Curling Up With a Bad Book

Things You Can Learn In A Christian High School Textbook, For Real (Part I)

Very bad writingAs we all know by now, Louisiana is experimenting with freeing their children from the tyranny of the Government Schools, and will soon, maybe, start spending public school funds on vouchers for kids to attend any private school their parents want (unless it’s an Islammy school, of course). And as we also all know, this will open the door to public funds being spent on some rather innovative “science” curricula.

The hippie freaks at Mother Jones ran a fine story detailing some of the fun stuff to be found in textbooks published for the Christian School and homeschool market. Sure, the Earth is 6000 years old and The Flintstones is biologically accurate, but that’s old hat. Let’s get beyond Creationism and see how Christianists teach other subjects! For instance, early 20th-Century history:

“[The Ku Klux] Klan in some areas of the country tried to be a means of reform, fighting the decline in morality and using the symbol of the cross. Klan targets were bootleggers, wife-beaters, and immoral movies. In some communities it achieved a certain respectability as it worked with politicians.” — United States History for Christian Schools, 3rd ed., Bob Jones University Press, 2001

Or this revisionist view of the Great Depression, in which we learn it ain’t no thing after all:

“Perhaps the best known work of propaganda to come from the Depression was John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath…Other forms of propaganda included rumors of mortgage foreclosures, mass evictions, and hunger riots and exaggerated statistics representing the number of unemployed and homeless people in America.” — United States History: Heritage of Freedom, 2nd ed., A Beka Book, 1996

Or maybe this intriguing spin on mathematics?

“Unlike the ‘modern math’ theorists, who believe that mathematics is a creation of man and thus arbitrary and relative, A Beka Book teaches that the laws of mathematics are a creation of God and thus absolute…A Beka Book provides attractive, legible, and workable traditional mathematics texts that are not burdened with modern theories such as set theory.” — ABeka.com

Maggie Koerth-Baker has an outstanding exploration of the possible “anti-Biblical” implications of set theory over at BoingBoing, and we urge you to go over there and read it as soon as you’re finished with your Wonketting. Really, go read it. It’s Sunday, you filthy heathens, we already KNOW you aren’t in church. Then come back here for a nice dirty secular chat.

The Mother Jones bit that really intrigued us was a couple of brief excerpts from Elements of Literature for Christian Schools, published by Bob Jones University in 2001, which appear to dismiss Mark Twain and Emily Dickinson because of their spiritual failings: “Twain’s outlook,” we read, “was both self-centered and ultimately hopeless … Twain’s skepticism was clearly not the honest questioning of a seeker of truth but the deliberate defiance of a confessed rebel.” And Dickinson “viewed salvation as a gamble, not a certainty. Although she did view the Bible as a source of poetic inspiration, she never accepted it as an inerrant guide to life.”

Hmmm, thought Your Correspondent, we would like to investigate this Bizarro-World further! Happily, you can get just about anything on ebay, and so, Dear Wonketteers, we present Part One of our exploration of this 10th Grade Literature textbook from Parallel Earth.

It will come as no surprise to learn that the Christian Right has a decidedly special view of the world, one in which the Bible is, at least in theory, central to everythingeven basic logic. The literary texts in Elements are pretty unremarkable, really — there’s a fairly conventional mix of poetry and prose, a bowdlerized version of Romeo and Juliet, and a few personal essays. (Unsurprisingly, the selections are almost all by men. Including Dickinson, only five women appear in Elements. Only two, Eudora Welty and Helen Keller, get the honor of multi-page prose works. Girls, you should be mommies, and maybe you could write poems.) The real surprise to a secular reader is not that the selections are especially religious. A few are, but most aren’t.

The High Weirdness is to be found before and after the literary readings, in the book’s interpretive framework, and especially in the “About the Author” notes (we’ll address those in a later post — today, we’ll look at How To Read Literature Like a Fundamentalist). Each topic area in Elements is introduced with a brief discussion of how that figure of speech or narrative structure is used in the Bible:

Personification gives human characteristics to objects, ideas, abstractions, or animals. Notice, for example, Isaiah 55:12: the mountains and hills “break forth…into singing, and all the trees of the field…clap their hands” (5).

It is perhaps a relief that the editors do not insist on literalism for this passage, at least. Elements is careful to remind young readers that, for the best examples of literary excellence, “there is no writing in English that equals the Authorized (King James) Version of the Bible” (27). However, the editors warn, “If the artistry of Scripture is detached from the message and authority of Scripture and its divine origin is disregarded, literary analysis can promote unbelief” (ix). Such worries about theological purity run throughout the book. Even aesthetic judgements are possible avenues for sin. In discussing allusion, we move from the perfectly obvious observation that modern readers often miss the allusions in older literature, to a peevish condemnation of the inside jokes of modern writers:

The allusions in much modern poetry are private rather than public. That is, they refer to the author’s personal experiences rather than to the common experiences of mankind or even to the general reading experience of educated people. Unidentifiable personal allusions…indicate that the writer does not care to communicate clearly with his reader or that he egotistically thinks himself the center of everybody’s world. Sensible readers are impatient with such vagueness (92-93).

This suspicion of anything other than clarity in writing is something of a running theme in Elements. After all, the King James Bible is always straightforward and obvious in its meaning (yes, they suggest this — biblical allegories are a simple matter of diagramming out what the symbols stand for!), so good writing should be, too. The editors’ utter intolerance of ambiguity comes to a head in their introduction to the “Short Fiction” section, which is worth quoting at length:

The Bible describes evil actions but leaves no doubt what our attitude toward those actions should be. It does not leave us in moral confusion. Good fiction likewise does not, directly or by implication, call good evil or evil good. It does not leave moral questions unanswered. Its moral viewpoint is that of the Scriptures.

Fiction then needs to be judged as strictly by standards of truth as nonfiction. There is no subtler persuasion than that which occurs in a well-written serious work of fiction. We will need to ask of a story whether God — the Biblical God — is present and active, at least by implication, in its imaginary world…. Do characters’ actions have moral consequences? Is evil condemned and good approved? … The discerning Christian approves of fiction that is neither cynical (denying the possibility of happiness and goodness) nor sentimental (denying the possibility of unhappiness and evil but Biblically realistic , affirming the possibility of happiness and goodness as man acts in accordance with the will of God) (228-229).

We have a feeling that the editors of Elements of Literature For Christian Schools would not much care for a lot of our favorite books and authors. Catch-22, for instance, is a hell of a good read, but isn’t especially redeeming, and it certainly doesn’t hold out much hope for redemption. For that matter, neither does Bleak House. Vonnegut? Orwell? Cheever? No. Octavia Butler? Tom Robbins? Zadie Smith? Carl Hiaasen? Nope. Louise Erdrich? Philip Roth? Saul Bellow? Ursula Leguin? No, no, no, and no. David Sedaris? Oh, my, no. No, sorry, every one of them is a bad writer by this definition. Maybe Anthony Trollope is OK, although his characters find happiness while being Christians, not really because they are Christians.

We suppose The Handmaid’s Tale is right out, too, although at least it has a happy ending.

Coming In Part II: Mark Twain’s blasphemy, Emily Dickinson’s presumptuous impiety, and James Joyce: an unhealthy influence.

[Mother Jones / BoingBoing]

Related

About the author

Doktor Zoom lives in Boise, Idaho. He acquired his pseudonym after being differently punctual to too many meetings. He is not a medical doctor, although he has a real PhD (in Rhetoric and Composition).

View all articles by Doktor Zoom

Hola wonkerados.

To improve site performance, we did a thing. It could be up to three minutes before your comment appears. DON'T KEEP RETRYING, OKAY?

Also, if you are a new commenter, your comment may never appear. This is probably because we hate you.

342 comments

  1. Callyson

    “[The Ku Klux] Klan in some areas of the country tried to be a means of regression, promoting the decline in morality and misusing the symbol of the cross. Klan members were bootleggers, wife-beaters, and immoral monsters. In some communities it achieved a certain respectability as it worked with politicians.”

    /fixed
    /JFC

    1. foxypuppet

      But were there areas of the country where the Klan did not try to be a means of regression, etc.?

      That "in some areas of the country" bit throws me off whether reading the original or fixed sentence.

      (Sorry if I'm sounding nitpicky- haven't had my iced coffee yet…)

    2. sewollef

      Elements…. fuck me what a great title for a book. Please, fellow wonkettes, do not tell me how this ends, I want to read it for myself — and then throw up in the vestry of my local church.

      Preferably over the open-toed sandals of the vicar.

      Damn it, today being Sunday, I've been a typical atheist, righteous son of a bitch…. after buying organic, locally grown produce in a Park Slope Farmers' Market, then coming home to listen to the fucking awesome Ave Maria by Inessa Galante. Followed by Hallelujah by Jeff Buckley.

      Jesus, these two songs gives me chills every single time I hear them. For me it's a religious experience that music can be THAT good. The best part: it's got nothing whatsoever to do with "religion". Nothing.

      Anyhoo…. it's after noon here in NYC, where's my beer?

      1. Doktor Zoom

        If I should ever die, God forbid, let this be my epitaph:
        THE ONLY PROOF HE NEEDED
        FOR THE EXISTENCE OF GOD
        WAS MUSIC

        –Kurt Vonnegut, quoted in "Vonnegut's Blues For America" Sunday Herald (7 January 2006)

        Actually, "Elements of Literature" is exactly the sort of anodyne title that you'd expect to find in a secular high-school lit textbook, which is, I think, what the BJU Press is aiming at anyway.

      2. sullivanst

        It really is a great title for a book.

        Irony alert: geometry also leads to ungodly modernism when you ask what happens if you don't assume that parallel lines never meet. Also too, Euclid weren't no monotheist.

    3. GemlikeFlame

      The first Klan's targets were freedmen, carpetbaggers, and Catholics, but mostly it was an anti-Reconstruction force. While the literature seems to indicate that they also took it out on bootleggers and people of loose virtue (which I can only think is another way of saying miscegenation) given the social norms at the time I'd have to think that they would also be targeting themselves.

      It's possible that had The Birth of A Nation not given the Klan some legitimacy it'd have simply died out, but then we wouldn't have the sheer arrogance of a George Wallace with which to springboard the Civil Rights era and we wouldn't have had that quaint little shop of Lester Maddox's (spit) in Underground Atlanta that sold axe handles and the like.

  2. sbj1964

    Christians have been demonizing Knowledge since the first pages of the Bible after all what tree did Adam&Eve eat from?They're Motto "Keep em stupid."

    1. eggsacklywright

      Paraphrasing Mr. Burroughs:

      Do not attempt communication with the mentally ill, it is a bottomless pit.

    2. tessiee

      They're cowardly crybabies.

      It's one thing to make up a religion to explain things that you can't understand with the accumulated knowledge of a certain time. I think all people in all cultures have done that, at least to some extent.

      The difference is that christopaths, having lost fair and square, are butthurt because, as we've acquired more knowledge, their version of events can't withstand the competition.

      Their solution is not to improve their side (which conceivably could be done; I mean, we don't build houses or cook food or farm crops as we did a century ago, so why necessarily worship as we did millennia ago?), but to try to suppress knowledge (just like a certain political party I could name).

      They lost that battle at least 100 years ago, and will continue to lose, but they will never, ever stop trying, and they will never, ever stop whining about it, and they will fall further and further behind the times and become more ridiculous with each passing year and each new discovery.

      1. Fukui-sanYesOta

        I think I love your mind.

        What really, really burns me is teaching kids the bullshit. Sure, believe that stuff all you want, but let your kids have free minds for fuck's sake.

        1. tessiee

          It really is something akin to child abuse.
          The kids who are subjected to this are not only being fed misinformation, they're being taught NOT TO THINK, because the beliefs of their elders can't stand up to analysis.
          It's the intellectual equivalent of breaking a child's legs when they're five or six years old, and never fixing them.

    1. kittensdontlie

      Write these words on the palm of your hand:

      Christianity=dinosaur
      Set theory=logical
      Twain=dead (never the twain shall they meet)
      –Kipling

  3. AbandonHope_

    No snark, just sigh. Seriously, they worry about secular indoctrination, yet push this, the absolute worst kind of propaganda imaginable, onto young adults. There are times when I would truly be happy if Louisiana and all the other states who feel like this would just go ahead and secede and set up their own little happy theocracy, so we can build big border fences to keep them out of civilized society. And yes, that is elitist. We are perfectly justified in being "elitist" when compared to this sort of medieval barbarism. They want to live in their own little Dark Ages, fine, they can go right ahead, just leave the rest of us out of it.

    1. UW8316154

      We could organize into 4 separate countries – West Coast, Midwest, New England and the South. Arizona goes with the South – the borders also seems to follow morbid obesity and infant mortality rates.

    2. tessiee

      "I would truly be happy if Louisiana and all the other states who feel like this would just go ahead and secede and set up their own little happy theocracy"

      With apologies to Gary Larson:
      "Alphonse, big thing of water closer today, eh?"

    3. tessiee

      "They want to live in their own little Dark Ages, fine, they can go right ahead, just leave the rest of us out of it."

      They do want to live in their own little Dark Ages, but they also want us heathens to pay their bills.

      1. Veritas78

        …and invent their internet, and cure their diabetes.

        Seriously, would anyone go to a home-schooled doctor?

    4. PsycWench

      One of my favorite students is from Louisiana. He told me about how his Facebook newsfeed blew up one day because people back home were posting indignant tirades about Planned Parenthood's 8 billion dollar abortionplex, never realizing that it was an Onion parody.

  4. Callyson

    rumors of mortgage foreclosures, mass evictions, and hunger riots and exaggerated statistics representing the number of unemployed and homeless people in America

    So Dorothea Lange made that stuff all up? What an imagination she had!

    /FFS

    1. anniegetyerfun

      Well, that must also mean that today's economy is doing great and all hints to the contrary are mere exaggeration! Now we can all bow to the President, yes? I think that that is how it works.

    2. SayItWithWookies

      Yeah the Great Depression was just a huge, worldwide rumor that exacerbated the tensions that started the Nazi Party and were the pretext for massive social reforms under FDR. In fact, it was just as imaginary as that great scientific illusion, Darwinism.

    3. Doktor Zoom

      No, the Great Depression was just a little market adjustment that would have worked out just fine if Roosevelt had simply pursued a Calvin Coolidge hands-off policy. The New Deal made the Depression worse, don't you know. (Something something WWII unleashed the power of the free market blah blah)

      1. Lot_49

        Those are now called "market corrections." That home equity you thought you had? Turns out you were incorrect.

      2. not that Dewey

        WWII unleashed the power of the free market blah blah

        But not, of course, because of government spending. For some other reason.

        1. Doktor Zoom

          As I recall, the soldiers and sailors and airmen pooled their investments for equipment, relying on the wisdom of the market to provide them with the weapons and ammo that defeated the National Socialists.

          1. not that Dewey

            Maybe they each borrowed $20k from their parents.

            Weren't the Crusaders self-financed? That turned out fine.

    4. Jennyjen798

      Yeah. Don't you guys know that this global warming/drought is normal? Shit happened in the 30's (dust bowl). It all turned out fine! Global warming is all just a plot to make Al Gore rich!

      All those pictures you see of people standing in bread lines? Well their mostly lazy colored folks, obviously deserved. Free markets, welfare queens, FDR ruined the country, herr derr.

      Also the KKK was just a little boys club, throwing barbeques and what not in their neighbors yards. You know, just a little house warming party for the browns. Ungrateful browns, never appreciating the good christian white man!

      *********

      I'm really not surprised by these books. I live in Texas after all. :|

    5. Jukesgrrl

      If people from Louisiana didn't all have diabetes and lung cancer they'd still have grandparents around who could tell them what the Depression was like.

      1. Fukui-sanYesOta

        I was lucky enough to speak to a lady who remembered the great depression.

        She hated Republicans. With a passion.

  5. Schmegeg

    Hmmm. About the Author. Ms. Keller was "(a)A member of the Socialist Party of America and the Industrial Workers of the World, she campaigned for women's suffrage, labor rights, socialism, and other radical left causes. " After reading, the student should contemplate the existence of Hell and Ms. Keller's place in it.

    1. LesBontemps

      Also, birth-control advocate and probable lesbo. So yes, clearly in the deepest pit of Hell.

  6. Designer_Rants

    Okay, the dinosaurs walked with humans a few thousand years ago. Then what happened to them? Did the pope transubstantiate them into oil? God's Plan is not for us mere humans to know.

    1. Come here a minute

      Probably it was the global cooling — caused by God, of course. It would be a sin for man to believe he had the power to change the climate.

    2. tessiee

      "Did the pope transubstantiate them into oil?"

      The Pope–??
      *sputters in exasperation*
      Oh, well, if you're going to be ridiculous, there's just no talking to you!
      The Pope is for those ethnic types!
      JEEBUS transubstantiated them into oil! Chuh!

    3. KeepFnThatChicken

      What is God's plan when the oil runs out? Bet those fucking religitards loooove sun energy then.

  7. An_Outhouse

    But I was taught that God DID create set theory. Who's saying he didn't? I've got a nice fire warming up that would love to meet these heretics.

    1. Guppy

      God gave Moses set theory in the form of dietary restrictions ("INCLUDE ALL fourLegs AND clovenHooves AND cudChewing"), but Jesus saved us from all that math.

    2. finallyhappy

      And Algebra- well, we know that is bad because of Arabs. I recently learned about Hyperbolic geometry- God had nothing to do with it.

    3. mull_man

      Set theory is awesome. Who couldn't love a set of measure zero? If you're going to ban something, why couldn't it be topology? Anything that says

      donut=teacup

      has got to be offensive to Jesus.

  8. orygoon

    The Deep South, inexorably marching back to the Dark Ages, and trying to drag everyone else along. When I lived in Texas I saw this bumpersticker more than once: "The Bible says it. I believe it. That settles it!"

    1. tessiee

      "And if that doesn't settle it, I have a truck full of guns that will end any further discussion!"

    2. bikerlaureate

      That cliché's intention resonated with me, actually. Simplification is often a good goal, so long as the inquiry continues.
      It didn't take long to be increasingly bothered that the first sentence – the base upon which the next sentences rely – isn't true as stated. (Very smart, devoted scholars disagree wildly on what the Bible "says," and the discovery of new scrolls can have the bothersome effect of accentuating that. And I won't even get into the verbal gymnastics that redefine "says" so that unwritten-but-strongly-implied core beliefs – the Trinity, the timing of the Rapture – are made just as, um, reliable.)

  9. UW8316154

    White anglo-saxon Jeebus has his arm around the little boy a mighty-bit too close for my comfort.

  10. ElPinche

    "Slavery was considered an honor and privilege since Jesus was considered a "slave" to humanity. Often Negroidal slaves would voluntarily line up to take lashings because they wanted to emulate Christ's kickass last hours before he was awesomely crucified." (69)

  11. An_Outhouse

    Helen Keller, get the honor of multi-page prose works

    Helen Keller? The anarchist socialist? Somebody's punking the fundies

    1. Self-Uploader

      To be fair, she became an anarchist-socialist as an adult. It was probably the influence of that elite damnyankee college she went to, and her papist-teacher. She was born into a Confederate family that took good care of its people.

      1. Lot_49

        Not only that, she grew up to win an Oscar for her performance in that odious pro-union tract film, "Norma Rae."

        Sheesh, like workers should have rights.

    2. tessiee

      The only good thing about those people is that their titanic stupidity and ignorance sometimes makes them amusingly easy to fool.

    3. Rhysdux

      Oh, they're not teaching kids about her political activism or her socialism. The only thing they mention is a fraction from "The Story of My Life." This allows them to draw parallels between the little deafblind girl, Annie Sullivan and "W-A-T-E-R" and the heathen/unsaved soul, missionaries and the Word of God. And by ignoring Keller's later politics, the teachers effectively turn her into a symbol rather than a human being. *snarls *

      1. viennawoods13

        Come now. This is clearly a classroom, not home schoolin', and thus teacher MUST be single (and obv. childless), because if she was married and a mother, she'd be home in the kitchen making sammiches.

    1. new_pic_for_NEWTer

      I hereby propose that "Dude with the mullet", which can be abbreviated to DwtM, becomes an acceptable alternative form for the guy known as Jeebus. May I have a seconder please?

  12. Callyson

    The Bible describes evil actions but leaves no doubt what our attitude toward those actions should be. It does not leave us in moral confusion. Good fiction likewise does not, directly or by implication, call good evil or evil good. It does not leave moral questions unanswered. Its moral viewpoint is that of the Scriptures.
    Fiction then needs to be judged as strictly by standards of truth as nonfiction

    So, now we have to change the dictionary definition of the term "fiction" for these wingnuts? Or are the fundies saying that the Bible is an example of fiction?

    And why am I trying to make any sense out of any of this?

    1. Doktor Zoom

      Haha, it's much simpler than that: Fiction is only good when it's in tune with Biblical morality. Don't let unnecessary distractions like "whether you like the writing" get in the way of your judgment.

      1. SayItWithWookies

        Verily, the last good work of fiction was probably Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress — or if Puritanism was too close to apostasy, maybe Everyman. Everything since is pure degeneracy.

  13. orygoon

    One of the best things about living in Oregon is that people don't babble and rant about their fanatical version of religion all the time, or practically ever.

    Another is that, filled with agnostic or atheistic love for their fellow humans, drivers, of cars, will actually stop when I am a pedestrian or a bicyclist and I need to cross the street. In Texas, I was always run over, all the goddam time.

    1. UW8316154

      Parts of Washington have that same vibe – is the abundance of schrooms just a coincidence? Or the astounding natural beauty that allows us to experience god directly?

    2. tessiee

      You got THAT right, Goonie!
      As much as the rain here can be depressing,
      and the fact that June isn't necessarily warmer than January can be depressing,
      and my chronic unemployment can be depressing…

      There is not a single day since I've moved here that I haven't thanked FSM that I live in Portland. Especially since the rest of the country hit the iceberg, and has been turning progressively (or I guess i should say REgressively) more into shit every day since, this really was the last copter out of Jurassic park.

        1. tessiee

          I've never actually been to Voodoo Donuts; I mean, I've walked past it, but I've never been inside, because the line is literally around the block every time.

          However, suffice it to say that they have maple bacon donuts.
          Maple!
          Bacon!
          Donuts!

    3. Isyaignert

      Thanks for the warning about Texas. I'm going there for the first time next month (San Antonio and Houston) en route to New Orleans and Orlando. I've not spent any time in the American south and since the world's gonna end on my birthday, I've been crossing stuff off my bucket list all year. Next stop – Italy!

      1. HistoriCat

        Austin is your best bet in Texas but San Antonio and Houston can provide a reasonable level of civilization. It's all downhill beyond that.

        1. Isyaignert

          We're planning to go to Venice, along with the Cinqe Terra on the Italian Rivera and Rome. Then we'll fly to Ahens and hang out in Greece for a while -provided it's not in flames caused by the rioting caused by the meltdown that was caused by Sachs of Goldman. Leave it to the banksters to ruin my vacation.

    1. MosesInvests

      My dad was in med school at UNC with one Otis Lowery, who went back to Robeson County on that weekend to "visit family". That little incident got rid of the Klan for a generation in NC.

    2. eggsacklywright

      And don't forget – whenever a fundie is challenged, always play the victim. "Bwaahhh, they're trying to take away my freedumbs."

  14. Beowoof

    Facts is hard. Let us give you what to think so you will be ready to be an ignorant slave to your corporate masters. This the America being envisioned for the future, I am afraid for my children and grandchildren.

  15. Come here a minute

    I guess I'll cancel my trip to the Holy Land now that I realize I won't find the Handsy Trees there. What a disappointment.

  16. ManchuCandidate

    Again I pose this question to the Fundies out there. If you hate the science and philosophy of the modern world then why do you use what the modern world has devised?

    Any sort of electrical equipment
    Automobiles
    Gasoline
    Medicines (all developed on sciences based on EVOLUTION)
    Computers (physics from the BIG BANG)
    Software (no "Modern" maths, no algorithms, no software.)
    Processed Food
    Household Chemicals (Fuck SC Johnson)

    It seems to me that these guys should go "Galt" and live off the land sans the evil modern devices and conveniences to become pure. Why the fuck should you benefit from the intelligence (sometimes) of man and then continue to decry it?

    At least the Amish aren't hypocrites.

    1. viennawoods13

      Well, except they use modern mass transportation when travelling farther than buggies can go. They also buy processed food- seriously, ever stood in line behind Amish at the grocery store? For that matter, there are Amish who have cell phones and computers out in the workshop- they just don't let the elders know about it. And if they don't have a cell, they go next door and ask to use the phone, or ask for a lift into town to go to the doctor.

      1. CthuNHu

        There's this common belief that the Amish are a superstitious lot that see modern technology as witchcraft and/or the devil's work. Actually, they're an extremely practical community that look at much of modern technology and say, nope, that's not going to help us be as we should.

        We English, on the other hand, see $90,000 12-foot plasma TVs in Best Buy and say, "Woohoo! Slap another mortgage on the double-wide and bust out that IRA! If this thing don't make us spend hours sitting on the couch ramming melted-cheese-covered GMO pork nachos down our gullets while our guts bulge, our minds stagnate, our muscles go slack and our relationships wither, nothing will! Bring it on!"

        1. viennawoods13

          No, they don't. That would mean getting involved in politics, and they definitely steer clear of that.

    2. tessiee

      Hey, you guys — remember in the movie "Deliverance", where the Burt Reynolds character was a "survivalist", who couldn't shut up about how he wanted to "live off the land" and be all superior to his friends in the burbs and shit? and then, 15 minutes into the movie, he fell and broke his leg, and was completely helpless, and his friends had to *literally, physically, carry him around on their backs* for the entire rest of the movie?

      Yeah.

    3. Lot_49

      Next you're going to insist that matter is comprised of "atoms" and "molecules," and that there are mysterious forces with names like "gravity" and "magnetism" that move these imaginary particles around. Some people are so gullible!

      1. Doktor Zoom

        "The more you look at science, the more you realize it cannot answer the really great questions.

        You need look no further than the basic elements of matter. Science cannot even explain how atoms are held together. By all the laws of nature, the basic structure should simply fly apart! The Bible teaches God holds all things together:

        For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. Colossions 1:16-17"

        Joe Creationist

        1. Lot_49

          Jesus Christ!From your link:Well, in a brilliant stroke of imagination, physicists have named this force “the strong force.”The strong force is a force which attracts protons to protons, neutrons to neutrons, and protons and neutrons to each other. BLAH BLAH BLAH…

          1. Fukui-sanYesOta

            Got there before me.

            Science can _provably_ show gluons and thus how atoms are held together, along with Quantum Electrodynamics.

            Denialists are silly.

        2. DahBoner

          Then Dark Energy is stronger than God, because it's accelerating the expansion of the universe [verified in the field tedt]…

    4. rickmaci

      In my brief experience, the Amish are deeply religious. Unlike the BA Fundies, they are not fatally stupid.

  17. UW8316154

    I'd like to add Ira Levin to the list of authors not likely to be approved: Rosemary's Baby, Stepford Wives, This Perfect Day and The Boys From Brazil.

    One of my favorite authors! Does this mean I'm going to Hell? Aside from not being in White Jeebus Church of The Bleeding Baptism on a Sunday Morning, I mean.

    1. tessiee

      Well, aside from the obvious objections to anyone named either "Ira" OR "Levin", they'd probably like the Stepford Wives.

      1. finallyhappy

        seriously, my people are all condemned to Hell- but who do you want to be with- Rush and Sean in their imaginary place or with Natalie Portman, Scarlet Johannsson, The Gyllanhalls and Saul Alinsky- Jew Hell is awesome!!!

    2. bobbert

      Of course you're going to Hell. And YOU'RE going to Hell. And YOU'RE going to Hell.

      EVERYBODY'S going to Hell!!!!

    3. paulabflat

      yeah.

      remember, orientation for newcomers, each tuesday, 10 a.m. sharp, in the christopher hitchens memorial conference room on level 3. dress casual with shoes you don't care about. lunch will NOT be provided.

  18. friendlyskies

    The USA's future is looking brighter every minute, right? Just think, one of these kids could have been on track to cure cancer or invent a new clean energy source, but instead they've been relegated to Wal*Mart and food stamps, after getting laughed out of any respectable university.

    1. foxypuppet

      Respectable University? You elitist pig! It won't be long before anyone with a degree from those dens of corruption will be blacklisted by any corporation worth its corporate welfare.

      Who'll be laughing then?

      1. bikerlaureate

        Costco is going to offer law degrees eventually.
        ("Idiocracy" is, I fear, the most retro-prescient movie of this millenium.)
        (And I still dare to hope "The Handmaid's Tale" won't be the most prophetic work of fiction. Some days, though…)

        1. finallyhappy

          I asked Margaret Atwood(on Twitter-no response) if she thought Handmaid's Tale was going to be moved from fiction to non-fiction.

    2. DocChaos

      The ones actually smart enough to cure cancer or invent a new energy source will be well paid by Koch funded think tanks to write policy papers arguing that Wal-mart workers should be given store scrip instead of actual wages, and that the food stamp program should be run by Christ-centered charities.

      1. finallyhappy

        Some people think that the soup kitchen/clothing closet where I volunteer is run by the church- because thy have some involvement- and the name seems Christian. The building, the maintanence, utilities, health care services for the clients and much funding is provided by the county gov't(some may come to them from the Feds). Volunteers(not church affiliated- not the ones I work with ) do some of the work and people do donate money- but this place could not run on the "goodness" of people or the churches/synagogues near by.

    3. tessiee

      Oh, don't worry; after Rapey-Eyes eliminates Pell Grants and Social Security, there won't be anybody going to college anyway.

      1. finallyhappy

        I saw that there are those free on line classes- I'm sure you can become a surgeon on line now.

    4. paulabflat

      they'll go to devry, where there aren't any qualifications beyond how much they're willing to pay to be ripped off.

      as if.

  19. Buckminster

    And all those union maids are whining ninnies who just haven't sucked it up and joined the mommy track. Yay, big business! Don't read too much, honey, it'll ruin your skin and give you wrinkles.

  20. MilwaukeeKent

    It's small comfort knowing that any normally educated child will run laps on these yahoos in the actual world of facts, ideas, research, earnings and accomplishments, but in this world you take comfort where you can.

    1. tessiee

      That was my first thought.
      Unfortunately, my second thought was that education and the ability to think are probably more of a handicap in this (ha ha) job market than anything else, and our corporate masters would probably not only tolerate, but actively prefer, the ignorant and spirit crushed for the few jobs that are left.
      Also, now I haz a depress.

    2. Guppy

      Ehhh, I wouldn't go that far. Critical thinking is generally dissuaded, but they should excel in topics that are based on rote memorization, like spelling and arithmetic.

      Basically, I expect these kids to excel in a very rigidly defined box, like Asian students only moreso.

    1. kittensdontlie

      He did respond:

      I am quite sure now that often, very often, in matters concerning religion and politics a man's reasoning powers are not above the monkey's.
      - Mark Twain in Eruption

      The gods offer no rewards for intellect. There was never one yet that showed any interest in it…
      - Mark Twain's Notebook

      1. paulabflat

        i like:

        so far as i can remember, there is not one word in the gospels in praise of intelligence. bertrand russell

    2. tessiee

      "In religion and politics people's beliefs and convictions are in almost every case gotten at second-hand, and without examination, from authorities who have not themselves examined the questions at issue but have taken them at second-hand from other non-examiners, whose opinions about them were not worth a brass farthing."

      Or maybe:

      "A religion that comes of thought, and study, and deliberate conviction, sticks best. The revivalized convert who is scared in the direction of heaven because he sees hell yawn suddenly behind him, not only regains confidence when his scare is over, but is ashamed of himself for being scared, and often becomes more hopelessly and malignantly wicked than he was before."

      Or even:

      'My land, the power of training! Of influence! Of education! It can bring a body up to believe anything."

    3. Doktor Zoom

      I'd go with:

      "Will a day come when the race will detect the funniness of these juvenilities and laugh at them–and by laughing at them destroy them? For your race, in its poverty, has unquestionably one really effective weapon–laughter. Power, Money, Persuasion, Supplication, Persecution–these can lift at a colossal humbug,–push it a little– crowd it a little–weaken it a little, century by century: but only Laughter can blow it to rags and atoms at a blast. Against the assault of Laughter nothing can stand."

      –"The Chronicle of Young Satan" The Mysterious Stranger Manuscripts

      (It could be that this is too optimistic…)

    4. proudgrampa

      All schools, all colleges, have two great functions: to confer, and to conceal, valuable knowledge. The theological knowledge which they conceal cannot justly be regarded as less valuable than that which they reveal. That is, when a man is buying a basket of strawberries it can profit him to know that the bottom half of it is rotten.
      - Notebook 1908

  21. not that Dewey

    16 He took the elders of the town and taught the men of Sukkoth a lesson by punishing them with desert thorns and briers. 17 He also pulled down the tower of Peniel and killed the men of the town.

    -Judges 8:16-17

    1. tessiee

      I'm sure he'll find Central Florida no vast improvement over Louisiana, but kudos to him anyway, and thanks for the link.

    2. Butch_Wagstaff

      The male student who stood up in class and directed the rest of the class to “not participate” by not responding to my challenge, represented the worst of education.

      I would have invited the sniveling shit up to teach the class himself.

      1. finallyhappy

        I would have suggested he transfer to Grove City or Liberty U-but that would be the easy way out

    1. MonkeyMotion

      and educated teachers, textbooks based on reality, etc.

      But they do splurge on a field trip to the Chik-Fil-A!

      1. Butch_Wagstaff

        "Teacher": Remember to get your parents to sign your permission slips. If they don't then they hate Jesus, cooked chicken flesh, and are probably homosexual."

  22. not that Dewey

    42 The next day the people of Shechem went out to the fields, and this was reported to Abimelek. 43 So he took his men, divided them into three companies and set an ambush in the fields. When he saw the people coming out of the city, he rose to attack them. 44 Abimelek and the companies with him rushed forward to a position at the entrance of the city gate. Then two companies attacked those in the fields and struck them down. 45 All that day Abimelek pressed his attack against the city until he had captured it and killed its people. Then he destroyed the city and scattered salt over it.

    -Judges 9:42-45

  23. johnnyzhivago

    "The Ku Klux Klan popularized white linens, which had fallen in sales, and contributed to the launch of several well known businesses including Bed, Bath and Beyond. "

    1. tessiee

      "It sounds like a cruel joke, but it isn't. the Ku Klux Klan made huge profits selling white sheets. The Klan had its own sheet factory in Atlanta, called Gates City Factory, which produced hooded white robes at 2 dollars apiece in 1923, and these were, in turn, sold to the racist faithful for $6.50. Considering that the Klan peaked at *three million* members in 1925, there was a lot of money to be made in worsted white cotton. Many of those millions of dollars were pocketed by the Imperial Wizard, and his corrupt cohorts."

      Zacks, Richard, "An Underground Education", p89

      1. Lot_49

        Yeah, but how many threads per inch? Anything under 400 is like wearing sandpaper, particularly at burning-cross event on a hot sumer night in, say, Tuscaloosa.

  24. not that Dewey

    49 So all the men cut branches and followed Abimelek. They piled them against the stronghold and set it on fire with the people still inside. So all the people in the tower of Shechem, about a thousand men and women, also died.

    50 Next Abimelek went to Thebez and besieged it and captured it. 51 Inside the city, however, was a strong tower, to which all the men and women—all the people of the city—had fled. They had locked themselves in and climbed up on the tower roof. 52 Abimelek went to the tower and attacked it. But as he approached the entrance to the tower to set it on fire, 53 a woman dropped an upper millstone on his head and cracked his skull.

    54 Hurriedly he called to his armor-bearer, “Draw your sword and kill me, so that they can’t say, ‘A woman killed him.’” So his servant ran him through, and he died. 55 When the Israelites saw that Abimelek was dead, they went home.

    56 Thus God repaid the wickedness that Abimelek had done to his father by murdering his seventy brothers. 57 God also made the people of Shechem pay for all their wickedness. The curse of Jotham son of Jerub-Baal came on them.

    Judges 9:49-57

      1. not that Dewey

        The first and only time I took my 5-year-old daughter to a Methodist church, this is the passage they read. ??? I was really hoping to hear some Jesus "be nice to poor people" message, not wholesale torture and civilian massacre.

  25. Mojopo

    This story reminds me of a homework assignment I had in high school. 1985. I was tasked with writing about AIDS in Africa. I used the approved publications and newspaper articles, footnoted the whole shebang and typed it out on an ancient typewriter. My take was that AIDS wasn't going to be a big deal in Africa. Can you imagine? I got an F (because I deserved it) and the teacher included a note in red letters. "MEET ME AFTER CLASS." He ripped me a new one, and explained how absolutely misguided I was. He showed me how to read between the lines that day – to use critical thinking. I still feel the shame of that day, when I found out I was intellectually naked.

    I guess what I'm trying to say is that bad information can come from school or mainstream media, and the best defense is still a good teacher. Among other reasons (unions, money), I think this is also why the right is trying to break the spines of so many educators. Those teachers are often the only thing standing in the way of ignorance and bias.

    1. bibliotequetress

      Don't be ashamed– the reason we have (good) teachers is because we don't get all of the knowledge and intellectual skills we need through osmosis. Good for you for taking the teacher seriously– not always easy for an embarrassed high school student to do.

      For years, many of folks in or on the fringes of the skeptical movement have tried to figure out the best way of making reasoning/critical thinking a required part of the school curriculum, starting in grade school. Unfortunately, they have to fight against crap like this:

      "Knowledge-Based Education – We oppose the teaching of Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS) (values clarification), critical thinking skills and similar programs that are simply a relabeling of Outcome-Based Education (OBE) (mastery learning) which focus on behavior modification and have the purpose of challenging the student’s fixed beliefs and undermining parental authority." –Texas GOP platform

  26. johnnyzhivago

    "While it's true that the Klan was associated with frequent cross burnings and an occasional lynching, they sponsored many local endeavors including little league baseball teams and gardening clubs"

    1. bikerlaureate

      By investing in the community, they were wisely investing in their own future too. Membership is a family thing.

    2. foxypuppet

      Gardening clubs? I guess it is important to discuss how to avoid burning your crosses too close to your lawn jockeys…

    1. CthuNHu

      And by "fire," we mean hellfire. For all eternity, or until they admit they're wrong, say they're sorry and really, really mean it.

  27. smitallica

    Dear any student who has this crap presented to them in a classroom, home or otherwise:

    Please punch your parents immediately. Really, really hard. In the face. They have fucked your life before it's really even started.

    1. BoatOfVelociraptors

      Nah. Just go back to home, and force them read it cover to cover, and summarize what they have just read. In my third year of Fundie Private Christian school, I just read the whole thing, not just the bits and peices, ignoring the teacher. Cool stuf like Ehud the Assassin, and all of the tales of mass slaughter, the babies heads on the rocks, the new tribe of the week that they were genociding.

      That was way more exciting than the begats and whatnot. Then I would start asking uncomfortable questions, like "How many wives can a man have?, "What's a concubine?" "Why are Shrimp bad?", etc. I still remember the stammering to this day.

      But you're right. It fucked up my life by keeping me unfucked till I was 20 years old. What a waste.

  28. Mumbletypeg

    Heh. Dok, next time I wish such posts came with "Not For The Faint Of Heart" warning.

    textbooks published for the Christian School and homeschool market.

    And what's funny is, a recent EdWeek headline caught my attention, "sthg-sthg-The-Hybridization-Of-Homeschools"**.. Even as the earliest Christians went the route of "home churches"? Sooner or later the urge to vertically structure, then instiutionalize, overrode the nice grassroots girding that appealed to purists and the democratic spirit of innovation. The home school effort, I gather, is just about to enter that phase when the lure of cashing in, uniting efforts that had been scattershot til now, give it some backbone with the help of liaisoning with the movement toward privatization of our publics… and behold new tyrannasaurus overlords where once were "us innocent, down-home folks just tryin to give our children their learnin and values combined as God intended."
    **EdWeek appears to be subscriber-only viewing unfortunately~

    1. PubOption

      "Liasoning with the movement toward privitization of our publics…" Where did that come from, a primer on Management Consultancy?
      Also, I am trying to work out if 'scattershot' is being used as a noun or a verb.

      1. Mumbletypeg

        "scattershot": Denoting something that is broad but random and haphazard in its range.
        Either noun or adj I suppose. Using just plain "scattered" alone I didn't feel would be an adequate descriptor for the home school movement that had its origins in an understructured, uncentralized mode.
        My point was twofold: a.) the parallel manner in which a home-based concentrated instruction motif, which mimics the way early Christians worshiped, is reportedly finding more of an affinity with the traditional structures of school, and "dovetailing" (rather than 'liaisoning') with things like community college courses to pick up where Mom n' Pop's pedagogical prowess leaves off.
        b.)We've seen what resulted with Christianity as a global movement after it exhausted or outgrew or 'hybridized' its way from grassroots, more toward institutionalized. I'm curious to see how much longer independent instruction can remain "home"bound without resisting temptation to capitalize on the appeal held by a growing, and power-reaching, trajectory.
        Sorry for the confusion. In explaining myself somtimes, I'll add, I tend to only make it worse.
        ETA: summary of the earlier mentioned EdWeek piece here, for starters.

        1. SayItWithWookies

          They're really already doing this — there are standardized homeschooling curricula and complete sets of textbooks and teaching aids, many of them Christian-oriented. Fortunately, with an increasing number of splintered sects, lots of them will have their own little Balkanized courses as homeschoolers get more influence.

  29. weejee

    repeat of olde post (but hey, I'm an olde):

    Genesis 1:3
    And God said:
    del dot E = 4πρ
    del dot B = 0
    del cross E = (-1/c) ∂B/∂t
    del cross B = (1/c) ∂E/∂t + (4π/c)J
    and there wuz light

    …'Mazing Spaghetti Monster knows teh maths

    1. not that Dewey

      Once upon a time, you did an annotated version of Maxwell's Jehovah's Equations. I peed my pants. I cannot find it.

      ("none monopoles", is what I remember)

    2. Guppy

      Au contraire. As mentioned in the assigned reading, Talibangelicals have problems with any mathematics that deals with infinities. This throws Newton and Leibniz out the window, so no partial differential equations for j00!

      (Vector products may be OK, though.)

  30. viennawoods13

    As a teacher of history and literature, this pisses me off. I still remember the son of a fundie preacher who, when I dared to say that European imperialists in Africa destroyed the existing social, political, economic and religious structures, leading to much of the misery there today, ostentatiously picked up a book and read it for the rest of the class, to indicate how offended he was. Sadly, he is now a teacher himself.

        1. bikerlaureate

          Nice.

          Or perhaps something along the lines of:

          … "No intersecting in here, dammit! You want me to lose my permit?"

  31. finette_

    "Louisiana…will soon, maybe, start spending public school funds on vouchers…"

    It already is–school started last week at many religious schools, and starts tomorrow at the rest of them.

    I had a fleeting thought to make a Tumblr with these "facts" accompanied by appropriate images, but that would require actually reading the books. Thanks for doing it for me!

    So, I think it's safe to assume Oscar Wilde didn't make the cut either? "The only way to get rid of a temptation is to yield to it."

    1. Butch_Wagstaff

      I think nearly all literature written in English doesn't make the cut.
      Hell, almost all literature translated into English, as well.

  32. AddHomonym

    Good fiction likewise does not, directly or by implication, call good evil or evil good. It does not leave moral questions unanswered.

    If I've learned anything, it's that it's a snap to tell right from wrong and that moral questions are easily, readily answered.

    1. bikerlaureate

      There was no mistaking how they felt about it four years ago. Profoundly incompatible with Biblical truth, therefore dangerous, etc.
      And yet electing a President who's devoted to it is better than the White House we've got now.

      (There must be a textbook from Beka about "comparative religion", right?
      Or would that just be a pamphlet…
      "Islam – error-filled, hellbound, dangerous.
      Jehovah's Witnesses – error-filled, hellbound, dangerous.
      Whore of Rome – error-filled, hellbound, dangerous.")

  33. mavenmaven

    In Europe, they divide students between those who can do higher level sciences and humanities versus those who go to technical schools, I suppose we have that in the US only we call them secular versus religious schools.

    1. tessiee

      The sad part about that is that there aren't enough jobs for college grads nowadays (or anybody, but I digress), and sending some students to actual tech schools would save them from graduating with tons of debt and a not very good chance of getting jobs that they have no real interest in and no real aptitude for.

  34. eggsacklywright

    If the intent of this assault of ignorance is to produce despair, hopelessness, and depression in the rest of us, I'm afraid it's working.

    1. foxypuppet

      Go have a look at the Boing Boing post Dok linked to. Maggie Koerth-Bak & many other bright people have survived a fundie education, and many will continue to do so. Yes, it's bad, but it could be much worse.

      1. bobbert

        Go have a look at the Boing Boing post Dok linked to. Maggie Koerth-Bak & many other bright people have survived a fundie education, and many will continue to do so. Yes, it's bad, but it could be much worse. and it will probably get much worse.

        1. foxypuppet

          Things are never so bad that they can't get worse.

          There, now- is THAT gonna cheer anybody up on their summer weekend?

    2. tessiee

      If only they'd go away, secede again, and fuck off to Jesus-stan and leave the rest of us alone.

  35. PubOption

    And, having ensured the spread of ignorance in Louisiana, the same fundies will be protesting the presence of engineers and scientists imported from China and India, because we can't graduate enough in the USA.

    1. tessiee

      This is what comes of the scandalous notion that the purpose of education is to learn things, instead of just to get jerbs.

  36. greenloner

    What on earth do they think they gain by denying the facts of the effects of the Great Depression? (That's just one of the thousand-and-one questions raised by the passages Wonkette has selected from this cornucopia of poisonous crap.)

    1. viennawoods13

      Well, probably that the New Deal and associated socialist legislation was unnecessary, so time to get rid of those government overreaches into the economy and society.

    2. bikerlaureate

      People who disagree with their conclusions are doomed, no matter what seemingly positive things happen in the meantime.
      To embrace any social good is tantamount to approving with those who made it happen, and if they weren't the right stripe of hyperconservative, literalist Christian then no good can come of admiring them.
      So the misery resulting from the Depression, and the KKK's activities, couldn't really have been as bad as the modernist scholars would have you believe.

      ETA to add the gist of a comment I saw on Balloon Juice yesterday:
      If we don't work hard enough to support sane candidates at every level of government, these fundamentalists are the ones who get elected.

    3. SayItWithWookies

      The religious right is against any social program that is state-controlled and thus robs the church of its important work of helping the poor and destitute. They'd much rather poor and sick citizens be relegated to the tender mercies of whichever steeple they can see from their gutter, as making them listen to a sermon in order to get the meal afterwards is a great recruiting tool.

      Any evidence that the churches were unable to sufficiently aid the impoverished — especially to the extent that a social welfare program was put in place to make standards the same all over the country — is viewed as lying about the power of the church in order to usurp its hallowed place in society. No shit.

    4. docterry6973

      It might warp impressionable young minds if someone suggested that America was ever less than exceptionally perfect and favored by god.

  37. Woodshedding

    Wait, so it's NOT true that India is a poor country because they worship false gods? That's what was in my friend's daughter's Christian school textbook. My ex-friend, I should say. She herself 100% knew the BS that her kid was being force-fed, and wouldn't take her out of that school "because she was happy there." Christ.

  38. MonkeyMotion

    Not sure which is worse:

    Actually attending church and listening to their BS, or
    reading about the idiots attending church and their BS.

    Either way, it makes me wanna puke.

  39. anniegetyerfun

    Who's that happy-looking member of the Taliban hanging out with those kids in the photos?

  40. BlueStateLibel

    Yeah, when my grandfather got foreclosed on in the Great Depression, and the other one lost his job, they were just hallucinating. And the KKK was a force for good. ACLU needs to sue the shit out of these dirtbags.

  41. tessiee

    "Twain’s skepticism was clearly not the honest questioning of a seeker of truth but the deliberate defiance of a confessed rebel.”

    This is something I've noticed about the Christopaths: They never consider anyone in their flock an adult who expects autonomy and independence as a given.

    I remember attending a wedding where the preacher/minister/whatever told the bride and groom *during the ceremony* that "they'd better be good because he knew both their parents". I would be appalled, but not at all surprised, if somewhere, somebody's 95-year-old parents were telling their 65-year-old offspring not to be "fresh".

    Mark Twain lived to be 74, which is at least 50 years past the age limit where any sane person would consider it possible for him to be "defiant" and a "rebel".

    Oh, yeah, and just by the way — they're not crazy about "the honest questioning of a seeker of truth", either.

    1. bobbert

      Ol' Sam may not have been a "rebel" in his later years, but he still served US society a pretty good plateful of go fuck yourself.

    2. Doktor Zoom

      They like honest questions from truth seekers (in quiet rooms), as long as they can be sure the seeker will end up with the right answers, which they already know.

    3. Butch_Wagstaff

      Twain’s skepticism was clearly not the honest questioning of a seeker of truth but the deliberate defiance of a confessed rebel.

      That line really gets to me. How can a confessed rebel not also be seeker of truth?
      I know, I'm trying to understand the logic of the willfully ignorant who wish to pass on such willful ignorance to future generations.

      Pass the bottle…my glass seems too empty.

  42. carolinaswamp

    How true! I'm sure that the KKK existed largely to punish terrible miscreants who had beaten their wives. KKK members were famous for protecting the health and well-being of women of color, were they not?

    Heck, even growing up here in the South Carolina swamps, my grandfather told me that decent people didn't get involved in the Klan. Where the devil do they find these idiots to write this stuff?

  43. BTWBFDIMHO

    Here (Texas), I took the exam to teach math on high schools. it's a five-hour test, without a single question about set theory.

  44. eggsacklywright

    Enthusiates 19:95 (on sale, regularly 20:67)

    And it came to pass that thou shalt not use thine braine, it is an abomination. Verily, motherfuckers.

    1. bikerlaureate

      This is pushed very hard in some fundamentalist churches. I've heard it, explicitly and subtly expressed, plenty of times.
      Thinking is a tempting rebellion against faith.

      If thy right frontal lobe offend thee, cut it off.

  45. tessiee

    "Only two, Eudora Welty and Helen Keller, get the honor of multi-page prose works."

    And the only reason Eudora Welty got in is because she won the burping contest:

    Homer: Oh yeah? [pulls out a trophy] Well _I_ won the belching contest
    at work. [belches in Jay's face]
    [everyone laughs]
    Jay: Very nice, Homer. [belches way longer and louder]
    [car alarms go off outside]
    [everyone but Homer applauds]
    [Bart hands Jay the belching trophy]
    Lisa: Wow! How many Pulitzer prize winners can do that?
    Jay: Just me and Eudora Welty.

  46. a_pink_poodle

    Is this the real life?
    Is this just fantasy?
    Caught in a land slide
    No escape from reality!

  47. pigdog2

    Out goes Homer, Sophocles, a whole lot of Shakespeare … actually much of the Old Testament would fail the no-moral-confusion test.

    Nice catch re Isaiah 55:12. Who gets to decide what's literal and what's not?

  48. mwittier

    Ache-y Breaky Jesus is sporting a French braid. And Teacher is wearing the last-surviving, non-maternity denim jumper.
    I'm commenting on the Kincaide-esque illustration, because the content of this post has paralyzed the part of my mind that can typically articulate, "oh, FUCKNO, " with any clarity.

  49. tessiee

    "Other forms of propaganda included rumors of mortgage foreclosures, mass evictions, and hunger riots and exaggerated statistics representing the number of unemployed and homeless people in America.”

    Silly Christers.
    Of course those things actually happened.
    they were caused by time traveling muslin Obama.

  50. SayItWithWookies

    It's nice to know these yokels are getting their post-Reconstruction curriculum from Birth of a Nation, which portrayed the KKK as a response to the increasing lawlessness of the uppity ex-slaves. Kind of the approach Ayn Rand took with the superior class lashing back against the inferior class who thought they deserved the same privileges, though she avoided the racism by making all of her characters white.

    1. SayItWithWookies

      I've noticed that if I correct the "Suggested Title" field (i.e. by changing a word but leaving the rest of the auto-filled part intact) it'll produce an error. I've found that completely wiping out the suggested title and either re-pasting it or writing in something else lets it through though. Works in both Firefox and IE9.

  51. docterry6973

    Math unburdened by set theory? I hope no one in the South plans to work in IT. Kind of hard to write SQL you think set theory is a tool of the devil. Which might explain a lot about SQL, actually.

  52. bikerlaureate

    Some of these textbook authors are serenely convinced that they've utterly nailed the undeclared motives and inner thoughts of highly regarded authors.

    (Are secular textbooks this subjective now?
    Yikes.)

  53. Pap Finn

    Well, Wingnuts, if you're really committed to crouching naked in caves, covered in filth while smearing your own shit in your hair, I suppose that's your affair; just be courteous and secede before you do it, OK?

    Thanx!

      1. Pap Finn

        I don't care if they teach their kids that Jesus put a saddle on a brontosaurus, but if they start messing with Twain, well…

        Actually, come to think of it, I do care if they poison children's minds with fantastical lies. I don't like that.

        1. bobbert

          The pee algorithm is a sacred mystery of Intense Debate. Things that are believed to drive it up are upfists, volume of dependent comments, and followers. You provide an interesting new data point.

  54. not that Dewey

    What are the odds that this generation of students will grow up, discover real education, backlash against their parents/ministers/school boards, and ensure that no future generation will ever have to endure this?

    Oh. That's what I was afraid of.

    1. Doktor Zoom

      Actually, I'm quite sure it's fairly common that a steady diet of such nonsense drives plenty (certainly not all, and maybe well under half) of kids away eventually. I remember an impassioned blog post from a woman who urged home-schooling parents NOT to push Creationism on their kids, since in her experience it tended to make them skeptical about Christianity altogether.

  55. Jennyjen798

    The crap about the KKK has always been in our history books in the Lone Star State. It was usually just a small little "Did you know?" blurb off to the side. You know, the after thought reading to make you feel better that white folks stone cold hung black people for no real reason at all.

    It's not really "effective" when its put on the same page as a picture of bunch of white people having a happy picnic, (with watermelon) under a black man's hanging corpse.

    Of course, I'm sure that picture is too disturbing for the "christians."
    Stupid fucks.

    1. bobbert

      Obligatory: That image is very disturbing. I wish you’d have chosen something else. I realize that it’s a shameful part of American history that we should never forget, but it’s too much.

  56. noodlesalad

    On the happy side, I went and read through the Boingboing piece and watched the "Set Theory" video and felt enlightened. I've been struggling to make my brain comprehend these concepts which run outside of our expectations (like quantum physics) over the past few years, and I find it really amazing and humbling. I think there are two fundamentally different types of people – those who are excited and challenged by the unexpected and unknown (and even unknowable), and those who are frightened by statements like "everything is traveling at the speed of light, all the time." America used to be made up mostly of the former (naturally, as a nation of immigrants), but we're skewing now towards the latter. Just my two cents on a Sunday afternoon.

  57. Chichikovovich

    James Joyce: an unhealthy influence.

    Well, that part I agree with. I was around 14 when I read Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. After reading the part with the priest's extended hellfire-and-damnation sermon I had nightmares for a week.

    That couldn't have been healthy.

  58. notgross

    The Flintstones is biologically accurate … except that Fred & Barney could never land wives that hot.

  59. Nothingisamiss

    Dr. Zoom, I love, love, LOVE your posts!

    Oh, and this is all hella frightening, also, too.

  60. Isyaignert

    Also, too, "Atlas Shrugged" by Ayn Rand (the parton saint of @ssholes) is required reading.

    1. Doktor Zoom

      I don't know that too many hardcore fundies (as opposed to hardcore Republicans in general) are really into Rand, what with all the atheism; I know there's an overlap, but as far as the screamy evangelicals go, I'm not sure how much. Then again, Rand fits with the slice of modern Christianity that seems to narrow the entire New Testament down to the Parable of the Talents plus the anti-homosexual lines in Paul. (The Apostle…not Ron)

  61. ttommyunger

    If ignorance is bliss, we will be seeing a happy bunch of youngsters coming up in this Country.

    1. Barrelhse

      Without the concept of the "set", how could we say: "That Louise Wong's got a balcony you could do Shakespeare from!"

  62. BarackMyWorld

    How many teachers out of work again because of budget cuts? And this is what passes for education?

    May the ghosts of Howard Zinn, W.E.B. DuBois, and Charles Darwin haunt these anti-intellectual losers in their sleep.

  63. Guppy

    there is no writing in English that equals the Authorized (King James) Version of the Bible

    "Religious scripture is the greatest literary work there could ever be" is exactly why Arabic literature has stagnated for centuries.

    1. bikerlaureate

      You mock, like an apostate, but numerals other than the good, blessed Roman ones have come into widespread use all over the world. We'll never be rid of them.
      It's just like slapping God right across the face.

  64. oenspiek

    The King James version, writ in Stuart English so Jeebus can read it, is esteemed holiest in those parts of the country that consume the most methamphetamines.

    Accident? Coincidence? You be the judge!

  65. DahBoner

    Set theory has taught me there are mostly three types of single women.

    Those that think I'm not young enough, good-looking enough and rich enough for them.

    Some intersection of sets…

    New Math, bitches. Look it up!

  66. subsum

    The late Argentine poet and songwritter Facundo Cabral once said that one should only fear the stupid because there are too many of them and they vote. He was right.

  67. thurufally

    “[The Ku Klux] Klan in some areas of the country tried to be a means of reform, fighting the decline in morality and using the symbol of the cross. However, they quickly abandoned that nonsense once the Imperial Wizard learned how much more fun it was to ride horseback en masse out where the negroes lived and torch their houses, lash them with bullwhips, and hang a few in front of their horrified wives and children. Klan members were typically the kind of inbred white trash you saw in Deliverance, but dumber and with fewer teeth. They were too stupid to be bootleggers, but nearly all of them were wife-beaters who starred in immoral movies featuring barnyard animals. In some communities the Klan achieved a certain respectability as its membership extended into law enforcement, politics, and the judiciary.”

  68. Robman2

    "Klansman were bootleggers, wife-beaters, and immoral. In some communities it achieved a certain respectability as it worked with politicians.” — United States History for Christian's who may not study history.

  69. HogeyeGrex

    Late to the party, but hey Doc, if you need a little more ammo for part II, this post is worth looking into

    My fave:

    Electricity is a mystery. No one has ever observed it or heard it or felt it

    C'mere, motherfucker. I got an extension cord with one end stripped that's just itchin' ta prove you wrong.

    With votes, of course..

  70. Nowisallthereis

    Too many words to read in your article. Just tell me what the Bible says about it and I will believe that. only that and nothing but that

  71. TribecaMike

    Thanks Dok for once again wading through the river of vomit that is Rightwinglandia so we your loyal readers won't have to.

  72. lulzmonger

    TIL: Indoctrinators gotta indoctrinate!
    BJU Press = stupid-fertilizer distro champs.

    For some strange reason the phrase "memetic pus" seems timely.

    Wingnuts must perforce be artificial at their core or go extinct: Mama Nature's cold pimp hand would never let such an inept folly endure for nearly this long. Artifice will only take its users so far before even the smoothest con runs dry.

  73. PollyStyrene

    Speaking as an agnostic who's been through the Fundie Christian school mill, the books really worth picking up on e-bay/amazon are BJU's 'American Government' and their 10/11th grade 'United States History' textbooks. You can write entire post-graduate papers on the fallacies within them. And believe me, I have. Read it and be very afraid.

  74. bteacher99

    First: these are "Bob Jones University Press" you discuss almost exclusively, if not the entirety. This is ONE publisher of Christian school material, and they are probably the most closed (read "closed-minded" if you prefer) of all the publishers found in the US. Many Christian schools use other curricula, including "public school" texts from Prentice Hall, Glencoe, and Houghton-Mifflin/McGraw (as my school uses). Believe it or not, we even teach the theory of evolution. After all, our students will be competing with public-school students for whatever jobs are left after Obamanomics ends.

Comments are closed.