Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Who Will Save Your Soul?

As reported all over our local news, the city of Paradise (just outside Chico) has assembled and voted for a fourth time on a proposed Bible History and Literature class for their high school. Righteously, it was turned down again.

Ignore for a minute the conundrum and headache such a class would create if you wanted to be equal: there'd have to be classes on the Quran, the Tibetan Book of the Dead, the Book of Moron, the Tao Te Ching, etc. (i.e. every recognized religion's religious texts).

Ignore the always scary and ever-present increase in the Religious Right gaining footholds in our politics (As an aside, the those of you who used to play my online nerdgames, remember in 1999 my fictional US had the Mormons gain control of the White House starting in 2008; how much scarier and deja vu is it now that Mitt Romney's thrown his Moron hat into the ring--I'm sorry Drew, but if he must stay around, I'd rather he be caged into Massachusetyland).

Ignore the obvious Constitutional issue such a class would raise (especially since ignore #2 could also lead to overturning that Amendment or portion thereof, after Roe goes first, of course). Everyone else has.

As a parent, and occasional educator, what I want you to not ignore is this: as school budget "crises" (how long can it be a crisis if it's been that way for decades now?) continue to diminish the number of music classes, art classes, health education, sports etc. from our public schools, too many of us are devoting time and money to try and promote religion into our schools, or to fight it (which they should, for ignore #3). More and more, we (and I'm not one of we) find ourselves replacing any and all aspects of culture with Christian doctrine. My kids each get one hour of art (which includes music) per week. If we can't support the arts, health or sports in our schools, where are we supposed to find the funds to support religion?