Feeling emboldened by a Supreme Court victory that allows them to legally deny women health care options because corporations are people with feelings, rights, and religions, Hobby Lobby has a fresh and new idea: a public school elective class on the Bible that the owners hope will one day become mandatory.
Christofascist Steve Green, President of Hobby Lobby, recently let slip at the Templeton Award Ceremony that the company has big plans for America’s children:
We’re working on 4 year public school bible curriculum. The first year will be a summary of all three of those section. It’s history, it’s impact and it’s story. Then the next 3 years is going in depth in each of those — a year for the history, a year for the impact and a year for the story — in some order… The nation is in danger because of its ignorance of what God has taught. . . . If we don’t know it, our future is going to be very scary … We were looking – uh- we — we were talking – – discussed a college curriculum but it’s no — we really want to get — be into the – um – high school level because we want to reach as many as possible. Someday, I would argue, it should be mandated. Here’s a book that’s impacted our world, unlike any other, and you’re not gonna teach it? There’s — there’s something wrong with that.
Unfortunately for Hobby Lobby the August introduction of the curriculum, which was accepted by the Mustang School District in Oklahoma before it was even written, has hit a bit of a snag and has been postponed. “We have operated on an aggressive timeline to deliver the curriculum for the upcoming school year,” wrote Jerry Pattengale, editor for the four-year syllabus, but “unforeseen delays” have led to the curriculum’s postponement until January. “We will continue to work with Mustang and other school districts that have shown interest,” he added.
So…what’s the problem? Mustang made 220 pages of the first book, The Book: The Bible’s History, Narrative and Impact public. That’s all.
The Freedom From Religion Foundation put it best in a letter written to the Mustang School district. “I am amazed that any school district would think this is appropriate for public schools,” said Seidel, adding that his amazement isn’t accompanied by surprise. “This just confirms the suspicions we had about the class last year. Clearly, Hobby Lobby and the Greens are trying to convert children to their particular brand of Christianity. There is nothing scholarly, fair or balanced about the curriculum.”
The curriculum makes wild claims like, “[W]e can conclude that the Bible, especially when viewed alongside other historical information, is a reliable historical source.” According to Seth McDaniel of the FFRF:
The textbook does not comport with the legal requirements of a public school bible class. Its use in a public school would be unconstitutional and subject the school to serious legal liability. This letter is necessarily brief as we have only just received the materials. But even a cursory glance raised so many problems that we were compelled to write immediately.
… The materials show a clear Christian bias, treat the bible as historically accurate and true in all respects, and make theological claims, to name but a few problems. Again, these criticisms are not exhaustive, they were apparent at a glance. MPS should refuse to implement this program.
Others have been very outspoken about the curriculum, as well. “In its current form, sectarian bias, including the principle that the Bible is inerrant, is built into the structure,” said Mark Chancey, a religion professor at Southern Methodist University in Dallas.
The course has been postponed to allow the “glitches,” or, as most of us would call them, grievous Constitutional violations, to be worked out.
Courses like this exist all around the country and are permissible because they do not treat the Bible as the infallible word of a supernatural being, but instead approach the book from a scholarly perspective.
Hobby Lobby also plans a Bible museum in Washington D.C. For a company that just wants the religious freedom to discriminate against women based on its purported religious beliefs, the craft chain sure spends a lot of money attempting to proselytize its beliefs. It’s no wonder only idiots support Hobby Lobby.