This is a guest post written by Meryl Federman.
Just over a week ago, a “Black Mass,” or a Satanic ritual purportedly based on inverting Catholic rites, was scheduled to take place on the Harvard campus, sponsored by the Harvard Extension Cultural Studies Club and administered by the Satanic Temple of New York. The Cultural Studies Club, true to their name, intended this to be an academic event, a look at a marginalized and unorthodox tradition, and part of a series of events examining other religions and cultures (including Shinto, Shaker, and Buddhist events). However, they received a flood of intimidation and anger.
One of the Top College Football Prospects in the Country is an Atheist (and He Attends a Catholic High School)
The last time we heard from former World Series champion Gabe Kapler — an outfielder for the Boston Red Sox in 2004 — he was writing about one of his religious teammates who was later convicted of sexual assault.
At the time, Kapler said:
I’m floored that I misjudged the character of a man so horribly. Perhaps I was blinded with the mantle of righteous moral authority he always tried to wear and never looked deeper.
Chad Curtis wasn’t the first major leaguer to commit a heinous crime. I’m confident in my assessment, however, that he’ll represent the last time that I allow the veil of religion and perceived moral high ground to impede my better judgment of another human being’s fiber.
Well, Kapler’s not done writing about religion — and I’m thrilled to see that his latest article for Fox Sports profiles Josh Rosen, a top football prospect who has a rare quality: he doesn’t believe in God.
Last month, we learned that Hobby Lobby President Steve Green had developed a Bible curriculum for public schools and that Oklahoma’s Mustang Public Schools board had voted to approve it and become the first district to implement it. The course would focus on the “narrative, history and impact of the Good Book.”
In Green’s ideal world, this course would be mandatory, though it was only an elective for now.
We already know the problems with curriculums like these: They’re not always taught objectively, with many teachers saying that the Bible is true instead of simply analyzing the text and themes. They preach the Bible when they should be teaching it.
A few weeks ago, when we finally got a peek at Green’s curriculum, it was clear that the evangelism spirit was in full display. The textbook was far from objective. As the Freedom From Religion Foundation wrote in a letter to Superintendent Sean McDaniel, “… The materials show a clear Christian bias, treat the bible as historically accurate and true in all respects, and make theological claims, to name but a few problems. Again, these criticisms are not exhaustive, they were apparent at a glance. MPS should refuse to implement this program.”
You can see a rundown of some of the major problems here.
But FFRF wasn’t done yet. Attorney Andrew Seidel has been looking into this curriculum for months and the open records requests he made have finally come through, shedding light on how cozy the relationship is between Hobby Lobby’s Green and the school district. More importantly, we learn that this is really a project initiated and pushed through by Green. It’s not about the school district wanting to develop a curriculum for the students based on a subject need — it’s about Green wanting to proselytize to students with the support of the school district.