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Continuing Problems for the Bible Literacy Project

Contact: Dennis L. Cuddy, Ph.D., 919-833-4979    

RALEIGH, NC, Dec. 27 /Christian Newswire/ -- The following is released by Dennis L. Cuddy, PhD.:

On December 21, the Bible Literacy Project (BLP) responded to an article by Dr. Wiley Drake (Second Vice-President of the Southern Baptist Convention), which pointed out the error in the BLP's textbook, THE BIBLE AND ITS INFLUENCE, that states on page 238 that Jesus was born in Nazareth.   The BLP said this would be "corrected" in the second printing of the textbook due January 2007.

This acknowledgement of error by the BLP is interesting given that its website claims the textbook doesn't contain errors, a number of which I have described in previous articles.   Let's see if the BLP's new textbook edition corrects "all" of the errors.   And I wonder if the BLP will give all the schools using the current edition free new editions to make up for selling them texts with errors which they claimed weren't there?

If you want to see the BLP's list of reviewers and consultants (who did not catch the errors before initial publication), look here.

Among those listed is Dr. Charles Haynes, senior scholar at the First Amendment Center.   However, given Dr. Drake's criticism of Dr. Haynes, the BLP now seems to be trying to distance itself from the latter.

Drake pointed out that Haynes has written "Public Schools and Sexual Orientation: A First Amendment Framework," which was endorsed by the Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network.   Drake additionally noted that Haynes is a board member of the Pluralism Project, along with a self-professed wiccan high priestess.

In its December 21 article, the BLP insisted that Haynes "is not an official spokesperson, staff member, director or advisory board member of the BLP."   But I'm afraid the BLP's attempt to distance itself from Haynes will not be successful.   For starters, the BLP has 32 references to Haynes on its website.   For example, there's a CAPE COD TIMES article referring to Haynes as a member of the BLP's working group of advisors, and mentioning a news conference introducing the BLP textbook.   Then, if you look at the first and last photos from the BLP's National Press Club Press Conference (www.bibleliteracy.org/site/PressRoom/press_eventphotos.htm), Haynes is extremely prominent.

The BLP's May 30, 2006, press release regarding its textbook proudly refers to Haynes' endorsement of its book.   The BLP website also has a CBN News article referring to Haynes as "a contributor" to the BLP.   And the BLP textbook's introductory chapter to its Teacher's Edition claims that the BLP worked with Haynes' First Amendment Center to produce THE BIBLE AND PUBLIC SCHOOLS: A FIRST AMENDMENT GUIDE.   In fact, a BLP press release regarding this GUIDE proudly states that Haynes "was able to craft a document emphasizing the common ground shared by a broadly diverse group of people."

Lastly, though Haynes may not be an "official" spokesperson for the BLP, its website has an April 29, 2005, Associated Press (AP) story about a Gallup poll saying "Speaking for the project (BLP), Charles Haynes...."    I wonder if the BLP immediately called the AP and demanded that it retract its statement that Haynes was "Speaking for the project."   I doubt it !

Dennis L. Cuddy, Ph.D., has taught at the university level and has been a senior associate with the U.S. Department of Education in Washington, DC.