There are certain situations to which words like “sick” and “wrong” can not even begin to do justice: This is one of those occasions.
To summarize briefly, it seems a fundamentalist Christian group in the United States (which, somewhat unaccountably has been given license by the Supreme Court to ply its vile trade in American public schools) has opened-up a new frontier in biblically-based indoctrination: namely, using the story of Saul and (his genocide against) the Amalekites to teach children to reflexively obey commands issued in the name of religion, up to including those which order them to perform objectively monstrous acts. Adding a whole other dimension to this affront, the materials presented also include the implicit message that murder is justified if the victim is an unbeliever.
Allow me to reiterate this point: a fundamentalist religious group is using the public school system in the US to indoctrinate children into accepting genocide as a moral act.
It has become overly fashionable to lightly throw-around words like “fascism,” but it is not at all clear to me how it wouldn’t apply in this case. This is simply unacceptable.
If there is anything worthwhile that could come from this case, I hope that it is that it underscores the critical need to train students in ethical philosophy. And as this is ethical philosophy that we’re talking about, it’s pretty clear that Fundamentalist relgion should be kept the hell out of it.