Readers write in with responses to an Opinion piece advocating that Americans should teach the Bible – in school.
Nyasha Junior's commentary, "For cultural literacy, teach about the Bible in schools" (August 15 & 22) is the beginning of an important discussion. By teaching the Bible as historical literature, the teacher's skills could be challenged, with respect to maintaining the separation of church and state (a post-Revolutionary War initiative, by the way).
However, such an effort would be much more relevant to the education of our youth and future world citizens if the literature of all three of the major Abrahamic faiths were taught at the same time. Imagine the ignorance that would have less soil in which to grow.
I love the Bible. I love education. I respect others' beliefs. And I am sure that requiring public schools to teach the Bible, even if only as literature or as history, is a bad idea.
I know of no public school of education that includes the Bible in its curriculum of teacher education, so there are virtually no teachers state-certified to teach this subject. As it is, very few public school teachers know enough about literature to stray very far from the traditional paths. It's fair to say that almost none of them would be able to construct a curriculum based on the Bible.
If the Bible were taught, then it would seem fair also to include the Koran and other literary staples of the world's great religions. And where would this list stop without offending lots of people? There are plenty of examples of great literature to fill the curriculum without using the fundamental works of world religions.