Elective Biblical course in Arizona public schools

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tstorm823:

Magichead:

a)No. You see, this is something you and your ilk keep failing to grasp; we've read the bible, most of us were raised Christian to some degree or another whether that was hellfire&brimstone-church-every-sunday rabid christianity or the vaguely spiritual mumbo-jumbo of Anglicanism: we just think it's a load of shite.

b)I'd say a general Religious and Philosophical Education class would do you no end of good.

c)Giving fundies, dominionists, and creatards yet another avenue to access your nation's children, however, likely won't.

I snipped the needless rant and made your post bullet points.

a) You come close to establishing the entire reason to agree with me. You lump together multiple groups of people with very different experiences with Christianity and somehow figure they've all had plenty of the Bible and could not possibly learn anything new about the events of the Bible or the beliefs of people (that we discuss every day in these forums) by getting a non-preaching look at the content of the book.

b) Then you pretty much agree with me that some sort of classes addressing religion would incredibly helpful to modern society.

c) Then you do the thing where you assume Christians are mentally incapable of doing anything for the reasons they claim and there's always a insidious brainwashing motivation.

I tried to snip the needless rant, alas there wouldn't have been anything of substance left so I'll just have to have at it.

a) I didn't say those things, which is I suppose why you felt the need to write them out rather than simply quoting where I said them. My intention was to refute your assertion that those who disagree do so out of ignorance; we don't disagree with the bible because we are ignorant of it, quite the reverse. I did not, in addition, "lump together" different groups, I described a spectrum of experience.

b) Of course I do, I'm a Brit, like everyone else(the benefits of a National Curriculum; no loonies on local school boards deciding that the texbooks need more Jesus) I took Religious and Philosophical Education at school, the studies of religious texts we did were instrumental in providing me with the information I needed to conclude that religious faith is a crock of shite. But we didn't just study the Bible, despite also being a "Christian nation", we studied the Koran, the Torah, we learned about Shinto and Hinduism, the beliefs of ancient Pagans, and most importantly we also studied secular philosophy and ethics. THAT is a worthwhile experience, being allowed to claim course credit for sitting in a room having your preconceptions reinforced by someone who holds the same beliefs as you do and reads from the religious text you already follow is not.

c) You say this as if I'm pulling this concept out of my arse. This isn't some new and isolated incident, it's the same rabid theists who've been trying to insinuate themselves into your education system by any means necessary for decades. There is a pattern of behaviour among American Christians who involve themselves with school curricula which demands that any rational person must question their motives whenever and wherever they appear; they are not benign, they are not a kindly old granny making cakes for the church charity bake sale, they are fundamentalists who recognise that young minds are vulnerable minds, and they wish to open every avenue of attack they can.

And if you truly, honestly expect me to believe that I am wrong for adopting such an attitude after years of watching Creationism morph into "Intelligent Design" in order to make it easier to slip into schools, hearing story after story about Christians on school boards editing textbooks to undermine science or history in favour of religious mumbo-jumbo, seeing religious groups outright lying about their agenda in order to have a chance to preach their hateful bigotry to children; you are having a larf.

Is it just me or does anyone else think that a student in the US, who is Christian, taking Bible Studies and getting credit for it is a bit like a German exchange student being able to take German and get credit for it.

I feel kind of split on the issue. On one hand, I think reading the bible is an important thing to do, if only because it can broaden your understanding of a large portion of western literature and art. However, I also get the issue of this not being a neutral bill.

Katatori-kun:

Not getting what you want doesn't make it unfair.

If you seriously want an elective Neo-Pagan class, talk to someone about setting up an independent study. I did an independent study on Pre-Columbus Native American society and aside from the fact that my sponsor made no effort to guide me and in my youthful naivety I ended up citing some sources that were utter bullshit, it was an excellent experience.

Because if you demand the school create a Neo-Pagan class just for you, that's pretty much what you'll be doing anyway. It's pretty unlikely that your teacher will know anything more than you do about Neo-Paganism anyway, so all you'll be doing is working from a textbook. If one even exists.

Uh, I was half joking. However, the thought of just reading from a textbook in a classroom that consists of me alone on a subject I know more about then the teacher...kind of sums up most of my school life for the past year or two.

pyrate:
Is it just me or does anyone else think that a student in the US, who is Christian, taking Bible Studies and getting credit for it is a bit like a German exchange student being able to take German and get credit for it.

not really since most Christians haven't even read the bible, sure it would not be fair if a goody_good Christian took the class, but your average joe Christian probably never got past genesis 1:1

keiskay:

pyrate:
Is it just me or does anyone else think that a student in the US, who is Christian, taking Bible Studies and getting credit for it is a bit like a German exchange student being able to take German and get credit for it.

not really since most Christians haven't even read the bible, sure it would not be fair if a goody_good Christian took the class, but your average joe Christian probably never got past genesis 1:1

You're assuming that this class will be informative. That has yet to be seen. For all we know, it could be "GOD IS FUCKING AWESOME! ALLAH WAS A FUCKING MOON GOD! CHRISTIANITY BITCHES! EVERYONE ELSE GOING TO FUCKING HELL MOTHERFUCKERS! YOU BETTER BE FUCKING SAVED OR THE DEVIL IS GOING TO RAPE YOUR ASS!"

Wait. I may be mixing this up with the Juggalo video I watched earlier.

I'm all for this, I just hope no one tries to force the bible down kid's throats, speaking as a Christian. I've seen waaaaay too many 'YOU MUST READ THE BIBLE AND DO THIS THIS THIS AND THIS OR YOUR GOING TO HELL'. In fact that stuff kinda scares me. They should offer more then just bible studies, so that people don't feel somewhat 'forced' per se.

TheDarkEricDraven:

keiskay:

pyrate:
Is it just me or does anyone else think that a student in the US, who is Christian, taking Bible Studies and getting credit for it is a bit like a German exchange student being able to take German and get credit for it.

not really since most Christians haven't even read the bible, sure it would not be fair if a goody_good Christian took the class, but your average joe Christian probably never got past genesis 1:1

You're assuming that this class will be informative. That has yet to be seen. For all we know, it could be "GOD IS FUCKING AWESOME! ALLAH WAS A FUCKING MOON GOD! CHRISTIANITY BITCHES! EVERYONE ELSE GOING TO FUCKING HELL MOTHERFUCKERS! YOU BETTER BE FUCKING SAVED OR THE DEVIL IS GOING TO RAPE YOUR ASS!"

Wait. I may be mixing this up with the Juggalo video I watched earlier.

were you watching miracles by ICP?

keiskay:
were you watching miracles by ICP?

It's the only ICP song I like, man. Everything else is just dumb. This is dumb in a funny way, and is actually catchy.

I'd much rather have a general RE or World Religions class that covers most of the major religions, to be honest, but I suppose this isn't the most harmful thing on the planet, since it is elective.

Magichead:

a) I didn't say those things, which is I suppose why you felt the need to write them out rather than simply quoting where I said them. My intention was to refute your assertion that those who disagree do so out of ignorance; we don't disagree with the bible because we are ignorant of it, quite the reverse. I did not, in addition, "lump together" different groups, I described a spectrum of experience.

Yes, but I never remotely said that those who disagree do so out of ignorance. I did say that a lot of people are ignorant, and if you refute that there are people in this forum spouting just as many lies about that Bible against it as there are politicians spouting lies about the Bible for it, you're kidding yourself. Almost every discussion of Hell or Satan may as well begin with "Dante's Inferno is canon, right?"

And you did say that one way or another most of the atheists on here are aware of the Bible, and I have to suggest that one way and another don't get to the same place.

b) Of course I do, I'm a Brit, like everyone else(the benefits of a National Curriculum; no loonies on local school boards deciding that the texbooks need more Jesus) I took Religious and Philosophical Education at school, the studies of religious texts we did were instrumental in providing me with the information I needed to conclude that religious faith is a crock of shite. But we didn't just study the Bible, despite also being a "Christian nation", we studied the Koran, the Torah, we learned about Shinto and Hinduism, the beliefs of ancient Pagans, and most importantly we also studied secular philosophy and ethics. THAT is a worthwhile experience, being allowed to claim course credit for sitting in a room having your preconceptions reinforced by someone who holds the same beliefs as you do and reads from the religious text you already follow is not.

There are dozens of denominations of Christianity floating around, with a lot of people holding fundamentally different beliefs about the same thing, and most of them haven't read the Bible and never will. For the purpose of understanding the beliefs of others and their impact on society, I think Christians would benefit most from studying the Bible.

c) You say this as if I'm pulling this concept out of my arse. This isn't some new and isolated incident, it's the same rabid theists who've been trying to insinuate themselves into your education system by any means necessary for decades. There is a pattern of behaviour among American Christians who involve themselves with school curricula which demands that any rational person must question their motives whenever and wherever they appear; they are not benign, they are not a kindly old granny making cakes for the church charity bake sale, they are fundamentalists who recognise that young minds are vulnerable minds, and they wish to open every avenue of attack they can.

And if you truly, honestly expect me to believe that I am wrong for adopting such an attitude after years of watching Creationism morph into "Intelligent Design" in order to make it easier to slip into schools, hearing story after story about Christians on school boards editing textbooks to undermine science or history in favour of religious mumbo-jumbo, seeing religious groups outright lying about their agenda in order to have a chance to preach their hateful bigotry to children; you are having a larf.

It's not as though the schools are hiring the sate legislature to come in and teach these classes. They'd be taught by the same teachers already in schools. And the most likely teacher to volunteer for this class is probably the one most interested in the real educational content. So unless they've got a big brainwashing conspiracy up, they're not going to be able to do anything insidious here.

Skeleon:

keiskay:
public schools, believe it or not the US offers classes meant for college students in public school.

In that case? No, I don't want them to overhaul the mythology class (although more mythologies wouldn't hurt, sure).
I don't even necessarily want them to overhaul the Bible class. But I do want them to add other religious courses to give every religion the same availability rather than promote one over the others.
Now, a world religions class is just the simplest and - if done properly - fairest option. But it doesn't have to be that. I'd be just fine with it if they simply added other elective religious courses analogous to the Bible class, too.
With the current setup, I don't think they retain neutrality and do promote the Bible. Hell, they even basically say they want to promote the Bible (I refer you back to the quotes).
See, you can obviously not provide classes for every religion in existence. But you can provide classes at least for all world religions, the big five if you will. As I've said before, that is the bare minimum if you're at least attempting neutrality.

well i learned about the big 5 in world history and geography and a little about taoism and daoism. we didn't learn specific scriptures or tenants but we learned the general beliefs and ideas of the religions.

Polarity27:

keiskay:

Skeleon:

"Mythology classes"? Are we talking about public schools right now or college courses? Because you really shouldn't conflate the two.

public schools, believe it or not the US offers classes meant for college students in public school.

How is it "meant for college students" to show a diversity of literature in literature classes (mythology is often taught as part of literature-- Greek plays, for instance)?

its accredited as dual credit class which means it earns college and high school credits, it requires significant work on the subject and delves into more than just the literature aspects and explores symbolism and historical backgrounds the texts as well.

I say teach this stuff; but teach all of it.

If I was a teacher I would insist on taking one of those classes to show what the scholars think, the archaeologist and the historians. I'd teach the fact that the Dead Sea Scrolls created a lot of problems regarding the reliability of the current "Old Testament" texts. I would let them know how the archaeological record has very little or outright contradictory evidence for many of the biblical claims.

It could be fun for a teacher - but they will probably only get true believers.

Skeleon:

Wolverine18:
Elective.
ELECTIVE.

In other words, voluntary.

I'm aware and I've made note of it in the OP from the very start.
The problem isn't that. The problem is that this bill does not create equivalent elective courses for other religions and philosophies. It promotes one particular religious education.

Yes, but if you aren't interested, don't take it. I'm still not seeing the concern. For that matter, you can't even show it promotes the religion, it just talks about the impact, and that's a valid sociological course.

Skeleon:

keiskay:
okay? did you know that American mythology classes do not touch on Christian,Jewish,Muslim,Buddhist or many other mythologies and mainly focuses on Greek,Egyptian and ancient Nordic mythologies? should we overhaul that class as well to include more mythologies from cultures?

"Mythology classes"? Are we talking about public schools right now or college courses? Because you really shouldn't conflate the two.

I don't know about him, but I certainly studied ancient religions in elementary school in Canada when I was growing up. Those were the kool social studies days :)

LetalisK:
Then the residents of Arizona need to get together and express an interest about similar classes. I'm not even sure how much interest there is in this class since it appears to come from the top down, but it sure doesn't help to spend even more time and resources on additional classes just for the sake of "equal time" if no one even cares about going to such elective classes.

I don't really think this is a question that's up to "interest". At that point, you'd end up turning it into a question of "what does the majority want", not "what is in line with the constitution and doesn't further one particular religion". Isn't the point of the constitution, including the whole deal about freedom of religion etc. there to protect not just the majority but especially the various minorities that would otherwise be stomped? That, of course, is why comparative RE classes would be the better way to go in the first place, but still.

keiskay:
well i learned about the big 5 in world history and geography and a little about taoism and daoism. we didn't learn specific scriptures or tenants but we learned the general beliefs and ideas of the religions.

Huh. Well, that actually is good. Do you know whether this is part of the general curriculum in the USA or not? If there is a baseline of comparative religious education, I'd be much more inclined to agree with such an elective course in addition to said baseline. Although I still think the phrasing is really, really wonky considering it's specifically about the Bible and only the Bible. Thing is, in my time here on these forums, the usual sentiment I've heard coming from people from the USA is that religious education is not in schools altogether, which is why I'm wondering whether this is an exception you mention or the norm.

Wolverine18:
Yes, but if you aren't interested, don't take it. I'm still not seeing the concern. For that matter, you can't even show it promotes the religion, it just talks about the impact, and that's a valid sociological course.

I argued this in the OP: Look at Proud's quotes (and his record). I don't think he is an honest actor. In my view, this is disguised as a theological course when it probably isn't.

I don't know about him, but I certainly studied ancient religions in elementary school in Canada when I was growing up. Those were the kool social studies days :)

In elementary school? Impressive. I think we had maybe some references then, but we didn't properly study mythologies until I was in high school when we could actually research the religions and philosophy behind them. Regardless, note that this is in Arizona, not in Canada. From what I know, Canada is much better in those regards in the first place, so it wouldn't have the same, compounding effect there it will have in Arizona.

Skeleon:

keiskay:
well i learned about the big 5 in world history and geography and a little about taoism and daoism. we didn't learn specific scriptures or tenants but we learned the general beliefs and ideas of the religions.

Huh. Well, that actually is good. Do you know whether this is part of the general curriculum in the USA or not? If there is a baseline of comparative religious education, I'd be much more inclined to agree with such an elective course in addition to said baseline. Although I still think the phrasing is really, really wonky considering it's specifically about the Bible and only the Bible. Thing is, in my time here on these forums, the usual sentiment I've heard coming from people from the USA is that religious education is not in schools altogether, which is why I'm wondering whether this is an exception you mention or the norm.

i really have no clue since America doesn't really have a base standard of what should be taught in classes. maybe it changed between the time they were in school and such. i mean the whole curriculum changed after i graduated so maybe the next group of grads will know more or less then me. but this all just for my state i have no clue about the other ones. so maybe i am part of a rare exception who had a teacher that really cared about what we learned, or maybe i just paid attention, or maybe i just have a real good memory for stuff that happened 5+ years back.

Skeleon:

LetalisK:
Then the residents of Arizona need to get together and express an interest about similar classes. I'm not even sure how much interest there is in this class since it appears to come from the top down, but it sure doesn't help to spend even more time and resources on additional classes just for the sake of "equal time" if no one even cares about going to such elective classes.

I don't really think this is a question that's up to "interest". At that point, you'd end up turning it into a question of "what does the majority want", not "what is in line with the constitution and doesn't further one particular religion". Isn't the point of the constitution, including the whole deal about freedom of religion etc. there to protect not just the majority but especially the various minorities that would otherwise be stomped? That, of course, is why comparative RE classes would be the better way to go in the first place, but still.

And that's exactly what the question is, since it's not a matter of constitutionality*. There is nothing unconstitutional about having what amounts to a religious history class for a particular religion and not having that class for other religions if there is a lack of interest. Also, not having a religious elective class if it would be pointless does not constitute a religion being "stomped", but rather being ignored by the society and that is their prerogative.

*It doesn't even have to be a majority, really. Just enough people, which could fall far shorter than a majority.

LetalisK:
*It doesn't even have to be a majority, really. Just enough people, which could fall far shorter than a majority.

But there isn't even the option to create such courses yet for other religions, is there? Even if there were interest? The bill only creates that option for Christianity. Don't you see that as unfair?
So in that sense, it's not even up to interest, really, because if that interest exists, first you'd need to get another bill passed that allows for such an elective course of non-Biblical religious studies.
If the bill were about creating elective courses for religions in general if there is a particular amount of interest for it, there'd still be the issue of "what constitutes that particular amount of interest" (one classroom full of people, ten people, five people, what?), but at least the framework would be much fairer.

Skeleon:

LetalisK:
*It doesn't even have to be a majority, really. Just enough people, which could fall far shorter than a majority.

But there isn't even the option to create such courses yet for other religions, is there? Even if there were interest? The bill only creates that option for Christianity. Don't you see that as unfair? So in that sense, it's not even up to interest, really, because if that interest exists, first you'd need to get another bill passed that allows for such an elective course of non-Biblical religious studies.

No, I don't see it as unfair because there is no reason to believe the same can not be done for a similar religious class. And having to pass another bill is not an undue hardship. It's the same manner as how the Christianity class was created.

If the bill were about creating elective courses for religions in general if there is a particular amount of interest for it, there'd still be the issue of "what constitutes that particular amount of interest" (one classroom full of people, ten people, five people, what?), but at least the framework would be much fairer.

I never said the method wasn't cumbersome. Honestly, this sort of thing should be left up to the department of education or the equivalent for the state. To address the other point, the threshold would be however many people is necessary for it not to be a waste of money. But overall it's not unfair. Now, it WOULD be unfair if there was substantial demand for some sort of similar class for another religion and it was just being dismissed by the government.

The fact that there aren't equal elective classes for other religions really isn't the problem here, constitutionally or otherwise. Any problem with this situation is going to come from this class being created and no one cares to attend it. Then it becomes apparent the class is just a religious circlejerk for the legislature. Thankfully that problem will most likely correct itself as an elective class that doesn't have enough attendance tends to get stricken from the curriculum. If it doesn't, then, again, that would be where an issue would be.

edit: Headed to bed, will address any responses in the morning.

Skeleon:

Wolverine18:
Yes, but if you aren't interested, don't take it. I'm still not seeing the concern. For that matter, you can't even show it promotes the religion, it just talks about the impact, and that's a valid sociological course.

I argued this in the OP: Look at Proud's quotes (and his record). I don't think he is an honest actor. In my view, this is disguised as a theological course when it probably isn't.

You are arguing from a place of distrust and fear, I'm judging it on what they say its about. If it turns out they are lying and it is about christian indoctronation then I'd agree with you, but until then, I see nothing wrong with what is being proposed.

I don't know about him, but I certainly studied ancient religions in elementary school in Canada when I was growing up. Those were the kool social studies days :)

In elementary school? Impressive. I think we had maybe some references then, but we didn't properly study mythologies until I was in high school when we could actually research the religions and philosophy behind them. Regardless, note that this is in Arizona, not in Canada. From what I know, Canada is much better in those regards in the first place, so it wouldn't have the same, compounding effect there it will have in Arizona.

Interestingly I only recall it in elementary school. I can't recall it making its way into any highschool courses, but maybe I just didn't take them.

Skeleon:

LetalisK:
*It doesn't even have to be a majority, really. Just enough people, which could fall far shorter than a majority.

But there isn't even the option to create such courses yet for other religions, is there? Even if there were interest? The bill only creates that option for Christianity. Don't you see that as unfair?
So in that sense, it's not even up to interest, really, because if that interest exists, first you'd need to get another bill passed that allows for such an elective course of non-Biblical religious studies.
If the bill were about creating elective courses for religions in general if there is a particular amount of interest for it, there'd still be the issue of "what constitutes that particular amount of interest" (one classroom full of people, ten people, five people, what?), but at least the framework would be much fairer.

Does the bill (or something else in the law) prohibit creating other courses?

I've studied part of the Holy Bible in literature classes before. So long as the book is taught as literature and not as verifiable truth, then I see nothing wrong with it. Most likely you'll wind up with some Christians learning the difference between what they believe and what the Holy Bible says. I'm all for that, too.

It is an elective class, there is nothing wrong with that.

So, what, we're going to have a bunch of High Schoolers dissect the Bible and the various cultural and religious influences that went into it? Or a discussion about the process of assembling the canon? I don't see anything wrong with a class about how the Bible got put together and how people have interpreted it. That would help broaden horizons, although parents might get upset when their kids start bringing questions home.

Wolverine18:
Does the bill (or something else in the law) prohibit creating other courses?

Not explicitely, but implicitely. As it wasn't allowed to create such courses previously, this law now allows it specifically for Bible studies while not allowing it for others.

Wolverine18:
You are arguing from a place of distrust and fear, I'm judging it on what they say its about. If it turns out they are lying and it is about christian indoctronation then I'd agree with you, but until then, I see nothing wrong with what is being proposed.

Distrust, yes. But not fear. Past experience, more like. And Proud's record.

[quote="LetalisK" post="528.368566.14386890"No, I don't see it as unfair because there is no reason to believe the same can not be done for a similar religious class. And having to pass another bill is not an undue hardship. It's the same manner as how the Christianity class was created.[/quote]

Yes. It would be the same manner. And I'm sure there'll be just as much legislative support for creating an Islam class. Or a Pagan class. Or a secular ethics class. Are you serious?!

Now, it WOULD be unfair if there was substantial demand for some sort of similar class for another religion and it was just being dismissed by the government.

"Substantial" also being "however much it needs to be to not be a waste of money"? Because the demand would definitely be a minority demand. Do you honestly believe they wouldn't just throw it out on the basis of either there being too few or it being too expensive or, hell, their saying that these other religions weren't as important for the USA, so having an elective studies class of their holy text is not necessary? Maybe I'm just too jaded by now, but I don't believe for a single second that they would allow for such classes if it were about anything other than the Bible. Remember that this is an issue of saving money! We need to save money and do small government things unless it's about the Bible. I'm pretty sure that's how it goes.

Skeleon:

If you want to put religious education into schools (which I would actually agree with), it needs to be done even-handedly. There is a lot of ignorance about Islam, for example, fanned by media scaremongering, that proper education might affect. There is a lot of ignorance on Eastern religions. There is a lot of ignorance on older religions. But this bill is only about the Bible.

...

Whaddayall think?

I agree with everything you said... Except I don't think a public school teacher can really give an even handed course on "Religious Education," without invariably showing partiality to one or several religions.

How do you decide which religions to talk about? Which ones to exclude? How much time you spend on them? Which few main topics from each religion qualifies as test material?

Do you really want your kid to learn a version of Christianity from a Five Point Calvinist or Catholic if you're a Lutheran?

And so on and so on and so on.

I think that is a stronger argument against religious instruction in public schools. I'm personally an ex-catholic atheist, but lets say that disaster strikes, and my child is forced to learn about Christianity in a mandatory high school class --- I wouldn't want him taught the Baptist version of Christianity or the Mormon or the Jehovah's witnesses'.

"Elective" means the student is not required to take the course at all, so it shouldn't be a deal at all.

TheTim:
"Elective" means the student is not required to take the course at all, so it shouldn't be a deal at all.

Depending on the community where it's located, you can be "not required" to take it the way you're "not required" to give a robber your wallet when he has you down on the ground with a foot on your stomach.

tstorm823:
It's not as though the schools are hiring the sate legislature to come in and teach these classes. They'd be taught by the same teachers already in schools. And the most likely teacher to volunteer for this class is probably the one most interested in the real educational content. So unless they've got a big brainwashing conspiracy up, they're not going to be able to do anything insidious here.

...

This hasn't been news for almost 15 years.

Vegosiux:

TheTim:
"Elective" means the student is not required to take the course at all, so it shouldn't be a deal at all.

Depending on the community where it's located, you can be "not required" to take it the way you're "not required" to give a robber your wallet when he has you down on the ground with a foot on your stomach.

yeah well Arizona is largely a state of apathy, this due to the mix of liberal and conservative groups being almost equal in size to each others creating a very weird place. Arizonans generally don't give a fuck about many issues unless that issue is immigration or photo radar, other then that we are very neutral state, that has a high amount of religious people but with very low religiosity. so i think it will be fine in Arizona.

Stagnant:

...

This hasn't been news for almost 15 years.

You really think that means the people pushing the legislation have all the teachers in on the plan ready to start brainwashing?

I got into a rather heated discussion with a guy on this, which ended with neither of us talking to the other for a while. Frankly... I'm for this, but with a single requirement: that religious studies be opened up for any religion and that these classes be electives. I see no issue here, and it's even something that I hear's done in Europe (Someone correct me if I'm wrong).

Vegosiux:

TheTim:
"Elective" means the student is not required to take the course at all, so it shouldn't be a deal at all.

Depending on the community where it's located, you can be "not required" to take it the way you're "not required" to give a robber your wallet when he has you down on the ground with a foot on your stomach.

Well since i actually go to high school in arizona, and know quite well of how the system works, i can pretty safely say that the course would not be required.

Skeleon:
snip

Your quotes were broke and I haven't checked on the thread in a while, hence why I haven't gotten to this yet.

Yes. It would be the same manner. And I'm sure there'll be just as much legislative support for creating an Islam class. Or a Pagan class. Or a secular ethics class. Are you serious?!

Yes, I'm completely serious that if there was legislative resistance to it, THEN you would have a constitutional manner on your hand. Let the legislature actually perform an unconstitutional action before bringing them before the Supreme Court. Simply speculating that they would stifle similar legislation for other religions, even if its a reasonable speculation, is not sufficient. There is literally no case to take to the Supreme Court if there hasn't been any action against similar religious classes.

"Substantial" also being "however much it needs to be to not be a waste of money"? Because the demand would definitely be a minority demand. Do you honestly believe they wouldn't just throw it out on the basis of either there being too few or it being too expensive or, hell, their saying that these other religions weren't as important for the USA, so having an elective studies class of their holy text is not necessary? Maybe I'm just too jaded by now, but I don't believe for a single second that they would allow for such classes if it were about anything other than the Bible. Remember that this is an issue of saving money! We need to save money and do small government things unless it's about the Bible. I'm pretty sure that's how it goes.

Yes, they mean the same in this discussion. And if the above did happen I don't see any of those arguments holding up in court, particularly if the other side can show substantial support for the elective course(which would not be hard at all to do if the interest is there). I think Arizona would get spanked if they tried anything like what you're proposing will be done. Edit2: Now will a situation like this actually happen? I give it 50/50 odds with Arizona.

edit: Derp, fixed my own quotes

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