[From the diaries by susanbhu]

Because apparently they feel the need to teach the Bible in public school:

April 27, 2005  |  Odessa, Texas

The school board in this West Texas town voted unanimously to add a Bible class to its high school curriculum.

Hundreds of people, most of them supporters of the proposal, packed the board meeting Tuesday night. More than 6,000 Odessa residents had signed a petition supporting the class. More after the fold . . .

Not that this has anything to do with religion. No, of course not.

The board had heard a presentation in March from Mike Johnson, a representative of the Greensboro, N.C.-based National Council on Bible Curriculum in Public Schools, who said that coursework designed by that organization is not about proselytizing or preaching.

No, it’s purely for its vital educational value:

Johnson said students in the elective class would learn such things as the geography of the Middle East and the influence of the Bible on history and culture.

“How can students understand Leonardo da Vinci’s ‘Last Supper’ or Handel’s ‘Messiah’ if they don’t understand the reference from which they came?” Johnson said.

How indeed?  Thank you Odessa.  Once again Texas has led the way in showing us the face of true educational reform.  Why, makes me want to pull out my Bible to check on all that Middle Eastern geography right now.

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