So it seems the issue of handing out bibles in public schools has come up again. If you don’t mind I’m just gonna go ahead and settle it right now, because in spite of the years long debate, it really isn’t that hard.
Some of you might be surprised to hear me say this, but go ahead and hand the things out. Give out all the bibles you want, under two conditions:
1. The form you send home with the students needs to be opt in, not opt out. Religion is a very personal thing to a lot of people, and it’s not the school’s job to make sure everybody gets some unless they take the time to say no. This only applies to personal, this belongs to you take home bibles, which leads me to…
2. This is the important one.
There’s a part of the debate that says we need religious education in schools, so we should have bibles. I agree. But unlike the people who mean that the bible should be taught as god’s word and used to teach values and morality, I think it should be used as one part of a faiths of the world class. Teach all the basic biblical concepts you want so that everybody has a chance to understand them. do the same with any other religion and associated book that you can think of. And teach it in the exact same way that we were all taught Greek mythology when we were in school. Here are the key players, here’s why they’re important, this is what they represent and here are some stories about major things they are believed by a segment of the population alive in a certain era to have done. Make no claim that one set of tales is any more likely to be real than another. Just lay it out as written and let curious minds do the rest, like you would with geography, math or history…ok, so maybe history is a bad example nowadays since it’s constantly being bastardized to suit the purposes of those in charge. Hmmm, sound familiar? And unlike the take home bibles, the class isn’t opt out. It’s not opt in, either. You’re taking it no matter who you are, because it’s essential to have a basic understanding of yourself and others and why we all think and believe the things we do.
If you teach in a way that favours nobody, everybody wins. And if everybody wins, everybody’s happy. And eventually, if we can make enough people happy and a little wiser, maybe one day there will come a point when all of this warring over gods or because of them will stop seeming like such a good idea or a thing that so many are willing to accept. That last bit is a tall order, but everything has to start somewhere. Why shouldn’t it start in school, where supposedly we learn much of what we need?