ACCORDING to new data released by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development Israel allocates three times more time to Biblical education in comparison to the US and the 33 other members of the OECD.
But this is not enough, it seems for Israel’s Education Minister rabbi Rafi Peretz, above, who found himself in a world of woe recently when he advocated reparative therapy for homosexuality. He withdrew his remarks when faced with a furious backlash.
Peretz is now stressing “the vital importance” of teaching the scriptures to young people.
The goal is Bible for every child, not just a computer for every child.
Speaking at a recent seminar held by Herzog Academic College, he argued that when people study the Bible, they have:
No questions about our right to the land. These things are clear and known. We are a nation that relies on its spirit, and the Bible is the decisive book in the campaign.
Currently, Israel allocates around 14 percent of classroom time to religious subjects and most of this time is used to study the Bible. That compares to just four percent across Europe, with the OECD members spending at an average of fibe percent of classroom time on religious studies.
Among state-religious schools in Israel, some 55 weekly hours are allocated solely for Bible and Jewish studies.
While the US falls well behind Israel on the allocation of time and resources to religious education, the Bible is making a resurgence in the education system, which is a source of enormous delight to faith-heads.
In 2017, Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin – he who championed the ghastly homophobic county clerk Kim Davis – signed a law which makes provisions for the teaching of the Bible in public schools, giving local school boards the power to develop Biblical literacy classes. Bevin said at the signing ceremony:
The idea that we would not want this to be an option for people in school, that would be crazy. I don’t know why every state would not embrace this, why we as a nation would not embrace this.
And in January, America’s Tit-in-Chief Trump tweeted about his desire to ramp up of religious classes.
Numerous states introducing Bible Literacy classes, giving students the option of studying the Bible. Starting to make a turn back? Great!
Chuck Stetson, who publishes a widely-used Bible study textbook, said:
We’re not too far away from a tipping point. Instead of having to find a reason to teach the Bible in public schools academically, as part of a good education, you’re going to have to find a reason not to do it.
Stetson added that:
When the President of the United States gives us a shout-out, that’s pretty crazy. It’s got the momentum now.
One of the politicians at the helm of attempts to introduce the Bible to the schooling system is former Virginia congressman, Randy Forbes, who heads up the Congressional Prayer
Circus Caucus Foundation.
Doesn’t it just make sense that we should have that book that has been so impactful at least be studied and examined by people who want to study and examine in the place where we go to explore ideas and look at what we are going to do for tomorrow?
But Rachel Laser, President and Chief Executive of Americans United for Separation of Church and State said that the new GOP-pushed classes are:
Part of an effort to establish this sort of narrow Christian agenda as the norm for our country, the government-sanctioned and supported norm.
Forbes, however, disagreed.
We are not trying to get someone or tell someone they have to believe a certain thing. We are just saying, ‘Look at the history of this book. Look at the importance of the ideas in this book. Look at how it plays a role in even the policies of the United States of America and you make your own decisions.’