Bevin Makes the Same Sad, Ridiculous Argument

If there’s one annoying claim we hear constantly from the Christian right, it’s this one: “(Fill in the blank with some terrible thing) would not have happened if we hadn’t taken God and the Bible out of schools.” Kentucky Gov. Matt Blevin trots it out for the Charlottesville white supremacist violence.

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Bevin linked the removal of religious education in public schools to the efforts to take down Confederate monuments, saying that taking the Bible out of schools is also a “dangerous” attempt to “scrub history” because “when you go back a couple of hundred years, in most instances the only textbooks that were in our public schools were the Bible .”

“And it’s interesting,” he added, referring to the discussion of Charlottesville, “the more we’ve removed any sense of spiritual obligation or moral higher authority or absolute right and wrong, the more we’ve removed things that are biblically taught from society, the more we’ve seen the kind of mayhem that we were just discussing.”

Uh, governor…do you really want to make this kind of correlation = causation argument? Because if you do, might I remind you that when the KKK was at its peak, along with racial segregation, lynchings and near-universal discrimination, it was before the Supreme Court took mandatory Bible reading out of schools (they didn’t take the Bible out, only said that schools could not require kids to read it).

And not only that, such discrimination and violence was almost always justified with the Bible and Christian theology, which for centuries had seen blacks as slaves who were disfavored by God. The notion of the “curse of Ham” was used to justify all manner of mistreatment of black people and slavery was obviously justified by the Bible, which explicitly commands it. That was mainstream Christianity for almost all of the last 2000 years. So you just might want to rethink this argument. Silly men, rethinking would require that he was thinking in the first place.

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