Numerous states introducing Bible Literacy classes, giving students the option of studying the Bible. Starting to make a turn back? Great!
Turn back to what? is what you might be thinking, and this column agrees. We don’t turn back for anything, unless it’s something really important, like a cooler full of beer.
But after parsing the Tweet above, you might start thinking that Trump, after suffering the loss of his political gonads in the shutdown fight with the Speaker, has, like many others before him, turned to the salve of religion in order to bind up his wounds.
Hah! Just kidding. The first time Trump ever touched a Bible in his life was when he groped one and lied about upholding the Constitution when he was sworn in. He’s just making political points with his Evangelical buds, who are behind this effort to get the Bible read in public schools by proclaiming its worth as literature that even bored little Jews and atheists ought to want to study.
This effort to turn the malleable minds of schoolchildren into a coterie of brainwashed Bible believers is, however, doomed to failure. If you want a kid to never pick up a book again, the best thing to do is force him or her to read it in school. How many of you have a copy of Moby Dick or A Tale of Two Cities on your shelves? Some of you, sure, but it’s the same copy you were supposed to read in 11th grade English class. And you didn’t read it then, and haven’t touched it since. It’s just there for you to recall, with a shudder, your failure to understand it in the least back in your high school days, and also your failure to lose your virginity until you got to college.
Or consider how many of you right now are thinking “I need to quit reading sarcastic shit on the Internet and pick up Pride and Prejudice again?” Exactly zero of you, even the ones who are wondering “When is this shit going to start to get funny?”
You can put Bibles in front of high schoolers’ faces all you want, but they’re still going to be far more concerned about whether they are one of the cool kids, or whether they need to avoid being beaten up by the cool kids, or whether they erased their browser history this morning because today is the only day of the month that their mom has the day off from both her jobs, than they are about Jesus. Tales of burning bushes and trumpeting angels will only be dimly recalled childhood horrors for them, like Melville, Austen and, God forbid, Henry James, are to us.
Besides, there’s all kinds of bits in the Bible that Christian parents don’t want their kids reading, like the part forbidding tattoos, which their mom, dad and favorite rap singers are covered in, or the part about not eating pork, because the Beer Belly Barbecue sponsors the school track team, or the part about not lending money at exorbitant interest rates, since without Mastercard, there wouldn’t be a Christmas, ever.
There’s also a big bit in the OT about an immigrant caravan tearing down a wall.
For sure Mom, Dad and Trump don’t want the kids reading about that.