April 16, 2007


El Cabrero came across this sign while driving through the capitol of his Beloved State of West Virginia and couldn't agree more.

It's long been amazing to me that here in Bible belt central, many people have very little idea of what the Bible actually says, even though some claim to believe every word.

This seems to be especially true of the college aged students I encounter teaching the occasional off campus night class.

This is a national trend. According to a recent Time Magazine,

Only half of U.S. adults know the title of even one Gospel. Most can't name the Bible's first book. The trend extends even to Evangelicals, only 44% of whose teens could identify a particular quote as coming from the Sermon on the Mount.

But don't take Time's word for it--take Jay's! Here's a clip of Jay Leno asking questions about the Bible.

BiblicalLiteracy.org is trying to fight biblical illiteracy, in part by promoting the use of the book The Bible and its Influence in high school classes. According to the website, "After first 18 months, The Bible and Its Influence, is used in 83 school districts in 30 states."

The project enjoys the support of the American Jewish Congress, Catholic Biblical Association, and National Association of Evangelicals, although it has been opposed by some representatives of the Taliban/jihad/wahabi end of the Christian spectrum.

El Cabrero's imperial verdict: thumbs up.

Regardless of one's religion or lack thereof, the Bible has played such a central role in Western history, culture, and literature that without some basic background, one is going to miss an awful lot.

Besides that, there are some really cool things in there.

TWO WEST VIRGINIA ITEMS. As mentioned here last week, WV Gov. Joe Manchin to his credit announced a pilot "meet and consult" program which will give more of a voice to state employees. Here's some commentary on that from the national AFLCIO blog.

Also here's West Virginians for Affordable Health Care's blueprint for expanding health coverage here. WVAHC's approach calls for expanding coverage through increasing individual, insurance industry, employer, and government responsibility.

Speaking of WV, to quote Dylan: "it's rough out there/high water everywhere."

FEDERAL BUDGET. Here's an op-ed on the federal budget by Ted Boettner from today's Charleston Gazette.


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