Commie Denies NASA proved Joshua’s Missing Day!

On Monday, the Texas Freedom Network published its report on the National Council on Bible Curriculum in Public Schools (which I had blogged on here, noting the complete absence of serious scholars in connection with the enterprise), as was reported in the New York Times. The report’s author, Biblical scholar Mark A Chancey, listed numerous problems with the syllabus, including the following:

… The curriculum cites a “respected scholar” who claims that archaeological evidence “always confirms the facts of the Biblical record” [page 170]. Yet that “respected scholar” claimed elsewhere to have seen Jesus’ school records in India, records from the lost continent of Atlantis and evidence that Egypt’s Great Pyramid of Giza was used to transmit radio messages to the Grand Canyon thousands of years ago.

The curriculum uses a discredited urban legend that NASA has evidence that two days are missing in time, thus “confirming” a biblical passage about the sun standing still [pages 116-17].

The curriculum identifies a creation scientist as an expert and recommends materials from his Creation Evidence Museum to explain the origins of life.

But now, NCBCPS head Elizabeth Ridenour has responded with a devastating rebuttal. Over to Charisma:

NCBCPS President Elizabeth Ridenour dismissed the network as a “far left” extremist organization that is pro-homosexuality and pro-abortion.

That should do it. Of course Chancey is not impressed with the NCBCPS syllabus – he’s a queer-loving Commie! Ridenour then heads for the last refuge of the intellectually bankrupt: her lawyer.

Mike Johnson, a lawyer for the national council [through the Alliance Defense Fund], agreed [that the course is educational]. “The most telling factor is the network held a conference instead of filing a complaint in court,” Johnson, who has been inundated with media interviews this week, told CharismaNow. “That says it all. There’s no legal problem with the approach of this curriculum. If there were one, we would have been legally challenged a long time ago.”

He cited a 1999 legal opinion by four lawyers, including two constitution attorneys from Notre Dame and Princeton, calling the course permissible under constitutional guidelines.

As with Intelligent Design, who cares about the opinions of actual experts when you’ve got lawyers fighting your cause? This is about winning, not truth. (The two constitution attorneys, by the way, are Robert P George of Princeton, who advises George Bush on bioethics, and Gerard Bradley – see here. One wonders whether they gave their opinion on teaching about the Bible in schools in general, or whether they actually lent their reputations to the pseduo-scholarship of the NCBCPS.)

Meanwhile, for a course on the Bible that doesn’t debase the very book it claims to be teaching about, teachers could do far worse than the Bible Literacy Project.

UPDATE: This older report from the Odessa American passed me by. In it, Johnson claims that “they cited passages out of context…They have misrepresented our curriculum and content.” Apparently, some of the wacky material was only mentioned to “broaden perspectives”. But why students need to be “broadened” by the lies of pseudo-scholars and hucksters while serious Biblical scholarship is ignored is not explained…

UPDATE 2: Mark Chancey responds to the controversy.

4 Responses

  1. […] also an endorsement from Chuck Norris, for reasons that eluded me). Biblical scholar Mark Chancey soon after wrote a devastating critique of the syllabus, exposing sectarianism, plagiarism and gross academic […]

  2. […] Norris. The syllabus was the subject of a devastating critique from Biblical scholar Mark Chancey; the NCBCPS was unable to offer any defence of its shoddy materials, and so instead confined itself […]

  3. […] endorsed by actor Chuck Norris and subject of a devastating critique by mainstream Biblical scholar Mark Chancey, and the Bible Literacy Project (BLP), which has been widely praised for its scholarly and […]

  4. […] to do with its development, and Mark Chancey of Southern Methodist University has written a devastating report on its shortcomings. Not only does the NCBCPS curriculum contain wildly inaccurate facts about the […]

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