Creationism in Texas Bible classes
Is creationism taught as scientifically credible in Bible classes in Texas's public schools? Yes, according to a new report from a Southern Methodist University professor of religious studies and the Texas Freedom Network Education Fund. The report, Reading, Writing & Religion II: Texas Public School Bible Courses in 2011-12, explains (PDF, p. 51), "several courses incorporate pseudoscientific material, presenting inaccurate information to their students and exposing their districts to the risk of litigation." Among the material cited as problematic were a tract repeating the missing day myth, a slide show arguing for a young earth, videos produced by the Creation Evidence Museum, websites contending that scientists are currently debating whether there was a global flood, and charts that trace racial diversity to Noah's sons — a view that, as the report observes, is "a foundational component of some forms of racism."
In a January 16, 2013, press release, the Texas Freedom Network explained, "While some districts succeeded in offering legally appropriate and academically sound Bible courses, most such courses in Texas public schools continue to suffer from the same serious flaws that were common six years ago." The author of the report, Mark Chancey, added, "As a biblical scholar and especially as a parent, I want our state's public schools to take the study of the Bible's influence as seriously as they do the study of science or history. ... But the evidence shows that Texas isn't giving the study of the Bible the respect it deserves. Academically, many of these classes lack rigor and substance, and some seem less interested in cultivating religious literacy than in promoting religious beliefs. Their approach puts their school districts in legal jeopardy and their taxpayers in financial jeopardy."