Lord, deliver us from mixing politics and religion. I can't help but notice that there seems to be a rash of it these days. The Georgia General Assembly has passed or is about to pass -- depending on what happened between the time this was written and the time it was published -- a bill that would allow the teaching of the Bible in Georgia public schools -- at the state's expense. The Bible can already be taught, in certain situations, if the local school system picks up the bill.
Who could be against teaching the Bible? After all, its teachings are the cornerstone of our nation. We are a part of a Judeo-Christian society, and our most cherished government documents, not to mention our art and literature, are chock full of Biblical references. We don't want students graduating from Georgia high schools misinterpreting Michelangelo's depiction of Creation on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel -- and how will they understand all the David and Goliath analogies during the NCAA basketball tournament if they don't know the story of David and Goliath?
Speaking of sports analogies, they should certainly know that "Duke can't carry LSU's sneakers" is a direct reference to John the Baptist's comments when Jesus came to be baptized at the River Jordan. And don't even try to appreciate Shakespeare if you don't know the Bible.
So there you go. Let's pass a bill allowing schools to teach the Bible -- as an elective -- so students will have a better grasp of history, literature and art.
Hmmmm. I'm all for studying the Bible, understand. In fact, I bring up references to the Bible -- as well as other religious books and doctrines -- in my U.S. history class all the time. You can't understand American history without understanding the role religion has played since our inception. On Sundays, I teach an adult Sunday school class and we study the Bible on a verse-by-verse basis.
But when you start teaching the Bible in a public school, you run the risk of opening a large, economy size can of worms. Questions, questions, questions.
What if some religious zealot is assigned to teach the course and tries to convince a Muslim student to convert to Christianity? What if the teacher teaches the Bible as an allegory and I want my child to believe that it is the divine Word of God, inspired by the Holy Spirit? What if they use the New Revised Standard edition and we are strictly King James at our house? What if they hire an atheist to teach the course and he or she contradicts or even ridicules my child's beliefs?
What if, what if, what if?
Not to worry, y'all. I am 100 percent certain that our politicians would not implement any type of plan or program that has not been thoroughly checked out. I am sure that all eventualities will have been taken into consideration before the first "Thou shalt not" has been studied in any way, shape or form. I am certain that only qualified instructors will be allowed to teach the class, and that no personal bias will ever, ever, ever work its way into the lesson.
And I am sure that Santa will bring me a new Cadillac this Christmas and that we will leave no child behind. We might hold a few really bright ones back, but we won't leave anybody behind.
And speaking of politics and religion -- which, along with sex and college football are things you should never, ever, ever discuss in a social setting -- Hillary Clinton decided to demonstrate her knowledge of the Bible in front of the entire U.S. Senate this week.
Hillary, you see, has decided that she does not want Congress to pass legislation to restrict illegal immigration. What she really said was that Congress was attempting to turn "undocumented aliens" into criminals.
Now I truly believe that America is the land of opportunity -- "Give me your tired, your, poor, your huddled masses" and all that. But if the law says that you must be documented to come into the country, and you aren't documented, then you are here illegally and if you are doing something illegal, you are already a criminal by definition.
But Hillary also said that, based on the law in question, the Congress of the United States would have made criminals of Jesus and the Good Samaritan, too.
I know that Hillary Clinton would never make Biblical references just to win favor with voters in the Bible belt, and I am certain that she is well versed in Scripture, but I don't think Jesus ever traveled far enough from home or stayed long enough in one place to be considered an illegal anything -- and I am sure he never had a counterfeit green card or avoided rendering unto Caesar by getting paid under the table in cash money.
And as for the Good Samaritan, if Hillary were to read the story again, she would learn that he was just passing through. I don't think anyone is opposed to the folks who are just passing through, any more than they are to the ones who are here legally.
But it's an election year, y'all. Stay tuned. things are going to get very, very interesting.
Darrell Huckaby is a Newton County native and the author of six books. He lives in Rockdale County, where he teaches high school history. Visit his Web site at www.darrellhuckaby.net.