This was reported in the Ames (Iowa) Tribune Opinion section, page A6, January 24, 2018. The Opinion page title by the three professors listed below: “Why we do not support the religious scripture bill.”

  • Hector Avalos, professor of religious studies, Iowa State University
  • Kenneth Atkinson, professor of history, University of Northern Iowa
  • Robert R. Cargill, assistant professor of classics and religious studies …, University of Iowa

[The professors, of course, have the right to challenge what they call a “religious scripture bill,” but their authority as religious studies employees of a public institution is not Divine.  It reminds one of the exclusivist Latin religion that controlled education and prohibited religious competition during Medieval European history. Is not religious freedom necessary for education?  The basis for the Declaration of Independence is, “… all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator,” and for the Constitution of the United States which concludes by emphasizing “… in the Year of our Lord…”]

Paragraph 1: “As professors of biblical studies at regents universities in Iowa, we have experience teaching courses on the Bible.”  [Oh?  Do teachers in the other colleges on campus dare teach that the word “good” used today for education and public life is a derivative of the religious word “God” in the Bible reaching back over 4,000 years?]

Paragraph 2: “It is a bill sponsored by, among other legislators, Skyler Wheeler, who has been a strong proponent of allowing public schools to teach alternatives to evolution.” [Mr. Wheeler is right.  Abraham confronted many versions of Darwin-type religions and declared that there is One Creator of the cosmos of whom people deserve to be told.  His descendants gave us the Old Testament–love your neighbor; do not steal, make false reports, murder, etc.]

Paragraph 4: “Although the language of the bill seems to advocate neutrality, the fact is that it opens the door for teachers, most of whom have little or no training in academic biblical studies, to impose their personal religious opinions about the Bible upon students.” [Teachers in a college are not so dumb that they cannot exercise their First Amendment beliefs and support their college’s diversity essential to university-wide inclusiveness.  Do the three professors tell students that, in spite of massive persecution, Christianity is the largest single ongoing religion in the world while variable secular empires clutter the cemeteries of history?]

Paragraph 7: “The fact is that biblical authors and Christians throughout history have held widely divergent opinions …” [Yes, the Bible advocates that Christians compete with what seems best and non-Christians have the same freedom.  This is an advantage to Christianity.  People are created with a valuable morality sentinel called the conscience.  They have the benefit of the nuclear family and historic proofs.  When students are not taught moral absolutes, they cannot understand why racial bigotry and other immoral standards are harmful to life and to our communities.]

The radical soft science professor employees of the state are free to express their opinion in the newspaper, but have absolutely no right to withhold beneficial facts about life and history from students.  Religious liberty (File 2031) is indispensable for university campus inclusiveness and justifiable taxpayer education.

~ Opinion offered by Ames, Iowa citizen, David Norris

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