This story just popped up on the front page of NYT:

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/14/magazine/14texbooks-t.html?pagewa...

 

This is some scary shit.

Christian conservatives trying to legislate ignorance from the top down yet again.

The question is what can be done about this heinous warping of reality in education?

 

The article runs to 10 pages, but here is an exerpt:

 

When they proclaim that the United States is a “Christian nation,” they are not referring to the percentage of the population that ticks a certain box in a survey or census but to the country’s roots and the intent of the founders… some activists decided that the time was right to try to reshape the history that children in public schools study. Succeeding at this would help them toward their ultimate goal of reshaping American society. As Cynthia Dunbar, another Christian activist on the Texas board, put it, “The philosophy of the classroom in one generation will be the philosophy of the government in the next."

 

McLeroy (Chair of Texas School Board) is a robust, cheerful and inexorable man….“I consider myself a Christian fundamentalist,” he announced almost as soon as we sat down. He also identifies himself as a young-earth creationist who believes that the earth was created in six days, as the book of Genesis has it, less than 10,000 years ago. He went on to explain how his Christian perspective both governs his work on the state board and guides him in the current effort to adjust American-history textbooks to highlight the role of Christianity. “Textbooks are mostly the product of the liberal establishment, and they’re written with the idea that our religion and our liberty are in conflict,” he said. “But Christianity has had a deep impact on our system. The men who wrote the Constitution were Christians who knew the Bible. Our idea of individual rights comes from the Bible. The Western development of the free-market system owes a lot to biblical principles.”

 

For McLeroy, separation of church and state is a myth perpetrated by secular liberals. “There are two basic facts about man,” he said. “He was created in the image of God, and he is fallen. You can’t appreciate the founding of our country without realizing that the founders understood that. For our kids to not know our history, that could kill a society. That’s why to me this is a huge thing.”

 

Tags: christian, education, fundamentalism

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Ummm, if the separation of church and state is "a myth perpetrated by secular liberals," how do they explain away the Treaty of Tripoli?!?
Interesting. Had to look that up.
Here is what Wikipaedia has on article 11:

Art. 11. As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion,—as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquility, of Mussulmen,—and as the said States never entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mahometan nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries.

I'm not versed in consitutional law, but would this carry any weight fopr domestic policy being outside of the constitution?
Yes, see Article VI of the Constitution: "This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding."

Technically, the Treaty of Tripoli officially disestablished Christianity as an official state church of the US. Especially interesting, according to Wikipedia, "Official records show that after President John Adams sent the treaty to the Senate for ratification in May 1797, the entire treaty was read aloud on the Senate floor, and copies were printed for every Senator. A committee considered the treaty and recommended ratification, 23 of the 32 sitting Senators were present for the June 7 vote which unanimously approved the ratification recommendation."
Wow, every time I read something like this I am just astounded at how ignorant people can be. Why force something into a failed schooling system that you actually have no right to put there in the first place? These poor kids that will get the blunt of it will just be buggered for the rest of their lives, but then again it probably isn't much of a change to what they're teaching now.

Founded on a Christian Nation.. Please..
Apparently even the publishers realize these people are wackos:

“I met with all the publishers,” McLeroy said. “We went out for Mexican food. I told them this is what we want. We want stories with morals, not P.C. stories.” He then showed me an e-mail message from an executive at Pearson, a major educational publisher, indicating the results of his effort: “Hi Don. Thanks for the impact that you have had on the development of Pearson’s Scott Foresman Reading Street series. Attached is a list of some of the Fairy Tales and Fables that we included in the series.”

Fairy tales you want , fairy tales you can have...
I have known for a long time that Texas has an inordinate influence on the texts used in the vast majority of classrooms in the United States, as they consume a large portion of those texts. Question: is there anything being done to ameliorate the overt christian influence being exerted on the content of those books, some manner of oversight or peer review? The article really doesn't seen to offer a lot of hope here, and I find that disturbing in the extremis.
As I understand it, until recently, California has been the balancing factor between Texas' fundamentalists and CA "liberalism"; however, with the recent budget crisis in CA, the other end of the spectrum is not there to weigh in with its (previously) large purchasing power. Texas school board knows this and apparently are taking full advantage of it. Even to the point of mentioning Texas cosmetics entrepreneur Mary Kay Ash more often than Columbus (something this yokel doesn't "understand what the big deal is.")

I fear for the future of public schools if Texas is able to dictate what is available as far as text books are concerned. (apologies to any actual Texas residents with more than two brain cells that don't fight with each other. I know there are at least some of you down there!)
You've said nothing offensive to me, don't worry. I'm from Texas and I can't wait to go back after I finish schooling, but with this, I may contemplate homeschooling for my future kids. >.X
Gaaahhh! When is this going to end? It's bad enough creationism is taught as science, now Fundies are teaching pure fantasy in History?

Sounds like George Orwell's 1984 and the Ministry of Truth. How do these people get elected??? I sincerely hope somebody in Texas is fighting this.
Well, when a bunch of people get together, and none of them have a 3rd digit in their IQ...
I have some irony for you. I 'dropped out' towards the end of junior year in cath/privy-hi; the time spent in church was killing my mind so I had to move on. I did pretty good in Vocational, did well w/digital publishing jobs; then came the faith crap, bush crap, creepy schemer brokers and pressmen... ugh, oh yeah, CORPORATE CRAP with a tinge of racism.

Basically, it'd be double negative to try and force religion in any school already hit by the very fundamentalist cheaters of society that push also the bad corporations (ie. Rothstein, go further, Charlie Crist, go even further Jeb Bush; okay why not the owner of the Dominoes Pizza franchise... aha, there's that word 'franchise'...

and on and on.
follow the money? no, follow the teachers.
They make or break kids, and they need a break from that which has nothing to do with proper education. Mythology is just a course, not a 4 year program. (unless you're that whimsical and or fear of the unknown etc..)

that's my 2000 cents, wtf is anyone proving these days? I see India/Germany busting out whole institutions that run on solar. Global 2000 I think is the channel on LINK tv...
In case anyone's interested, I have just begun reading the first volume of "Liars for Jesus: The Religious Right's Alternate Version of American History" written by Chris Rodda. In the book she compares the lies written in religious right history books to the actual documents they purposely mis-quote.

The book is dedicated to "...everyone working in any way to combat the religious right's revisionism of American history. Also "The Liars for Jesus Website, www.liarsforjesus.com, contains a footnote archive, allowing those reading this book to view images of the documents cited in its footnotes, as well as many links cited to the books that, thanks to a number of recent digitalization projects, are now available online."

I've only read a quarter of the book so far but I'm already appalled. There are instances of Supreme Court judges mis-quoting historical documents as historical evidence in their opinions in cases regarding religion in public schools. I had no idea they had been doing this for so long. It's no wonder it's come to this.

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