La Dolce Vita

A few thoughts from Steven Rockford
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FEBRUARY 6, 2012 10:30AM

Bible studies in AZ schools - OK!

Rate: 16 Flag

Ethnic studies in AZ schools

az students1 

Not so much

At times I find myself amazed at how the conservative religious zealots and xenophobes have taken over our Arizona government.  A perfect example is last week’s passing of a bill in the Arizona House Education Committee which would require high schools to include Bible studies in their elective curriculum.  The bill, sponsored by Rep. Terri Proud (R -Tucson), would create an elective high school class entitled “The Bible and its influence on Western Culture. 

Under current Arizona law, school boards must “exclude from school libraries all books, publications and papers of a sectarian, partisan or denominational character.”  As noted in the Arizona Star, “Proud’s bill creates an exception, but only for the Old and New Testaments.” Defending her bill, Representative Proud stated: 

“[K]eeping the Bible out of classrooms over fears of proselytizing denies students the background they need to understand everything from Shakespeare to the Bill of Rights.” 

Consider this action in light of a recent court order requiring Tucson’s public school district to shut down its ethnic studies program.  A recent New York Times editorial highlighted the background of that move: 

“The Tucson Unified School District has dismantled its Mexican-American studies program, packed away its offending books, shuttled its students into other classes. It was blackmailed into doing so: keeping the program would have meant losing more than $14 million in state funding. It was a blunt-force victory for the Arizona school superintendent, John Huppenthal, who has spent years crusading against ethnic-studies programs he claims are ‘brainwashing’ children into thinking that Latinos have been victims of white oppression.  

As a state legislator, he co-wrote a law cracking down on ethnic studies, and as superintendent he decided that Tucson’s district was violating it. School officials in Tucson and elsewhere strenuously disagree, saying he misunderstood and mischaracterized a program that brought much-needed attention to a neglected part of America’s history and culture. They say it engaged students, pushed them to excel, and led to better grades and attendance”.  

Arizona legislators accept the importance of Christian studies in public schools, but they deny the importance of teaching about the rich Mexican-American cultural heritage that helped build this state. 

Double standard?

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Richard Dawkins is speaking in Mesa tonight, on the importance of keeping a secular society, I will go if I am not stuck at work. All the more reason to point out the differences between presiding beliefs and awareness of beliefs, cultures and histories.
Petition the courts, school board,
and volunteer to cook in mess hall.
Mess Hall is a Army term for grub.

Ask any Jewish outlaw to help you cook.
Make a mess of noodles in greasy bowl.
Cook kreplach and serve Chinese cookie.

Sheep cheese is good. Google Everona?
Dr. Pat still makes old house calls if sick.
Honest. She's an amazing human being.

EVERONA Sheep cheese never do stink.
I wonder if Rep. Proud would consider initiating a bill that would reguire schools to offer a course entitled “The Quran and its influence on Western Culture?”
Double Standards? You betcha.
Where the hell do we live?
You live in the Union of Soviet Christian Amerika (USCA), of course.
And, if you want in AZ, you can hollow out your Bible and keep a deringer inside- perfectly legal!

The WHITE ASSHOLES who live in a state with AN AZTEC NAME which is right next to another called NEW MEXICO are, as a whole with the usual and obvious exceptions, the biggest bunch of racist (and totally insecure, for, also, obvious, reasons) scumbags in a country founded by racist policy- and that is quite an accomplishment of hate!

Every single time I've found myself there I've observed two things with regularity: some pretty cool but "country" latino folks who are, for the most part, friendly and welcoming- and THE WHITE TRASH SCUM McQuack/Brewer/Arpaio crowd- perhaps the biggest haters in the whole USA !!!
I keep wondering if Arizona can do just one more ridiculous thing, and then they do. Yesterday it was charging inmates families a fee to visit them. Can we say, tax on the poor and disenfranchised? Next, there will be a $100 non-refundable fee to file for unemployment, a law against existing while appearing to be Hispanic, and a fine for having a foreign-sounding last name.

And I thought west TN was awful. I can hear my poor sister groaning now about this, her family worries about these things happening there. On the other hand, our dear brother, who I will bet my farm on, totally supports this politician. I can guarantee it. Ever since he married into an Arizona republican political family, he has become so hateful and intolerant that he no longer speaks to us. It is so sad but we cannot change him so none of us hear from him. But, there are good people there. Just like here, we are all in the minority, I guess or maybe the silent majority.
It is truly scary. I keep encouraging my kids to consider moving to another country and yet...
Thanks for the update. My husband, an AZ native, says he won't move back but it is just a matter of time before we do the dumb illegals not allowed stuff, the surrounding states have followed Arizona's lead. If only we could afford to go to Costa Rica for the rest of our lives.
What is the world coming to?

I'm 100% in favor of a Biblical/Christian history curriculum in the schools. My only stipulation is that all who consider themselves Christian need to have a seat at the table to create such curriculum - the Catholics, mainline Protestants, Evangelicals, Mormons, Jehovah's Witnesses, Seventh Day Adventists, Amish/Mennonites, you name it. If those good Christians can hammer out a curriculum they can all agree on, it should be taught in schools.

My guess is these good Christians would be gouging each other's eyes out by the end of the first day.
Reminiscent of "Fahrenheit 451." When does the book burning begin?
Well, I'm sure in their discussion of the influences of the Bible they'll tell students about how this text has been used to justify murder, rape, and other crimes.

And of course anyone who dissents from the "common sense consensus" that the Christian bible is the one and only legitimate source of "Truth" is merely being "divisive."
As a matter of tactics, rather than suggesting that they not read the bible, I think you should suggest that classes read the bible and the koran as part of their class. This way they will illustrate to all and make it plain to see that proselytizing and not education is the real goal of this.

From a purely literary and historical perspective, I don't think that reading some parts of the bible or other religious texts in classes would be all that problematic and might be valuable to people, but I get why some people are against that.
More like, double stupids. But then the Gov. seems to like scorpions for breakfast.

We've just got to get rid of far right stupidity or they'll ruin everything for everyone.

All I can say is WOW.. that's a big money!
Double standards or just one that dares not speak its name?
More than a double standard, this law is clearly unconstitution. You might be able to ban all religious books (maybe...), but when you make an exception for the sacred books of certain favored religions, you've jumped off a Constitutional cliff.
Ideally, all high-school students would be given a survey course of Mankind's earliest attempts at philosophy called Bronze Age Literature and Philosophy. But I don't think Arizona would be up for it. That's ok, I'll just make sure I never go there for vacation and don't buy anything produced there. It's not fair that haters get to be nice and warm while I freeze up here in Chicago.