Should the Bible Be Taught in Public Schools?—Update
The World Magazine Blog has a post today by Kristin Chapman linking to a May 12 editorial from the Chicago Tribune that argues that schools are failing today's youth by not teaching the Bible as literature. (Chapman's post has attracted a fair number of comments from the blog's readers, as well.)
The Tribune editorial states: . . .
It's every person's decision whether to believe or practice what is taught in the Bible. But no one can deny its influence. Trying to understand American literature and history without some knowledge of the Bible is like trying to make sense of the ocean despite a complete ignorance of fish.
The editorial also echoes what Alexander Samuels wrote Saturday about the irrational fear teachers have in teaching the Bible as literature:
. . . many high schools don't offer courses or even units of courses about the Bible. Some teachers and administrators fear that any such instruction is constitutionally forbidden or that it would somehow be inappropriate. In fact, the Supreme Court has made it clear that public schools are free to teach about the Bible just as they would any other work of literature or history. The U.S. Education Department has issued guidelines stressing that religion is an appropriate subject for study.