In Louisiana, Governor Bobby Jindal has ensured that the state will pay to have Christian children taught lies and bigotry through conservative, evangelical Christian education courses. Jindal is using vouchers to achieve this and it would be an incredible scandal if the national media cared about this sort of thing.
Bobby Jindal, 2011
Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty
Some of the religious schools that will receive state funding are surely doing a decent job, but others definitely aren't because they will be using texts from the Christian fundamentalist A Beka Book, Bob Jones University Press, and Accelerated Christian Education curriculum. This curriculum is a travesty of lies and deceit.
It's not just that extremist schools teaching lies will get state funding, which is bad enough, but that the funding comes at the expense of public schools. In Louisiana, it looks like the money available for public schools will be cut in half. This will prevent them from doing their job... and how much do you want to bet that this will be used as an excuse to divert even more money to religious schools as a "superior" alternative to "failing" public schools.
One of the schools cleared to receive substantial new funding through LA governor Bobby Jindal's voucher program is Eternity Christian Academy, in Westlake, LA, which according to Independent Weekly writer Walter Pierce, "...has been approved to accept 135 new students."
"That's a considerable uptick in enrollment, which at the end of this school year stood at 38 -- a more than 300 percent increase. Talk about buttressing the budget; $1 million in tax dollars will be diverted from the public school system to Eternity Christian, a school that, according to its mission statement, offers "a quality faith-based curriculum that is soley [sic] based on principles from the Bible ..."
Some lies taught by Accelerated Christian Education:
- Science Proves Homosexuality is a Learned Behavior
- The Second Law of Thermodynamics Disproves Evolution
- No Transitional Fossils Exist
- Humans and Dinosaurs Co-Existed
- Evolution Has Been Disproved
- A Japanese Whaling Boat Found a Dinosaur
- Solar Fusion is a Myth
And this is what Christian children are taught when they use textbooks from Bob Jones:
- Only ten percent of Africans can read or write, because Christian mission schools have been shut down by communists.
- "the [Ku Klux] Klan in some areas of the country tried to be a means of reform, fighting the decline in morality and using the symbol of the cross... In some communities it achieved a certain respectability as it worked with politicians."
- "God used the 'Trail of Tears' to bring many Indians to Christ."
- It "cannot be shown scientifically that that man-made pollutants will one day drastically reduce the depth of the atmosphere's ozone layer."
- "God has provided certain 'checks and balances' in creation to prevent many of the global upsets that have been predicted by environmentalists."
- the Great Depression was exaggerated by propagandists, including John Steinbeck, to advance a socialist agenda.
- "Unions have always been plagued by socialists and anarchists who use laborers to destroy the free-enterprise system that hardworking Americans have created."
- Bill Clinton's 1992 presidential win was due to an imaginary economic crisis created by the media.
- "The greatest struggle of all time, the Battle of Armageddon, will occur in the Middle East when Christ returns to set up his kingdom on earth."
Do Christian parents have a right to teach their kids this sort of nonsense or to pay others to teach their kids this sort of nonsense? Absolutely. Part of me wishes that they didn't, but I can't deny that they have a right to do it.
Should the state and taxpayers be paying for Christian parents to teach this sort of nonsense to their kids? Absolutely not. There's no excuse or justification for it -- it's bad enough that parents and Christian leaders are teaching kids this sort of thing, but it can't be allowed to happen with state funding.