Native American DNA
[Post-Mormon Mag.]
Knoxville Dinner Social
[East Tennessee Po...]
FACEBOOK INFO
[Sanpete County Po...]
October '14 Meetup
[Denver Post-Mormo...]
September '14 Meetup
[Denver Post-Mormo...]
Utah County CALM meetup for November
BlackSheep2
FACEBOOK INFO
Crissy
FACEBOOK INFO
Barn
October 5th PostMormon Lecture Series 2014
Starfleet
October 5th PostMormon Lecture Series 2014
alvie
Why I am a Better Mother
by aworkinprogress
SF Bay Area Monthly Gathering SUNDAY (5/4)
exmoinaz
SF Bay Area Monthly Gathering SUNDAY (5/4)
owned
The Mormon Mask
by Born Free
Las Vegas Meetup--Jazz in the Park Saturday May 10 6:30PM
onendagus
Resignation Letter to My Family
ShadowSage
Resignation Letter to My Family
ShadowSage
Guru Busters
by Flora4
Guru Busters
by Flora4
Resignation Letter to My Family
Hbush1987
General Non-Conference: Palmetto State Session
Swearing Elder
Sunday Morning Hangout at Container Park March 30th
onendagus
Second Wednesdays
Houston
General Non-Conference: Palmetto State Session
Swearing Elder
General Non-Conference: Palmetto State Session
dovahkiyn
February Meetup Sunday the 16th 2:00pm Grand Cafe at Sunset Station
onendagus
Visitors welcome !
priorvej12
Las Vegas meetup Sun Jan 12th 1pm at Milos in Boulder City
onendagus
January 5th- Southern Utah PostMormon Lecture Series
gypsyrose
Book of Mormon Tories
by Tom Donofrio
  It gets better! Resources to help with coping
  House Rules for posting on this website
  Why is there sometimes anger here?
  Glossary of Post-Mormon Terms
  Frequently Asked Questions
 
   
1 of 2
1
Dawkins Wants the Bible in State Schools
 
Avatar
Long Timer
RankRankRankRankRank
Joined  2007-09-16

This is not a neiner neiner post. Honest!  But I am glad to have such prestigious and powerful support for my position that the Bible is part of basic education in English. I won't say "I told you so!" But -- I told you so!

 

'Richard Dawkins, the well-known British atheist, wrote in the Guardian that he supports education secretary Michael Grove's plan to send free King James Bibles to every school.

"In fact, he said he would have even donated to the cause insisting that: "A native speaker of English who has never read a word of the King James Bible is verging on the barbarian.""

 

 Dawkins maintains this supports atheism adding:

 

""People who do not know the Bible well have been gulled into thinking it is a good guide to morality," Dawkins writes. "The surest way to disabuse yourself of this pernicious falsehood is to read the Bible itself."

""Whatever else the Bible might be – and it really is a great work of literature," Dawkins writes in The Observer blog, "it is not a moral book and young people need to learn that important fact because they are very frequently told the opposite.""

 

That has always been my position. Great work of literature full of a queasy mix of good and truly awful moral advice.

 

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/24/atheist-supports-putting-bibles-in-public-schools_n_1542318.html?ref=religion

 

 

 Signature 

A man who does not think for himself does not think at all.Oscar Wilde

 
Avatar
Administrator
RankRankRankRankRank
Joined  2007-05-08

Dawkins has said this for some years now.  I think he fully appreciates the role of the Bible in western culture.
 Signature 

Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away.


Phillip K. Dick

 
Avatar
Long Timer
RankRankRankRankRank
Joined  2007-09-16

Brad (ZeeZrom):
Dawkins has said this for some years now.  I think he fully appreciates the role of the Bible in western culture.

Well thank goodness SOMEONE does!

 

I was feeling like the lone prophet calling out in the wilderness!

 

 Signature 

A man who does not think for himself does not think at all.Oscar Wilde

 
Avatar
Long Timer
RankRankRankRankRank
Joined  2008-08-12

He suggested it so the "youth" would march with placards and have it banned from libraries...or some such....as it contained abuse of women, advocacy of slavery, stoning and murder for the least infraction. More power to 'em.
 Signature 

I’ve begun worshiping the sun for a number of reasons. First of all, unlike some other gods I could mention, I can see the sun. It’s there for me every day. And the things it brings me are quite apparent all the time: heat, light, food, a lovely day. There’s no mystery, no one asks for money, I don’t have to dress up, and there’s no boring pageantry. And interestingly enough, I have found that the prayers I offer to the sun and the prayers I formerly offered to God are all answered at about the same 50-percent rate.” George Carlin

 
Avatar
Long Timer
RankRankRankRankRank
Joined  2007-09-16

Tessa:
He suggested it so the "youth" would march with placards and have it banned from libraries...or some such....as it contained abuse of women, advocacy of slavery, stoning and murder for the least infraction. More power to 'em.

 

Not even close. I don't think you understand Dawkins' position.

 Signature 

A man who does not think for himself does not think at all.Oscar Wilde

 
Avatar
Long Timer
RankRankRankRankRank
Joined  2008-08-12

People who do not know the Bible well have been gulled into thinking it is a good guide to morality,"
So how would you interpret that then? It's in no way a good guide to any morals whatsoever...other then perhaps the "beatitudes."
 Signature 

I’ve begun worshiping the sun for a number of reasons. First of all, unlike some other gods I could mention, I can see the sun. It’s there for me every day. And the things it brings me are quite apparent all the time: heat, light, food, a lovely day. There’s no mystery, no one asks for money, I don’t have to dress up, and there’s no boring pageantry. And interestingly enough, I have found that the prayers I offer to the sun and the prayers I formerly offered to God are all answered at about the same 50-percent rate.” George Carlin

 
Avatar
Long Timer
RankRankRankRankRank
Joined  2007-09-16

Tessa:

 

 

People who do not know the Bible well have been gulled into thinking it is a good guide to morality,"

 

 

So how would you interpret that then? It's in no way a good guide to any morals whatsoever...other then perhaps the "beatitudes."

 

I thought Dawkins put it pretty clearly. He said the Bible is great literature and not to have read it puts you in the class of "verging on a barbarian." Seems clear enough to me.

 

He said he wants people to read it also so they will understand that while great literature, it is not a reliable guide to morality. Marching in the streets? Banning it? Cumon. He said he pay out of his own pocket so that Bibles would be available in the schools. There is nothing there to deliberately and willfully misunderstand. He said he would pay out of his own pocket to make it available. People who want something banned don't do that.

 

Are you perhaps projecting your own position on to Dawkins? That poor guy. I wonder if in a few years he might find himself more in sympathy with Jesus than he ever imagined possible as his followers begin to make up positions and opinions for him he doesn't hold. Maybe he will even think -- this is what happened to Jesus! And he'll be right.

 

And while you are banning books (gee -- isn't that the sort of thing we hate churches for doing?), be sure to ban Huckleberry Finn (slavery, stereotypes, the 'n' word), The Scarlet Letter (adultery), To Kill a Mockingbird, A Wrinkle in Time.

 

Here's a good list to start with.

 

http://www.thebookescape.com/BannedWithReasons.html

 

After all -- who needs religions to tell us what we should and shouldn't read, how we should and shouldn't take what we read, and what we should and shouldn't find in our reading? We have the atheists for that now.

 

They have kicked off their regime by telling us what we can and can't find in the Bible. It is as good as start to oppression as any.

 Signature 

A man who does not think for himself does not think at all.Oscar Wilde

 
Avatar
Long Timer
RankRankRankRankRank
Joined  2010-02-09

Tessa:

 

 

People who do not know the Bible well have been gulled into thinking it is a good guide to morality,"

 

 

So how would you interpret that then? It's in no way a good guide to any morals whatsoever...other then perhaps the "beatitudes."

 

 And he's saying that it's not moral, but until you get people to read it as a book, just a book, without all the omissions and skipping around and hand-raised-to-heaven stuff that they get at church, people aren't going to see it as an interesting read with some interesting and lyrical bits and nothing (or not much more). You only pulled out part of his quote:

""People who do not know the Bible well have been gulled into thinking it is a good guide to morality," Dawkins writes. "The surest way to disabuse yourself of this pernicious falsehood is to read the Bible itself."

""Whatever else the Bible might be – and it really is a great work of literature," Dawkins writes in The Observer blog, "it is not a moral book and young people need to learn that important fact because they are very frequently told the opposite.""

 The green is the important bit -- it's not moral, shouldn't be touted as such, and reading and discussing it in a non-religious setting is a good way to get people to see this. Ignoring something, just because - especially because -- it doesn't fit in your belief set, doesn't solve anything. It's still there and others are putting an extreme emphasis on it in a way that may come back to bite you if you don't work on educating people. And the more people who are familiar with the WHOLE thing, not just the cherry-picked bits that certain groups use to push their agendas, the less likely it is that the extremists will be able to get others to follow them.

 

My 17-yo son is more familiar with the bible than a lot of his self-declared religious friends. Not because he thinks it's a wonderful guide to living, but because he has read the whole thing, discussed it with people, compared it to other books and understands that it's not a moral guide at all. He has basically educated himself right out of religion. (I'm so proud of him )

 

And as Dawkins stated, there are so many sayings and expressions that come directly from the KJV of the bible, that not to teach it as literature would definitely be remiss, even if it's never discussed in religious terms in the school. I equate with other literary works such as those by Shakespeare, John Donne, Voltaire, Jonathan Swift, etc. While our world and theirs may have some major differences, there is still value in reading their works.

 Signature 

“Curiosity killed the cat, but where human beings are concerned, the only thing a healthy curiosity can kill is ignorance”
~Harry Lorayne

“The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing. One cannot help but be in awe when he contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvelous structure of reality. It is enough if one tries merely to comprehend a little of this mystery every day. Never lose a holy curiosity.”
~Albert Einstein

 
Avatar
Long Timer
RankRankRankRankRank
Joined  2007-09-16

RobinM:

 

And as Dawkins stated, there are so many sayings and expressions that come directly from the KJV of the bible, that not to teach it as literature would definitely be remiss, even if it's never discussed in religious terms in the school. I equate with other literary works such as those by Shakespeare, John Donne, Voltaire, Jonathan Swift, etc. While our world and theirs may have some major differences, there is still value in reading their works.

Bingo.

 

Also the Odyssey, folk and fairytales (I love 'em!), and poetry and songs from around the world. All that stuff. So rich. Do birds peck out the eyes of the wicked stepsisters? Sure. Kids love that. Are the wicked stepsisters evil stereotypes of blended families? Yes, yes they are. Is all that stuff still worth reading and talking about? Is it fun to turn all that on its head and make the wicked stepsister the hero of the story?

 

Yes yes yes. Endlessly. To all of the above.

 Signature 

A man who does not think for himself does not think at all.Oscar Wilde

 
Avatar
Administrator
RankRankRankRankRank
Joined  2004-07-20

I don't agree with Dawkins on this because it violates the principle of separation of church and state.  Also, if the Bible is required or allowed as part of the school curiculum then every other religion will insist that their religious books be treated equally -- the Koran, the Book of Mormon, the Jehovah's Witness Bible, the writings of Ellen G. White, and that's just the beginning. It seems to me that Dawkins has had a lapse of objectivity and rationality in this case. 

 

 

 Signature 

Life has no meaning. Each of us has meaning and we bring it to life. It is a waste to be asking the question when you are the answer.
- Joseph Campbell

 
Avatar
Long Timer
RankRankRankRankRank
Joined  2010-02-09

My understanding of the church/state separation issue and bibles in school is: as long as it's not being taught as the one and only religious book and everyone has to believe it, it can be allowed, particularly as part of a literature curriculum. I believe there are places that already do this. And the Supreme Court and the ACLU have addressed this as well:

http://www.aclu.org/religion-belief/joint-statement-current-law-religion-public-schools

http://www.firstamendmentcenter.org/faq/frequently-asked-questions-religious-liberty

http://www.pewforum.org/uploadedfiles/Topics/Issues/Church-State_Law/religion-public-schools.pdf

 

 

As far as other religions wanting equal representation -- ok, as long as it's truly being advocated for literature purposes and not a furthering of a religious agenda. 

 

just my $.02

 Signature 

“Curiosity killed the cat, but where human beings are concerned, the only thing a healthy curiosity can kill is ignorance”
~Harry Lorayne

“The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing. One cannot help but be in awe when he contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvelous structure of reality. It is enough if one tries merely to comprehend a little of this mystery every day. Never lose a holy curiosity.”
~Albert Einstein

 
Avatar
Long Timer
RankRankRankRankRank
Joined  2007-09-16

Jeff Ricks:

I don't agree with Dawkins on this because it violates the principle of separation of church and state. Also, if the Bible is required or allowed as part of the school curiculum then every other religion will insist that their religious books be treated equally -- the Koran, the Book of Mormon, the Jehovah's Witness Bible, the writings of Ellen G. White,and that's just the beginning. It seems to me that Dawkins has had a lapse of objectivity and rationality in this case. 

 

 

First highlight:

To me, that is like saying it violates the separation of church and state to teach about the role of Puritans in settling the Massachusetts colony or the role of Henry VIII's marital dysfunction in the separation of the Anglican Church from the Catholic Church. In a word, no. No one is talking about teaching the Bible as "true" or endorsed by the state as superior. One is talking about teaching it as a major source of the ideas of Western Civilization. It is. It will continue to be whether you ban if from the schools or no. If you banned Shakespeare for some reason (and religions are always trying to do that), that body of work will continue to be a fountain of ideas and language that inform our world -- just like the Bible. We will just be ignorant of that -- whatever is to be gained by ignorance. I think a more thoughtful response is to wonder why you are acting like religions.

 

Second highlight:

If any of those books had contributed as much to our culture as the Bible, they should justly be taught too. They didn't. To the extent they did (and in some cases it is minuscule), it is okay to teach them in the schools. I think schools should include Dine myths and excerpts of the Koran. What is wrong with that?

 

Also, it depends on the class. If the class is Islamic Culture, should you include the Koran? You're darned tootin' you should. If the class is called "Is Mormonism the Great American Religion?" or "The Mormon Mindset" should you include BoM? What sort of professor wouldn't? Someone about to be fired, I would guess. All religions are created equal in the eyes of the state -- as religions -- but as historical influences, not so much. These are not the same thing.

 

You are making the assumption that the Bible is only about religion. It isn't. It is literature and part of our history. To exclude it is to open the door to excluding the role (good and bad) of religions in history and in culture -- a new Dark Ages in the making. You are saying that to teach about the Spanish Inquisition is somehow to be construed as a state endorsement of Catholicism or to teach about the Salem witch hunts is an endorsement of Puritanism. How so?

 

The Bible as Literature was a popular class at Berkeley High when I was there, and there isn't a more diverse and secular student body in the U.S., I would guess. It was often taught by Jewish faculty, who don't really endorse the New Testament. All that is beside the point. You have no idea the good those classes do. One of the most obvious topics for discussion is the weird and twisted morality of a God who periodically (and seemingly at random) wipes out the "children" He has created. There is nothing but good to come out of getting that out in the open and talking about it. The students most likely to suffer in Bible as Literature classes are believers from denominations that take that book literally. They are in for a wild ride.

 Signature 

A man who does not think for himself does not think at all.Oscar Wilde

 
Long Timer
RankRankRankRankRank
Joined  2012-01-07

Jeff Ricks:

I don't agree with Dawkins on this because it violates the principle of separation of church and state.  Also, if the Bible is required or allowed as part of the school curiculum then every other religion will insist that their religious books be treated equally -- the Koran, the Book of Mormon, the Jehovah's Witness Bible, the writings of Ellen G. White, and that's just the beginning. It seems to me that Dawkins has had a lapse of objectivity and rationality in this case. 

 

 

 

There is no separation of church and state in England.  There is literally a state church.  I think many of teh books you mention can and should be studied as literature in schools.  Obviously we can't study every religious book out there but if it is a book that a large number of people believe in and has had a huge influence then it is worth studying.  It is interesting to learn what people believe and why and to see the common traits between them.  I think this would be a very useful area of study and would really get young people thinking.
 
Avatar
Administrator
RankRankRankRankRank
Joined  2004-07-20

RobinM:

My understanding of the church/state separation issue and bibles in school is: as long as it's not being taught as the one and only religious book and everyone has to believe it, it can be allowed, particularly as part of a literature curriculum. I believe there are places that already do this. And the Supreme Court and the ACLU have addressed this as well:

http://www.aclu.org/religion-belief/joint-statement-current-law-religion-public-schools

http://www.firstamendmentcenter.org/faq/frequently-asked-questions-religious-liberty

http://www.pewforum.org/uploadedfiles/Topics/Issues/Church-State_Law/religion-public-schools.pdf

 

 

As far as other religions wanting equal representation -- ok, as long as it's truly being advocated for literature purposes and not a furthering of a religious agenda. 

 

just my $.02

 

 And that's the point at which the can of worms is open.  How in the world do we determine what's okay and what's not?  As I see it, if we don't want to deal with the worms then we have to keep the can closed by keeping the Bible out of school curriculum.

 

 

 Signature 

Life has no meaning. Each of us has meaning and we bring it to life. It is a waste to be asking the question when you are the answer.
- Joseph Campbell

 
Avatar
Administrator
RankRankRankRankRank
Joined  2004-07-20

thewriterwithin:
Jeff Ricks:

I don't agree with Dawkins on this because it violates the principle of separation of church and state. Also, if the Bible is required or allowed as part of the school curiculum then every other religion will insist that their religious books be treated equally -- the Koran, the Book of Mormon, the Jehovah's Witness Bible, the writings of Ellen G. White,and that's just the beginning. It seems to me that Dawkins has had a lapse of objectivity and rationality in this case. 

 

 

First highlight:

To me, that is like saying it violates the separation of church and state to teach about the role of Puritans in settling the Massachusetts colony or the role of Henry VIII's marital dysfunction in the separation of the Anglican Church from the Catholic Church. In a word, no. No one is talking about teaching the Bible as "true" or endorsed by the state as superior. One is talking about teaching it as a major source of the ideas of Western Civilization. It is. It will continue to be whether you ban if from the schools or no. If you banned Shakespeare for some reason (and religions are always trying to do that), that body of work will continue to be a fountain of ideas and language that inform our world -- just like the Bible. We will just be ignorant of that -- whatever is to be gained by ignorance. I think a more thoughtful response is to wonder why you are acting like religions.

 

Second highlight:

If any of those books had contributed as much to our culture as the Bible, they should justly be taught too. They didn't. To the extent they did (and in some cases it is minuscule), it is okay to teach them in the schools. I think schools should include Dine myths and excerpts of the Koran. What is wrong with that?

 

Also, it depends on the class. If the class is Islamic Culture, should you include the Koran? You're darned tootin' you should. If the class is called "Is Mormonism the Great American Religion?" or "The Mormon Mindset" should you include BoM? What sort of professor wouldn't? Someone about to be fired, I would guess. All religions are created equal in the eyes of the state -- as religions -- but as historical influences, not so much. These are not the same thing.

 

You are making the assumption that the Bible is only about religion. It isn't. It is literature and part of our history. To exclude it is to open the door to excluding the role (good and bad) of religions in history and in culture -- a new Dark Ages in the making. You are saying that to teach about the Spanish Inquisition is somehow to be construed as a state endorsement of Catholicism or to teach about the Salem witch hunts is an endorsement of Puritanism. How so?

 

The Bible as Literature was a popular class at Berkeley High when I was there, and there isn't a more diverse and secular student body in the U.S., I would guess. It was often taught by Jewish faculty, who don't really endorse the New Testament. All that is beside the point. You have no idea the good those classes do. One of the most obvious topics for discussion is the weird and twisted morality of a God who periodically (and seemingly at random) wipes out the "children" He has created. There is nothing but good to come out of getting that out in the open and talking about it. The students most likely to suffer in Bible as Literature classes are believers from denominations that take that book literally. They are in for a wild ride.

 

As I see it, none of your examples require using the Bible as a school textbook.  If you think otherwise then I'd like you to point out which one(s) do require it, because I'm not seeing it.  For example, we don't need to include the Bible as one of the school textbooks to teach how and why the Puritans influenced early American culture, or Henry VIII's reasons for creating a break-off from the Catholic Church.  What does the text of the Bible have to do with either of those?  Neither is it needed to teach about Christianity's influence on the formation of Western culture.

 

The problem as I see it, and stated in my previous post, is the can of worms that's created by allowing the Bible to become one of the school's textbooks.  I see no value in doing that, I see problems created by doing it, and I see no downside by excluding it as a textbook.  If a student wants to see what the Bible text actually says, it's one of the most readily available books in the world.  It certainly doesn't need to included as a school textbook in order to give student's access to it.

 

 

 Signature 

Life has no meaning. Each of us has meaning and we bring it to life. It is a waste to be asking the question when you are the answer.
- Joseph Campbell

 
Avatar
Long Timer
RankRankRankRankRank
Joined  2007-09-16

Jeff Ricks:
RobinM:

My understanding of the church/state separation issue and bibles in school is: as long as it's not being taught as the one and only religious book and everyone has to believe it, it can be allowed, particularly as part of a literature curriculum. I believe there are places that already do this. And the Supreme Court and the ACLU have addressed this as well:

http://www.aclu.org/religion-belief/joint-statement-current-law-religion-public-schools

http://www.firstamendmentcenter.org/faq/frequently-asked-questions-religious-liberty

http://www.pewforum.org/uploadedfiles/Topics/Issues/Church-State_Law/religion-public-schools.pdf

 

 

As far as other religions wanting equal representation -- ok, as long as it's truly being advocated for literature purposes and not a furthering of a religious agenda. 

 

just my $.02

 

 And that's the point at which the can of worms is open.  How in the world do we determine what's okay and what's not?  As I see it, if we don't want to deal with the worms then we have to keep the can closed by keeping the Bible out of school curriculum.

 

 

 

Okay. My neighbor (who happens to be certain variety of Mormon, the kind who thinks they are the true Mormons) says we shouldn't teach "Romeo and Juliet" because it might make suicide look romantic, and teens already have problems with suicide.

 

How is your position different than hers? Do you agree with her? If you think we should teach Shakespeare but not the Bible consider --

 

"Othello" -- Spouse abuse, distrust, and finally murder.

"Macbeth" -- Murdering the king and your guest as a way of getting ahead in the world.

"Hamlet" -- Multiple murders for reasons varying from lust to mistaken identity. Feigning madness. Disowning love and vows. Passive-aggressive behavior. Driving others to suicide.

 

Then there are the "comedies."

"Much Ado About Nothing" -- Women are better off dead than with a bad reputation. Lying and deceiving for no good reason, just because one has a chronically cranky disposition.

"The Tempest" --Enslavement of someone "different." Blowing up storms that drown people.

"The Merchant of Venice" -- Nasty stereotyping of Jews.

 

I could go on and on, but at heart I'm amused that some atheists turned out to be such little Puritans at heart! Always ready to foist on you their belief that anything even close to a religion is bad for you. You are protecting people from themselves, just as much as those people putting little cap sleeves on women's shoulders in a painting. We. Must. Protect. People. From. The. Evil. Bible. Or. Shoulders -- as the case may be.

 

Can't people think for themselves -- even when studying the Bible? Not to mention Shakespeare..

 Signature 

A man who does not think for himself does not think at all.Oscar Wilde

 
Avatar
Administrator
RankRankRankRankRank
Joined  2004-07-20

 That's exactly my point.  If you allow the Bible to become a school textbook then

 

religion in school

thewriterwithin:
Jeff Ricks:
RobinM:

My understanding of the church/state separation issue and bibles in school is: as long as it's not being taught as the one and only religious book and everyone has to believe it, it can be allowed, particularly as part of a literature curriculum. I believe there are places that already do this. And the Supreme Court and the ACLU have addressed this as well:

http://www.aclu.org/religion-belief/joint-statement-current-law-religion-public-schools

http://www.firstamendmentcenter.org/faq/frequently-asked-questions-religious-liberty

http://www.pewforum.org/uploadedfiles/Topics/Issues/Church-State_Law/religion-public-schools.pdf

 

 

As far as other religions wanting equal representation -- ok, as long as it's truly being advocated for literature purposes and not a furthering of a religious agenda. 

 

just my $.02

 

 And that's the point at which the can of worms is open.  How in the world do we determine what's okay and what's not?  As I see it, if we don't want to deal with the worms then we have to keep the can closed by keeping the Bible out of school curriculum.

 

 

 

Okay. My neighbor (who happens to be certain variety of Mormon, the kind who thinks they are the true Mormons) says we shouldn't teach "Romeo and Juliet" because it might make suicide look romantic, and teens already have problems with suicide.

How is your position different than hers? Do you agree with her? If you think we should teach Shakespeare but not the Bible consider --

 

"Othello" -- Spouse abuse, distrust, and finally murder.

"Macbeth" -- Murdering the king and your guest as a way of getting ahead in the world.

"Hamlet" -- Multiple murders for reasons varying from lust to mistaken identity. Feigning madness. Disowning love and vows. Passive-aggressive behavior. Driving others to suicide.

 

Then there are the "comedies."

"Much Ado About Nothing" -- Women are better off dead than with a bad reputation. Lying and deceiving for no good reason, just because one has a chronically cranky disposition.

"The Tempest" --Enslavement of someone "different." Blowing up storms that drown people.

"The Merchant of Venice" -- Nasty stereotyping of Jews.

 

I could go on and on, but at heart I'm amused that some atheists turned out to be such little Puritans at heart! Always ready to foist on you their belief that anything even close to a religion is bad for you. You are protecting people from themselves, just as much as those people putting little cap sleeves on women's shoulders in a painting. We. Must. Protect. People. From. The. Evil. Bible. Or. Shoulders -- as the case may be.

 

Can't people think for themselves -- even when studying the Bible? Not to mention Shakespeare..

 

 

Again, I don't see where your example have anything to do with whether or not the Bible is a school textbook.   I think you're mixing censorship issues with the separation of church and state issues.  They are two separate things.  It's not atheists who are foisting a position on the populace, its the First Amendment.  You might think that making the Bible a school textbook it's a good idea but you'll have to repeal the First Amendment to make it happen... and then you'll have to deal with the can of worms you've opened by repealing the First Amendment. 

 

 

 Signature 

Life has no meaning. Each of us has meaning and we bring it to life. It is a waste to be asking the question when you are the answer.
- Joseph Campbell

 
Avatar
Long Timer
RankRankRankRankRank
Joined  2010-07-26

Jeff Ricks:

I don't agree with Dawkins on this because it violates the principle of separation of church and state.  Also, if the Bible is required or allowed as part of the school curiculum then every other religion will insist that their religious books be treated equally -- the Koran, the Book of Mormon, the Jehovah's Witness Bible, the writings of Ellen G. White, and that's just the beginning. It seems to me that Dawkins has had a lapse of objectivity and rationality in this case. 

 

 

 

Teaching classes about religions does not violate church and state. The classes would not be taught as religion - they are about religion. No religious viewpoint would be pushed.

 

Daniel Dennet has this same viewpoint, although he says that students should learn about all religions, not just Christianity. Basically, it would be a class to teach about culture and history, not a class that espouses ideology.

 Signature 

“But if you are told by your leader to do a thing, do it. None of your business whether it is right or wrong.”—Heber C Kimball, Journal of Discourses, Vol 6, Page 32

 
Avatar
Long Timer
RankRankRankRankRank
Joined  2009-05-28

First the Bible in the schools.....

 

Then we get "The God Delusion" in and no when will want to take a class on the bible again ;) 

 Signature 

The Book of Mormon is Christian “Fan Fiction”.... I am not a fan :)

 
Avatar
Long Timer
RankRankRankRankRank
Joined  2009-06-13

I think teaching about religion in schools is okay so long as you don't teach or preach religion.  What I mean is that, sure you can teach the history of religions so long as you don't advocate any religion but rather teach it as part of human history.  However, I don't think it would be wise to encourage children to read any religious books such as the Bible, the Koran, etc., as these books have a tendency to brainwash or fool children into believing them.  Putting any literary value aside, I believe these types of books can have and do have a negative influence more so than positive.  I'm not saying there isn't good things in there - I'm saying the good doesn't out-weigh the bad.

I think it's a very delicate matter teaching about religion to young minds who can be very impressionable.  Some youngsters are easily lead to start feeling a certain way and thereby may actually start believing myths as facts.

I think that if religion is taught as a subject (some would argue that it isn't really a subject) then other myths should be taught as well.  But they should only ever be taught as being a part of human history and nothing else.

 Signature 

If you could reason with religious people, there would be no religious people. -  Dr. Gregory House.


There’s a time for diplomacy, a time for plainness and then there’s a time to just let it rip.
- Peter Lindberg Jensen.

 

The most rewarding thing in life is to live authentically.
- Peter Lindberg Jensen.


There’s nothing like looking through the door of reality and seeing what’s there. How can this not be more interesting than looking through the door of ignorance and seeing nothing?
- Peter Lindberg Jensen.

 
Avatar
Long Timer
RankRankRankRankRank
Joined  2010-09-08

This illustrates my biggest beef with Dawkins: he is a statist to the core. He advocates time and again using the money/force/reach of government to achieve his own personal preferences and ends. He wants the taxpayers to support Bibles in schools. He wants the taxpayers to support arresting the Pope when his plane lands in England over the sexual abuses committed by other Catholics. The problem with this line of thinking is that once he has bullied something into getting "public support," he has essentially forced everyone else -- even those who may not think like he does -- to financially support and/or be subjected to things with which they may morally disagree. It's reprehensible, and a tad hypocritical: on the one hand, he admonishes religion being "forced" on non-believers; yet on the other hand, he has no problem using the state to "force" what he believes (for some incomprehensible reason) is a lesson in good English via the Bible.

 

Mr. Dawkins, if you think the Bible is a great English lesson for children, you are free to offer Bible-English classes to any child who wants to sign up. No one is stopping you. Get a free WordPress web site and write up some free online lessons that anyone can access, to share your beloved prose (like "and so-and-so begat so-and-so" -- never has such poetry been outdone!) with the world. But once you start advocating forcible taxpayer support of what amounts to nothing more than your personal opinion, my respect for you goes straight into the toilet.

 Signature 

Think for yoursef; question authority.

 
Avatar
Long Timer
RankRankRankRankRank
Joined  2010-09-08

And I also love how a bunch of Middle-Eastern desert people's stories, collected by the Romans, is somehow "English." Yes, how barbaric for a non-English speaker to not love something so culturally removed from his or her life.
 Signature 

Think for yoursef; question authority.

 
Avatar
Long Timer
RankRankRankRankRank
Joined  2008-08-12

I wish folks wouldn't put words in my mouth...no where did I advocate banning the bible.

 

Sheesh.

 

It should be taught as literature...not as a "WORSHIPED" infallible religious text.

 

The Bible should be taught...as a book of fiction...myth...legend.

 

Like Greek myths (with Zeus sleeping with human women, producing heroes, Mercury as trickster,) Norse myths (with Oden poking out his own eye for wisdom, Loki the trickster and soldiers being taught to die with the wounds in the front of their bodies, so they can go to Valhalla,) Native American myths, with Spideromen bringing the people out of the caves of the earth and Coyote/Raven/Owl as tricksters.) 

 

The Biblea text of Middle Eastern myths.

 Signature 

I’ve begun worshiping the sun for a number of reasons. First of all, unlike some other gods I could mention, I can see the sun. It’s there for me every day. And the things it brings me are quite apparent all the time: heat, light, food, a lovely day. There’s no mystery, no one asks for money, I don’t have to dress up, and there’s no boring pageantry. And interestingly enough, I have found that the prayers I offer to the sun and the prayers I formerly offered to God are all answered at about the same 50-percent rate.” George Carlin

 
Avatar
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRank
Joined  2009-07-15

I believe Dawkins argued in one of his books that all schools should mandate comparative religion class(es), which I also agree with.  I don't see any system wherein the Bible would be part of school literature without other holy books being included as well.  Approach it from whatever angle you want, but to me schools cannot favor the study, secular or not, of one holy book over another.
 Signature 

Throughout human history, as our species has faced the frightening, terrorizing fact that we do not know who we are, or where we are going in this ocean of chaos, it has been the authorities — the political, the religious, the educational authorities — who attempted to comfort us by giving us order, rules, regulations, informing — forming in our minds — their view of reality. To think for yourself you must question authority and learn how to put yourself in a state of vulnerable open-mindedness, chaotic, confused vulnerability to inform yourself.
   -Timothy Leary

 
Avatar
Long Timer
RankRankRankRankRank
Joined  2011-01-16

AtheistAnarchist:
And I also love how a bunch of Middle-Eastern desert people's stories, collected by the Romans, is somehow "English." Yes, how barbaric for a non-English speaker to not love something so culturally removed from his or her life.

 

It's funny how that turned out, but it did turn out.  To not know a certain amount of the bible is to not know a large amount of English literature - or any European literature for that matter.  Anyone who values literacy should include the bible with the other "classics" that later works have drawn from.  And I agree with Dawkins that it should be the KJV.  It's not the best text for understanding the meaning, but at least for English speakers, it's the wording that you find all over the place in other writings since it was published.

 

And anyone who values history or sociology would also naturally want to study Christianity.  Sure, you can always do that with other source materials.  But at least as a handy reference, one should know one's basic biblical references.

 

But I wonder if all this argument isn't getting to the point.  It seems to me like Dawkins' point was mostly tongue in cheek - that he'd like children to read the bible for the purpose of not believing the religion.  There's something to that.  I wonder how many Mormons have really studied the D&C, and know some of more "interesting" things there and the historical context behind them (let alone such things as Journal of Discourses).  The same thing goes for the bible - don't just gloss over it, but read all the bizarre stuff and try to remember that there are people who preach that our very own loving God is responsible for it.  I think that's the lesson Dawkins is pushing for, more than its actual literary and historical value.

 

tttt

 
Avatar
Long Timer
RankRankRankRankRank
Joined  2009-06-13

I believe there is too much credit given to the King James Version's influence on the English language.  I believe the English language would have developed more or less to the same degree whether the KJV had been written or not.  One has to remember that the writers of the KJV took a step backwards when writing it because the King wanted it in old style English; people at the time didn't speak using that type of English.  It was written that way to sound more poetic and reverent.
 Signature 

If you could reason with religious people, there would be no religious people. -  Dr. Gregory House.


There’s a time for diplomacy, a time for plainness and then there’s a time to just let it rip.
- Peter Lindberg Jensen.

 

The most rewarding thing in life is to live authentically.
- Peter Lindberg Jensen.


There’s nothing like looking through the door of reality and seeing what’s there. How can this not be more interesting than looking through the door of ignorance and seeing nothing?
- Peter Lindberg Jensen.

 
Avatar
Long Timer
RankRankRankRankRank
Joined  2007-09-16

Jeff Ricks:

 

Again, I don't see where your example have anything to do with whether or not the Bible is a school textbook.   I think you're mixing censorship issues with the separation of church and state issues.  They are two separate things.  It's not atheists who are foisting a position on the populace, its the First Amendment.  You might think that making the Bible a school textbook it's a good idea but you'll have to repeal the First Amendment to make it happen... and then you'll have to deal with the can of worms you've opened by repealing the First Amendment. 

 

 

 

Not really. This has already been ruled on -- without repealing the First Amendment. This is settled constitutional law. Whew! And fortunately!

 

 

"Academic study of the Bible in public secondary schools may appropriately take place in literature courses. Students might study the Bible as literature. They would examine the Bible as they would other literature in terms of aesthetic categories, as an anthology of narratives and poetry, exploring its language, symbolism and motifs. Students might also study the Bible in literature, the ways in which later writers have used Bible literature, language and symbols. Much drama, poetry and fiction contains material from the Bible."

 

What do the Courts Say?

The Supreme Court has held that public schools may teach students about the Bible as long as such teaching is "presented objectively as part of a secular program of education."6

The Court has also held that religious groups may not teach religious courses on school premises during the school day.7 The U.S. Department of Education guidelines reiterate that public schools "may not provide religious instruction, but they may teach about religion, including the Bible or other scripture."8 In keeping with the First Amendment’s mandate of governmental neutrality toward religion, any study of religion in a public school must be educational, not devotional. This principle holds true whether teaching about the Bible occurs in literature, history or any other class and whether the course is required or an elective. A relatively small number of lower court decisions have dealt directly with the constitutionality of Bible classes in public schools.9 These rulings show that the constitutionality of such classes is highly dependent on such factors as how the class is taught, who teaches it, and which instructional materials and lessons are used.

How the class is taught: Any class about the Bible must be taught in an objective, academic manner.10 The class should neither promote nor disparage religion, nor should it be taught from a particular sectarian point of view.11

Who teaches the class: A superintendent or school board should select teachers for a class about the Bible in the same manner all other teachers are selected.12 School districts should not delegate the employment of such teachers to an outside committee that selects teachers based upon their religious beliefs or perspectives.13

 

 

If you are interested here is a good link;

 

http://www.bibleliteracy.org/bibcdocs/BibleAndPublicSchools.pdf

 

And as someone with a BA in English, I'm more glad than I can tell you. English emerged as one of the languages of Christianity, and if you took all the Christian writings out of the study of English, there would be very little left to read and talk about. One would basically be destroying English literature as a field of study. The history of English is shot through with deeply religious Christian thinkers and writers. About 99% of the remaining work is culturally Christian. If one were religion phobic, you would be tossing out "The Divine Comedy" (central to understanding Western Civilization), such gorgeous poets as T.S. Eliot and Gerald Manley Hopkins, even such slight-but-interesting-in-the-right-place texts as "Little Women."

 

I am so glad I got my education under another attitude! I loved -- and love -- Greek mythology. I had a class -- several -- in mythology -- and it is the richest source of understanding all stories, whether you are talking about last night's CSI or Beatrix Potter, "The Matrix" (the movie) or "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" (the book).

 

I loved hearing others sacred stories, and oddly enough, it never occurred to me to run out and try to become a Navajo. I did come away with an appreciation and respect for the beliefs of others, an glimpse of the universal themes of humanity, and an endless fascination with the stories we use to deal with our lives and our deaths. 

 Signature 

A man who does not think for himself does not think at all.Oscar Wilde

 
Avatar
Long Timer
RankRankRankRankRank
Joined  2007-09-16

PJ:
I believe there is too much credit given to the King James Version's influence on the English language.  I believe the English language would have developed more or less to the same degree whether the KJV had been written or not.  One has to remember that the writers of the KJV took a step backwards when writing it because the King wanted it in old style English; people at the time didn't speak using that type of English.  It was written that way to sound more poetic and reverent.

Amused smile. So. You did not do well in English. But I'm sure you have your strengths.

 

 Signature 

A man who does not think for himself does not think at all.Oscar Wilde

 
Avatar
Long Timer
RankRankRankRankRank
Joined  2007-09-16

There are thousand of Biblical references all around you, but this list while hardly definitive is very interesting;

 

1 Comments
Join the Conversation
The Bible: it's the songwriter's bible - By Hi540, via Wikipedia Commons
The Bible: it's the songwriter's bible - By Hi540, via Wikipedia Commons
The Bible is an entrenched part of culture in the western world, and that includes pop and rock music. It's been used by Dylan, Springsteen, Pixies and more

The Bible has been a source of inspiration for artists and writers for centuries, indeed, millennia, and modern pop and rock music is no different. Bible references are widespread in our music, and found in surprising places, as the following list shows.

Bruce Springsteen – Adam Raised a Cain

“In the Bible Cain killed Abel, and East of Eden he was cast.” Bruce is spot on with his precis of the first murder, by Cain, son of Adam. What this song is really about is the generation gap, and Bruce’s uneasy relationship with his own father. The narrator feels stigmatized by his father’s apparent disappointment in him, as if he bore the biblical “mark of Cain”, as if he was born with some unknown sin: “You’re born into this life paying for the sins of somebody else’s past.”

The “East of Eden” reference also recalls John Steinbeck’s novel of that name, famously filmed with James Dean in 1955.

<!--google_ad_sections_start--><!--google_ad_section_end-->

Bob Dylan – All Along the Watchtower

Lots of Dylan songs have Biblical echoes, and it has been suggested that “All Along the Watchtower”, more famous for the Jimi Hendrix cover, of course, echoes Isaiah 21:5-9, a passage about a watchman meeting with two horsemen, who tell him “Babylon is fallen.” Dylan’s song then becomes a commentary on the decadence of our society and a prediction of its collapse – or maybe not, the lyric is so bare that it can be interpreted any way you like.

The Byrds – Turn! Turn! Turn!

Another sixties classic, this one reproduces almost verbatim a large chunk of the book of Ecclesiastes 3:1-8. Written in the 1950s by Pete Seeger, though the only original lyrics was basically the word “Turn” repeated in the refrain.

Pixies – Gouge Away

This track from the classic Doolittle album actually deals with the story of the giant Samson, whose strength resided in his flowing locks, from the book of Judges 13:24-16:30. The title phrase refers to the gouging of Samson’s eyes which was carried out by the Philistines, who captured him after he was betrayed by his wife Delilah, referred to in the song as “Missy Aggravation”; they also chained him to a pillar and mocked him, till Samson called on the Lord to give him the strength to break the pillar and bring the whole place down on himself and his persecutors, and his wish was granted: “I break the walls, and kill us all.”

Violent Femmes – Jesus walking on the Water

Matthew 14:22-33, Mark 6:45-52 and John 6:16-21 are agreed that Jesus did, indeed, walk on the water and 80s alternative rock legends Violent Femmes commemorated this fact on this folkish singalong track from their second album Hallowed Ground. Indeed, it is one of several songs that continue the religious theme expressed in the album title. Lead singer Gordon Gano is a devout Baptist.

Metallica – Creeping Death

This epic of thrash metal has as its narrator the angel of death sent by God to kill the firstborn children in each Egyptian household so that the Jews will be freed, in the second book of the Bible, Exodus 12:12. A live favorite with Metallica fans, particularly for the “Die! Die!” chant in the middle.

Boney M – Rivers of Babylon

At the other end of the scale from Metallica, Boney M had a massive number 1 in 1977 with this song, first recorded by The Melodians 7 years earlier. Its lyric is adapted from the Bible’s Psalm 137, in which the Jewish people exiled in Babylon lament their distance from their homeland.

Leonard Cohen – Story of Isaac

From Cohen’s classic 1969 release Songs from a Room, this song is a parable about the destructiveness of ideology and the madness that lies in the heart of man. The story of Isaac (Genesis 22:1-24) illustrates the perfectly, as it relates how God ordered Abraham to kill his son Isaac, but as Abraham raised his axe to carry out the divinely-ordained deed, God stayed his hand and told him it was a test. Cohen’s point was that religions and ideologies demand such tests all the time (or at least are interpreted as doing so), but they don’t stay the hand at the last moment.

The opening lines of Bob Dylan’s “Highway 61 Revisited” also deal with the story of Isaac, though in an apparently jocular manner.

Pixies – Dead

Them pesky little Pixies again, this time with what appears to be an update of the classical Biblical love triangle: Bathsheba is married to Uriah, King David loves Bathsheba, King David sends Uriah off to battle, where he dies, and David marries Bathsheba (2 Samuel 12-13).

However, the Lord is displeased, and causes their firstborn to die as punishment. The Pixies version opens with a reference to “You crazy babe, Bathsheba, I want you” and ends with a refrain of “Uriah hit the crapper, the crapper!” Weird, but in a good way.

But the winner is:

Aphrodite’s Child – 666 [Album]

This is the daddy of them all. Prog-rock Greek style (in English, though), from a band containing Demis Roussos and Vangelis. This 1971 album is enitrely based on the book of The Revelation of St. John. That’s the last book of the Bible, and most of the lyrics here are adapted from that book, which foretells of the end of the world, the final battle of Armageddon, all that Omen stuff.

Copyright Mark Wallace. Contact the author to obtain permission for republication.


Read more at Suite101: Bible Rock: Ten Pop/Rock Songs with Biblical References | Suite101.com http://mark-wallace.suite101.com/bible-rockten-poprock-songs-with-biblical-references-a347296#ixzz1vvaD4IBy
 Signature 

A man who does not think for himself does not think at all.Oscar Wilde

 
Avatar
Long Timer
RankRankRankRankRank
Joined  2009-06-13

thewriterwithin:
PJ:
I believe there is too much credit given to the King James Version's influence on the English language.  I believe the English language would have developed more or less to the same degree whether the KJV had been written or not.  One has to remember that the writers of the KJV took a step backwards when writing it because the King wanted it in old style English; people at the time didn't speak using that type of English.  It was written that way to sound more poetic and reverent.

Amused smile. So. You did not do well in English. But I'm sure you have your strengths.

 

 

What's that supposed to mean?  Are you coming with the personal attacks once again?  How about checking your own English writing before criticising others?  I have three languages rolling around in my head, how many do you have?

You're amused, well, I'm even more so.

 Signature 

If you could reason with religious people, there would be no religious people. -  Dr. Gregory House.


There’s a time for diplomacy, a time for plainness and then there’s a time to just let it rip.
- Peter Lindberg Jensen.

 

The most rewarding thing in life is to live authentically.
- Peter Lindberg Jensen.


There’s nothing like looking through the door of reality and seeing what’s there. How can this not be more interesting than looking through the door of ignorance and seeing nothing?
- Peter Lindberg Jensen.

 
Avatar
Long Timer
RankRankRankRankRank
Joined  2010-09-08

True to the Truth:
AtheistAnarchist:
And I also love how a bunch of Middle-Eastern desert people's stories, collected by the Romans, is somehow "English." Yes, how barbaric for a non-English speaker to not love something so culturally removed from his or her life.

 

It's funny how that turned out, but it did turn out.  To not know a certain amount of the bible is to not know a large amount of English literature - or any European literature for that matter.  Anyone who values literacy should include the bible with the other "classics" that later works have drawn from.  And I agree with Dawkins that it should be the KJV.  It's not the best text for understanding the meaning, but at least for English speakers, it's the wording that you find all over the place in other writings since it was published.

 

And anyone who values history or sociology would also naturally want to study Christianity.  Sure, you can always do that with other source materials.  But at least as a handy reference, one should know one's basic biblical references.

 

But I wonder if all this argument isn't getting to the point.  It seems to me like Dawkins' point was mostly tongue in cheek - that he'd like children to read the bible for the purpose of not believing the religion.  There's something to that.  I wonder how many Mormons have really studied the D&C, and know some of more "interesting" things there and the historical context behind them (let alone such things as Journal of Discourses).  The same thing goes for the bible - don't just gloss over it, but read all the bizarre stuff and try to remember that there are people who preach that our very own loving God is responsible for it.  I think that's the lesson Dawkins is pushing for, more than its actual literary and historical value.

 

tttt

 

That is an interesting point.

 

But again, this is all opinion. It's opinion that "anyone who values literacy should include the Bible with other 'classics.'" I've read maybe 2 chapter's worth of various verses of the Bible, and I don't believe there is anything of value in that book for me. I don't need to read and study the whole damn thing in order to not believe in religion. Common sense and human curiosity did that for me. I can't take Shakespeare and I don't much care for the origins of the English language. But that's my opinion. I certainly would never try to use the force of government to get my personal opinion taught to other people's children in a school paid for by my neighbors. That's my criticism of Dawkins' position.

 

I am fascinated by history and sociology, but guess what: plenty of history and sociology does not include Christianity. I love learning about the Anasazi and Hopi native people of america -- as far removed from Christianity as you could get (until their tragic interactions with Mormons, incidentally). I don't need the KJV of the Bible to understand their humanity. I don't need the KJV to understand ANY humanity -- I am human, after all. I share qualities with my fellow humans that make it possible for me to communicate and connect without a trumped-up translation of make-believe stories.

 

I can't for the life of me figure out why the KJV is the ultimate pedestal-worthy version of these tall tales, without which any Anglo person's education is incomplete. I recently watched an episode of An Idiot Abroad, where Karl Pilkington goes to Bethlehem to see the supposed birthplace of Jesus. His guide told him that shepherds came to see Jesus carrying flutes. Have you ever heard that in the KJV/English version of the story? According to Karl's guide, Jesus was born on a stone, which tourists can touch or kiss on their visit. A stone.  Ever heard that in the KJV? The English/ango cultural version of Christianity is just one of apparently many different versions. Claiming the KJV has the monopoly on beauty, even from a language standpoint, seems to me like just another example of Dawkins' rah-rah England statism.

 Signature 

Think for yoursef; question authority.

 
Avatar
Long Timer
RankRankRankRankRank
Joined  2007-09-16

PJ:
thewriterwithin:
PJ:
I believe there is too much credit given to the King James Version's influence on the English language.  I believe the English language would have developed more or less to the same degree whether the KJV had been written or not.  One has to remember that the writers of the KJV took a step backwards when writing it because the King wanted it in old style English; people at the time didn't speak using that type of English.  It was written that way to sound more poetic and reverent.

Amused smile. So. You did not do well in English. But I'm sure you have your strengths.

 

 

What's that supposed to mean?  Are you coming with the personal attacks once again?  How about checking your own English writing before criticising others?  I have three languages rolling around in my head, how many do you have?

You're amused, well, I'm even more so.

 

I didn't think of it as a personal attack.

 

It is just that what you wrote is rather like something a creationist might say in a class on evolution, sort of like saying the world would be the same whether god created it or it evolved that way. Hmm -- maybe not... It is the sort of statement that is going to make the teacher smile -- as long as he has a good sense of humor. But I can't take it seriously. Sorry. I can't think of anyone who knows the history of English who can take the idea seriously that KJB simply doesn't matter, or the twist that the writers "took a step backward" because they spun out poetic (and gorgeous) prose. You mean -- like Shakespeare took a step backward by writing in iambic pentameter and emphasizing with couplets? Yeah. That was a problem... If you don't want to make people smile, don't say things that provoke smiles. 

 

If you want to take your position seriously -- fine. But you can take the chip off your shoulder. No one is attacking you. And I don't claim to have any superiority at all. I completely struggle with languages. I didn't get my BA for decades because I'm such an idiot at learning languages. I despaired of ever pretending to learn another, my English is far from perfect, and my proof reading worse.

 Signature 

A man who does not think for himself does not think at all.Oscar Wilde

 
Avatar
Long Timer
RankRankRankRankRank
Joined  2007-09-16

AtheistAnarchist:
True to the Truth:
AtheistAnarchist:
And I also love how a bunch of Middle-Eastern desert people's stories, collected by the Romans, is somehow "English." Yes, how barbaric for a non-English speaker to not love something so culturally removed from his or her life.

 

It's funny how that turned out, but it didturn out.  To not know a certain amount of the bible is to not know a large amount of English literature - or any European literature for that matter.  Anyone who values literacy should include the bible with the other "classics" that later works have drawn from.  And I agree with Dawkins that it should be the KJV.  It's not the best text for understanding the meaning, but at least for English speakers, it's the wording that you find all over the place in other writings since it was published.

 

And anyone who values history or sociology would also naturally want to study Christianity.  Sure, you can always do that with other source materials.  But at least as a handy reference, one should know one's basic biblical references.

 

But I wonder if all this argument isn't getting to the point.  It seems to me like Dawkins' point was mostly tongue in cheek - that he'd like children to read the bible for the purpose of not believing the religion.  There's something to that.  I wonder how many Mormons have really studied the D&C, and know some of more "interesting" things there and the historical context behind them (let alone such things as Journal of Discourses).  The same thing goes for the bible - don't just gloss over it, but read all the bizarre stuff and try to remember that there are people who preach that our very own loving God is responsible for it.  I think that's the lesson Dawkins is pushing for, more than its actual literary and historical value.

 

tttt

 

That is an interesting point.

 

But again, this is all opinion. It's opinion that "anyone who values literacy should include the Bible with other 'classics.'" I've read maybe 2 chapter's worth of various verses of the Bible, and I don't believe there is anything of value in that book for me. I don't need to read and study the whole damn thing in order to not believe in religion. Common sense and human curiosity did that for me. I can't take Shakespeare and I don't much care for the origins of the English language. But that's my opinion. I certainly would never try to use the force of government to get my personal opinion taught to other people's children in a school paid for by my neighbors. That's my criticism of Dawkins' position.

 

I am fascinated by history and sociology, but guess what: plenty of history and sociology does not include Christianity. I love learning about the Anasazi and Hopi native people of america -- as far removed from Christianity as you could get (until their tragic interactions with Mormons, incidentally). I don't need the KJV of the Bible to understand their humanity. I don't need the KJV to understand ANY humanity -- I am human, after all. I share qualities with my fellow humans that make it possible for me to communicate and connect without a trumped-up translation of make-believe stories.

 

I can't for the life of me figure out why the KJV is the ultimate pedestal-worthy version of these tall tales, without which any Anglo person's education is incomplete. I recently watched an episode of An Idiot Abroad, where Karl Pilkington goes to Bethlehem to see the supposed birthplace of Jesus. His guide told him that shepherds came to see Jesus carrying flutes. Have you ever heard that in the KJV/English version of the story? According to Karl's guide, Jesus was born on a stone, which tourists can touch or kiss on their visit. A stone.  Ever heard that in the KJV? The English/ango cultural version of Christianity is just one of apparently many different versions. Claiming the KJV has the monopoly on beauty, even from a language standpoint, seems to me like just another example of Dawkins' rah-rah England statism.

No one has ever claimed that KJV has a monopoly on beauty. It is interesting that you constructed that straw man...Why?

 

In fact, this is full of exaggerations, straw men, and red herrings. Of course KJV is just another version of stories of which there are many versions. As it is not being taught as some "truth," that is not relevant. It could be an interesting taking off point for a lesson where other versions of the same stories are explored and the lessons goes on to the nature of oral stories and how they change through time and place. As a reason not to teach KJV, I don't see it.

 

The passage I underlined is the classic extreme right-wing excuse for not teaching how the human body works, not teaching evolution, not teaching "Romeo and Juliet," not teaching contemporary literature than deals with contemporary problems such as sex and drugs, and not teaching about gays, ethnics, and even our own past, such as slavery. How is your complaint different from theirs? If you can whine about using tax dollars to study the Bible, why can't they whine about using tax dollars to study -- well -- anything from the Anasazi to human reproduction?

 

You said you loved learning about the Anasazi and Hopi (as did I. You have good taste.) But then you start to rant about "trumped-up translations of make-believe stories." Hmm. The Anasazi and Hopi also have "make-believe stories," and I just love them. I assume you do, too? Or no? Are their "make-believe stories" good while ours are lousy? I take it that is not because they are "make-believe," because both sets of stories are that. And I don't even know what a "trumped-up translation" is. Does that assume that there is one true translation -- of anything? And other translations are "trumped-up"? I'm honestly lost here. Are our translations of Anasazi stories "trumped-up"? How can we know "trumped-up" translations from real translations?

 

Here is what comes through to me: you are angry about the Bible. And as Jane Austen said, angry people are seldom wise.

 

And tttt, there was nothing tongue-in-cheek about Dawkins' position. It is simple. He does not hate the Bible the way many of his followers do. In fact, he finds that an ignorant position. He thinks children will be better armed to criticize Christian religions if they read the Bible. (That seems so indisputable to me, I can't think of anything to say to refute it.) But he also sees is as crucial to an education in Western Civilization. And there is not another a book as crucial.

 

Just deal with it.

 Signature 

A man who does not think for himself does not think at all.Oscar Wilde

 
Avatar
Long Timer
RankRankRankRankRank
Joined  2009-07-30

With all due respect...

 

two connected observations (I think...), and then an opinion:

 

1.  Christianity is a minority religion.  If we put the Christians on one side of a divide and the 'not Christians' on the other side, the Christians would be significantly outnumbered.  And among the Christians, the KJV might not be the majority choice.  My point being that the number of people who reverence the literary stylings of the KJV is most definitely a minority.

 

2.  During its peak, the leadership group (the upper class) of the British Empire shared a knowledge of Greek and Roman mythology which they used as a sort of 'secret handshake' to identify one another; written and conversational reference to these mythologies and their intricacies indicated an education that only this leadership group could obtain.  This upper class came to assume that a person was not properly 'educated' if one didn't have a grasp of the old mythologies.

 

 

That's what I see in Dawkin's reference to the importance of the KJV.  Mr. Dawkins is a product of his age.  He values the KJV as literature, and I can't fault him.  But I personally believe that the KJV is going to go the way of Greek and Roman mythology as a measure of personal education and awareness.  And this is within a minority group of humanity.  The KJV is already a 'has been' with the majority of humanity, especially since you have to speak decent 'current' English and then pretend to appreciate 15th century English.  There's no logic to this, just a personal preference, right?  

 
Avatar
Long Timer
RankRankRankRankRank
Joined  2011-01-16

AtheistAnarchist:
 

But again, this is all opinion. It's opinion that "anyone who values literacy should include the Bible with other 'classics.'"

 

You got me there - it was in fact my opinion (well obviously not just mine).  It's hard to say "should" without putting an opinion in.  My opinion is that the most interesting culture to study is my own in the broader sense - American, English, European, and so on down through its origins (Dawkins can skip the "American" part).  And the bible plays a major role in those origins.  Yes, there's a string of coincedences that led to this one "desert tribe" to have their legends become the basis for an empire that went on to influence the part of the world that matters most to me.  But that doesn't make me want to dismiss it, it makes me want to explore it.  My apologies to the Anasazi, but I've just never had as much interest in cultures that are so far apart from my own.

 

It's natural for people of all cultures to study their own culture.  Yes, there's value in studying others' as well, but it's sufficient in the pre-college level to just give them a cursory glance, and get back to what makes us us (whoever "we" may be).

 

I certainly would never try to use the force of government to get my personal opinion taught to other people's children in a school paid for by my neighbors. That's my criticism of Dawkins' position.

 

No you wouldn't.  I'm afraid when you have "Anarchist" as part of your name, people are going to assume that about you.  But that's a different question entirely.  I would assume you would not want a public school system to have any mandated curriculum.  Heck, I would assume you would not want a public school system to exist.

 

But if we were to save that argument for another day, and assume that England does in fact have a public school system, and the government is in fact charged with deciding what that school system teaches, then surely citizens have a right to voice their opinion on what that should include.  Again, there's that word "should", so everything is bound to be someone's opinion.  If it were a choice between a government that listens to its citizens and one that doesn't ... but I digress.

 

Claiming the KJV has the monopoly on beauty, even from a language standpoint, seems to me like just another example of Dawkins' rah-rah England statism.

 

To be fair, he is English, and he was talking about England.  And as has been said, he didn't claim a monopoly, only that it's worth keeping in the schools.

 

tttt

 
Avatar
Long Timer
RankRankRankRankRank
Joined  2011-01-16

Elder OldDog:

That's what I see in Dawkin's reference to the importance of the KJV.  Mr. Dawkins is a product of his age.  He values the KJV as literature, and I can't fault him.  But I personally believe that the KJV is going to go the way of Greek and Roman mythology as a measure of personal education and awareness.

 

Perhaps so.  I've never been part of that group myself - I got a college degree while knowing very little of what used to be regarded as the core of a good education - the classics.  I know my bible only because I went to BYU, and just from general church absorbtion.  But since I've left college I've gained at least a little appreciation for such things.  Perhaps it's because I married someone who likes to read English literature from a couple centuries ago, when the culture was very much in that direction.

 

I'm no biblical scholar, yet I have a good broad knowledge of it at least.  I've read only one of "the classics", and that only in English translation, but I have at least a passing knowledge of Greek and Roman mythology.  As I've gotten older and past learning for the reason of getting a good job (my degree is in Electrical Engineering), I've gained more of an appreciation for these things.  I have a little luxury to enjoy learning for it's own sake.  Maybe I have some of that old highbrow culture in me, though I'm pretty sure the English part of my heritage comes from a long line of unschooled serfs.

 

tttt

 
Avatar
Long Timer
RankRankRankRankRank
Joined  2010-09-08

thewriterwithin:
AtheistAnarchist:
True to the Truth:
AtheistAnarchist:
And I also love how a bunch of Middle-Eastern desert people's stories, collected by the Romans, is somehow "English." Yes, how barbaric for a non-English speaker to not love something so culturally removed from his or her life.

 

(snip)

 

(snip)

No one has ever claimed that KJV has a monopoly on beauty. It is interesting that you constructed that straw man...Why?

 

In fact, this is full of exaggerations, straw men, and red herrings. Of course KJV is just another version of stories of which there are many versions. As it is not being taught as some "truth," that is not relevant. It could be an interesting taking off point for a lesson where other versions of the same stories are explored and the lessons goes on to the nature of oral stories and how they change through time and place. As a reason not to teach KJV, I don't see it.

 

The passage I underlined is the classic extreme right-wing excuse for not teaching how the human body works, not teaching evolution, not teaching "Romeo and Juliet," not teaching contemporary literature than deals with contemporary problems such as sex and drugs, and not teaching about gays, ethnics, and even our own past, such as slavery. How is your complaint different from theirs? If you can whine about using tax dollars to study the Bible, why can't they whine about using tax dollars to study -- well -- anything from the Anasazi to human reproduction?

 

You said you loved learning about the Anasazi and Hopi (as did I. You have good taste.) But then you start to rant about "trumped-up translations of make-believe stories." Hmm. The Anasazi and Hopi also have "make-believe stories," and I just love them. I assume you do, too? Or no? Are their "make-believe stories" good while ours are lousy? I take it that is not because they are "make-believe," because both sets of stories are that. And I don't even know what a "trumped-up translation" is. Does that assume that there is one true translation -- of anything? And other translations are "trumped-up"? I'm honestly lost here. Are our translations of Anasazi stories "trumped-up"? How can we know "trumped-up" translations from real translations?

 

Here is what comes through to me: you are angry about the Bible. And as Jane Austen said, angry people are seldom wise.

 

And tttt, there was nothing tongue-in-cheek about Dawkins' position. It is simple. He does not hate the Bible the way many of his followers do. In fact, he finds that an ignorant position. He thinks children will be better armed to criticize Christian religions if they read the Bible. (That seems so indisputable to me, I can't think of anything to say to refute it.) But he also sees is as crucial to an education in Western Civilization. And there is not another a book as crucial.

 

Just deal with it.

 

This is the problem with using tax dollars for anything, yes? Whoever succeeds in getting their opinion published into the curriculum also succeeds in getting everyone else to pay for it and/or be subjected to it -- even those who are idealogically opposed to what's taught. That is unethical. It's unethical to force someone to support something to which they morally object.

 

I'm not angry about the Bible. I couldn't give two craps about the Bible. I'm not angry at all -- I'm pointing out Richard Dawkins' statism and hypocrisy. I've never been a fan of Dawkins for this (and a few other, but mainly this) reason. He thinks it's OK to bully others into his particular brand of atheism, which is the sort of activist-atheism that I find contradictory to a-theism.

 

And TTT, you are right: I oppose a public education system, period. I oppose forcing one group of people to pay for and support the schooling of other people based on yet another group's idea of the "ideal curriculum." There are all kinds of examples of inherent problems with it, but the point remains: Dawkins' continued advocation of using state force to get what he wants is immoral, unethical, and wrong. I don't much care if "that's how England is." It's wrong to force others to bend to your opinion. It's wrong to force other peoples' kids to learn the curriculum that YOU want them to learn.

 

If there's something you believe is important for kids to learn, then teach your own children those things. Don't get the state to force others to teach your kids those things; put down your handbag and teach your kids yourself. If you don't have kids, offer classes for children in your community. Dawkins has a history of these types of rantings, where he advocates the use of government force to get what he wants. It's childish and outright unethical. It has nothing to do with whether or not the Anasazi had myths that were just as outrageous as the myth of the Jewish zombie who performed magic tricks and rose from the grave. It has to do with advocacy of using force to get your will imposed on others.

 

If I had one wish that could be granted by a magical genie, it would be that all atheists would realize what a great advantage they have over others who are trapped in myth -- that they have they ability to see through the cobwebs of indoctrination and use their critical thinking to make wonderful lives for themselves and their loved ones -- and not waste their time advocating force and bullying and violence upon others who don't see as clearly as they do.

 

I have no respect for Dawkins. I will meet him this summer at a conference for freethinkers, and I hope to have a one-on-one discussion with him to ask him some questions about what I see as a very statist and bullying philosophy. If I do, I will definitely "return and report."

 Signature 

Think for yoursef; question authority.

 
Avatar
Long Timer
RankRankRankRankRank
Joined  2007-09-16

Elder OldDog:

With all due respect...

 

two connected observations (I think...), and then an opinion:

 

1.  Christianity is a minority religion.  If we put the Christians on one side of a divide and the 'not Christians' on the other side, the Christians would be significantly outnumbered.  And among the Christians, the KJV might not be the majority choice.  My point being that the number of people who reverence the literary stylings of the KJV is most definitely a minority.

 

2.  During its peak, the leadership group (the upper class) of the British Empire shared a knowledge of Greek and Roman mythology which they used as a sort of 'secret handshake' to identify one another; written and conversational reference to these mythologies and their intricacies indicated an education that only this leadership group could obtain.  This upper class came to assume that a person was not properly 'educated' if one didn't have a grasp of the old mythologies.

 

 

That's what I see in Dawkin's reference to the importance of the KJV.  Mr. Dawkins is a product of his age.  He values the KJV as literature, and I can't fault him.  But I personally believe that the KJV is going to go the way of Greek and Roman mythology as a measure of personal education and awareness.  And this is within a minority group of humanity.  The KJV is already a 'has been' with the majority of humanity, especially since you have to speak decent 'current' English and then pretend to appreciate 15th century English.  There's no logic to this, just a personal preference, right?  

1. Irrelevant. No matter how many times I say, no one seems to get it. This is not about religion. No one cares about your "plights & gripes/as bad as Achilles" about religion. THIS IS NOT ABOUT RELIGION. It does not matter if Christianity is a minority religion because this is not about religion. I will now make a template so I can do a quick click to insert THIS IS NOT ABOUT RELIGION. Not that it will matter or anyone will get it.

 

Last sentence of 1: No. No as in no as in 'N' 'O.' The majority of people who study and humanities, Western Civilization, and English value KVB. As THIS IS NOT ABOUT RELIGION, the value people place on KJB has nothing to do with their religious beliefs. My best professors of such Christian subjects as the Bible and "The Divine Comedy" happened to be Jewish and one lapsed Catholic who is definitely atheist. I have no idea why. Because THIS IS NOT ABOUT RELIGION? (Man! Those templates work!)

 

The importance of KJB remains stubbornly there -- like the fossil record. Like evolution. Its value to student, scholars, and merely the thoughtful is a fact. Perhaps it does not matter to the man on the street. Perhaps the law of gravity doesn't matter to him either. But, like the law of gravity, the role of KJB in the development of our culture doesn't go away because that man doesn't like it, refuses to study it, and even gets angry that some people do study it. The man on the street can pride himself on his ignorance of the law of gravity -- or KJB. But why he would want to is an open question. A lot of people don't read Shakespeare. Nothing wrong with that. It is also nothing to brag about. It's like swaggering, "I don't get evolution!" What do you want people to do? Say, "Congratulations!" and smack a gold star on your forehead? You -- or anyone else who wants to -- can determinedly remain ignorant of the role of KJB in our culture. Whatever. Believe it or not, what you refuse to acknowledge does not obligingly disappear. That is like thinking if you pretend the evidence against the Book of Mormon isn't there, it doesn't count. Or maybe you will wake up one day and it will be gone. That is a Mormon belief -- what I stubbornly refuse to acknowledge doesn't really exist. Only it is not exclusively Mormon. It is human.

 

2. Not exactly. There was simply a body of knowledge -- which included the Bible, as well as Greek and Roman mythology, popular songs, plays, operas, contemporary reading, certain newspapers and journals, certain European travel destinations, certain places in the country and London -- among other things -- that marked one as "a gentleman." There still is. It has changed, but it is still there. And I think you must be thinking of dropping Latin phrases into one's conversation. Didn't actually happen that much. But still -- cute stereotype of the English.

 

3. What makes you think Greek and Roman mythologies have gone anywhere? Or that to be in their company is considered a bad thing? That body of work is as much currency as it ever was. It is valued as much as it ever was. It remains a source of stories and wisdom, very much in vogue. I can name dozens of contemporary stories, novels, movies, and paintings that are based on Greek and Roman mythology. It's like saying, "KJB is going to go the way of Plato and Buddhism!" Yes, yes. So very true. And your point is?

 Signature 

A man who does not think for himself does not think at all.Oscar Wilde

 
Avatar
Long Timer
RankRankRankRankRank
Joined  2009-06-13

thewriterwithin:
PJ:
thewriterwithin:
PJ:
I believe there is too much credit given to the King James Version's influence on the English language.  I believe the English language would have developed more or less to the same degree whether the KJV had been written or not.  One has to remember that the writers of the KJV took a step backwards when writing it because the King wanted it in old style English; people at the time didn't speak using that type of English.  It was written that way to sound more poetic and reverent.

Amused smile. So. You did not do well in English. But I'm sure you have your strengths.

 

 

What's that supposed to mean?  Are you coming with the personal attacks once again?  How about checking your own English writing before criticising others?  I have three languages rolling around in my head, how many do you have?

You're amused, well, I'm even more so.

 

I didn't think of it as a personal attack.

 

It is just that what you wrote is rather like something a creationist might say in a class on evolution, sort of like saying the world would be the same whether god created it or it evolved that way. Hmm -- maybe not... It is the sort of statement that is going to make the teacher smile -- as long as he has a good sense of humor. But I can't take it seriously. Sorry. I can't think of anyone who knows the history of English who can take the idea seriously that KJB simply doesn't matter, or the twist that the writers "took a step backward" because they spun out poetic (and gorgeous) prose. You mean -- like Shakespeare took a step backward by writing in iambic pentameter and emphasizing with couplets? Yeah. That was a problem... If you don't want to make people smile, don't say things that provoke smiles. 

 

If you want to take your position seriously -- fine. But you can take the chip off your shoulder. No one is attacking you. And I don't claim to have any superiority at all. I completely struggle with languages. I didn't get my BA for decades because I'm such an idiot at learning languages. I despaired of ever pretending to learn another, my English is far from perfect, and my proof reading worse.

Not a personal attack - that's funny.  Saying that I did not do well in English is a personal attack.

It is nothing like what a creationist might say as the meaning would not imply the same in correlation.  When the KJV was written the English language was already well established.  The KJV scholars used already existing words.  They just didn't write it in the common language as used by the people of the day.

A teacher smiling at that comment would be seriously lacking in education.  I wouldn't want to be a part of that class.

If somebody decided to use older style English when writing a new novel that would be taking a step backwards; that of course doesn't necessarily mean it's a bad thing but it would be a step backwards in a literary sense.

I never said the KJV doesn't matter only that it is given too much credit.  There is no question that the English language would have developed as it should whether there had been a KJV or not.

I wasn't trying to provoke anybody just sharing an opinion which is based on many years of research.  You obviously feel a need to defend the Bible at every turn.  This appears to be your goal on here.  And it appears to be the same for religion.

There is no chip on my shoulder, and I was being attacked on a personal level.  And this attacking seems to be a common theme with you.  I leave a post sharing an opinion and you come back with negativity and personal attacks.  And then you accuse me of having a chip on my shoulder.

 

 Signature 

If you could reason with religious people, there would be no religious people. -  Dr. Gregory House.


There’s a time for diplomacy, a time for plainness and then there’s a time to just let it rip.
- Peter Lindberg Jensen.

 

The most rewarding thing in life is to live authentically.
- Peter Lindberg Jensen.


There’s nothing like looking through the door of reality and seeing what’s there. How can this not be more interesting than looking through the door of ignorance and seeing nothing?
- Peter Lindberg Jensen.

 
Avatar
Long Timer
RankRankRankRankRank
Joined  2009-07-30

thewriterwithin:
Elder OldDog:

With all due respect...

 

two connected observations (I think...), and then an opinion:

 

1.  Christianity is a minority religion.  If we put the Christians on one side of a divide and the 'not Christians' on the other side, the Christians would be significantly outnumbered.  And among the Christians, the KJV might not be the majority choice.  My point being that the number of people who reverence the literary stylings of the KJV is most definitely a minority.

 

2.  During its peak, the leadership group (the upper class) of the British Empire shared a knowledge of Greek and Roman mythology which they used as a sort of 'secret handshake' to identify one another; written and conversational reference to these mythologies and their intricacies indicated an education that only this leadership group could obtain.  This upper class came to assume that a person was not properly 'educated' if one didn't have a grasp of the old mythologies.

 

 

That's what I see in Dawkin's reference to the importance of the KJV.  Mr. Dawkins is a product of his age.  He values the KJV as literature, and I can't fault him.  But I personally believe that the KJV is going to go the way of Greek and Roman mythology as a measure of personal education and awareness.  And this is within a minority group of humanity.  The KJV is already a 'has been' with the majority of humanity, especially since you have to speak decent 'current' English and then pretend to appreciate 15th century English.  There's no logic to this, just a personal preference, right?  

1. Irrelevant. No matter how many times I say, no one seems to get it. This is not about religion. No one cares about your "plights & gripes/as bad as Achilles" about religion. THIS IS NOT ABOUT RELIGION. It does not matter if Christianity is a minority religion because this is not about religion. I will now make a template so I can do a quick click to insert THIS IS NOT ABOUT RELIGION. Not that it will matter or anyone will get it.

 

Last sentence of 1: No. No as in no as in 'N' 'O.' The majority of people who study and humanities, Western Civilization, and English value KVB. As THIS IS NOT ABOUT RELIGION, the value people place on KJB has nothing to do with their religious beliefs. My best professors of such Christian subjects as the Bible and "The Divine Comedy" happened to be Jewish and one lapsed Catholic who is definitely atheist. I have no idea why. Because THIS IS NOT ABOUT RELIGION? (Man! Those templates work!)

 

The importance of KJB remains stubbornly there -- like the fossil record. Like evolution. Its value to student, scholars, and merely the thoughtful is a fact. Perhaps it does not matter to the man on the street. Perhaps the law of gravity doesn't matter to him either. But, like the law of gravity, the role of KJB in the development of our culture doesn't go away because that man doesn't like it, refuses to study it, and even gets angry that some people do study it. The man on the street can pride himself on his ignorance of the law of gravity -- or KJB. But why he would want to is an open question. A lot of people don't read Shakespeare. Nothing wrong with that. It is also nothing to brag about. It's like swaggering, "I don't get evolution!" What do you want people to do? Say, "Congratulations!" and smack a gold star on your forehead? You -- or anyone else who wants to -- can determinedly remain ignorant of the role of KJB in our culture. Whatever. Believe it or not, what you refuse to acknowledge does not obligingly disappear. That is like thinking if you pretend the evidence against the Book of Mormon isn't there, it doesn't count. Or maybe you will wake up one day and it will be gone. That is a Mormon belief -- what I stubbornly refuse to acknowledge doesn't really exist. Only it is not exclusively Mormon. It is human.

 

2. Not exactly. There was simply a body of knowledge -- which included the Bible, as well as Greek and Roman mythology, popular songs, plays, operas, contemporary reading, certain newspapers and journals, certain European travel destinations, certain places in the country and London -- among other things -- that marked one as "a gentleman." There still is. It has changed, but it is still there. And I think you must be thinking of dropping Latin phrases into one's conversation. Didn't actually happen that much. But still -- cute stereotype of the English.

 

3. What makes you think Greek and Roman mythologies have gone anywhere? Or that to be in their company is considered a bad thing? That body of work is as much currency as it ever was. It is valued as much as it ever was. It remains a source of stories and wisdom, very much in vogue. I can name dozens of contemporary stories, novels, movies, and paintings that are based on Greek and Roman mythology. It's like saying, "KJB is going to go the way of Plato and Buddhism!" Yes, yes. So very true. And your point is?

I think I'm arguing just for the sake of arguing...  And I mean no disrespect: 

 

If we use your example of evolution, and fossil records, then I suppose I'm saying that the KJV is part of the fossil record that explains how English speakers reached the point at which we all find ourselves.  My point, if any, is that the majority of English speakers do not think about the KJV as they communicate.  I've read the KJV cover to cover, and done the same with the Spanish language bible we used in the mission field, the Cipriano de Valera.  When I speak in either language, I have no awareness that these fossil records are influencing either my thoughts or my speech.

 

I have a lot of interaction with people (in both languages) and the circumstances that being this about are such that these individuals are by and large limited to high school educations, or less.  I also had contact with a pool of college kids (CSU level, which is a rung beneath CA's best school, the UC system) when my boys were in college.  I've never quizzed any of these people about their knowledge of the KJV.  But I would bet a decent amount of money that very, very few of them had self-inflicted the KJV on themselves.  Absent a religious reason, why would they?  Oh, sure, you can praise it and encourage others to bask in its glory, but what tiny percentage will actually make it any further than the first few chapters of Genesis?  

 

Granted, our American Culture pumps a bit of the KJV into Christmas and Easter, but it's easily drowned out by the drumbeats of the commerce these seasons support.

 

I get that the KJV is an enduring monolith of literature that will forever be a foundation of the culture of English speakers.  So are the Sunday comics.  And more and more and more and more, so is television and the Internet.  Right now 'content' is created by people with 'classical' educations, and they know the KJV.  But the people I meet under the age of 25, they aren't aware that some of what they 'know' is thanks to the KJV.  They don't know that some of what they understand about their 'humaness' is explained by the KJV, not to mention the mythologies from other cultures.  We've seen it right here on this board, where younger members talk to use using the parables of Star Wars and Harry Potter.

 

We're humans, we have passions and prejudices, and at some point (hopefully) we gain some useful knowledge about how these passions and prejudices influence our lives.  Much of what we learn is through stories.  You and I, because of our ages, learned quite a few years ago, and the KJV was a frequently cited source.  But our day is over.  The KJV is a fossil record, and the important things it teaches are being learned via newer offerings, extant, current records, that are more appreciated by today's young.  Sure, you can trace these newer offerings back to the KJV's fossil records, but the kids don't know this and don't care.  It does seem to me to be absurd that kids can learn some of the things the KJV teaches from rap songs, but apparently it's being done! It's the same knowledge, coming from a different container.  

 

You can squawk in horror that the KJV is not being given the respect that it's due, but 96.5% of the world's English speakers won't even bother to register your protest.  The 3.5% who do are getting their degrees in something in which the KJV is integral.

 

This is all just opinion.  I believe I understand the position you are taking on behalf a favorite fossil record.  And yes, I agree that the KJV has impacted our culture and deserves to be appreciated.  But it won't be, except by that 3.5%.  I'm not arguing against your position; I'm offering a different, obviously less respectful, point of view.

 

It's like inviting someone from the class of 1962 to speak at the class of 2012's graduation exercise.  What worked to make life tolerable for the 1962 graduate is neither interesting nor edifying to the members of the class of 2012.  The kids in the seats are going to hear, "...blah, blah, blah, honesty... blah, blah, hard work...  blah blah, faith in yourself... blah, blah, give back to the community...blah, blah, blah..." and at the end of the speech they'll applaud politely and then 82% will go get drunk on their asses and never remember the speaker's name or his message, per se.  They already have a template they'll try to follow for the success they think they want.

 

 

 

 
Avatar
Long Timer
RankRankRankRankRank
Joined  2008-08-12

PJ: I believe there is too much credit given to the King James Version's influence on the English language. I believe the English language would have developed more or less to the same degree whether the KJV had been written or not. One has to remember that the writers of the KJV took a step backwards when writing it because the King wanted it in old style English; people at the time didn't speak using that type of English. It was written that way to sound more poetic and reverent.
And those who could read and write were of the upper crust of society....the royals/wealthy landowners/churchmen etc. etc. The regular folk only heard others read it out-loud to them...on Sundays. The rest of the week, they were toiling in labors...using their quaint language in their day-by-day dealings. The bible's influence was among the power-monger conquerors...who used it against everyone else. The only influence it had was encouraging the murder of millions.
 Signature 

I’ve begun worshiping the sun for a number of reasons. First of all, unlike some other gods I could mention, I can see the sun. It’s there for me every day. And the things it brings me are quite apparent all the time: heat, light, food, a lovely day. There’s no mystery, no one asks for money, I don’t have to dress up, and there’s no boring pageantry. And interestingly enough, I have found that the prayers I offer to the sun and the prayers I formerly offered to God are all answered at about the same 50-percent rate.” George Carlin

 
1 of 2
1
     
 


Our next project
will be announced soon.

Tax exempt status.
Hank

Logged in: 1
Not logged in: 69
Logged in anonymous: 0
(Joined in last 24 hours)
 

Total members: 9746
I Need A Hero
by SoulSherlock
INTRODUCE YOURSELVES - TAG YOU'RE IT!
by Born, raised, escaped
Ok, I'm disturbed
by DaveManCan