Oklahoma Forces Bible Study in Schools

:cowboy_hat_face: :face_vomiting:

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The Supreme Court has ruled that you’re allowed to display the ten commandments as a cultural relic.

As for teaching the Bible, that’s a violation of the establishment clause and will get struck down.

The religious right needs to stop going for these shortsighted power grabs.

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That state superintendent is a vile human being. He does ridiculous headline-grabbing things like this on the regular. I can only assume he’s jockeying for position to run for higher office in the MAGA-era Republican Party.

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In related news

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I wish they’d have amputations for theft in Vancouver. :clown_face: Would protect the propertied classes a lot better! :laughing:

Glad I’m not American.

How is this ok?

Isn’t freedom of religion, including freedom to not have a religion, a cornerstone of democratic, free societies? Isn’t school for academics?

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Yes, Freedom From Religion:
(Link did not work so I’m posting text of article.)

June 27, 2024

Breaking: FFRF will combat Okla. Supt. Walters’ religion-in-school schemes

The Freedom From Religion Foundation is vowing to take action to stop Oklahoma Superintendent of Public Instruction Ryan Walters from forcing the bible and the Ten Commandments into Oklahoma’s public schools.

Walters sent a memo to state school districts today ordering them to incorporate the bible “as an instructional support into the curriculum” for grades five through 12, calling the mandate “compulsory.” Walters announced that he is “requiring” the bible, which he falsely claimed is “one of the most foundational documents used for the Constitution and the birth of our country,” to be taught in state classrooms: “Effective immediately, all Oklahoma schools are required to incorporate the Bible, which includes the Ten Commandments, as an instructional support into the curriculum across specified grade levels.”

Walters issued this fiat the same week FFRF and a coalition of groups sued Louisiana over its unconstitutional new law mandating that the Ten Commandments must be displayed in every Louisiana public classroom from kindergarten through college.

FFRF, a national state/church watchdog, has written Walters many times over the past few years over his intemperate, theocratic pronouncements and actions. Walters has often criticized FFRF for its work to protect the freedom of conscience of public school students, calling it a “radical atheist group” last fall after FFRF’s complaint halted prayer broadcasts in Oklahoma’s Prague school district. FFRF has called Walters a Christian nationalist and continually urged him to resign “due to repeated misuse of his office to promote religion public schools in disregard of his constitutional obligations.” At one point, after FFRF complained over a Tulsa Public School Board member praying at a school graduation, Walters defended her and threatened the district’s accreditation for agreeing to stop future such prayers.

Earlier this year, FFRF urged an Oklahoma school district to ban the superintendent from its schools after he led elementary students in prayer. FFRF previously urged Walters to resign after throwing his support to the unconstitutional Catholic virtual charter school scheme, which FFRF is suing over and which, in a separate case taken by the state attorney general, the Oklahoma Supreme Court just ruled unconstitutional. Walters has baselessly threatened FFRF with legal action for protesting such First Amendment violations as morning prayer hosted by public schools.

As FFRF pointed out to Walters many times, he took an oath of office to “support, obey, and defend the secular Constitution of the United States, and the Constitution of the state of Oklahoma,” not to promote the bible or his personal religious beliefs. The U.S. Constitution is a secular, godless document whose only references to religion are exclusionary, such as its prohibition of any religious test for public office. The First Amendment prohibits the state from establishing religion, and case law has long protected a captive audience of schoolchildren from religious proselytization by public schools. Walters might try reading the Constitution — and he will discover for himself that there is no god, no bible, no Ten Commandments mentioned in our foundational document.

State education exists to cultivate the minds of young students and promote independent thinking, in short to educate, not indoctrinate. The state Department of Public Instruction is a public entity and must respect the First Amendment rights of Oklahoma’s students.

“Walters’ concern should be the fact that Oklahoma ranks 49th in education,” comments FFRF Co-President Dan Barker. “Maybe education would improve if Oklahoma’s superintendent of education spent his time promoting education, instead of religion.”

FFRF says it will be pursuing any necessary steps to protect student rights of conscience in Oklahoma public schools.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation is a national nonprofit organization with 40,000 members across the country, including hundreds in Oklahoma. Its purposes are to protect the constitutional principle of separation between state and church, and to educate the public on matters relating to nontheism.

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If you are an FFRF member, sign into your account here and then update your email subscriptions here.

To become an FFRF member, click here. To learn more about FFRF, request information here.

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FFRF is a joke most of the time, but I’ll support them this time.

Their argument is that the Bible is foundational to Western Civilization.

But what’s really happening here is a tit-for-tat on leftists for forcing trans ideology and other elements they deem “woke.”

They’re playing playground games.

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Only anecdotally but I’ve noticed whenever the US or an American mentions ‘western’ what they really mean is the US and western is a scapegoat.

As an outsider, the US is far too polarising in every way.

As a society there is little respect for the way other people live their lives.

The you don’t have to agree with people for them to be your friends…

Anyway my civilised country is a lot better than this.

And Taiwan’s non-western civilisation is also much better.

Are they perfect? No.

And of course anyone who tries to teach “The Bible as Literature”, “The Bible as History”, “The Bible as Philosophy”, “Origins and Influences of the Bible” or anything else we see actually about the Bible as a foundation of Western civilisation (“Why not Eastern?” “Those heathen savages got nothin’ to teach us”) will be run out for not teaching the Fundamentalist literal view.

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They should claim asylum in a western civilisation

What do they teach in Taiwan?

To try and Steelman or play devils advocate. If they also teach science, critical thinking and related courses, it could possibly be justified by a very few as at least representing all sides.

Though, when I went to high school in Canada, our biology class teacher specifically said she was not allowed to teach the section on evolution. Yet we had prayers, Easter, Christmas bombarded on us without fail. Double standards don’t work.

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This is the line Christian Nationalists are pushing hard these days.

Hear this snake oil salesman for the First Liberty Institute (these groups always have specious names) say that the 10 commandments are “history and traditions of America” about 10 times in this interview:

For a more satisfying debate watch Christopher Hitchens skewer the rep from the Family Research Council (another one) by demonstrating American was not founded as a Christian nation with facts.

Nope; this is something the christo-right has been working on for decades.

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This is a good book on it. I wouldn’t be surprised if Andrew Seidel wrote the article above, he’s worked with the FFRF.

https://www.amazon.com/Founding-Myth-Christian-Nationalism-American/dp/1454943912/ref=asc_df_1454943912/

:roll:

As @OysterOmelet observed, this an inevitable backlash against the woke indoctrinating kids with their nihilistic made-up religion, and if they had simply refrained from doing that, things like this would not happen - or, at least, would be less easy to justify.

The problem here is that school cannot be value-free; by it’s nature it always involves some sort of indoctrination. So why exactly is it so bad to teach kids “thou shalt not steal”? Is this worse than teaching them they can be any gender they like and that they are entitled to recompense for their oppression? The left only start screaming about indoctrination when it’s somebody else - other than themselves - doing the indoctrination.

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