Idaho GOP Wants to Use the Bible Throughout the Curriculum

Hemant reports that the Idaho Republican party’s central committee recently met for a meeting that included proposed legislation, and one of the bills they said they want to pass would make the Bible a reference to be used in schools in virtually every area of the curriculum. The text:

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, That the Idaho County Central Committee encourages the Idaho legislature to draft and support a bill stating that the Bible is expressly permitted to be used in Idaho public schools for reference purposes to further the study of literature, comparative religion, English and foreign languages, U.S. and world history, comparative government, law, philosophy, ethics, astronomy, biology, geology, world geography, archaeology, music, sociology, and other topics of study where an understanding of the Bible may be useful or relevant;

But it’s useful in virtually none of those. Certainly it’s relevant to one degree or another in literature, comparative religion and world history, but of what possible use could it be in astronomy, biology or geology? Oh wait, these are almost certainly creationists and likely of the young earth variety, so they would see it as useful in teaching those subjects out of the Bible as well. That would be educational malpractice, of course. It would literally be teaching lies. But I’m certainly not surprised that they want to do it.

The question now, as Hemant notes, is whether the state legislature actually considers and passes such a bill. This is Idaho we’re talking about, so I don’t think it would be a big shock if they did so. We’ll just have to wait and see.

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  • John Pieret

    astronomy, biology, geology, world geography, archaeology

    What? Not physics or chemistry? After all, a lot of what we know about the age of the Earth comes from those disciplines.

    The dumbasses don’t even know enough about science to tell which ones they need to keep their kids ignorant of to comfortably pass along their fairy tales.

  • daved

    Personally, I like the idea that the Idaho Republicans have a “central committee.” Wasn’t that also the name of the governing body of the old Soviet Union? I think there’s more going on with these so-called Republicans than we know…

  • John Pieret

    Certainly it’s relevant to one degree or another in literature, comparative religion and world history

    I’d give them government, law, philosophy, and ethics too but they wouldn’t like how I’d teach the relationship.

    You know that the reference to US history would involve David Barton’s dishonest “Christian Nation” nonsense.

  • grumpyoldfart

    American politicians downgrading the education system. What a surprise.

  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    It’s already passed. We’ve got a biblical globe in World Geography class. Well, it’s less a globe and more of a plate. Also, it’s all the Middle East and Mediterranean and nothing of everything else. And everything’s marked in Greek for some reason.

  • Reginald Selkirk

    What do you mean, it’s not useful for teaching biology? In Gen 30, you can learn about breeding livestock which are ringstraked, speckled and spotted by putting sticks near their watering trough.

    The real treasure trove comes in Lev 11 though. Students can learn that bats are a type of fowl, that rabbits chew their cud, and that insects have four legs.

  • http://www.gregory-gadow.net Gregory in Seattle

    If the Bible, then the Quran. And the Vedas. And the Pali Canon. And the Guru Granth Sahib. And the writings of Bahaulla. And the Book of Shadows. And, of course, some books of Satanic scripture (or the Temple of Satan will file a lawsuit they no doubt will win.)

    It is really ironic, the way these idiots talk about school when they are incapable of learning anything.

  • Sastra

    … and other topics of study where an understanding of the Bible may be useful or relevant;

    Uh oh, this one could sure come back to bite them in the ass. One of the most relevant ways to use the Bible would be to introduce it into a lesson as a well-known example which demonstrates the wrong way to do science and morality.

    Bring in “relevancy” and you’re bringing in reality — and y’all know you gots to be mighty careful now.

  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    Reginald Selkirk “What do you mean, it’s not useful for teaching biology? In Gen 30, you can learn about breeding livestock which are ringstraked, speckled and spotted by putting sticks near their watering trough.”

    Sure, you jest. But it works. I did it. Artificial selection works. No idea what the sticks are for, though.

  • erichoug

    Realistically they should call bills like this the “Waste 10’s of millions of dollars on political grandstanding bill.”

  • Big Boppa

    What possible use could the bible be in teaching English?

    I hope a federal judge tells them to goeth forth and fucketh thyselves.

  • Big Boppa

    Modus @9

    The sticks are for beating the ringstraked bulls away from the speckled cows, etc., etc.

    It takes constant vigilance and you risk being trampled by some really pissed off livestock but that’s a small price to pay when doing god’s work.

  • jimmiraybob

    While my first reaction is to put in a plug for my field of geology, I have to also point out how much the Bible leads in the sciences of boat building and sailing, animal herding, bush burning, sea parting, time stoppage, and mysterious-voice hearing. These last six are sorely under represented in the secular academy.

  • StevoR

    Bible astronomy sure has a lot to say Uranus, Neptune, Pluto, Ceres, Eris, Sedna and all the other ice dwarfs plus exoplanets, galaxies, supernovae, comets and all the latest telescope designs doesn’t it? Oh wait ..

  • D. C. Sessions

    of what possible use could it be in astronomy, biology or geology?

    Well, in astronomy we would learn that the stars are painted on the celestial dome.

    Biology has been mentioned above, although there’s also a lot in there about pharmacology and disease transmission.

    Geology? Seriously? Enormously valuable information there on the origin of water (fountains from underground that have enough high-pressure water to cover the entire planet up to the highest mountains, to name just one.)

    And they don’t even touch on the applications to mathematics.

    On the other hand, ethics is a perfect fit. Consider, for instance, the applicability of Gen. 34 to contractual and international relations.

  • Pierce R. Butler

    Relevance? To Idaho? Consider all the useful perspectives the Bible offers on growing potatoes!

  • peterh

    Just view the bible as a handbook to every logical fallacy known & you’re home free! :)

  • busterggi

    If they start making bible study mandatory in school next thing you know some of those kids might accidentally read it!

  • blf

    As pointed out above, Mathematics is overlooked, the only science where you actually do prove things. For instance, that π = 3 and 40 is “lots” (many), beasts have numbers, and the entire book can is a gigantic puzzle code…

    (Actually, that whole “π = 3” thing is largely a nonsense, it’s just about the first thing many people seem to think of when maths and that book appear in the same sentence…)

  • whheydt

    Re: Big Boppa @ #11…

    IT would be very useful in English class…use it to teach Elizabethan English (being sure to use the King James version). And, no, that isn’t a mistake. The KJV compilers used deliberately archaic language.

    As for the sciences, that one is easy. Hold up the Bible. State, “Everything this book says about the subject of this class is wrong.” End of Bible lesson.

  • Doug Little

    They are just being lazy. All you have to know is the bible has all the answers to any question, there education solved. Now to divert the funds to something that really matters, propping up all the major contributors special interests.

  • blf

    me@19, “entire book can…” — I have no idea what that can is doing there. If someone wants it, they may have it. Free. Gratis. I certainly don’t want it…

  • jefferylanam

    The BIble could certainly be useful in teaching art, except that art classes have been cut from the budget a long time ago.

  • Big Boppa

    blf @22

    I may need a can if I can locate that pile of whoopass I left lying about….

  • caseloweraz

    John Pieret: What? Not physics or chemistry? After all, a lot of what we know about the age of the Earth comes from those disciplines.

    They do include that final clause “and other topics of study where an understanding of the Bible may be useful or relevant.”

  • caseloweraz

    Daved: ersonally, I like the idea that the Idaho Republicans have a “central committee.” Wasn’t that also the name of the governing body of the old Soviet Union? I think there’s more going on with these so-called Republicans than we know…

    Yes; and Idaho has a city named Moscow. There may be something to this.

  • caseloweraz

    THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, That the Idaho County Central Committee…

    Wait one. This is just one county in Idaho, not the state GOP — right? I wonder if it’s the county where whatsisname lives — fella that was written up here a few months ago.

  • daved

    Actually, it’s the state GOP, not some county organization (check the link to the original story). Your point about there being a Moscow, ID, is a good one, however.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jason.criley jason the cripple

    How in the hell is the Bible supposed to be useful in the teaching of music? I know it’s been awhile since I cracked one open, but I don’t remember any sheet music in the Bible.

  • Scientismist

    Reginald Selkirk @ 6:

    breeding livestock which are ringstraked, speckled and spotted by putting sticks near their watering trough.”

    And Modus @ 9:

    Sure, you jest. But it works. I did it. Artificial selection works. No idea what the sticks are for, though.

    I wish I could remember who it was I heard reference this in a public lecture I attended as an undergrad in the ’60’s (not François Jacob, or Jaques Monod, but one of their American competitors in the then-ongoing boom in enzyme regulation research — I remember he snarkily referred to allosterie as that “new French disease). He cited the Genesis story as the first demonstration of allosteric regulation, as researched by the first Jacob — sticks regulating the color and pattern of the coats of cattle.

    Of course, it was all part of an elaborate scheme Jacob and God had put together to allow Jacob to steal the best of Laban’s cattle (KJV:

    But when the cattle were feeble, he put them not in: so the feebler were Laban’s, and the stronger Jacob’s. (Genesis 30:42)

    After which, on God’s advice, Jacob took the best of the cattle (and Laban’s daughters) and got the hell out of Dodge.

  • Al Dente

    got the hell out of Dodge.

    The Bible does give advice about getting the hell out of Dodge. Genesis 19:19-25 talks about Lot getting the hell out of Dodge, which is spelled Sodom for some reason.

  • caseloweraz

    Sorry, Daved; you’re wrong. I looked at the actual document (archived here). It is from the state GOP conference, but the Bible resolution comes from the Idaho County party. Similarly, the preceding resolution comes from Bonneville County.

    Here are the relevant portions (emphasis added):

    Resolution 2015-P20

    A Resolution Supporting Bible Use in Idaho Public Schools

    Submitted by Marge Arnzen, Idaho County Chairman

    THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, That the Idaho County Central Committee encourages the Idaho legislature to draft and support a bill stating that the Bible is expressly permitted to be used in Idaho public schools for reference purposes to further the study of literature, comparative religion, English and foreign languages, U.S. and world history, comparative government, law, philosophy, ethics, astronomy, biology, geology, world geography, archaeology, music, sociology, and other topics of study where an understanding of the Bible may be useful or relevant;

    BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That the Idaho County Republican Central Committee encourages our Idaho legislators to support a bill stating that public schools may offer elective study courses of the Bible for any of the secular discipline study purposes stated above if students, parents, and/or school district electors request such a course within their respective district.

    As I expected, Idaho County is toward the north end of the state — survivalist country. It may turn out that the state adopts its resolution, but that hasn’t happened yet AFAIK.

  • caseloweraz

    Jason (#29): How in the hell is the Bible supposed to be useful in the teaching of music? I know it’s been awhile since I cracked one open, but I don’t remember any sheet music in the Bible.

    Maybe this is a reference to the Song of Solomon.

    (ducks, runs…)

  • Al Dente

    Idaho County is one of the counties of the state of Idaho. I was slightly surprised to note that Nezperce is the county seat of Lewis County while Lewiston is the county seat of Nez Perce County.