- What you do not know can and will be used against you. How can we expect our students to deal with the nonsense of creationism, for instance, if they do not have a basic understanding of the argument? A sixth grader with average to above average intelligence could read the Genesis stories and see that they are mythological, unless of course they never read the Genesis stories. The Bible is used as a weapon against gays. "The Bible says" we are told. Read the darn thing. Hardly a word is mentioned about gays in the Bible.
- It is the classic of Western civilization. As the article points out, the Bible is the bestselling book year after year. Shakespeare makes 1300 references to the Bible. It is a great work of literature and you cannot get the references of other literature without it. It speaks about great moral questions. It is a saga of a people. It has shaped our ethics, government and ideals. To not read it because we are afraid of the fundamentalists is to miss out on some great stories! We increase our stupidity by ignoring it.
- The best way to disarm the mystique surrounding the Bible is to read it. The Bible, like any other work, is not "owned" by the religious. It is a text for humanity in general. I took a Bible as Literature course and a History of the New Testament course in secular state universities. I also majored in English literature. These courses removed the film of dogma from the Bible. In a public education setting, it would not be taught as the "Word of God" but as a classic of literature. It would be taught through the lens of historical/critical thinking. We live in a time in which Americans by and large revere the Bible but do not read it. This sets us up for interpreters of the Bible (right-wing theocrats for the most part) to control its interpretation. But when people actually read it, they realize that it is impossible to take it as the right-wingers want people to take it.
I am curious as to your thoughts about this. I found the Time magazine article to make some persuasive points. Now, you liberals on school boards, surprise your comrades by introducing the Bible as an elective in your high school!