Last week, Stephen Prothero had an op-ed piece that appeared in the Los Angeles Times, titled “We live in the land of biblical idiots.”
His point is that a basic familiarity with the Jewish and Christian scriptures–from a cultural, not necessarily a religious, standpoint–is essential in our society. Accordingly, he argues for the teaching of these scriptures in public school classrooms.
He makes a good point, I think. I’ve encountered far too many students over the last several years who don’t have a good enough background in the Bible to get the literary references in Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, for instance. Not that I blame them; they simply haven’t had the exposure they need.
Anyone interested in Prothero’s religious literacy quiz can find it here.