How is it not the State interfering in religion though? If a State run or supported school is saying “religious belief x is a fairy tale” (this is the modern meaning of myth, irrespective of ancient meanings) this is a violation of the church/state separation you have in America.
I had a history teacher in college a while back explain that when a historian says myth they mean that it is a important story in the development of a certain society that get passed along. The truthfulness of the story is not important, though they are usually based upon something that did happen. There is no insult to the Bible there. Modern vernacular terminology has spun myth to mean something that it is not meant to say.
Privately but I understand that it’s illegal when the State does it. If it’s not ok for the state to favour one religion over others, is it also not OK for the state to favour secular humanism over Christianity by effectually saying Christianity is based on fairy tales? It’s definitely a religious view the State is propagating.
If this is a private school with no State funding, it’s a non-issue.
You’re very charitable and hopefully you’re not this naive in real life. I think the writers usually count on that modern meaning and so use “myth” as a weasel word, to convey a double meaning. If confronted by religious or pro-religious people they will use your meaning, but what they really mean to convey is that Christianity is a myth because myths are based on half truths or false events.
Does the book explain what they mean by myth? Probably not.
I taught ancient history and classical mythology in a medium-sized university on the East Coast for many years. Your history professor either doesn’t understand what myth is or was trying to mislead you. Myth means today what it always has: stories created man, perhaps with a “germ of truth”, but not actual, faithful retellings of real events. The Bible is not myth, and anyone who says that calling it mythic material isn’t insulting Scripture is mistaken.
Person A- “I’m going to take my car out onto the lake next week.”
Person B- “Car, you mean boat.”
Person A- “Car, boat, they’re both vehicles. You shouldn’t be so concerned about the terminology I use.”
The problem is with the approval. The State is approving a textbook for use in its schools which is promoting a particular religious view. Whether is uses the book or promotes it in its schools or other schools the State is voicing an opinion on religious views. I understand this is a contentious issue in your country? Or is separation of church and state something else?
As for free speech, you can’t cite a scholarly work as free speech, it either is correct or it goes out the window because it’s false. You can’t write a science book pushing phlogiston and cry “censorship” when the book is rejected.
I also understand the free speech issue is one where the state is involved. The government should not silence people. Non-state actors have a right to censor speech. If I run a paper, I have a right to censor letters which get sent in for publishing, I can also publish any story I like and edit stories as I see fit. Right? If I run a family friendly TV channel, I can refuse to show porn or edit erotica in mainstream films.
Reality check is needed here; Legal laws address all citizens in its societies.
I wonder if the same author can get a muslim country to approve the authors text book and call Islam’s stories in their Koran “Mythology”? I wonder if this same author and text book would get away with it in a Muslim country, or a free country consisting of Muslims today?
What type of backlash would this author be receiving from Muslim leaders and Muslim politicians today, if the text book related Muslim stories from the Koran mythology?
Would the same sentiments be equally “legally by law” when addressed to Christianity stories as mythology and Islam’s stories in the Koran to be mythology?
Let’s keep it real by “legal Law” standards. Who is zooming who?
Again, I can’t speak for how it is done anywhere else, but here “approval” means some government pencil pusher has taken a look at the textbook to make sure it abides by the set curriculum, makes a decision, and moves on.