The Coming Christianizing Of Public School Textbooks

The New York Times asks, “How Christian were the Founding Fathers?” The Texas State Board of Education will be rewriting the standards for public school textbooks, and there’s a good chance that the resulting books (used across the country) will teach that America is a “Christian nation”:

The Christian “truth” about America’s founding has long been taught in Christian schools, but not beyond. Recently, however, 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, a 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.”

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  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/PDDVWRQVUPMKRGHURIEQVNYWHQ Sean

    so teaching left wing doctrine is brain washing,
    but teaching right wing doctrine isn't?
    this will backfire when honor students can't pass a university level class because they have been taught fiction
    their whole lives and more and more people realize everything they are told is a lie.

    • http://www.xenex.org/ xen

      Either way, students are not taught critical thinking. They are simply taught to pass a test. I've been trying to break into the educational field (I have a Master's in Adolescent Education) for five years and I have worked for a standardized test publishing company. Most everything they are told is less-that-true and much of that is intentional. Sadly, my hope is that some kids will keep reading on their own and using the internet to fill the vast chasms public education intentionally leaves.

      This is not to remotely say that “Christianizing” the textbooks is not abhorrent. It simply is nothing new. I've seen textbooks that blamed African-Americans for the problems that occurred during Reconstruction, which is why the benevolent White Man had to step in and help out the Bumbling Negroes. This was a book that was published within the last decade, by the way.

      • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/PDDVWRQVUPMKRGHURIEQVNYWHQ Sean

        i swear if I ever have children they're going to a private school,
        public education in the USA is circling the drain

  • Paul

    Funny how ownership of the future seems to be riding on ownership of the past. Seems to be an issue with more than one religion, inserting their own version of history and having it turned into an after-the-fact reality.

  • jesushater

    Nail them all to their beloved crosses and lets move on to something more relevant

    • nyxynox

      As a mother of a school aged child, this is relevant.

  • Gregory

    Too bad America is a secular nation where the government is forbidden from recognizing any religion through it's laws and governance. But facts have never bother Xians before. Texas does need to secede from the union already and go live in outerspace where their brains are.

    • http://www.cagefreezen.com/ Another side

      “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

      The FEDERAL CONGRESS is forbidden from ESTABLISHING a religion, not RECOGNIZING one . . . or more. This does not imply the forced secularization of the nation, nor does it mean that a teacher cannot wear a Santa Claus pin, or a student mentioning the name of Jesus Christ.

  • wrusseld

    The fact is that the people who founded this country were overwhelmingly Christian and much more religious than people today. The House of Representatives sometimes prayed for several days at a time. A saying common among American revolutionary troops was “No king but King Jesus.” The clergy was so involved in the war effort that they were known as “The Black Brigade.” Liberals have deleted much relevant history from textbooks over the years and it is perfectly appropriate to restore accurate, important information. I expect that the Texas SBOE will correct the liberal bias in textbooks across the nation, and its about time.

    • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/PDDVWRQVUPMKRGHURIEQVNYWHQ Sean

      maybe they were superstitious, many were
      no more reason to embrace that than we would embrace primitive medical techniques.

  • 5by5

    “Teach Founding Principles, Not Hip-Hop”

    Translation?

    “We really miss the time when blacks were 3/5ths of a person.”

  • http://www.cagefreezen.com/ Another side

    States originally had the right to proclaim state religions. The federal government had no authority to intervene, nor should they have. Today, the first amendment should provide textbook manufacturers with the freedom to cover any subject from any angle they wish and the market should determine which textbooks are preferable. As for now, those who complain and warn of the “Christianizing of textbooks” due to the issue of religion are being hypocritical if they accept the atheism that pervades them now.

    Sean: left wing AND right wing doctrine can be brainwashing; one doesn't exclude the other. And about those honor students, Christian and home-school education have more than proven themselves capable.

    Xen: Your conclusion is perfect! Critical thinking is crucial. Without it, we blindly accept that which we are told by authorities who have their own agendas. During the Reconstruction the blacks WERE part of the problem inasmuch as they were manipulated by Northerners to vote certain ways, which led to resentment from an already destroyed south. Like so many other issues, the spark is waiting for the fuel. This is why we fight destructive wars like we do using Orwellian arguments about liberty and God, both of which roundly condemn our actions.

    The subject of mastery tests is a hot one as well. These tests betray the overwhelming federal distrust of the individual (teachers and parents in this case) to be intelligent and caring enough to find their own path to success when it's the opposite that has been proven true time and again. We can disagree quite strongly on where religion may lie, but I'll still back people like you who have a passion for education as opposed to a passion for power.

  • toborgo

    Will they mention the stuff about good Christian slave owning, hemp-growing, demon-rum swilling Founding fathers?

  • paulvrafferty

    The Founding Fathers of the United States were DEISTS who believed that God could be seen through the workings of Nature. Read any of their writings – including the U.S. Constitution which incorporated a Nation where ALL Religions were welcome and ALL were allowed to practice their Beliefs or non-Beliefs. If they wanted a so-called “Christian” nation, whatever that might be, they would have said so ! Sad to see the “Christian” extremists perverting America.

  • Rheokhu

    I have a dream that one day I'm going to see an argument in progress about the religious views of the Founding Fathers and the origins of church/state separation. And in this dream, I'm not going to have to be the one person who mentions that the Catholics and the (at the time very young) Southern Baptist Convention sided with the Deists on this one. I won't have to be the guy who points out that if church/state separation hadn't won out at our nation's birth, we'd all be Anglicans now, just as the majority of Americans were at the time of the Constitutional Convention. It's my dream that one day, every American is going to know this elementary fact about their nation's history. It's pie in the sky, I know.

  • Blah

    It's my opinion that school text books should be unbiased as possible, the less coercion to believe a particular party's views the better. We shouldn't teach kids to be empty vessels, told what to do or what to believe, they should learn how to create their own ideals and beliefs through logic and consideration of what holds true to their experience in life.

    Being a teenager myself, I know all too well the power of suggestion that lies within the teachings of public school. The saddest thing is, the majority of kids accept anything they're taught in school as concrete fact, never caring to research anything because education has been devalued throughout their life times by blatant institutionalization.

  • Chinstrap

    Mixing State and Religion is never a good idea. It’s always come to awful consequence. The Holy Roman Empire was a drag that lead to the Dark Ages in Europe. Why, there’s the Taliban over there in the Middle East right now. Gosh, I know: Yours is the One True Religion, and this time it really is God’s will. Bite me. The Founding Fathers bent over backwards to prevent mixing religion and state. They’d seen the inevitable disaster of it, first hand. Fuck. Even Jesus was against it. “Render unto God what is Gods, and unto Caesar what it Caesar’s”. Translation: Keep your religious duties and your state duties separate. Or, to put another way, separate church and state. These religious dimwits know that this is true, and they can’t win this battle of theirs straight on. They have to go slowly through the backend, through local councils, using the First Amendment and civil liberties as the opening. Their sneaky designs must be stopped, or the USA will enter another Dark Age of intolerant ignorance.

  • Chinstrap

    Mixing State and Religion is never a good idea. It's always come to awful consequence. The Holy Roman Empire was a drag that lead to the Dark Ages in Europe. Why, there's the Taliban over there in the Middle East right now. Gosh, I know: Yours is the One True Religion, and this time it really is God's will. Bite me. The Founding Fathers bent over backwards to prevent mixing religion and state. They'd seen the inevitable disaster of it, first hand. Fuck. Even Jesus was against it. “Render unto God what is Gods, and unto Caesar what it Caesar's”. Translation: Keep your religious duties and your state duties separate. Or, to put another way, separate church and state. These religious dimwits know that this is true, and they can't win this battle of theirs straight on. They have to go slowly through the backend, through local councils, using the First Amendment and civil liberties as the opening. Their sneaky designs must be stopped, or the USA will enter another Dark Age of intolerant ignorance.

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