|"How can you have any pudding if you don't--"|
The blowback I'm alluding to came from the small contingent of Christians whose parents, upon hearing of my assignment, immediately went to DEFCON 2, flushed the bombers from their bullpens and lobbed a nuke or two at my teaching credentials. Their objections rested on how I bookended my study of the first few chapters of Genesis with other creations stories from Native American legends and other ancient literature. Somehow this constituted pulling down their God (and mine) to the level of fictional comic book characters. Before you could say "burned at the stake" I was assuaging the fears of my principal, and when the squawking was loud enough I did a little one on one with the superintendent. This has happened only twice in my short teaching career, but it illustrates how study of religious text in public schools is a touchy subject. Nonetheless, the study of the creation story in Genesis is a great way to teach kids how to read, particularly in the use of reading strategies. This should only be pulled off as part of a comparative lit unit along side the texts of other faiths. One thing to have angry Christians lined up at the high school office, another entirely when it's the ACLU.