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Thursday, March 29, 2007

Those damned statistics

What's Mallard raving about today?

Sodom, Gomorrah, Religion, Schools.

Isn't it interesting how two people can see the same statistic and come to completely opposite conclusions?

Case in point: "50% of high-school seniors think Sodom and Gamorrah were married."

Mallard sees this as an indictment of public schools for not teaching The Bible.

I consider the fact that my knowledge of The Bible comes from my parents and from going to Church and, well, you can probably see where I am going with this...

6 comments:

Kaitlyn said...

I saw the author of the book he's citing on the Daily Show/Colbert Report. It looks like a good book, I want to read it.

And it's not just "high school seniors"... those seniors graduate and go out into the real world, where they don't always learn about religion.

The author wasn't talking about putting religion in schools, he was saying he should know what the hell we're doing every Friday, Saturday, or Sunday, and who the hell we're bombing.

No mention of children.

He wants adults to be educated so they can teach their children.

And never, ever trust a survey of high school students. At least half are wise-asses when it comes to anonymous surveys that aren't for a grade. (The sociology class always has a survey class, we always answered those as honestly as possible - this was a grade.)

High school students are wise asses.

I've known as long as I've known that Sodom and Gomorrah were wicked cities and we got the name of a sexual act from one of them. But their wickedness was that they turned people away, right? Wasn't that the final straw? They didn't take in the angels/God posing as travelers. Lot did, his family was spared, but his wife turned into Salt, hence the Dead Sea. And then Lot's daughters got him drunk and had sex with him so they'd get pregnant because they thought they were the last 3 people on Earth.

I saw this week that since the bible was written by guys, maybe Lot f!cked his daughters while they were drunk and the story was edited to make Lot look like the victim.

Mallard sucks. He read a book I want to read.

pinko said...

Mallard didn't read a book. Most likely Mallard read a USA Today article about a book. Or saw something on Fox News. I can't read the drunken scrawl that passes for a reference, so I'm not sure he even knows the book.

NLC said...

This is getting pretty far off-topic, but to follow up a bit with what kaitlyn wrote:

The notion the "sin of sodom" was primarily related to sex is a relatively recent one. Among virtually all the writings of earlier commentators (both Jewish and Christian, and indeed in other parts of the Bible itself) it's made clear that main sin of the people of Sodom was held to be their lack of "compassion". In this case, as Kaitlyn notes, this is shown by the fact that they not only turn away the strangers but also attack them. Other accounts of Sodom are rife with stories of abuse of the poor and helpless.

(For that matter, if you read this very account --of Lot and the angels-- without starting with the assumption that it's primarily about sex, it's hard to reach that conclusion. Consider: Lot offers his own daughters as a bribe to the men of Sodom. It's pretty clear that the main concern here is not one of sexual purity. Finally, bear in mind that God had already made up his mind to blast Sodom before the angels showed up. These particular crimes were not relevant to the fact that Sodom was already doomed.)

This is not to say that the early commentators were indifferent to the sexual issues; just that it was far from the main point.

This is a much longer topic, and bears lots of discussion, but to make one final note:
I've often wondered that if we take seriously the actual lesson of the "sins of sodom" --the abuse of the helpless and the refusal to help the needy-- that in a world which contains (to pick a single example) psychopaths like Fred Phelps and his cohorts at the Westboro Baptist Church (the good folks who, among other things, picket the funerals of AIDS patients) who is that we should really consider to be "sodomites" in today's world?

Kaitlyn said...

Spaking of religion in schools, oh, this still pisses me off.

My friend, who'd gona a tad too far into religion for my comfort, got transferred out of Honors English in 9th grade because we had to read Edith Hamilton's Mythology.

He didn't want out because that book is the most boring telling of the myths of old, but because he felt it was religious teaching, we were being taught to worship the Greek and Roman gods and goddesses.

At the time, he went to this Baptist church that is still growing (the high school youth group has over a hundred members.)

Thankfully, he seems to have grown out of it. My sister's myspace used to say Jesus was her favorite person, and my super-religious friend's myspace is filled with religious pictures and quotes.

His does not.

I think they should teach the bible in school. A class on world religions - what they are, how they've shaped the world, which ones are still being practiced, etc.

They teach classes like that at college, right?


I understand calling some cities "Sodom and Gomorrah"s to say their wicked, but the biggest sin in S&G was that they weren't nice to strangers!

I think everything in the bible got twisted to sex because it was written and preached for years by 'men of the cloth' who weren't supposed to get any, so they were bitter about those who were and used every little word to condemn everything but man-on-top-of-woman-babymaking sex.

Tinsley probably did not read the book, just the stats quotes on hannity.com or some shit.

One thing that pisses me off about my Christian friend and sister - they think God is banned from school.

No he is not! You can read your fucking bible all day long if you want, you can pray before eating or a test, you and your friends can pray, but you cannot force others to pray with you. And a teacher cannot lead a class prayer. A teacher can be the advisor of one of the religious clubs that prays before school every day (Memphis!), but she or he cannot tell me to pray or bow my head.

Gah!

My friend had this horrid thing posted on her myspace blog - a prayer about how we can't have prayer in schools, but we have condoms and guns and pregnant kids. (if we had condoms, we wouldn't have pregnant kids)

I'll never confront her about it, because those are her beliefs, and they're not hurting me, and her answer (I used to ask her questions during junior and senior year all the time) will always go back to God.

But she doesn't pester me to join a church, and I love that about her.

C said...

Don't forget, we also learned that you should throw your daughters out to a raping hoard to protect the strangers! Maybe wimmins will finally learn their value if we make sure to teach the bible in school!

Anonymous said...

It is vitally important to society that the schools teach 2000 year old fairy tales.

But teach them about condoms and STDs? Whooaa, over the line, pal!