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Weird Science?

15 Oct

                              

             

Weird Science

One day in class we were reading a passage from a novel about one apocalypse or another and a student said,

“I can’t wait for a nuclear war!”

I looked up from our reading rather surprised and said, “Really? Why is that?”

“Because then, she answered with a big smile on her face, Jesus will come back!”

One of the things that can make being a teacher so difficult is that eventually you realize the tremendous influence that powerful teaching and learning can have on children and then you realize the frightening permanence it can have also.

There is an old saying that goes: “Any fool can learn but it takes a wise man to unlearn!”

Learning is a powerful activity and sometimes we can decide what we will learn and at other times someone else may decide for us. It often depends upon our age and our curiosities and our abilities to absorb and process information at the time it is being presented to our brains. Hopefully the input that reaches our brains will raise many questions that will lead us to great conversations and further debates and hopefully more answers and then still more questions that we haven’t even thought about yet. That’s how the process works! Or at least should work. And there’s the rub. For example:

Evolution, embryology and the Big Bang theory are major underpinnings of mainstream science. And Georgia Republican Rep. Paul Broun, a physician who sits on the House Science, Space and Technology Committee, says they are “lies straight from the pit of hell.”

Here are some of his remarks:

“God’s word is true. I’ve come to understand that. All that stuff I was taught about evolution, embryology, Big Bang theory, all that is lies straight from the pit of hell. It’s lies to try to keep me and all the folks who are taught that from understanding that they need a savior. There’s a lot of scientific data that I found out as a scientist that actually show that this is really a young Earth. I believe that the Earth is about 9,000 years old. I believe that it was created in six days as we know them. That’s what the Bible says. And what I’ve come to learn is that it’s the manufacturer’s handbook, is what I call it. It teaches us how to run our lives individually. How to run our families, how to run our churches. But it teaches us how to run all our public policy and everything in society. And that’s the reason, as your congressman, I hold the Holy Bible as being the major directions to me of how I vote in Washington, D.C., and I’ll continue to do that.”

This, for me, is why we endeavor to separate our churches from our state and consequently from our public schools.

First of all no matter what faith our founding fathers were they recognized that we have a lot of different religions in the world. And even if we want to give the many Christians in this country their due and acknowledge that many if not most of our founding fathers were Christian in their faith and beliefs those founding fathers also recognized that there are an awful lot of different Christian faiths in the world. And even though they may all share the same basic tenets they sure have a lot of basic differences too: Just reference the last 2,000 years of war and strife in the world many of which pitted Christians against other Christians. Hence, I believe our founding fathers were not being anti-religious, they were simply being practical. Why give future politicians something else to fight over and about. All they had to do was look at history. Adding religion to state politics and institutions was like adding oil to water or nitro to glycerin or… science to faith.

They saw that future governments needed to be flexible and to invite change and inquiry. Governments would need to grow and adapt to an ever increasing and diversifying population of free people. Religions weren’t good at that. Whenever a religion wants to change it has to make another religion. That wouldn’t work well in a republic of various and different states that they were hoping to unite against a common cause there in their present and hopefully on into a distant future. And they were right!

We’ve made many changes in our government over the last 200+ years and we have managed to remain united and together.

And here’s another reason why we need to continue that way.

     On another day in class my students and I were reading The Crucible by Arthur Miller when one of my students asked why or how people could have ever believed in witches. “Well, I replied, one possible reason is that the Puritans who settled Massachusetts were very religious and there is a passage in the bible which states:  “Thou shalt not suffer awitch to live.”And so perhaps that’s why they so fervently believed in witches.” It’s from Exodus 22:18 of the King James Version.

     Another student then raised her hand and said. “What are you talking about? That’s not in my bible!” And she was quite upset about it. And quite right!… as I discovered the next day when she brought in her bible and we compared our two versions. Sure enough, her bible wasn’t the same as my bible and had no mention of witches!

     Now let’s get back to Congressman Broun who actually does sit on the Congressional Committee for Science and Technology (If you can believe it!) and by his own admission, he believes in neither! Is this good government?! Should the pope be Catholic?!

     But in Congressman Broun’s  thinking, he just wants government to be governed by “The Word” of god. Use the “manufacturer’s handbook” he says, which of course unequivocally tells us all that we need to know about science and such separate state nonsense like that.

     But aren’t there many different “Words”?  As my student pointed out to me so many years ago, there are so many different bibles. Which one has the real words? Which one has the first “unedited by man” words? Imagine men having the utter audacity to edit the word of god? But they have. So who has the correct book of words? That’s my question! And one that I do believe would be of utmost importance to answer before we decided it would be a good idea to set aside our founding fathers’ advice and meld church and state and govern ourselves under one set of words, laws, commandments (even those are different depending on which book you read) Go ahead and check it out with this list of authentic, unadulterated, authorized bibles.

Douay-Rheims (RHE)

English Standard Version (ESV)

GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)

Good News Translation (GNT)

Holman Christian Standard (CSB)

King James Version (KJV)

Lexham English Bible (LEB)

New American Standard (NAS)

New International Version (NIV)

New King James Version (NKJV)

New Living Translation (NLT)

New Revised Standard (NRS)

Revised Standard Version (RSV)

The Message (MSG)

American Standard Version (ASV)

Common English Bible (CEB)

Audio Bible

Bible in Basic English (BBE)

Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

Hebrew Names Version (HNV)

New Century Version (NCV)

New International Reader’s Version (NIRV)

Third Millennium Bible (TMB)

Today’s New International Version (TNIV)

World English Bible (WEB)

Young’s Literal Translation (YLT)

Weymouth New Testament (WNT)

The Darby Translation (DBY)

The Latin Vulgate (VUL)

The Webster Bible (WBT)

Wycliffe (WYC)

La Biblia de las Américas (BLA)

La Biblia Reina-Valera (RVR)

Sagradas Escrituras (1569) (SEV)

Louis Segond 1910 (French) (LSG)

Ostervald (French) (OST)

Elberfelder 1905 (German) (ELB)

Luther Bible 1912 (German) (LUT)

Giovanni Diodati 1649 (Italian) (GDB)

Riveduta 1927 (Italian) (RIV)

Statenvertaling (Dutch) (SVV

I think our founding fathers were way ahead of us. They knew what they were doing… so until someone can tell me which word is the word and prove it, I think we should just let all of the churches and religions remain separate from all of the other churches and religions just like they are now (How in the hell did that happen?) and just leave the states and the public schools alone.

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