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Hobby Lobby Bible Curriculum Delayed

Here’s a bit of good news on the Hobby Lobby front. The Bible curriculum that the Green family has spent a fortune developing, which was supposed to debut in one Oklahoma school district this fall, is being delayed due to “unforeseen delays” of some very vague type.

Fresh off their victory in the Supreme Court, the Green family, owners of the Hobby Lobby craft chain, appear to have hit a stumbling block in one of their other projects — a potentially controversial public school elective on the Bible.

On Wednesday (July 16), the nonprofit led by Steve Green announced it was postponing the August introduction of the curriculum adopted by the Mustang, Okla., school district.

“We have operated on an aggressive timeline to deliver the curriculum for the upcoming school year,” wrote Jerry Pattengale, editor for the projected four-year high school syllabus, in a prepared statement. But “unforeseen delays” necessitated postponing the debut until January.

Pattengale, who has previously said he hoped to see the full curriculum introduced in thousands of schools by 2016, wrote: “We will continue to work with Mustang and other school districts that have shown interest” in the program.

I suspect they may be trying to fix some of the glaring proselytizing that was pointed out by Prof. Mark Chancey in his analysis of the curriculum. Green has said quite bluntly that his goal is to get kids to believe in the Bible, but they’re trying like hell to hide that fact.

Comments

  1. raven says

    Green has said quite bluntly that his goal is to get kids to believe in the Bible, but they’re trying like hell to hide that fact.

    You can’t put that toothpaste back in the tube. The internet has a long memory.

    Green is on record as a ultra rich religious kook determined to force his cult version of xianity on whoever he can. There is no way he can hide that.

  2. StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return! says

    Good. Hopefully this now doesn’t happen. Great to have some good news these days!

  3. eric says

    I’m curious to know whether this was really the Green family reacting to the bad press, or the Mustang school district family reacting to the bad press but letting the Green’s spin it as an internal decision.

  4. says

    I suspect they may be trying to fix some of the glaring proselytizing that was pointed out by Prof. Mark Chancey in his analysis of the curriculum.

    So they’re starting over?

  5. raven says

    Most likely it was the threat of lawsuits from seculars and other xians that slowed them down.

    There will be lawsuits. And their lawyers said they would probably lose them.

    There still will be lawsuits.

    The fact that it is an elective doesn’t make much difference. It does mean it won’t be too effective in Green’s goal of converting kids. Probably only fundie kids will take it to confirm what they already believe.

  6. D. C. Sessions says

    Green has said quite bluntly that his goal is to get kids to believe in the Bible, but they’re trying like hell to hide that fact.

    Should we name it the “Dover Principle:” that whenever fundies try to pretend that they have some secular purpose for their transparent attempts to establish a State religion, they simply can not keep from bragging about it?

    I mean, this is such a trite trope that comic books have pretty much given up on it!

  7. busterggi says

    The lamb and the fish should not be symbols of Christianity – the weasel is much more appropriate.

  8. Michael Heath says

    busterggi writes:

    The lamb and the fish should not be symbols of Christianity – the weasel is much more appropriate.

    A herd of sheep is a vivid illustration of authoritarian Christians; at least when it comes to some aspects of their behavior. Weasels are as well, but let’s not ignore their sheeplike behavior.

  9. Larry says

    I sure its just that they were gathering material from other non-christian religions so that a fair and balanced look at the various holy texts could be presented in a totally non-judgmental way and they ran out of time because there are so many. After all, these folks are all about simply presenting the alternatives and letting the kids decide.

    Right?

  10. raven says

    After all, these folks are all about simply presenting the alternatives and letting the kids decide.

    It’s Academic Freedom and Teach the Controversy!!!

    1. Did jesus actually exist or is he a mythological invention?

    2. Is the bible mostly fiction or all fiction?

    3. How many of “Pauls Letters” are forgeries?

    These are all real controversies among biblical scholars.

  11. vhutchison says

    A public discussion on the Mustang plans to offer the Green family Bible course scheduled for 22 July and led by well-known Oklahoma activist Jim Huff may have also contributed to the decision to delay the Green family offer.

    http://www.mustangpaper.com/contentitem/374165/1586/meeting-to-discuss-district%E2%80%99s-bible-class

    Jim is a Board member of Oklahomans for Excellence in Science Education ( httpf://oklascience.org ) and active in many other progressive organizations. The public discussion, supported by Oklahomans concerned with separation issues, is likely to shed light on why the Bible course is probably unconstitutional, proselytizing, etc. Such public exposure that would gain much media coverage was likely a factor in the decision to delay adoption.

  12. eric says

    @8:

    Should we name it the “Dover Principle:” that whenever fundies try to pretend that they have some secular purpose for their transparent attempts to establish a State religion, they simply can not keep from bragging about it?

    I don’t think it needs a special principle – the “stealth strategy” is just fundamentally flawed at its core, and any attempt to implement it will have this problem. To appeal to creationists or pro-bible christians, the public official will eventually have to communicate to that group that that’s what the proposed policy supports…and then the cat is out of the bag, because in this day an age, it is impossible to communicate to a wide section of society without the news services and rest of society figuring the message out too. But let’s say they get away with that. Further down the road, they will have to eventually teach what they want to teach, and then the cat will be out of the bag again. So no matter how stealthy they think they’re being, there’s probably at least two stages in the process (of implementing creationist curricula) where the real ground truth of what you’re doing is going to be available to people not in the fold.

    That doesn’t mean the strategy will always fail, but it does mean that it’s never going to be perfectly stealthy, no matter how hard they try.

  13. says

    What gets them into trouble with the Dover Principle is that they sometimes forget which audience they’re speaking to. When talking amongst themselves, it’s perfectly fine to discuss the real agenda. But then they venture outside the bubble and forget that they’re supposed to lie when speaking to the general public.

  14. abb3w says

    D. C. Sessions :

    I mean, this is such a trite trope that comic books have pretty much given up on it!

    Mostly, but not entirely. TV Tropes has a nice entry on Evil Gloating and related tropes. Perhaps this example should be added to a “real life” section for it?

  15. eric says

    @15 – that’s a part of it, but not all of it. Sometimes the public message is the most important communication or only communication the official is going to get, and if they want the creationists to support the curricula, they have to mention God or bible or Jesus or whatever. Its not always a tactical failure of speech, its a strategic failure in thinking you’ll never have a mixed audience for your message.

    I also think we do something of a disfavor to the “creationist on the street” constituent when we imply that they like the stealth strategy or support it. IMO, they want politicians and administrators to be honest and forthright too…just honest and forthright for their side insteead of ours. The stealth strategy is the sort of thing invented by elites to reach elites, but IMO it doesn’t really work for the general public on either side of the issue.

  16. says

    “A herd of sheep is a vivid illustration of authoritarian Christians; at least when it comes to some aspects of their behavior. Weasels are as well, but let’s not ignore their sheeplike behavior.”

    Sheazles?

    You know what you really don’t want to think about? the KKKristian FlocKKKs in places like Wyoming and Montana. Just sayin’.

  17. peterh says

    @ Raven:

    Of “Paul’s letters,” three at least are demonstrable forgeries, two more nearly certain and another quite likely. And a few other NT epistles, such as I & II Peter are demonstrably forgeries as well.

  18. phred says

    “And the Lamb shall lie down with the Weasel…”
    -from the Epistle to the Phlatulonians

  19. dingojack says

    d.c.wilson – it seems to me the real problem is their assumption that most people are within ‘the bubble’.
    Dingo

  20. vhutchison says

    Oklahoma activist Jim Huff, a former teacher,presented a detailed slide review of the Green curriculum at a public meeting in the Mustang library last week. He pointed out the many omissions and problems with the curriculum he had reviewed. Unfortunately, only three Mustang residents attended, but others from the area did attend. It is too bad that the local school superintendent and other residents did not come to hear about the many concerns. Notice was posted in the local newspaper and elsewhere. They may have been fearful of the comments, but all was very fair and considerate of various religious views.

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