The Texas legislature has approved a bill that will make courses on the Bible an optional elective. What this apparently means is that if a school thinks there’s a market for it, they can offer it, but they’re not required to offer it as a default such as the case with other subjects languages and arts. The idea behind this is that the Bible has fallen by the wayside and people should be educated about it because of its alleged importance.
This is kind of odd when you consider that approximately 80 percent of Texans self identify as Christian. If it’s so danged important, wouldn’t you think that the Christians – who profess to believe what the Bible teaches – would’ve already read it by now? Thus it seems to me that this is about more than familiarizing anyone with an important literary work.
Imagine for a moment that we had millions of Americans running around insisting that Don Quixote is a very important book so important in fact that it needed it’s own publicly funded course but when asked – they consistently failed to point to the origins of the phrase “tilting at windmills”. Would this not strike us as at least weird?
Yet this is exactly what’s happening with the Bible. Â Millions of Americans (approximately 75 to 80 percent of the population) claim that the Bible is is importantÂ but do not know it enough to recognize allusions to it in other works nor in social situations.
Have “we” lost our “cultural inheritance” or have we decided that the Bible ain’t that great of a work and that we don’t need to know about the particularly brutal death of a apocalyptic Jewish doom sayer in order to ‘get’ A Tale of Two Cities? And isn’t it interesting that as soon as the believers lost their self-given right to make us read the Bible we quit reading it?
It seems to me that if the Bible was an important work, worthy of ones time and effort to learn – we wouldn’t need people to pass laws concerning it’s dissemination in the public mind. After all, there’s no law saying you have to read Harry Potter and how popular is that series again?