunk of the Republican party now. Fiscal conservatism, libertarianism, and the like have all taken a back seat to the religious nutjob wing of the party.

Much like the socialist and social justice wings of the Democratic party seems to be gaining a lot of steam now, too.

The middle is being hollowed out. Perhaps America needs a centrist party?

Edited by Bonam

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Unless they can find the very first Bible printed... how can they use it as reference. The Bible has been translated so many many times and each time the translator use THEIR views on what it means. This is not my opinion but of a person who study the Bible and its recreation.

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Unless they can find the very first Bible printed... how can they use it as reference. The Bible has been translated so many many times and each time the translator use THEIR views on what it means. This is not my opinion but of a person who study the Bible and its recreation.

Who cares? It's fairy tales whether you have a new one or an old one.

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What do you think of the proposed legislation in Idaho?

I think it is not yet law and fails to rise to the level of "theocracy" instantiated by Canada in constitutional documents.

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I think it is not yet law and fails to rise to the level of "theocracy" instantiated by Canada in constitutional documents.

I didn't say it was a law. I didn't mention theocracy in my question. I didn't mention Canada.

What do you think of the proposed law?

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I didn't say it was a law. I didn't mention theocracy in my question. I didn't mention Canada.

What do you think of the proposed law?

I think the proposed law has caught the attention of a Canadian worried about theocracy, but not in his own backyard.

The Bible (or Qu'ran) can be added to education curriculum, just like any other book.

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Which all too sadly is a very large chunk of the Republican party now. Fiscal conservatism, libertarianism, and the like have all taken a back seat to the religious nutjob wing of the party.

Much like the socialist and social justice wings of the Democratic party seems to be gaining a lot of steam now, too.

The middle is being hollowed out. Perhaps America needs a centrist party?

It seems like years of courting the Christian vote has led to a Tea Party/Nutjob takeover of the the party. Have Republicans completely lost control of the GOP?

Unlimited money in US politics is a problem for democracy and 99.9% of American voters, but I wonder if it can save the party from the gong show. If the big donors only line up behind reasonable candidates, maybe the GOP can be wrestled away from the lunatics. If not, a new Centrist party may be necessary.

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It seems like years of courting the Christian vote has led to a Tea Party/Nutjob takeover of the the party. Have Republicans completely lost control of the GOP?

History says otherwise, as the Republican Party has long been influenced by Christianity...since its anti-slavery founding. The Christian right emerged in the 1970's as disaffected Christians fled the Democratic Party over issues like abortion, school prayer, contraception, and homosexuality.

Edited by bush_cheney2004

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History says otherwise, as the Republican Party has long been influenced by Christianity...since its anti-slavery founding. The Christian right emerged in the 1970's as disaffected Christians fled the Democratic Party over issues like abortion, school prayer, contraception, and homosexuality.

And so the majority of the Republican followers do then essentially amount to a theocracy by the sounds of that.

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The Idaho bill mentioned by Slick in the opening post sounds pretty similar to the hilariously-named Louisiana Science Education Act, enacted by the Bobby Jindal administration to make sure that Louisiana retains its ranking as the dumbest state in the nation. The LSEA likewise provides legal means for nutbar teachers to teach religious views in science class, and was instigated at the behest of the "Louisiana Family Forum" religious group. Other states have since attempted to pass similar laws.

-k

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The Idaho bill mentioned by Slick in the opening post sounds pretty similar to the hilariously-named Louisiana Science Education Act, enacted by the Bobby Jindal administration to make sure that Louisiana retains its ranking as the dumbest state in the nation.

-k

This thread is filled with numerous posts ridiculing the Christian Bible. I think that horse has left the barn. Heck, "The Book of Mormon" is a Broadway hit that even Hillary Clinton cheered.

I note however far fewer threads ridiculing another unnamed religion, and its book. Why not make fun of this other world religion too?

======

I wonder:

1) Are posters here simply being parochial? (Posters criticize the stupid people near them rather than those far away)?

2) Or do posters have a misplaced desire to protect a so-called minority?

3) Or, are posters simply afraid: Christians/Mormons/Lutherans/Hindus/Jews/Buddhists etc are easy targets.

Edited by August1991

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Nonsense, August. There's no shortage of criticism of Islam and its beliefs here on the forum.

This thread isn't making fun of the Bible, it's asking how religious fundies have attained such political influence in the US.

Why talk about the US when Middle Eastern countries are way dumber? Because we expect better from the US, the most scientifically advanced nation on earth. A law asserting that the sacred scripture is actually a Science Textbook is something that would not be very surprising if it came from the poorly educated religious fundamentalist nations of the Middle East, but we hold the United States in much higher esteem. "Not as bad as Iran, Saudi Arabia, etc", as Boges put it earlier, is setting the bar so low that ants can hurdle it.

-k

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And so the majority of the Republican followers do then essentially amount to a theocracy by the sounds of that.

No. It mean people vote according to a moral code which is not shared by everyone. There is nothing inherently superior about the belief that abortion should be legal or state should mandate weekly prayers recycling. It is just another moral code that resolves conflicts between competing values in different ways. It is quite arrogant for you to assume that your preferred moral code is some how better because the myths and falsehoods that form the basis for your moral code come from contemporary society instead of a society that existed 3000 years ago. Edited by TimG

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The LSEA likewise provides legal means for nutbar teachers to teach religious views in science class, and was instigated at the behest of the "Louisiana Family Forum" religious group.

Teaching students that alternate views on global warming exist is not a 'nutbar religious view'. More importantly, if one lives in a religious community confronting the conflict between views heard at church in a science class makes a lot of sense if it is taught properly (i.e. talk about the difference between science and faith and how the scientific method does not produce all of the answers but the answers that does produce are often useful even if later evidence shows them to be wrong). You would be right to question whether it would actually be placed in the proper context but you don't actually know that it was not. Edited by TimG

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No. It mean people vote according to a moral code which is not shared by everyone. There is nothing inherently superior about the belief that abortion should be legal or state should mandate weekly prayers recycling. It is just another moral code that resolves conflicts between competing values in different ways. It is quite arrogant for you to assume that your preferred moral code is some how better because the myths and falsehoods that form the basis for your moral code come from contemporary society instead of a society that existed 3000 years ago.

The moral code that hopefully a lot of people vote by is not one mired in the same 3000 year old bunkum that has created a shitload more conflicts than it has ever resolved. How arrogant, and stupid/dangerous is it for people to continue along that road? Legal abortion has nothing to do with superiority. It has to do with individual freedom. Theocracy doesn't do well with that concept.

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Teaching students that alternate views on global warming exist is not a 'nutbar religious view'. More importantly, if one lives in a religious community confronting the conflict between views heard at church in a science class makes a lot of sense if it is taught properly (i.e. talk about the difference between science and faith and how the scientific method does not produce all of the answers but the answers that does produce are often useful even if later evidence shows them to be wrong). You would be right to question whether it would actually be placed in the proper context but you don't actually know that it was not.

It was never about global warming. It was about providing creationists a backdoor into the classroom. The Louisiana law was based on boilerplate "intelligent design" legislation written by the Discovery Institute. Its intent was always to pander to religious fundamentalists. That it might pander to those who share your particular fetish as well doesn't change the intent.

-k

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The Louisiana law was based on boilerplate "intelligent design" legislation

Well if they are teaching faith as if it is a science then there is a problem. I was thinking an attempt to reconcile faith and science that shows respect for faith based views would be useful to kids in very religious communities.

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The moral code that hopefully a lot of people vote by is not one mired in the same 3000 year old bunkum that has created a shitload more conflicts than it has ever resolved.

No - that is your prejudice talking. Take one example: the end of slavery on the UK was the result of activism by English Quakers. Numerous other social changes which you would laud were brought on by the religious people you deride. Most wars throughout history were about money and land. Nationalism, religion, ethnicity are simply pretexts to rationalize what would otherwise be called theft.

Legal abortion has nothing to do with superiority. It has to do with individual freedom.

You have made the arbitrary decision the freedom of the woman to choose is more important than the value of the life represented by the fetus. There is no inherent superiority to that arbitrary ordering of priorities. They fact that others choose a different order does not make them inferior. Edited by TimG

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Well if they are teaching faith as if it is a science then there is a problem. I was thinking an attempt to reconcile faith and science that shows respect for faith based views would be useful to kids in very religious communities.

And it probably would, but the law was just intended to allow teachers to bring "supplemental material" (for example, the Bible) into their lessons. Theoretically, the law could be used responsibly... but if you think that's how it's being used in practice, you have a lot more faith in the rural public-school teachers this law was intended to protect than I do. The Idaho bill that Slick referred to doesn't even have that fig-leaf of respectability to cover its dangly-bits. It's full-frontal.

-k

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