What does it look like when people run for the school board in Alabama?
Just take a look at the Calhoun County Board of Education, which chooses members every six years. 2018 is an election year, and current member Phil Murphy, who’s been on the board since 2006, is using this ad in his re-election campaign:
There are so many problems here…
Murphy is running on the fact that he introduced Bible-in-history-and-literature elective courses into the school system. His wife even wrote a letter to a local newspaper last month bragging about how, since that time, “Phil has informed school boards in Alabama that this was now legal for their schools. Almost 500 Alabama students this year sit in Bible classes by their own choice to study this great book.”
But the only reason those courses are legal is because the Bible is (theoretically) taught objectively. It’s not taught as true. It’s taught as influential.
Yet Murphy’s ad suggests the exact opposite. In fact, he’s broadcasting the very thing church/state separation activists always say about these courses, which is that they’re nothing more than backdoor attempts to push the Bible into public schools.
Murphy is saying, “Yes they are, and I made it happen!”
If I were a group like Americans United for Separation of Church and State, I’d use this ad as motivation to investigate this curriculum. Is it really as objective as it’s supposed to be?
The other problem is the tagline at the bottom. Is Murphy making men out of boys? Because that’s creepy. Is the Bible doing it? Because… how? Are atheists unable to become men? I don’t understand how Christian puberty works. (#ChristianPuberty) And what about girls in the school system? What does Murphy do for them? Apparently nothing.
(Side note: One of the Bible-as-history teachers in Calhoun County was arrested last month on charges that she had sex with a 17-year-old student. So much for that Christian morality.)
And look at that picture! It’s Murphy literally handing a Bible to a student. Imagine any other candidate doing that with any other holy book and you can imagine what the conservative uproar would look like.
This is how good it is to be a Christian in Alabama. You can boast about breaking the law on a campaign ad — in the name of God, of course — and it may very well help you in the election.
The primary is June 5. But really, everyone in that community has already lost.
(Thanks to Christy for the link)