In a world history class, you would expect to learn about the world. By the same token, you would expect a school to teach students. That is the job of schools, after all. It’s why we have them.
The GOP sees education as a for-profit activity first, with teaching a distant second. David Barton sees teaching as an opportunity to spread his made-up version of events. The useless idiots at Fox & Friends – Steve Doocy, Elisabeth Hasselbeck, and Brian Kilmeade – seem to see actually teaching facts about the world as a lost opportunity to spread Republican talking points.
As Craig Harrington at Media Matters put it yesterday, “Fox News’ latent Islamophobia manifested itself during two segments criticizing a Wisconsin high school for asking history students to write about Muslim Americans based on materials covered in class.”
On April 2, according to emails initially obtained by right-wing talk radio host Vicki McKenna, world history students at Union Grove High School were asked to write a short essay about daily life for Muslims living in the United States. Students were asked to write five paragraphs in which they “pretend” to be Muslim and briefly outline their daily routine along with any potential “struggles” they might face.
Accepting that learning about the world is part of learning about world history is a given, shouldn’t we be upset if the school does not ask students to write about materials covered in class?
You would think. Instead, as Harrington relates, “Fox News expressed its concern about the assignment during two segments on the April 15 edition of Fox & Friends, in which co-hosts Steve Doocy, Elisabeth Hasselbeck, and Brian Kilmeade wondered if it was appropriate for students to learn about Islam — the world’s second-largest religion — in a world history class.”
It sure wouldn’t build any bridges, or lessen tensions between Christians and Muslims, for each to learn about the other. Nossir! Let us all remain in ignorance and therefore fear of one another instead.
Elisabeth Hasselbeck, the one who says things too stupid for anyone else to say, wondered if these poor kids were learning enough about Christianity. She doesn’t seem to get that schools can teach about Christianity, just as they can teach about Islam, but they can’t teach Christianity. Those are two different things.
I suspect what Hasselbeck wants is for kids to learn Christianity in school, when that is what home and church are for. You know, the First Amendment – Religious Freedom – and all.
The second segment was no better than the first – this is Fox & Friends, after all – and ignorance was put front and center by Steve Doocy, who doesn’t seem to realize that these words are actually coming out of his mouth:
DOOCY: I wonder if they actually, if they did study the religion in this world history class, if they wrote down things like, “If I criticize any part of the Quran, they will kill me,” or, “If Muslims marry non-Muslims, they will be put to death,” or, “If I’m caught stealing, they’ll amputate my right hand.” I wonder if they put that kind of stuff in, because that’s all part of Sharia law.
Let me offer the Bible’s take on what Christians are supposed to do to nonbelievers.
You have to kill them.
You shall not permit a sorceress to live.(Exodus 22:18).
Kill everyone who breaks the Law of Moses, which is the exact same thing Fox & Friends accuses Sharia Law of demanding:
If there is found among you, within any of your towns which the Lord your God gives you, a man or woman who does what is evil in the sight of the Lord your God, in transgressing his covenant, and has gone and served other gods and worshiped them, or the sun or the moon or any of the host of heaven, which I have forbidden, and it is told you and you hear of it; then you shall inquire diligently, and if it is true and certain that such an abominable thing has been done in Israel, then you shall bring forth to your gates that man or woman who has done this evil thing, and you shall stone that man or woman to death with stones. On the evidence of two witnesses or of three witnesses he that is to die shall be put to death; a person shall not be put to death on the evidence of one witness. The hand of the witnesses shall be first against him to put him to death, and afterward the hand of all the people. So you shall purge the evil from the midst of you. (Deuteronomy 17:2-7)
And kill people who pray to other gods:
If your brother, the son of your mother, or your son, or your daughter, or the wife of your bosom, or your friend who is as your own soul, entices you secretly, saying, ‘Let us go and serve other gods,’ which neither you nor your fathers have known, some of the gods of the peoples that are round about you, whether near you or far off from you, from the one end of the earth to the other, you shall not yield to him or listen to him, nor shall your eye pity him, nor shall you spare him, nor shall you conceal him; but you shall kill him; your hand shall be first against him to put him to death, and afterwards the hand of all the people. You shall stone him to death with stones, because he sought to draw you away from the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. (Deuteronomy 13:6-10)
Students should definitely learn about the Bible in school, if only to open their eyes to passages like these. You know, because kids need to know they should be killing their parents if they pray to other gods.
And of course, parents need to be killing their kids by stoning them if they talk back (Deuteronomy 21:18-21), not grounding them or sending them to their rooms.
The Bible commands it. And the Bible, we are told by people like Hasselbeck and Doocy and Kilmeade, is the inerrant word of God.
“So you shall purge the evil [disobedient children] from your midst; and all
Israel America shall hear, and fear” (Deuteronomy 21:21).
Hrafnkell Haraldsson, a social liberal with leanings toward centrist politics has degrees in history and philosophy. His interests include, besides history and philosophy, human rights issues, freedom of choice, religion, and the precarious dichotomy of freedom of speech and intolerance. He brings a slightly different perspective to his writing, being that he is neither a follower of an Abrahamic faith nor an atheist but a polytheist, a modern-day Heathen who follows the customs and traditions of his Norse ancestors. He maintains his own blog, A Heathen’s Day, which deals with Heathen and Pagan matters, and Mos Maiorum Foundation www.mosmaiorum.org, dedicated to ethnic religion. He has also contributed to NewsJunkiePost, GodsOwnParty and Pagan+Politics.