re: 'Children of Eden' vs. Freedom From Religion
Posted by: BruceinIthaca 05:26 pm EDT 03/20/17
In reply to: 'Children of Eden' vs. Freedom From Religion - WaymanWong 04:56 pm EDT 03/20/17

As an agnostic (with clearly too much time on his hands today), I find this somewhat absurd--the stories of the Hebrew and the Christian Bibles can be seen as just as important to our rich cultural heritage as the Homeric epics, the Norse myths, the great stories of the Mahabharata, and other tales viewed as sacred to some cultures or groups within cultures. Will we no longer permit productions of "The King and I" because of the "praise to Buddha" moment at the end of the "Small House of Uncle Tom" ballet? (Maybe we need to rethink productions because of issues around yellowface and Western representations of Asian cultures, but that's another story, and I'm still not sure how I feel about it, other than I would not probably choose to set out to produce it if I didn't think I had an Asian actor to play the King). When I was high school student, back during the Punic Wars, we devoted six weeks of first-year English to the Greek myths and six weeks to stories from what was then commonly referred to as the Old Testament. There was no attempt to proselytize when we studied the stories from Genesis, Exodus, Ruth, and so forth, and we did not study the non-narrative books (I don't think we read any of the poetry, either). I think the basis for the pedagogy was that further study of literature depended on understanding the traditions and references such folk literatures served as the foundation for. I could not tell you the religious affiliations of most of my teachers. It just wasn't relevant to the classroom. Now, if there had been a prayer circle before rehearsals or performances, that would have been a different story....I gather such things happen regularly with some scholastic and collegiate sports teams, even at public or non-denominational schools and colleges. That seems to me far more wrong.

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