Our good friends the Greens, the real religious persecutors at Hobby Lobby HQ, are at it again. As we’re aware, they’re already imploring the US Supreme Court to decide that they and other religious employers can control the bodies of their employees. But now craft patriarch Steve Green, through his Green Scholars Initiative (a non sequitur, which is not unusual among the Religious Right), wants public school children to believe in his version of Christianity through a bible propaganda class.
Now, Green and the GSI label it harmless, a class to teach the history and influence of one of the most influential books in Western history. Plenty of non-Christians study the bible in much the same way, including many biblical scholars. Additionally, according to Green, in order to develop the teaching material and keep it from being partisan, the GSI had input from scholars of various religious traditions.
But there is good reason to believe that this class is no more scholarly than Creationist Science is scientific.
What are his goals? The GSI says that it wants to present objective, non-sectarian lessons on the Bible. But Green himself says that the very purpose of the history lessons of his curriculum “is to show the reliability of [the Bible]. When you present the evidence, the evidence is overwhelming.” Evidence to or of what? That the bible should be taken literally? Scholarship may raise questions, but propaganda will have none of that. And Green is a propagandist.
This flies in the face of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment – but that’s par for the course with Steve Green.
Want further proof? In the town where the first class is going to be taught, Mustang, Oklahoma, right outside of Oklahoma City and next to HL HQ, Green gave a speech outlining his purposes for the curriculum. Centrally, “With the history, we want to show the archaeological evidences of the Bible.” This goes along with fundamentalist Christian teachings that the stories in the bible are accurate and happened when, how, and where they say they happened. This is something that archaeology has not been able to prove so much. Archaeology is a science, not a tool of propaganda.
About these scholars: “Green Scholars Initiative has brought in more than 70 renowned scholars of different faiths from Jerusalem and Oxford to Baylor University to create the curriculum,” according to one source, a member of the Mustang school board.
All of which tells us nothing about who has created this piece. Who are these “renowned scholars”? What are their religious affiliations? Why the exclusionary “of different faiths”? Were there no atheists available? Do the various faiths include progressive Christians, Muslims, or Jews? Buddhists? Furthermore, what impact will non-fundamentalist biblical literalists have on the final say-so of the curriculum?
But do you need further proof that this class is indeed not scholarly-focused but Bible Propaganda? How about Green’s own words?
That’s our goal, so that we can reintroduce this book to this nation. This nation is in danger because of its ignorance of what God has taught. [emphasis mine]
Ladies and gentlemen, we are in danger because we don’t know God’s teachings, according to a self-made billionaire. And the billionaires know. They put up with a lot of slave wagery to get where they’re at. This is not about teaching the relevance of The Bible as an important book in history; this is about indoctrinating our children to follow Steve Green and extremist fundamentalist Bill Gothard’s views on the bible as central to running a theocracy. Theocracy. Not joking.
The GSI this week got the go-ahead to try the curriculum in a public high school in Mustang, in a stronghold of the Bible Belt. They are looking to host hundreds more in the 2016 school year. Green has billions to spare. Don’t think for one minute that he won’t.
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