Teach Your Children Well

I keep trying to get out, but they keep pulling me back in. Just one day after swearing off high-profile blogs (more on that later), I came across a story on Atrios that will be interesting to educators at all levels.

According to the Portland (Me) Press-Herald, Gary Cole, a 7th grade public school history teacher, is suing his school district, claiming that he was barred from teaching about non-Christian religions and civilizations. The prohibitions are due to a strict curriculum supported by a “a small group of fundamentalist Christian individuals” who complained about it to the school board.

Having been raised by cool, smart (and liberal) fundamentalist Christian parents, I know that all fundamentalists aren’t inclined to be so doggedly (or even dogmatically) anti-intellectual, but reducing the schools’ curriculum into something so narrow that students have little opportunity to learn about anything other than themselves is incredibly dangerous. I’m struggling with this entry because I often find it difficult to discuss this part of my background, but this unwillingness to understand other cultures is dangerous and needs to be confronted.

Allen, of “The Right Christians,” broke the story and in the comments you can find email addresses for all of the major players.


  1. natalie Said,

    December 4, 2003 @ 2:06 pm

    Thanks for the link to The Right Christians. It looks like a welcome source of information, based on the ol’ bumper sticker “The Christian Right is neither.” I, too, struggle with the Southern Baptists in my background, and recall many a “discussion” with my grandfather about whether women should be pastors, elders and deacons. Thanks for the tip.

  2. chuck Said,

    December 4, 2003 @ 2:22 pm

    I used to have similar arguments with several of my classmates when I attended college. As I recall, one of my roommates boycotted a chapel service where a woman was scheduled to speak.

    I’ve come across “The Right Christians” blog once before, and even though I’m not really invloved with any kind of church right now, I like what they are doing quite a bit.

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