Chron helps "counter the religious right"
Today the Chronicle found a "study" that fits in nicely with the standard thinking at 801 Texas Ave.:
Public school students don't need to go to church on Sunday for a strong dose of religion — in some cases, according to a new study, they merely show up for class.
A yearlong investigation by the Austin-based Texas Freedom Network found that the majority of Bible courses offered as electives in the state's high schools are devotional and sectarian in nature and not academic, as required by a host of rulings from the U.S. Supreme Court on down.
The 76-page report, titled "Reading, Writing and Religion: Teaching the Bible in Texas Public Schools," is one of the most ambitious looks so far at Bible courses that have sprouted in the nation's public high schools.
The report was a joint effort by Mark Chancey, a biblical studies professor at Southern Methodist University, and the Education Fund of the Texas Freedom Network, a group that works to counter the religious right. The report was endorsed by at least eight mostly religion scholars from around the country.
Phew! Where to begin?
First off, the Texas Freedom Network is a liberal special interest group -- something the Austin bureau's Lisa Sandberg failed to mention. Second, Mark Chancey has been "studying" this for a while now, so it's doubtful he's just an objective professor without a preconceived idea as to what his "study" would find. Third, since when is it neutral journalism for a reporter to say that the Texas Freedom Network is "a group that works to counter the religious right"? That statement comes straight from the TFN's website.
Imagine if Focus on the Family had released a study that said the sex education curriculum encourages students to have sex. Do you think Lisa Sandberg and the Chronicle's editors would give it the serious, glowing treatment the TFN "study" was given today? Of course not. Would Sandberg state that Focus on the Family is a group that works to counter the radical anti-Christian left? Yeah, right.
And what's with the last part of that bolded paragraph: "The report was endorsed by at least eight mostly religion scholars..." Say what?
MORE: Reading, Writing and Religion (Texas Freedom Network)