How To Teach The Bible In Schools, If Anyone Dares

Less would go wrong if the course was based on The Bible Designed To Be Read As Living Literature, edited first by the English scholar Ernest Sutherland Bates and then re-edited 60 years later by me. The objection, of course, would be to teaching God’s sacred Word as mere literature, but then if that’s not what we’re doing, why are we teaching it at all? (And by the way, I am all for teaching it, but only in the King James Version, which ranks with Shakespeare and which someone once said is the only true work of art ever composed by a committee).

Newsletter

Get a weekly recap in your inbox every Sunday of our best stories from the week plus a primer for the days ahead.

Find It

Search our directories for...

Restaurants

Restaurants

Bars

Bars

Events

Events

Attractions

Attractions

View All

View All

Comments

48 responses to “How To Teach The Bible In Schools, If Anyone Dares”

  1. Tim Rogers says:

    Showoff.

    (Ever heard of “suicide by cop”? I just committed “suicide by Wick.” It’s okay, though. I tied a bunch of helium balloons to him so he’ll float away after the deed is done.)

  2. J.A. says:

    Hey Wick, aren’t you Catholic? And if so, why would you want the King James version taught? It sounds as though your reasoning is due to the fact that this version was written by committee. But don’t you think that other relevant bibles were written by committee as well? If you don’t mind give a run down of your reasoning behind wanting the KJ version used in this class(if there’s more to it than it was written by committee).

  3. Wick Allison says:

    J.A: The King James was written at a time when English was coming into full flower. Many of the words we use every day were invented by its writers: “scapegoat” comes to mind. Although the Douay (Catholic) translation was written near the same time, and is beautiful in its own way, it didn’t become part of the currency of the language as the KJV did. Being the Protestant version and therefore the most used and its phrases the most well-known, it became embedded in English and American literature. There are, of course, many translations (some of which are good; most are terrible; all of which are more accurate). But the KJV is the only translation that can rightly be called literature in itself.

  4. Wick Allison says:

    I should have said “English translation.” Martin Luther’s translation of the Vulgate into German is also a classic of literature and had as much impact on that language as the KJV had on ours.

  5. Bob says:

    Would not a fundamental Christian want the inerrant Word of God to be in the original language, not some committee-created concoction? Biblical Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek–now THOSE are languages. And every word true. Once you get into the “translations,” you risk misinterpreting the intent of the original. No matter how pretty the translation, it is steps (sometimes many) removed from the original. Wick votes for the KJV. Catholics have their versions, Protestants and Mormons have their versions, and Jews have their versions. Just the act of selecting among these versions promotes and favors one viewpoint over the rest. But I guess when you are in the majority, you’re entitled. Having lived 63 years as a Jew, I just get tired of people telling me that the public schools need to promote the majority religion. Jewish parents send their children to religious schools and Sunday schools to teach their religion to their children, in addition to teaching it in their homes. Many Christians and others do the same in various ways, including home schooling. For the love of God, why must you people impose YOUR religious beliefs on the rest of us through the public schools? Just because you can? For further information, see the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the U. S. Constitution.

  6. bill h says:

    Bob, is your point that religious works should be ignored as literature? If so, you’ll run right into that pesky first amendment.

    As to ancient languages, would you take the same view of teaching Chekhov plays, Dostoyevsky’s novels, or Les Mis?

    I, a evangelical Christian, have no desire to see the Bible (or any other religious work) taught in public schools in a proselytizing manner. I do think that there are parts that should be taught in order to be culturally literate. I think the same is true of the Koran and other works.

    I’m skeptical that teachers will not impose their agenda (non religious teachers as much as religious ones) so the project is a difficult one. Using a text like the one that Wick suggests, if followed, would help accomplish that.

  7. Will Four-tay says:

    I guess if we teach other forms of fictional literature in schools, we should also teach the bible.

    It should just be portrayed as that, a fictional form of literature.

  8. PuddinTane says:

    This is such a ridiculous discussion because the collective of books known as The Bible can be read and taught just as any other mythology stories are.

    There are Beginging stories, heros vs monsters or demons, stories of sacrifice…poetry of love…the protagonist and antagonist, etc.

    The Bible IS classic literature.

  9. Bob says:

    No one has yet spoken to the point that religious instruction of children is, and ought to be, the responsibility of the parents. Parents don’t (or shouldn’t) expect to drop their kids off to first grade at age 6, and pick them up 12 years later at high school graduation, with the graduates fully prepared to be adults. Some folks teach their kids well when it comes to morality, responsibility, and many other virtues; some don’t. The public schools cannot fully fill that gap when they don’t. Teaching religion (as opposed to literature) is, and should be, strictly a private activity, and the state needs to stay out of it. If the parents do it, fine. If not, that may just as fine.

  10. bill h says:

    I agree Bob, when you restrict this to religious instruction, not bible as literature.

    What about ethics Bob? Do you think Schools should be involved in ethical teaching?

    If so, (and I’m not sure they should be), what is the basis for ethical instruction, if it is divorced from religious dogma?

  11. Ana M. says:

    Bill H., do you really think ethics is baseless without religion? How about atheists and agnostics – wouldn’t they be dangerous to society then?

    There are many alternatives to religion, starting with Kant’s “Always act according to that maxim whose universality as a law you can at the same time will”. And then using 5-steps universalizability test when making any decision.

  12. She didn't hump me says:

    Religion is against abortions. Like the ones I do in the backseat of my car.

  13. Harvey Lacey says:

    Evening Bill, it’s always good to see your voice. You asked, “What about ethics Bob? Do you think Schools should be involved in ethical teaching? ,/i>

    If so, (and I’m not sure they should be), what is the basis for ethical instruction, if it is divorced from religious dogma?

    I believe the schools need to teach ethics. And I want that ethical instruction to be free from religious dogma of any kind.

    The reason I believe we can have ethics without religion is ethics is all about common sense, we can’t always say that about faith based morality.

    The Golden Rule works.

  14. amanda says:

    In the same way the Bible can be taught as literature, ethical theory can be taught.

    The “golden rule” doesn’t go far enough in ethics, sorry Harvey…

    As to teaching the Bible in “original” language…should we teach math on an abacus, too? Look, it seems our public schools are having a really hard time teaching ENGLISH (both grammar and literature), so let’s not drag ancient languages (some without vowels) into this.

  15. Harvey Lacey says:

    Amanda, maybe you can enlighten me to a situation where the golden rule, do as you would like to be done, wouldn’t apply.

  16. bill h says:

    Ana, I was asking what would be the basis of ethical instruction. I’m not suggesting, and don’t believe that atheists and agnostics aren’t ethical. Clearly, many are as ethical and in some cases more so than religious folks. (Harvey Lacey showing up and commenting proves that point.)

    People often object to the imposition of religious values, but don’t object to the imposition of ethical instruction. I think that’s somewhat inconsistent.

    Harvey, you answered the question. You always do. If the world conducted conversations about matters of faith like you and I do, we’d go a long way towards mutual understanding. thanks.

    Harvey, it’s a chicken or the egg thing. I think there are a lot of ethical and moral principles that all can agree on, I think these are universal truths, they come from our innate sense of right and wrong. Where you and I disagree is that I think that’s an indicia of a creator.

  17. amanda says:

    Harvey, here’s the problem with “the golden rule” as it is presented in educational settings. It’s presented as an ideal, and not a practice. In theory, we both agree that this is “it,” a simple life rule that would, if universally adopted would make the world a much better place. Oh if it was that easy…

    The problem is, philosphers, writers, and teachers openly and actively tell students that it can’t be done…and that the application of this simple mantra in day to day life can’t be that simple.

    Long ago, I minored in philophy. At a small liberal arts college, my intro to ethics course is but one example I can draw from on how the “golden rule” is negated. From day one, we were told that “it” wasn’t do-able. My professor then spent the next 18 weeks drawing from culture on a ridiculous scale.

    Here are some examples taken from memory of a class discussion: Abortion is wrong? How do you know? Oh, the golden rule? What about suicidal people, they don’t want to live…is that an example of the golden rule? Are you helping or hurting them? Is that “helping” someone if they don’t want the help? Or are you doing it in the context of “logical positivism”…there are no selfless acts (think Altas Shrugged)…

    Then came the tangents…fetuses don’t have consciousness, the id, ego, or ability to determine self or self direction. Have the abortion, and you have exterminated a life. What about Karma? Abortion is “Bad karma.” You’ve set the course for your life, it will all be bad after that. What about sin? It’s a sin. Well, only if you accept “that” set of rules. If you don’t, then why have a golden rule over and above all others. What about rights? Don’t I have a “right” to have an abortion? And finally, this led to the examination of our laws, and the fact that we weren’t promised the golden rule in our founding documents.

    These discussions also led to ones about masochism, and the “right and wrong” of that under the golden rule. I can give you lots and lots of examples of how the golden ruledoes NOT apply. (Unfortunately…)

    What I’m saying is that it could be and should be enough, but it’s not. “We” don’t let it be enough. Collectively “we” look for justifications to get around it, question it, ignore it, etc. Going back to the point about the Bible: same thing.

    Teach the Bible in public schools as literature, sure, that can be done (without getting into the “coulds and shoulds” of the content). Teach “the golden rule” in school? I wish it could be done, and not decimated/destroyed/picked apart in the process.

  18. Harvey Lacey says:

    Morning Bill, did I ever tell you that you share what I’ve discovered as the number one common denominator in my male friends? Yup, you have it, it seems the number one common denominator my buds share is they’re first and foremost good fathers.

    Let me explain where I believe faith based morals/ethics fails. The way I see it we need to teach ethics/morals based upon common sense. Faith based falls short because, well, it’s faith based, acceptance that “substance of things hoped for” is good enough.

    Allow me to give you an example based upon a Christian perception. You don’t lie because God says we’re not supposed to do so. That works as long as you buy into the totality of Christian teaching. Where it fails is when someone doubts Christian teaching. Then they find the lie thing, well, a lie thing because it’s part and parcel of the a lie thing.

    I would rather see us teach that lying is stupid. There are many reasons lying is stupid. Probably one of the most obvious is if we’re caught lying then our friends won’t trust us because we lie. We all want to have friends. One of the things friends don’t do is lie.

    This is the golden rule in practice, we don’t lie because we don’t want to be lied to.

    One of the lessons in the lesson against lying is the message abour friendship and part of what it entails. Common sense teaching is the gift that keeps on giving.

  19. Harvey Lacey says:

    Morning Amanda, wow, abortion and suicide part and parcel of a discussion on the ethics of the Golden Rule. I guess I’m lucky I quit high school to go into the military some forty plus years ago.

    I don’t see the confusion you’ve brought up about the topic until or unless you introduce religion.

    One of the interesting things to talk about with folks is the right to die. It seems everyone wants that right for themselves but believes no one else should be able to decide that for themselves. Golden Rule violation, please note.

    I see it all the time where someone is begging to be let go and those that are close to them refuse to even discuss it. This is not about the person in pain at all. It’s all about those that love them like they’re a possession instead of a person.

    As for abortion, it’s the Christian thing that life starts with conception. Most cultures assume life starts at birth.

    So the ethics of abortion are based upon faith it seems, the old “substance of things hoped for” arguments.

    But if we were to want to make abortion a topic for an ethic/morality discussion I believe we need to have it as the result of being stupid in the first place.

    That stupid of course would be promiscuity. When we teach that promiscuity is stupid we’re teaching that with sexual intimacy comes responsibilities. The number one responsibility is to ourselves, again, Golden Rule, do unto others as you would want done to you. This teaches us that restraint isn’t about faith or the opinions of others. It’s about us and our best interests. Abortion becomes what it should be, mute point.

  20. Harvey Lacey says:

    I’d like to add one other thing to this discussion before I head out to appreciate the heat of the day. Yup, I get to work today doing what I enjoy doing, I make things, even when it’s summer time in Texas.

    The biggest problem as I see it is we’ve lost our ability to tell stories. I’m hoping the blog world will correct that because the number one enemy of a good story is the editing.

    All of us were exposed to the really important lessons in life by stories. The lessons that took hold are the ones that were told in a manner that we could relate, understand.

    What happens when a editor gets ahold of the story is they are more concerned about process than product. The process modifies the product to where its ineffective even though its correct. It becomes so right it’s wrong.

    For the Christians I suggest they read the New Testament concentrating on the words of Jesus. The first thing you will probably pick up is He was first and foremost a great story teller. He understood that stories work. The second and most obvious thing is how editing can mess up anything.

  21. amanda says:

    Harvey, well put, as always…

    The reality is we can’t have discussions about religion, ethics, morality, or “stupid” without “filters.” What those are and who determines those is important.

    When you mentioned above about teaching kids that lying is stupid, (I agree), but someone will say, “Why is it stupid?” We will answer because of: and list a litany of “whys” and various if/then reasons. And the door is open, the game is on. Someone will say, “Is that “really” stupid? What if I lie to get life’s basic necessaties? What if I lie to help someone else? What if I lie to prevent hurting someone else? Isn’t that okay?

    It goes to the heart of WHAT are the ABSOLUTES. What are the UNIVERSAL BIG CONCEPTS that define civilization? I believe we have lost that (along with the golden rule) to a large degree. I hear it all the time: “Oh, this is my truth. My reality.” No, there is one truth. One reality. It doesn’t change person to person. There may be perspectives on either, but they don’t vary. Plato defined this on his Divided Line.

    It’s a nightmare to navigate this will a 12 year old, right now, that much I can tell you for sure.

  22. Harvey Lacey says:

    Twelve year old, eh? Lucky you. It could be much worse, they could be sixteen……

    I like the concept of no absolutes. My reasoning is without the absolute we have to reason.

    I have a lot of fun talking to kids, especially teenagers. That’s because they have the questions and you’re forced to either retreat or engage. Retreating, especially to absolutes is for sissies.

    One of the moment moments of my life involved a conversation with a fifteen year old girl. It was at our kitchen table. It was wonderful. Her father was sitting there with us and never said a word. My wife was behind us doing supper’s dishes as quietly as she could all ears.

    The next day bud called to tell his daughter asked him on the way home, “how did Harvey become so smart?”

    All I did was explain things using folks we both knew as examples of good and bad behavior. It wasn’t a one sided conversation and I didn’t preach. We talked and listened. We didn’t have absolutes. We reasoned. She got to see my positions through the lense of her perceptions. I also understood and appreciated her world better.

    Everyone has examples in their own lives of the consequences of good and bad behaviors. Conversing about them and those situations are our best tools for educating, passing onn lessons learned, the next generations.

    Since I don’t believe in an hereafter for us after here I figured out we’re here to make the world better for those who follow. I said, “better”, not “easier”. The way we do that is we pass on lessons learned.

    The glitch in that is we have a responsibility to communicate with those we want inform. Saying the words doesn’t count if the words aren’t heard. We are responsible for communicating. It’s not their responsibility to understand even though it would less fun and much easier if they were.

  23. Harvey Lacey says:

    I apologize for all the typos in my last post. My heart is wanting to vent while my butt is demanding to get behind the wheel, pressure……………

  24. amanda says:

    It’s easy, Harvey. Oh, wait, you said “reason.” What’s that?

    Now we’re going to teach kids “reason,” too? Is that before or after the TAAS, TASK, Stanford, or the like?

    We’ve lost all sense of reason.

    (If we could put aside any disagreement or moral questions on genetics, and just clone Harvey’s reason, and give it like a vaccination…the golden rule is back in business…) I like Harvey’s goal, I just don’t think we can/will give it a try.

  25. No one is picking up on Bob’s first post regarding the “original” bible, presumably the one that God dictated simultaneously to those first, inerrant Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek scribes? “And every word true.” To which I add, “!”

    My guess is, if not translations, then those “original” bibles at least had some light editing going on. From my experience, those in the publishing business just can’t help themselves. Target market and all that. And sometimes the edited version is even an improvement on the original.

  26. Harvey Lacey says:

    Light editing MC? I would hate to see your concept of heavy editing.

    Face it, the original message on ethics was situational, always is, nature of the beast and all that.

    Editors have made it site, gender, and racial specific. They’ve created ethics for them and not us.

  27. Harvey Lacey says:

    (If we could put aside any disagreement or moral questions on genetics, and just clone Harvey’s reason, and give it like a vaccination…the golden rule is back in business…) I like Harvey’s goal, I just don’t think we can/will give it a try. –Amanda

    It isn’t that hard, trust me. That’s because I don’t see the big picture as being too big and the details too small.

    Allow me to explain. One of my tools that I use daily involves focus. When the details become too frustrating or even boring I change my focus to being on the big picture. And when the big picture becomes too overwhelming I focus on the details. I am able to stay focused. But it’s on what works for the moment.

    This is especially true with our relationships with others. When we look at society in its entirety there’s no hope it seems for us. But when we look at how much we’re affected by the simplest of conversation we can appreciate the power of our words and attitude.

    I’m too old and not properly equipped to change the world. But I might make a difference in someone’s life that has what it takes to change the world. Since I’m not smart enough to discern exactly what kind of person that might be I try to pass on good things to everyone.

    While I was working this afternoon my soon to be seventeen granddaughter came out for some conversation. What was totally kewel was we were talking about the responsibility of the person with the knowledge to package the knowledge properly to communicate it to others.

    I know this goes against the grain in our conservative North Texas culture. The we-got-ours-so-go-get-your-own mindset is alive and well here abouts.

    She explained how a kid in her class was having serious trouble in science. He wasn’t getting it and the teacher had taken the position that she’d presented it properly so his failing couldn’t be laid at her feet.

    Granddaughter explained how she broke it down for the kid and he still didn’t get it. So she broke it down further, he still didn’t get it. She kept on making it simpler and simpler. Finally he got it. What was amazing was once he got it then the rest was easy for him. Instead of flunking his junior year the boy passed and got to go on and be a senior.

    As we talked about the high we get when we help someone understand something my mind was going forward to how wonderful it would be if a granddaughter at sixteen was able to know just about everything I know at sixty and then rock on. She could make the difference I never could.

    So changing the world isn’t plausible for me. But helping her make a difference is.

  28. Harvey Lacey says:

    We can never over estimate the power of casual conversation. I’ll use MC as an example.

    One of his buds who is closer to being fifty than he is to being thirty goes to the spa to get his back waxed.

    You see back in the day MC’s bud was with papa when papa was checking on business in east Texas. At one of the locations papa always visited while out doing business MC’s bud was left out in the lobby with a couple of the young ladies while papa did inventory or something not in the lobby.

    The working girls ignored MC’s bud. But something one of them said in passing conversation marked him for life. Her statement was about how unattractive back hair was on old men.

  29. amanda says:

    Harvey, since we’re in story telling mode…

    You and I have adopted very similar methods.

    For me, I look at the world: too big, too many problems, and so much gone wrong. War, terrorism, hate… I can’t fix it. I can however, take one person into our lives at a time, and maybe, just maybe leave it a better place.

    We decided to host exchange students. This means for anywhere from a few months to almost a whole year, teenagers from all over can come live with us.

    Their impressions of our country, and culture are amazing. So far, we’ve had a Dutch girl, and a Korean girl living in China… Next up to bat is the German. After that, maybe a Muslim. We’ll see.

    I don’t try to teach them or tell them anything. I just give them a room, and a dip of the toe in the American dream and a ride to and from school. The rest is up to them. I’ve gained more than I’ve given in surprising ways. Strip away the politics and religion, and you learn that we really are all the same.

  30. Harvey Lacey says:

    Strip away the politics and religion, and you learn that we really are all the same.
    –Amanda

    Bite your tongue. Everyone knows they are different from us. And they hate us because we’re different from them.

  31. SLR says:

    Would it be fair to say that Harvey and Amanda have beat this thing to death?

  32. the cynic says:

    the key point everyone seems to have missed is that no one is suggesting the Bible as Lit course would be mandatory. It is being suggested as an ELECTIVE course. I wouldn’t want anyone forcing my child to sit thru a foreign language course either, but if he/she wants to learn French/Spanish/Latin etc then I don’t have a problem with it being offered as an ELECTIVE. As to religious instruction, would prefer the govt (and all ISDs) stick to the 3 Rs…or teach the TAKS. In either case, I pity the child who has to depend solely on corporate education (public or private) for their sustenance.

  33. Madeline says:

    Might I suggest reading Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis. If you do not know the thesis of the book, I suggest you Google it.

  34. Jack E. Jett says:

    I don’t think Harvey and Amanda have beat anything to death. Seems like a cool, calm,
    and rational debate. Everyone knows that Harvey Lacey is a brilliant debater and now I’m learning that Amanda is too.

  35. amanda says:

    Madeline…thanks for the reminder, Mere Christianity is a great book. Jack, you are my hero today, you get it.

    SLR, sorry to bring your snark quotient down…but the importance and weight of the subject, in my opinion required some deeper discourse. Besides, it was the weekend, nothing else going on, on the blog.

  36. Madeline says:

    Amanda- it is one of my favorite books and I think it has such great insight on the topics you bring up! Have a great day!

  37. Wick Allison says:

    Marty Corland (suprise!) makes a good point about “original” editions. None exist. In fact, there is a scholarly cottage industry in tracking scribal errors and misinterpretations from one ancient text to the other. But that’s not the point. The point is, the KJV is literature in itself. It informed generations of English writers, and its references are peppered throughout our greatest works. We should teach it not for its religious content but as a cultural and literary foundation.

  38. billh says:

    I second the recommendation of CS Lewis, I’d add to that Chesterton’s Orthodoxy.

    Harvey, I meant to say thanks for the comment on being a good father. Takes one to know one, as they say.

    Amanda, having a 12 year old and navigating honesty/lying is quite a challenge. I credit my dear wife with being a great example of always being honest with our kids, even when it was not convenient. I think in the long run we’ll be glad we did that. I do agree with you Amanda, that that lack of absolutes creates a much trickier terrain for parents.

    Always a pleasure to read you Harvey Lacey, and you too Amanda.

  39. amanda says:

    Well, Bill, Harvey, Madeline, Wick, Jack and even you “Marty”…I’m going ask ya’ll to pray. I dropped my 12 year old off at DFW this morning. She’s South Philly bound for a faith based week-long community service project. Such good-doing is not from me (or my husband), this is all her. At 12 she knows she can’t fix the world…last Saturday, very casually she explained to me that “we” (being the world) are broken, and she is going to fix it one person at a time.

    If you read between the lines of Harvey’s adoption story,and his little snapshots shared here on the blog…I’ll be honest, I didn’t truly get it until my daughter said that. No one can break your heart, or humble you like a kid.

    I had a mix of pride and fear watching her at the security check point. It sort of punctuated this weekend’s discussion.

  40. Harvey Lacey says:

    That’s wonderful Amanda, absolutely wonderful that your daughter is getting to learn the value of becoming part of something much bigger than herself. I’m sure it wasn’t an accident that she is so inclined at such an early age.

  41. Jack E. Jett says:

    I hope it is okay that I chant for her in place of a prayer.

  42. billh says:

    You got the prayers Amanda. I think people seriously underestimate children’s resolve and conviction. My 17 year old has been a vegetarian since he was 9, the only one in the family. We’d grill our beef and he’d have soy. He used his allowance money to join Greenpeace, again, the only member of the family. Good for you in supporting your daughter’s social conscience. Your cyber friends are rooting for her!

    One person at at time, good for her!

  43. amanda says:

    Jack, chant away, she’s your BIGGEST fan…

    Bill, I so know what you are talking about. I encourage the classes (original post), kids can be inspired from all kinds of things.

  44. Harvey Lacey says:

    Wow. What a day. Great conversations with granddaughters, good conversation here, and then when I got in tonight my wife asked me to watch Freedom Writers with Hilary Swank on Showtime.

    I recommend it. All it takes is a little believin’ to make a difference.

  45. Harvey Lacey says:

    Amanda, I’ve got a theory on the parent thing, heck, I’ve got a lot of theories on the parent thing.

    This one goes something like this. When a child comes into this world they bring with it the feel good for the parent. That feel good is a down payment for future parenting.

    As time goes by the parent gets more payments against future parenting. Your thing right now with your daughter is a good example of that.

    The theory is that everytime your child makes your heart swell it’s another payment for future parenting.

    Every now and then every parent faces moments when they get to earn that pay. Of course a lot of parents expect overtime or a bonus instead of appreciating the system of getting advance payments occasionally.

    It’s a great system. It’s even better when you understand how it works.

  46. Harvey Lacey says:

    The point is, the KJV is literature in itself. It informed generations of English writers, and its references are peppered throughout our greatest works. We should teach it not for its religious content but as a cultural and literary foundation.–Wick

    So you’re saying that if it wasn’t about faith then it would be a literature classic?

    First thing Wick is the Holy Bible KJV was the only book available back then to most families so it was the book a lot of writers learned to read. It wasn’t just the only source for information about the soul, it was the sole source for information about anything.

    That’s why it affected so many, not because it was great literature. As for western thought, have you noticed that each succeeding generation seems to feel the need to get farther and farther from the Bible, especially the KJV.

    This distancing didn’t happen because each succeeding generation was more immoral. If you look at morality as something beyond other people’s sex life every generation is more moral, the real western tradition.

    The kids today have less bigotry based upon race and gender. They’re more open to sexual diversity. They’re more aware of the humanity of others.

    When you look at when the KHV was THE guidebook in America we were morally corrupt to the core. That’s if you believe racism, gender bias, and bigotry based upon sexual orientation reflects being morally corrupt.

  47. Harvey Lacey says:

    I see a court dismissed the half million dollar fine against CBS for the wardrobe malfunction of Janet Jackson during the half time show at the Super Bowl.

    This debacle is a great example of the kind of western thought so admired by Wick.

    Western thought inspired by the KJV of the Bible has it that the exposed breast of a woman for a fraction of a second during prime time is immoral.

    The same political party that made so much hay about this incident defining immorality in America is the same one that lied repeatedly and often on Sundays on the talk/news shows. That didn’t define immorality.

    The same administration that fined the television network $500,000.00 for not having something in place to prevent America’s children being exposed to a bare breast saw nothing wrong with okaying torture of political prisoners and then lying about it. But that’s not immoral just like hiding prisoners in foreign countries so they won’t have access to American justice is not immoral.

    We could go back to a President that could quote scripture for scripture with Wick and yet believed lying to the American people and Congress wasn’t immoral. You can choose Clinton if you’re a republican, Nixon if you aren’t.

  48. billh says:

    Now, hold on a second there Harvey. I’m not sure if I’m tracking your point. I think Western Civilization has lots of flaws, but I think the human rights record of the Bush Administration is more evidence of how they have pulled up short in Western Civ. The Geneva Convention is a product of Western Civilization. Torture is sadly commonplace, practiced widely by North Koreans, North Vietnamese, Chinese, and the Japanese in WWII. It should shame us that our present actions put us in that company.

    As far as every generation being more moral, I don’t really buy that. I’m not saying they are less moral either. Blatant racism is less tolerated, but there’s plenty of random violence to go around.

    I’ll grant you one point, the fact that people claim to follow the Bible is sadly no indicia that they are going to live better kinder lives than their neighbors, who do not. You certainly prove that point my friend.