Time to Shelve the Ten Commandments

Just yesterday I got in an argument with a neighbor who insisted that the only laws we really need are enumerated in the Ten Commandments. Being somewhat versed in this artifact of primitive culture, I foolishly pointed out that the first four items simply emphasized the need to adhere to a jealous god. And then, in the best Abbott and Costello fashion, my neighbor said, “Of course.” Damn! Here I was a highly educated critical thinker trying to convince a neighbor here in South Carolina than there were many problems with her understanding of her religion.

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Did Jesus Ever Exist?

JesusWe have discussed the veracity of the stories contained in the Gospels and even the possibility that Jesus was a real person, but according to an article on Alternet, Valerie Tarico writes that a growing number of scholars are openly or actively arguing against Jesus’ historicity. The article, reprinted at Salon is titled

5 good reasons to think Jesus never existed

Most antiquities scholars think that the New Testament gospels are “mythologized history.” In other words, they think that around the start of the first century a controversial Jewish rabbi named Yeshua ben Yosef gathered a following and his life and teachings provided the seed that grew into Christianity.

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Moses and the Texas Board of Education

Old GloryThe recent social upheaval over the battle flag of the Armies of Northern Virginia (erroneously called the Confederate Flag) has once again revealed the politicizing of history in Texas and the criminal bowdlerizing of textbooks intended to educate the youth of the country. If you want to isolate a failure with public education, look no further than Texas.

The Washington Post published an editorial that emphasizes the danger inherent in Texas:

How Texas is whitewashing Civil War history

This Fall, Texas schools will teach students that Moses played a bigger role in inspiring the Constitution than slavery did in starting the Civil War. The Lone Star State’s new social studies textbooks, deliberately written to play down slavery’s role in Southern history, do not threaten only Texans — they pose a danger to schoolchildren all over the country.

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