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Biblical instruction teaches school children about murdering donkeys and atheists

Biblical instruction teaches school children about murdering donkeys and atheists

Katherine Stewart, journalist and author of The Good News Club, has been warning that there is an effort to include extreme, fundamentalist Christian indoctrination in American schools.  In the May 30, 2012, issue of The Guardian, she noted that one of the after-school Biblical studies to be taught to over 100,000 American schoolchildren is the story of Saul and the Amalekites:

In the book of 1 Samuel (15:3), God said to Saul:

"Now go, attack the Amalekites, and totally destroy all that belongs to them. Do not spare them; put to death men and women, children and infants, cattle and sheep, camels and donkeys."

Saul dutifully exterminated the women, the children, the babies and all of the men – but then he spared the king. He also saved some of the tastier looking calves and lambs. God was furious with him for his failure to finish the job.

The story of the Amalekites has been used to justify genocide throughout the ages.

[...]

This fall, more than 100,000 American public school children, ranging in age from four to 12, are scheduled to receive instruction in the lessons of Saul and the Amalekites in the comfort of their own public school classrooms. The instruction, which features in the second week of a weekly "Bible study" course, will come from the Good News Club, an after-school program sponsored by a group called the Child Evangelism Fellowship (CEF). The aim of the CEF is to convert young children to a fundamentalist form of the Christian faith and recruit their peers to the club.

Ana Kasparian and Cenk Uygur of The Young Turks commented on this story, noting that it calls into question what can be taught in after-school programs and what the Bible is about.

"I always say, read the Bible," Uygur remarked, "and if you read this and say, 'Oh, yeah, you know what, God is awesome because He wanted you to wipe out that entire race, including their fricking donkeys' … okay, all right. And I know everybody's got a lot of excuses — 'Oh no, that's in the Old Testament, the New Testament takes out the Old Testament except for Genesis and the Garden of Eden and except for all the parts that we like and except for hating the gays.'"


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Stewart, in her article published at The Guardian, notes that the teaching materials emphasize absolute obedience to God and that non-believers deserved punishment:

The Amalekites had heard about Israel's true and living God many years before, but they refused to believe in him. The Amalekites refused to believe in God and God had promised punishment.

About D. Beeksma

One of the growing crowd of American "nones" herself, Deborah is a prolific writer who finds religion, spirituality and the impact of belief (and non-belief) on culture inspiring, fascinating and at times, disturbing. She hosts the God Discussion show and handles the site's technical work. Her education and background is in business, ecommerce and law.
  • http://www.houseofbetazed.com Mriana

    It's a shame this stuff won't just disappear or at the very least, Fundamngelicals stop taking it so literally and see it for what it really is- literature and mythology.

    • Jansimpsons

      What are  you talking about?   Mythology? you better go and read more – then come back and restate –

      • http://www.houseofbetazed.com Mriana

        I've read more than you know.  I've even taken college courses on religion and mythology.  I've not only read the Bile many times over, as well as studied it in many classes, I've even read both the Egyptian and Tibetan Book of the Dead, the Tao, many Gnostic Gospels, The Gita, the Acts of the Buddha, the Quran, and many other religious texts.  Many of the stories are the same motif, that dates back to the beginning of mythology, including and esp Solar Theology. As Fr Tom Harper says, "Religion is mythology misunderstood."  The JC of the Bile never existed, because the Bile is pure mythology.  That's what I'm talking about.

        I cannot restate my statement.  The Bible is pure written mythology and JC never existed as portrayed in the Bible.  At least the Buddhists are honest and admit the Buddha's miraculous birth story is a myth.  It's time Xians were honest and admitted that JC's miraculous birth story is a myth also, just as Horus and Krishna's miraculous birth story is also.  The whole story of JC is no different any other dying and rising gods of past mythology.  It's the same mythological motif.

        • Dhci

          So…why do you even read these articles? Are you hoping to save those who believe? Are you afraid you missed something in all of your study? Are you afraid you might be mistaken?

          • http://www.houseofbetazed.com Mriana

            I write some of the articles on this site, including the news articles, in case you haven't noticed.  However, your questions make no sense.  Why do you read these articles?  Are you afraid you missed something?  Are you afraid you might be mistaken?  Believing is not a requirement to read such articles nor is it a requirement to write them either.  You may find that many religious scholars are not believers either, yet they still teach and study religion.  Many view it as mythology also and many professors teach mythology, enjoy it, but they don't believe a word of it anymore than they do the Wizard of Oz.  The same goes for literature professors.  They don't believe a word of Shakespeare actually happened  Again, believing the fairy tale is not a requirement.

  • Tria MacLeod

    BS like this is why religious institutions must be taxed.   They are using our public school to teach hate and validate why 'the other' is to be feared and harmed.   Humans have enough effing problems getting along with each other, we don't need crackpots using God to add to the trouble.   And I don't care if it is 'after school'  it is still in a publicly funded building, the heat, electric, etc is being paid for with public taxes.  If they want to teach crap like this, keep it in their houses of worship.

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