The Supreme Court refused yesterday to hear a case brought by a student Bible study group against their school district, which refused to charter them as a school club.

The school refused to let the group be chartered as a school club. They cited the group’s name, the fact that students would have to pledge to Jesus Christ to vote in the club and that allowing the club in would bring religion into the school. The club’s would-be founders then sued the Kent School District, claiming discrimination.

Couldn’t this have been more easily resolved? Like, say, drop the pledge to Jesus requirement? Open up the study to anyone interested in the Bible?

After all, it should be pretty obvious that, for better or worse, the Bible is an important literary work in the history of Western Civilization. A lot of claims have been made based on its contents that people have used to justify slavery and its abolition; war and peace; Jim Crow and Civil Rights; Creationism and The Big Bang; monarchy and democracy; burning heretics at the stake and religious tolerance; overthrowing the State and imposing Absolute Rule; etc, etc, etc.

I seriously doubt such discussion is what this Bible study group had in mind. (The price of religious fealty for admission gives a clue.) The difficulty we have in even allowing space for such discussions in public education β€” opposition coming from religious zealots and from church-and-state separators alike (though not at all alike, I should add; the latter just want to keep religious indoctrination at bay) β€” speaks volumes about the low level of religious maturity extent in our culture. Just too politically loaded.

Speaking of using the Bible to justify dumb shit, Barry posts an interesting excerpt on the various pro-slavery arguments that Americans used prior to the Civil War. Instructive stuff.

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