9:20 – The State Board of Education will resume debate and amending proposed new social studies curriculum standards for Texas public schools this morning. Board members are getting a short lesson on parliamentary procedure right now.
9:27 – The board is taking up remaining amendments on the high school world history course.
9:30 – Board member Cynthia Dunbar wants to change a standard having students study the impact of Enlightenment ideas on political revolutions from 1750 to the present. She wants to drop the reference to Enlightenment ideas (replacing with “the writings of”) and to Thomas Jefferson. She adds Thomas Aquinas and others. Jefferson’s ideas, she argues, were based on other political philosophers listed in the standards. We don’t buy her argument at all. Board member Bob Craig of Lubbock points out that the curriculum writers clearly wanted to students to study Enlightenment ideas and Jefferson. Could Dunbar’s problem be that Jefferson was a Deist? The board approves the amendment, taking Thomas Jefferson OUT of the world history standards.
9:40 – We’re just picking ourselves up off the floor. The board’s far-right faction has spent months now proclaiming the importance of emphasizing America’s exceptionalism in social studies classrooms. But today they voted to remove one of the greatest of America’s Founders, Thomas Jefferson, from a standard about the influence of great political philosophers on political revolutions from 1750 to today.
9:45 – Here’s the amendment Dunbar changed: “explain the impact of Enlightenment ideas from John Locke, Thomas Hobbes, Voltaire, Charles de Montesquieu, Jean Jacques Rousseau, and Thomas Jefferson on political revolutions from 1750 to the present.” Here’s Dunbar’s replacement standard, which passed: “explain the impact of the writings of John Locke, Thomas Hobbes, Voltaire, Charles de Montesquieu, Jean Jacques Rousseau, Thomas Aquinas, John Calvin and Sir William Blackstone.” Not only does Dunbar’s amendment completely change the thrust of the standard. It also appalling drops one of the most influential political philosophers in American history — Thomas Jefferson.
9:51 – Dunbar’s amendment striking Jefferson passed with the votes of the board’s far-right members and board member Geraldine “Tincy” Miller of Dallas.
9:56 – Here is what the Library of Congress says about Jefferson’s influence: “Recognized in Europe as the author of the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson quickly became a focal point or lightning rod for revolutionaries in Europe and the Americas.” The Library of Congress notes, in particular, Jefferson’s influence on revolutionaries in France (including on the Declaration of the Rights of Man), other European nations, South America and Haiti.
10:06 – Dallas board member Mavis Knight, who is African-American, speaks with passion about suggestions by some board members that social studies classrooms should emphasize how race relations in the United States have improved. Those other board members, Knight says, haven’t lived her 64 years as an African-American woman in this country and have no idea what that has been like. Her comments come in a discussion about whether a standard noting Congressional Medal of Honor winners should include a list of possible examples of medal recipients. Board member Mary Helen Berlanga of Corpus Christi had proposed an ethnically diverse list of medal recipients. The board’s conservatives oppose such a list.
10:21 – Board members vote to reject a list of possible names of Medal of Honor recipients.
10:56 – At this pace, we’ll be surprised if the board finishes its debate of the standards before mid-afternoon (or even later).
11:16 – The board is taking up high school U.S. government now.
11:21 – Board member Barbara Cargill wants to insert a discussion of the right to bear arms in a standard that focuses on First Amendment rights and the expression of various points of view. This is absurd. If they want students to study the right to bear arms, at least try to find an appropriate place in the standards for it. This is yet another example of politicians destroying the coherence of a curriculum document for no reason other than promoting ideological pet causes. Republican board member Bob Craig of Lubbock is suggesting a better place for such a standard. But the amendment passes anyway. The board’s far-right faction is simply impervious to logic.
11:30 – Board member Pat Hardy notes that elsewhere the standards already require students to study each of the freedoms and rights guaranteed by the Bill of Rights. No one seems to care.
11:33 – Bob Craig tries, once again, to talk some sense into these folks. Board member Cynthia Dunbar argues that the original standard’s focus on the rights of “petition, assembly, speech, and press in a democratic society” unfairly emphasizes the First Amendment over others. She suggests taking that out altogether if the Second Amendment isn’t included. Board member Ken Mercer argues that the right to bear arms is too important not to include here. But it IS included in the standards. The purpose of the original standard is to have students understand the rights to free expression in a democratic society. The right to bear arms is not relevant to that purpose.
11:40 – We wonder why they wouldn’t include the freedom of religious expression in this amendment instead of the right to bear arms.
11:44 – Actually, the formal vote on including the right to bear arms in this amendment is occurring now. The earlier vote was on a different version.
11:45 – It passes.
11:46 – These board members clearly haven’t got a clue how to craft a curriculum document that’s streamlined, coherent and focused. They are far more interested in seeding the standards with whatever ideological pet causes they have. Pity the students and teachers of Texas for the foolishness they must endure.
11:59 – Board member Ken Mercer suggests this standard: “understand how government taxation and regulations can serve as restrictions to private enterprise.” Bob Craig points out that the amendment is misplaced. It is — the section in which it would be inserted deals with government policies on “science, technology and society,” not “private enterprise.” Moreover, would Mercer object to a standard that discusses how taxation and regulation can be a benefit in some circumstances? We doubt it. Perhaps he doesn’t consider that when he drinks an unpolluted glass of water.
12:03 – Mercer moves his movement to a section on the economy. It passes.
12:04 – The current standards draft currently refer to the economic system that exists in the United States as “free enterprise (capitalist, free market).” Mercer offers an amendment to strike out “(capitalist, free market)” in the standards and leave just “free enterprise.” The board’s far-right members have repeatedly complained (absurd) that “capitalism” is a negative term and, in any case, that state statute requires students to learn about the “free enterprise system.” Scholars on the curriculum teams had argued that “capitalism” and “free market” are commonly used terms in economics courses and everyday discourse. But Mercer and his allies on the board have this bizarre fetish with the words “free enterprise” over all others. Terri Leo: “I do think words mean things. . . . I see no reason, frankly, to compromise with liberal professors from academia.” The woman is shameless. How dare she attack someone whose politics she doesn’t even know.
12:08 – Pat Hardy notes that the scholar who recommended that “capitalism” and “free market” be used in the standards teaches at Texas A&M and is a Republican. He is “not some kind of crazy liberal,” she says.
12:11 – One is tempted to climb to the top of the Texas Education Agency building and shout: “These people have lost their minds.”
12:12 – Pat Hardy is calling out the board for its silliness and the suggestion that “capitalism” is a “nasty word.”
12:13 – Ken Mercer: I think capitalism is a good word, but academics don’t. Really? And where does he get that? This is a classic example of how some board members attack and smear without any facts.
12:15 – Guess what? It passes. The Texas State Board of Education has stricken from the standards references to “capitalism” and “free market” because the board’s right-wingers think “capitalism” is a negative term. The only permitted term for such an economic system will be “free enterprise.” We wouldn’t believe this if we hadn’t just watched it happen. This is so stupid it makes our head hurt.
12:28 – Board member Mavis Knight offers the following amendment: “examine the reasons the Founding Fathers protected religious freedom in America by barring government from promoting or disfavoring any particular religion over all others.” Knight points out that students should understand that the Founders believed religious freedom was so important that they insisted on separation of church and state.
12:32 – Board member Cynthia Dunbar argues that the Founders didn’t intend for separation of church and state in America. And she’s off on a long lecture about why the Founders intended to promote religion. She calls this amendment “not historically accurate.”
12:35 – Knight’s amendment fails on a straight party-line vote, 5-10. Republicans vote no, Democrats vote yes.
12:38 – Let the word go out here: The Texas State Board of Education today refused to require that students learn that the Constitution prevents the U.S. government from promoting one religion over all others. They voted to lie to students by omission.
Here was the amendment again: “examine the reasons the Founding Fathers protected religious freedom in America by barring government from promoting or disfavoring any particular religion over all others.” And this board, on a vote of 10-5, said they don’t want Texas students to learn about this basic protection for the religious freedom of everyone in America.
191 thoughts on “Blogging the Social Studies Debate IV”
Texas State Legislature, Are you listening?
“9:51 – Dunbar’s amendment striking Jefferson passed with the votes of the board’s far-right members and board member Geraldine “Tincy” Miller of Dallas.”
Tincy is as daffy as a duck.
Revisionism? Think so!
Oh how the newspapers are going to love to write about this.
I can see it on the evening news, thw Washington Post,and the NY Times: “Far right Republicans on the Texas SBOE vote to remove Thomas Jefferson from history classes.”
No more evidence is needed that the far religious right are crazy.
Can we let the teachers teach! I teach in Oak Cliff and can assure you that when history is the subject taught, Thomas Jefferson will be included. There is such a thing as supplemental resources and a brain. Which I am not sure all the members of the board use.
Unfortunately, the board has decided it doesn’t want to listen to teachers anymore in this process. They have been very explicit about that, as appalling as that is.
Anybody out there interested in working with me on a wiki or lesson plan concerning this debacle? It could be used by classroom teachers and education professors as a case study in the politicization of history and education in general. it will include a correlations guide to all the standards that have been amended so teachers can use it for TEKS coverage.
The great state of Texas once again is a worldwide laughingstock. With the highest rate of high school dropouts in the US, it is no wonder the huge empire-building churches can easily exploit the uneducated, ignorant masses here. Critical thinking skills are out of fashion and prayer is in. Well, prayer didn’t fix the Katrina dikes or protect us from deregulated financial instruments. It is time these self-serving holier-than-thou types were shamed into admitting what they are doing – collecting money for false promises of an afterlife hwile they enjoy a tax-free free ride in this life (and while violating their agreement not to pick politicians from the pulpit, which is never enforced). These leeches are ruining this state.
I encountered a fundamentalist online last week who quite openly criticized the Enlightenment and any sort of logic or reason that didn’t involve (his) god or “evidence” from the bible.
Oh, and Tincy’s vote above exemplifies what I was referring to last week when I said I thought I remembered her waffling at times and siding with the zealots.
What can be done at this point? The SBOE have repeatedly ignored experts and educators and pushed their own personal beliefs into the curriculum guidelines. Some board members will not return, but they are still able to poison the curriculum guidelines while they are on the board. Is there anything that can be done to stop this madness and embarrassment to the Texas education system?
That’s a joke, right, Aquinas and the Age of Enlightenment.
Of course they took out Jefferson. He’s the one that came up with that troublesome “separation of church and state” idea.
And, as usual, the far-right faction depends on waffling by the usually sensible faction. Here’s hoping Clayton is more sensible than Miller.
“11:40 – We wonder why they wouldn’t include the freedom of religious expression in this amendment instead of the right to bear arms.”
Because they are stupid, that’s why.
“12:15 – Guess what? It passes. The Texas State Board of Education has stricken from the standards references to “capitalism” and “free market” because the board’s right-wingers think “capitalism” is a negative term. The only permitted term for such an economic system will be “free enterprise.” We wouldn’t believe this if we hadn’t just watched it happen. This is so stupid it makes our head hurt.”
It’s time to call your Texas State Senator and Congressman and complain loudly. I can only imagine how embarrased the legislature is over this.
“Board member Cynthia Dunbar argues that the Founders didn’t intend for separation of church and state in America.”
Wrong, Cynthia. The Founders did intend for separation, and they had this kind of BS in mind when they did it.
“It’s time to call your Texas State Senator and Congressman and complain loudly. I can only imagine how embarrased the legislature is over this.”
Uh, “free enterprise” is the term that your Texas Senators and Legislators actually put into the Texas Education Code.
How could senators and legislators be embarrassed by the SBOE complying with their own directive?
Sorry, I don’t have time to keep up this week, but I have just posted the audio of that cwazy wadical pro-capitalist GOP Econ Prof from A&M, testifying at Cargill’s special Kangaroo Trial last April. It’s at
Of course they took out Jefferson.
Jefferson had explained the actions of his own VA legislature thus: “…an amendment was proposed by inserting the words, ‘Jesus Christ … the holy author of our religion,’ ” which was rejected “by a great majority in proof that they meant to comprehend, within the mantle of its protection, the Jew and the Gentile, the Christian and the Mohammedan, the Hindu, and the Infidel of every denomination.”
— Thomas Jefferson
We don’t need that kind of subversive stuff in this country!
TEA attorneys should have informed them that the law doesn’t necessarily mandate the term- just education about the system.
Can someone in the room with the SBOE in Austin get a message to the 10 Republican members that I will be bringing the bus there to pick them up after the meeting. I have changed the neon display at the front of the bus from 21st Century to Dark Ages – can’t miss it. I have removed all the seats and put in hard benches. It will be a no frills ride. Destination: The planet they came from.
Horrifying to me is the effect this will have on the rest of the country. Textbook publishers who cater to Texas will write this curriculum in their textbooks and inflict the rest of the country with these ideals. Those of us who teach not in CA or TX will be stuck with this version of “history”.
I think everyone should pay particular emphasis to Dunbar’s inclusion of John Calvin into the standards. Calvin’s emphasis on predestination and the existence of a small number of chosen who can be admitted to heaven is a mainstay for many modern Evangelicals, and runs counter to most mainline Christian denominations.
When you combine this with an earlier proposed suggestion that America’s founders were “98% Protestant Christian,” the obvious suggestion isn’t that America is merely a Christian nation, but an Evangelical nation. Catholics need not apply.
Removing Jefferson is crazy – though I don’t believe he was removed entirely from the curriculum – but removing references to Capitalism really takes the crazy cake.
Jefferson remains in the U.S. history standards. But he was removed from a standard in world history that had students study the influence of major political philosophers on political revolutions from the 1700s forward. Removing Jefferson from such a list is appalling and a clear demonstration that these board members don’t know what they’re talking about.
I do think that teachers will add a bit more balance into this when it’s presented to students, particularly outside of Texas.
It should come as no surprise that Texas ranked 25th with a negative “SMART” score of -0.11 among 21 factors. While this is speculation and a correlation is not causation; insightful leadership in education should be of primary importance in determining the outcomes of every one of these 21 factors. The Texas state board of education members should be held accountable for this state’s declining trend in public education. Perhaps the state should exercise its right to “free enterprise” and outsource important decisions concerning the public welfare of its children and their education to more qualified regions of the country or even the world.
Congress members have nothing to do with the curriculum taught in public schools in Texas. So no need to write them and waste your time, PHarvey, and theirs.
What is needed is a good civics lesson. But don’t look for it in Texas because usually that course is taught by a coach. I know. I clean up their messes at a local college when their graduates come sit in my classes.
But rarely do college textbooks do much better. The sloppy rather than ideological mistakes in college textbooks would make a learned person blush.
If each person reading this doesn’t grab someone that doesn’t agree with them and shake them up, none of this will matter. And if each person reading this doesn’t take two people to the polls with them the next time their representative to the SBOE runs for re-election, again this point is moot.
These people were elected because smart people can’t be bothered to go vote. But the Republicans never miss a chance to push their agenda.
We have only ourselves and not the stars to blame. Get off your asses and run for office or run someone for office. Do less bitching on line and feeling pure and self righteous and have the guts to run toe to toe against these sons of bitches or they will whip us every time. These letters and this organization may inform, but you are preaching to the choir. Run people for office. Stand up for what is right. When someone does run but may have made some mistakes don’t leave them–stand up and fight for them. Make damn sure everyone on your Christmas card list is registered to vote. Don’t let your kids play at neighbors houses if those neighbors aren’t politically active. Get serious about this because the Republicans are more serious than anyone and that is why Phyllis Schafly is in the history books and Thomas Jefferson isn’t.
Revisionist “history” like this is exactly what I remember being done in the former Soviet Union and in communist China. What has happened to this country? It is like watching the fall of the Roman empire. Let’s be sure we not only have no schools to teach in, but that those which are left teach only lies. Anybody remember the book 1984? Well, it finally will arrive in 2014.
Do not waste your time writing to congress on this matter. Instead, I would urge all of us in Texas (I apologize for my state’s idiocy, by the way) and in the United States to write to the Board of Education directly. The email is [email protected]
I would say that the worst part is the removal of Thomas Jefferson from the standards, as opposed to the use of ‘free enterprise’ as opposed to ‘free market’ or ‘capitalism’.
Yeah, who needs Thomas Jefferson, anyway? Let’s revere Che Guevara instead.
“Board member Barbara Cargill wants to insert a discussion of the right to bear arms in a standard that focuses on First Amendment rights”
FIRST Amendment rights?
is that a typo or what???
Reminds me of a proposed Constitutional Amendment from a book I read in 1980:
“Congress shall make no law abridging freedom of speech. But ‘speech’ shall be defined to mean sounds that come out of the people’s mouths or, if provoked, out of their guns.”
This is complete insanity. I would garner great respect for the textbook companies if they completely ignored these anti-Jefferson standards and just kept the current books as is. I know I’ll vote against any textbook for my district that is without Jefferson.
On the flip side– I guess the far right has finally accepted that Jefferson was a Deist. I won’t have to fight that fight anymore!
As a lifelong atheist, I cannot see what your damage is!
…AND, I ought to add, as a scholar of American history.
Note that Dunbar has replaced Jefferson with two great “Enlightenment” (!) thinkers: the 13th century theologian Thomas Aquinas, who argued that grace perfects nature, and the 16th century theologian, Jean Calvin, who created a theocratic state in Geneva. Does she even know what the Enlightenment is?
After 20 years of teaching high school history in Texas I will be seriously pursuing a career change before the next school year starts. I’m constantly stunned at the antics of our ‘beloved’ SBOE. Up until now I have taught HISTORY to my students, mostly ignoring the terrible books we are forced to spend millions on each year. However – I’m not sure I can continue, especially if I am forced to include certain ‘facts’ as determined by those idiots. None of them have a clue and I sincerely hope they all get the ‘afterlife’ they most certainly deserve.
Have you lost your minds? Removing Thomas Jefferson (one of the authors of the Declaration of Independence) is insane and downright stupid! He is one of the more important founders of this nation.
Folks shook their heads at Kansas. Not to be left behind or outdone, the wing-nuts in Texas have to take an even loonier stance.
Is it too late to apologize to Mexico over that war and give Texas back?
It’s just one more step on the road to world government and socialism
Teachers that are handed these lame retarded soially-stunted textbooks can merely do what all college professors across this great nation do – they can refuse to teach various sections, print up their own handouts of additional readings at the taxpayers expense, and change assignments to include reseach papers on famous people like Thomas Jefferson. No matter what the Texas twits try to do to change history, teachers have the last say in what will be taught in their classrooms and how. Students learning from these crappy textbooks will be ill-prepared for what awaits them in the real world and in the higher world of academia. While these conservative jerks may think that they have won the textbook battle, they could lose the classroom battle, and the battle to prepare those teens to pass college entry exams. There is no religious fodder on the SATs, ACTs, GREs, the Armed Forces ASVAB, nor any other type of exam. Teens are taught to meet or exceed the standards that they will need to pass those exams. All other information is deemed irrelevant in the land of academia. These are really some ignorant people.
I expect some new faces to be on that board after the next election. It will take some time but those DUMBARS will be history. Vote them OUT! Lets Protect our Children and Grandbabies. I am upset with our Government and the only way for change for the better is by voting. GOD BLESS AMERICA.
The standard, as presented, is unteachable. Students are supposed to demonstrate knowledge of the influence that these philosophers/theologians had on…what? The standard is too open ended. It has no focus.
Removing Jefferson isn’t going to remove Deism from the curriculum, but it does make the leap from the Declaration of Independence to the Delaration of the Rights of Man less direct. Voltare was a Deist. Rousseau was a Deist or, perhaps, panthiest. Locke strongly advocated separation of church and state. Aquinas was a Scholastic and assumed an autocratic religious state, and Calvin was a theocrat who created an autocratic religious state. The writings of neither support the Enlightment.
I’m sorry that it bothers people that the Washington, Jefferson, and Franklin were Deists, but in truth most of the signers of the Declaration of Independence were practicing members of organized Protestant churches. You don’t get much more Calvinist than John Adams. Charles Carroll was the sole Catholic signer. (Catholicism was illegal in Maryland at the time. He was educated in France.) Point is, the philosophers of the Enlightment had taught them not to get into each others faces on the matter of religion. Perhaps that is the lesson that should be taught.
My son is 8 years old. I see where things seem to be heading and am beginning to think that Cytocop is right. Some of the Jews like Albert Einstein saw the handwriting on the wall soon enough to escape Germany. I have plans to move my son out of this country and establish his citizenship elsewhere before these ultra-conservatives get a chance to start another 3 or 4 useless, worthless, deficit-busting wars around the world just to show that the United States has big testicles. This is no longer the wonderful country that our founding fathers started nor is it the wonderful country I grew up in as a child. It has become something evil and loathesome. If I had a New World, I would take my family and escape to it.
Leaving Jefferson out is wrong! Without him and the other anti-federalist we would not have the bill of rights.
I am 58 and in colege going for a asso. paralegal degree, I have a solid ‘A’ average thus far and am at the head of my class and one would think that the younger students would be out performing me but you would be wrong. Not even one of the younger, or even the older minority students, some over 40, know what ‘marxism’ is. At best, it is just a word to them and some claim to have never heard the term before. Just as bad, numerous young people in the school do not even know that trees breath in carbon dioxide and exhale oxygen. Worse yet, they believe that the Mexicans were the original inhabitants of Texas. A few when challenged about the indiginous population being Mexican, have said, almost asking, that it was the Spaniards. A few students have stated that they think that Texas should go back to Mexico (one hopes they were trying my goat but…). As a Native American, I find this level of education offensive. In general, thier reading level is poor as well. I read better than most of them and had a better vocabulary by at least the seventh grade but to be fair my parents had me reading at a very young age, maybe by the ripe old age of three and a half, I could read most billboards.
Everything about thier education, not just what I have mentioned, I find to be slanted towards the left, scary and offensive but can I blame them for what they have and have not been taught? Maybe reducing the voting age to 18 was not the best move for democracy.
As a proud Texan for 82 years and the youngest Marine Corps Combat Correspondent of WWll, how disgraced am I by the actions of these right wing biggots. Please forgive me and all others who have allowed these nuts to disgrace our history. I would like to know the Medal of Honors winners that they are refusing to name. I will single out those names in my website for their due recognition.
Tom & Lorraine Russell
1607 So. Montreal Ave.,
Dallas, Texas 75208
this is part of the break up of america. all the liberal faggots and democratic whimps think our forefathers were a bunch of ghosts, that their part in a major revolution dosnt matter. that they started a goverment that has been the foundation of america. why do we care about the french or other countries .. when it all started right here .. the beggining of the greatest place to live. now we need to overthrow this bunch of self seekers and criminal sex freaks along with the liers that do the talking. and nuttsy pelosi and the weird crew that is trying to shove this health bullshit down our throats. semper fi
WOW do you thik that they should remove their asses because of the crack in them??????????????????????????????????
This is very alarming that not only will it take one of our founding fathers out of the educational spotlight, but will minimize the importance of separation of church and state and why it helped make us the greatest nation on the planet. This act of trying to remold the thinking of young students to exclude the important building blocks of our country, i.e., Jefferson, separation of church and state, and capitalism – should bring everyone to their feet in protest. And it’s more sweeping than you can imagine – it has nothing to do with promoting religion, but with respecting every individual’s right to choose their own without interference of the government in our daily lives. Beware of this trend. Be very aware of those who propose it.
Why demonize the board members when they are merely representing the people who elected them?
If you have a complaint, it is either with the people who elected the board, or it is with the democratic process that placed the curriculum in the hands of the electorate.
Stupid people elect stupid representatives who in turn propose and approve a stupid curriculum, thus making more stupid people.
Darwin was right: survival of the fittest.
Stupid people will take over the world (because as we all know, stupid people breed like stupid rabbits).
Either come up with a better mousetrap or concede it is impossible to raise the level of intelligence amongst stupid people as long as stupid people can require teachers to teach that 1+1=3.
As a teacher in NYC, I was surprised that this was allowed to happen. Whoever is on that board needs to be voted off, asap. People cannot rewrite history. I am sorry for the students in your state, they need to compete with students from the rest of the country. I hope their parents realize they now have to take on the role of educator for their children. Maybe the people who voted for this need a history lesson, because it is obvious they don’t know that Jefferson was important to founding this great country. (and let idiots like them do what they do!)
James, we would have to pay the Mexicans to take Texass back at this point. Even they recognize how bad it is there.
How in the world did they come up with a decision like that??? This cannot be allowed to go forward. Other states do not agree with this outrageous amendment. Please….Please do not adopt those changes . People will not stop teaching the truth no matter what Texas wants. Texas…you are WRONG…WRONG….WRONG.
Texas the eyes of All of U.S. are upon you and all we see are RUBES AND BOOBS. GOD Help you because you are
determined not to help yourselves to anything more than another slice of ignorance……….RUBES AND BOOBS.
Now I know why your rose is yellow. You lack intellectual courage. As a good friend from Texas once said “You
ain’t got the sense God promised a rubber lizard!”
Amazing, but not surprising. Sadly, the USA is paying the price for not insisting on more critical thinking being taught in high schools/colleges and a movement away from more stringent history/political science graduation requirements in high school and colleges. Fear based religion has filled the void.
Texas tea partiers should replace all the founding father’s writings with the commentaries of Glenn Beck. This greatest, most noble thinker Western Civilzation has ever produced could summarize all that needs to be said about political revolution, the inherent civil rights of citizens and the relationship of government to man and society in about five minutes and be done with this ridiculous obsession we parents have concerning the need for a broad “liberal arts” education for our children. I would also encourage the state to leave the Union as its governor has promised.
Was Jefferson too “Liberal” for them?
Another assination from the Texas School Depository.
Can we force Texas to secede from the Union? There needs to be a place where all the wackos can stream to (and intelligent people can escape from). The Republic of Texas: “Don’t Tread On Our Ignorance”.
People get the government they deserve.
These people on the BOE really don’t have a clue how much their worldview parallels Islamists’…
This countries right and left wing nut cases are ruining the country I served for. With the extreme nut cases in Washington, We are falling. Just look to history. The Roman Empire started falling when they let non-romans into thier networks. i.e. Illegals. Then they started going liberal and that was it for them. We are repeating history. Only the People can stop it. You cannot count on the current elected officials to do much of anything right any more.
Well aware of the controversy–religion major, history minor, Baylor ’62, I must inject a bit of history. Thomas Jefferson was not a Founding Father, with capital Fs, see Webster’s, was not in the USA in 1787, was not a member of the First Congress which drafted the wording of the First Amendment, and misstated what the Constitution says in his 1801 “separation of Church and State” letter to the Danbury Baptists.
The Father of the Constitution is James Madison, who attended every session of the 1787 Constitutional Convention, helped draft the “no religious test” commandment in Art. 6., was a member of the six member joint Senate-House conference committee, which drafted the final version of the First Amendment and commands “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion,” and wrote the following:
“Strongly guarded as is the separation between Religion and Government in the Constitution of the United States, the danger of encroachment by Ecclesiastical Bodies may be illustrated by precedents already furnished in their short history,” WAMQ 3:555.
The wording in the Constitution and First Amendment is “religious” and “religion,” not church. The words “church and state” are not in the Constitution. So, stop using the words “church and state” as if they are in the Constitution. They are not. It is the whole subject of “religion” which shall not be established by law or government in the USA. Religion is a matter of opinion, belief, or faith, and not a matter for government, except in terms of actions. Actions are not above the laws of the land. Therefore, it is the words of the Constitution which are the supreme law of the land, not the ridiculous “church and state” arguments of the religious wrong. Remind the Texas Board of Education of that constitutional fact.
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This is very disturbing and some of the wording they chose to change is even more disturbing. The more disturbing part is a lot of text book companies force the Texas versions of this book on other states and this is denying children something they should learn regardless of their religious beliefs. In regards of the Jefferson not being a founding father, I wouldn’t necessarily say that. Granted he was not at the Continental congress but he was an American diplomat over sees who was kept in touch of the proceedings by Madison. The founding father tag primarily comes from his writing the deceleration of independence and if you have read any early history Madison and Jefferson were quite close so I wouldn’t give soul credit to Madison but on that same note I’m not lessening Madison’s effort in the least.
Mr. Garman, you protesteth too much. To claim that Jefferson was not a Founding Father, because he didn’t attend the Constitutional Convention (he was Ambassador to France at the time) is like saying Dwight Eisenhower had nothing to do with the Normandy invasion in WWII because he was in Britain during it. Jefferson’s thoughts and ideas on the Constitution permeated the Convention. He was a delegate, albeit not physically present, but he and Madison were in regular correspondence, shared ideas, and shaped many of its features. And whether the phrase “separation of church and state” is in the Constitution is irrelevant. The concept is there. It’s roots go back to Locke, but its immediate antecedent lies in Jeffersons’s Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, which Madison drew upon in penning the First Amendment. And both Madison and Jefferson did not eschew using the word “church,” the word appearing often in their writings about the First Amendment and in contemporary correspondence. To pretend that they were only referring to religion as some kind of homogenized pablum is nonsense. What is an “…establishment of religion…” if not a church?
What an outrage!!!!! Textbooks should contain facts and correct history, not “HISTORY REWRITTEN”!!!!!!!
Just one more step in the dumbing down of America, a once great DEMOCRACY!
I was raised in Texas and kbnow for a fact that these folks are Loony Tunes. I wish they wouyld quit threatening and go aheqad and secede from the union, and let the rest of us make our own decisions.
This is an insult to Texans and an injustice to the children of Texas. This delation, along with others (example: deletion of Tejanos importance at the Alamo, Dallas Morning News, 3/13/10) illustrates how future generations will learn only approved history rather than complete story. Perhaps the expression “those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it” is appropriate. Thank god my children are finished with Texas education.
Thomas Jefferson is a real hero . He is already on our money, he also signed the Declaration of Independence and there is a memorial in D.C.. Whats worse, a real hero taken away or just not real understanding. There is a real misunderstanding between the statment “Separation between church and state.” I am nine years old and cannot belive the adults in the White House. I am protesting for my country because my country alredAy has its freedom that we don’t want to loose . England may of took over , so if IF England took over we may not have ipods , computers, Clorox wipes, and other stuff. PUT JEFFERSON BACK IN TEXTBOOKS PLEASE FOR OUR PEOPLE AND COUNTRY PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE.
Oh yes, lets remove the Man who wrote the Declaration of Independence. Or is it because he was a “Slave Owner”? Heck George Washington, was. Boils down to, no matter what the truth in History is, IT IS OUR AMERICAN HISTORY. All you nut cases need to be charged with Treason. Or, does taking an Oath to Defend the Constitution of this Country, against all enemies, domestic and foreign, mean nothing to you IDIOTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
As a 41 year veteran teacher in the TEXAS classroom, I am embarrased and disturbed by the madness that is reigning in Austin. Something needs to be done to save the children. Education must present all sides of issues, past and present, in order for students to become critical readers, thinkers, and leaders. We must not be railroaded by extremism from either side. Something needs to be done and done fast before Texas destroys the opportunity for its students and the nation’s students to become individuals who are open-minded and tolerant enough to address the challenges and problems of the future.
Orson, The damage is, is that we cannot change history. Even in our school history classes.
If the Board in Texas removes Thomas Jefferson from Texas teachings, then they should add James (Jim) Bowie, David (Davy) Crockett, and William (Bill) Travis.
Unbelievable… Texas continues to lead the nation … In backward thinking ….
Tennessee is sorry David Crockett died defending the Alamo. Considering the Texas SBOE, it is evident that it was a waste of both blood and talent. I would also note that Mr. Crockett was opposed to the removal of the Cherokee Indians to Oklahoma on the Trail of Tears and other outrageous acts by President Jackson and the sitting U.S. Congress. After losing a congressional election and being disgusted with two-bit politicians, he gave up on politics and emigrated to Texas. If he had been alive to see what the Texas SBOE has done with social studies over the past few months, I think Crockett would have been sick to his stomach.
something MUST be done about this
It’s bad enough that in football obsessed Texas, many high schools have football coaches teaching history with one foot out the door and ready to hit the practice field most of the time. Now, they are going to add to that by watering down the depth and truth of history itself? These right wingers are so pathetic. All they do is whine about “leftist” professors and “liberal agendas” in universities, but here they are indoctrinating junior high and high school kids with religiosity and all the nonsense it brings instead of enlightened and analytical historical facts. Nice job “Tincy” What the hell kind of nickname is that anyway??
All the best schools in the country should now refuse to admit any students from Texas citing the Texas SBOE standards as reason that admittance would require too much remedial education to be cost feasible.
Why do these imposters, none of whom are degreed in the subjects on which they opine, get to determine what goes into public school texts? I suggest that a committee of professors of history, English, math, biology, physics, chemistry, economics, art history and philosophy write these books bases on the topics introductory courses their respective subjects would cover in a major university or Ivy League college. Then high school students would be prepared to continue their education at a higher level on graduating or at least have a solid foundation if they didn’t go on to college.
What worries me the most is that there are people like those on this board throughout the country in positions of power and/or authority. These days, I feel like I was living in a bubble or something, so unaware was I of this incredibly ignorant and self-righteous segment of American society. To this day, I can hardly believe real people can do this sort of thing. Can we conquer this? Is it growing? Where is all of this headed?
Early on in this thread of comments, someone argued at length that it is OUR fault these people exist and have influence. How right that person is. EVERYONE, please, please: VOTE and make sure everyone you know also VOTES!!!!
One of the axioms of the religious right is that power starts at the local level and that means school boards. School board elections are typically off-year when statewide and national offices are often not at stake. The recent primaries for the SBOE in Texas were just that primaries in which few people vote. The right wing targets those with zeal, partly because it’s perceived by them as a matter of life or death but centrists and the left view such contest much more casually. Given the behavior of McLeroy and company recently, however, many centrist Republicans wanted to reshape the board and did, defeating several of the right wingers. So the board that takes office next in January of 2011—that’s right January of 2011—will be more reasonable. But, in the meantime, the lame duck board, strongly believing that they are doing God’s will, will do everything in its power to gum up the the curriculum with right wing fantasies. I’m hoping the State Legislature, which is much less right wing than the SBOE, will learn their lesson and confine the powers of the SBOE to financial oversight and strip them of all power to influence curriculum.
In the meantime I’m hoping the other forty plus states (some from the old south will cheer the Texas SBOE moves) will tell publishers to not even try submitting a textbook with a Texas slant for consideration. The last thing this nation needs is an American equivalent of the Soviet Union’s Pravda, to which the editorial practices of the conservative wing of the Texas SBOE bear a remarkable resemblance.
Way to go Texas . Making your future kids even dumber priceless. No wonder why every one in the Midwest,North , and out West laughs at the south. Way to freaking go Texas.
This is beyond belief! What blatant ignorance. It seems to me that the board consists of some severely undereducated people. Or is it the unmitigated gall of the far right wing faction attempting to dismantle our public education system?
Dear America, this would be comical if not truly sad. How do you speak of the author of the Declaration of Independence, anonymous? Do they now remove the name of our second Vice President and third President as Unknown? Is it now the unknown Presidents monument in Washington DC?
This is a state of racist, anti-semites, anti everything that is not Texas. This is a state that is so pathetic it is sad. They are so anti-America, that WE the People of the United States should invite them to leave the union.
What is sad is that the lives of children are being ruined by these bigots. They are exactly that and lets not mince words. They are the bigots that are the worst of America. They hate a man who stated that slavery was a stain on our Constitution. They hate that he felt black people where had rights. They only want those who are like them, bigots to have rights. NO Queers, Jews or nigers. We must shunt these people. As someone who swore to die for his country wearing it uniform, I find the state of Texas nothing more and an abomination, against GOD, and the American way. GOD bless America and may GOD damn Texas.
CHASE them Bible thumping WOLF in SHEEP’s clothing
OUT a TOWN including.the Baptists,Joel, John Hagee, their RAPTURE Crapture… et al
let them go ALL go LIVE in the HOLY LAND /Leave AMERICA for other AMERICANS
LOL at Texas
Just for clarification, the Texas SBOE is not a “Christian problem.” It is a problem where a few politicians who claim to be Christians are acting in a manner that is distinctively unChristian. I think a good and lovable Christian (Tony Campolo),who would probably be opposed to the recent actions of the Texas SBOE, has said it best about the current brand of right-wing radical Christian Neo-Fundamentalists of our day. I have presented these quotes before, but here they are again so you can digest exactly who these sorts of people really are:
“According to a profile in Christianity Today entitled “The Positive Prophet,” Campolo would often begin a speech this way: “I have three things I’d like to say today. First, while you were sleeping last night, 30,000 kids died of starvation or diseases related to malnutrition. Second, most of you don’t give a shit. What’s worse is that you’re more upset with the fact that I said ‘shit’ than the fact that 30,000 kids died last night.”
AND ANOTHER QUOTE
“What scares me is that Christianity in America today sees nothing wrong with being allied with political conservatism,” he says. “Conservatives are people who worship at the graves of dead radicals. Stop to think about that. The people who started this country, George Washington, Jefferson, Hamilton, these were not conservatives; these were the radicals of the time. In fact, conservatives always look back on people who they despised and make them into heroes. If you were to listen to the religious right today, they would make you believe that Martin Luther King was one of their flock. In reality, they hated him and did everything they could to destroy him.”
As you can see, kicking out Jefferson has gone a step even beyond this shame.
Born, educated and living in Texas, I am outraged at the education board’s decision. I am also outraged at the people who lump all Texans as supporting this piece of trash. I am educated; what’s more I am very open minded thanks in part to my broad education. Just because I was educated in Texas does not indicate any level of stupidity. I’ve met some very ignorant people from the midwest , the north and the west.
I did vote, but not for the people that won the election to the education board. This hate filled attitude and “whitewashing” of educational curriculum will be the downfall of our society and ought to be considered criminal intent due to the racial and biased overtones. Have we forgotten separation of church and state? Are we to rewrite history to suit our own purposes and biases? Have we forgotten what education is all about?
I do have options: I could move out of Texas (which I am considering), but, then, what would that accomplish? It certainly wouldn’t change anything in Texas. I could move out of this country. Again, what would this accomplish? If I stay, I can at least, in my own small way, attempt to change things.
Now that our votes are counted secretly, i.e., out of sight, inside computers, it’s a joke to think our votes are accurately counted now. “Those who cast the votes decide nothing; those who count the votes decide everything.”
If people would wake up, get off their duff and demand that paper ballots are counted in public with the results posted before anything is allowed to leave each polling place, then we just might make some heads “roll” out of office as we are supposed to be able to do. Sorry, folks, but maintaining our democratic republic requires some real effort every now and then, especially around election times.
I say hooray for Texas!! Hooray for the TSBOE!! I am strongly in favor of religious fundamentalists teaching their children whatever claptrap and nonsense they want to. Flat earth, dinosaurs as pets for humans, Jefferson wasn’t a “real” founder, global warming doesn’t exist because god made a covenant with Noah not to destroy the earth. Teach it all, learn it all, raise the stupidest most ill educated children in the world. Highest level of high school dropouts, illiteracy and teen pregnancy….all singular achievements of the religious right. Hooray for stupid kids. Someone’s children have to wash my car, mow my lawn and flip hamburgers for a living…..and it’s not going to be mine so let it be yours. I applaud the religious nutballs who’s highest dream for their children is that they suck on the government tit, living off welfare funded by “blue” states like Massachusetts, New York and California whose tax dollars go directly to the red states to prop up their failed economies and ignorant, scientifically illiterate workforce. Goooooo Texas!!! Race to the bottom!!!! Give me fried with that shake if you please Longhorns!
Unbelievable. During my travels over the last 40 years or so I have often been mistaken for an American. At one time that was not an insult and I respected the American system of government and the American people. More recently (seemed to begin in the early 80’s) that has changed. With respect, your country has become an object of ridicule. The principles that have been copied by many other nations apparently do not apply in the United States anymore. Truth has become what those with money tell you it is. Freedom has become a word that has a meaning that is determined by who screams the loudest or manipulates the political process with money and greedy power. Your education system, which has produced amazing thinkers, Nobel laureates, and an understanding of science that inspired many, has become something to be avoided. This Texas situation is only one example of a larger malaise. I don’t have the right to vote in your country and probably should not be commenting here but please be aware that there are many others world-wide that hope your country will recover from the illness it seems to have inflicted upon itself.
This is absolutely ridiculous….who is the person I should angry e-mails/letters to?
No offense, Charles, but you’re using the No True Scotsman fallacy:
It is time of our citizens to wake up and see that the Concervative Christian movement is an attack on their freedoms in the name of God. Wolves in woolen cloth is more the like. To replace our third president with John Calvin is funny if t were not so serious. One has only to look at Calvin’s Geneva or Knox’s Scotland during the Reformation to know what type of society they would like to create. Closer still, look at Plymouth Colony of 1620 fame.
The Puritains banished Roger Hooker for speaking his mind; they burned witches on flimsy evidence. This is the thing that Thomas Jefferson and other founding fathers abhorred and tried to prevent from happening….
Those who do not read history are doomed to repeat its mistakes – over and over…
Your comments are welcome here—as are you.
I think these people are dumb!!!!! I am a high school student in Texas and this bothers me greatly, but our teachers dont follow the textbooks word for word because they also think the books suck!!!!!
Thanks Ben. My first sentence was actually a rejoinder to the optional logical fallacy called: “You damned Scotsmen are all alike.” I used to hear another version of that when I was growing up down south. “Them damned ____ers is all alike.”
As far as the rest of it goes, I was not trying to say that no real Scotsman would ever behave like that. We know that many real Scotsmen and real religious characters have behaved badly in world history. Perhaps I was trying to say that we have Scotsmen who should know better but are nonetheless behaving badly, which has the unfortunate effect of causing many innocent bystanders to engage in the fallacy that says, “Them damned Christians is all alike.”
“The Puritains banished Roger Hooker for speaking his mind; they burned witches on flimsy evidence. This is the thing that Thomas Jefferson and other founding fathers abhorred and tried to prevent from happening….”
Actually, if memory serves, they did not burn alleged witches in Massachusetts. It was always my understanding that they were hanged. They might have also used that “rocks on the chest” thing with men, but I might be confusing that with the plot of a play frequently put on by high school drama students. Anyone remember the name fo that play?
It seems to me you all are rather absurdly quick to judge, based upon the notes of one person at this event.
You’re throwing a lot of emotional reactionism at what you HEARD happened and how you interpret what you heard.
This Right/Left divide has simply got to go if this country is going to become sane and well reasoned.
I see valid points on each side, and yet the Right/Left programming separates people into a very harmful myopia.
You don’t have to take our word (or “notes”) for it. Just open a newspaper or do some reading on a Web news site. We weren’t the only ones in the room. You’ll find that what we reported is accurate.
I think it odd that they decided not to include any statements about this nation being founded upon the concept of religious freedom. While that is not a totally true statement it was for many at least part the reason and to the extent that it was true it should be mentioned but also the other factors should also be fairly talked about as well. Why try to change history? There were others who were sent here as well. A large number of our early forefathers were shipped here becuase they were criminals or bums, debtors (England had debtors prisons) or simply out of work and it seems that because of a huge unemployment problem. Others came to avoid jail, they were on the lamb so to say. The point being that there were may reasons and I believe that they should have all been represented and placed into a proper context. This is after the fact but it illustrates my point; One of my forefathers may have come over not only to make his mark, and he did by founding a trading post, on land given to him by Stonewall Jackson, that became Memphis, Tenn., but also possibly because of gambling debts. I doubt he came for religious freedom but others did and still do. Why try to hide it? Why try to ignore it?
Why would an athiest even care, if it is the truth, unless he/she had a hidden agenda?
This situation with the text books always reminds me of the schools in Houston way back in the 60’s (you know before the wheel was invented) how the subject of the conquest of the indiginous peoples was presented to me as a good thing because it was all about converting the “indians” to Chistiantity-HUH? (my dad grew up on a res. in Okla., he was Chickasaw) and how there were no “indians” in Tx. when the Spanish came. Neither statement was true but yet that is what I was taught, fortunaetly I knew better, even in Elementry school. My dad had taught me that truth and I have been a sceptic ever since. Those who are not skeptical likely believe carbon dioxide kills trees, or something.
Charles, you may be thinking of “The Crucible” by Arthur Miller. It’s a fictional interpretation of the Salem witch trials in which the one protagonist (if memory serves me correctly) goes to the gallows to end the play.
As a side light with the rise of the Internet, I tackled my wife’s and my genealogy. Since both of us can trace some of our ancestry to 17th century New England, I learned a lot about the politics and practices of the period. With virtually no central government, towns were established and led by whoever had the loudest and most authoritative voice. In most that was the spiritual leader of the local church, which were primarily offshoots of the Puritans. That leader was often one of the few in town who were literate so he kept the records, made the laws, and enforced them on Sunday mornings. If some people didn’t like it, they were driven from or left town, often establishing a new town further out in the wilderness where the woods were virgin, the Indians few, and the theology their own. Fortunately by the middle of the 18th century the Puritans had mostly morphed into what became the Congregationalists, colonywide governments were established, and tolerance for diverging views grew exponentially. Those Puritans even gave birth to the Unitarians of which John Adams was an early member.
My point is that the religious and political practices of the early settlers of New England were very much like the uber conservatives on the Texas SBOE. Of course those early New Englanders abandoned those excesses by the 18th century giving root to many of the good precepts that we follow today—except, of course, among right wing Texas politicians.
Them Christians are alike, the same way Muslims are held to task for condemning acts of terrorism by those who claim to be doing the work of Islam. As long as mainstream Christians and Christian leaders sit quietly while the radical right wing fundamentalists attempt to turn the US into a right wing theocracy, well then Christians as a whole will be remembered for those who made the most noise, not the ones whoa are sitting quietly on the sidelines letting others define what Christianity and Christian values really are.
It’s not a right/left issue, no matter how much you want to pretend that it is. It is an extreme-right-versus-everybody-else issue. I’m not a lefty, a socialist, a communist, a collectivist or any other buzzword the far right throws out. I’m a moderate, right in the meaty part of the bell curve, like most other Americans. I imagine most of the people who post here are the same. We see the revisionism for what it is. It’s been reported through many sources, not just the “notes of one person at this event.” Quick to judge? You kidding me?
Here’s a question, mmc: Who, in your opinion, qualifies as a far-right religious zealot? Don McLeroy? David Barton? If you think they don’t, you’re probably a zealot yourself.
We have just finished our studies on the founding fathers and will now study the constitution in detail in my social studies classroom. This is an excellent lesson in religious tyranny and I will definitely use this current event tomorrow in the classroom to show my students how easily the opinions of a few who think they are righteous can actually dismiss the very foundations of our country. Texas is no longer a patriotic state. Once my students are done with their dissection of the Texas SBOE, we will send them to Cindy Dunbar and her nutcase cronies. Wow. I thought Texans were strong people.
Sic Semper Tyrannis Texas, you weenie state!!
I too wonder why so many mainline Christians have sat on the sidelines for so long. It has begun to change some in the past few years, but much more change is needed. In addition, I would hope that the Catholic Church that failed to speak up in Germany between 1932 and 1945 would find a way to speak up now and redeem themselves among mankind. Why the reluctance to speak up? Here are some thoughts on that:
1) Although they will not say it to their face, most mainline Christians think Christian fundamentalists and some stripes of evangelicals are ludicrous clowns at best or outright idiots at worst. They just do not take them seriously and believe that most other people are smart enough not to take them seriously. Therefore, there is no need to speak up. In my opinion, this silence has been greatly to the benefit of the Religious Right. The silence has to STOP.
2) Mainline Christians believe the First Amendment and federal courts will always be there to protect their churches and members from any fascist political and religious depredations from the Religious Right. In other words, they simply do not understand that the Religious Right is actively working to undo those government protections forever so their leaders and minions can punish the mainline churches for their “apostasy.”
3) The Bible contains a number of verses that admonish Christians not to sow seeds of discontent among brothers. Technically, at least, mainline Christians are brothers with the Religious Right leaders and their minions because they share Jesus (often if little else). Therefore, if a mainline Christian sees a Christian fundamentalist supporting government-led torture of prisoners, he is likely to “hang back” and not say much about it at risk of offending his brother man. Yes, Ben. It is pathetic as all get out, and there is no excuse whatever for it. In fact, Jesus instructs us to go straight to them face-to-face and talk it out on the risk that something might get settled. However, I think mainline Christians do not do this because they know it would be like talking to a fence post.
4) The mainline Christians tend to be more educated (like the people here at TFN) than their weaker Christian fundamentalist brothers. There is perhaps more awareness of the religious abuses that we know occurred during colonial times. There is some concern that outright confrontation could spark an internicine shooting war between denominations (like the way the Catholics and Protestants shot it out in Northern Ireland) and other such interdenominational abuses. Therefore, I think the mainline denominations sit on the sidelines for fear of starting such a war.
5) Mainline denomination churches are a lot like Michael Jackson. You remember the famous line, “Hey, I’m a lover—not a fighter.”
6) IMPORTANT: This one is important, and I cannot emphasize it enough. The mainline Christian denominations are not homogeneous as far as membership ideology goes. I will use the United Methodist Church as an example. While probably 70 percent of the people in my church would be against government-sponsored torture of prisoners, another 30 percent might be okay with it. Now listen closely. Outside Religious Right parachurch organizations and wealthy donors like those who fund the Discovery Institute are aware of these divisions in the mainline denominations, and they have developed formal plans and strategies to exploit these internal divisions to destroy the mainline churches by creating internal lay insurgencies and discontent. The strategy is one of divide and conquor. “Whip up the insensibilities of the minority rubes on the inside.” One large and well-funded national organization is at this very moment working very hard to divide and bring down the United Methodist Church so a right wing Christian fundamentalist church can either absorb or replace it. Despite the mainline passivity I have outlined above, the Religious Right views the mainline denominations like the United Methodist Church as one of the greatest potential threats to their plans for a theofascist takeover of the United States. From their perspective, these great and loving churches, which have been the religious backbone of the United States throughout much of its history, must be neutralized or destroyed at all costs if the Religious Right is to succeed, and they are working hard at every day under the cover of benign labels such as “laity church reform.” This is REAL. One of these organizations actually acquired the mailing list for my church on the sly and used it to mail out Goebbels-like propaganda to me and other members of my church.
“Far Right religious zealot” in itself is a term that tends to polarize people, into enemies.
There are many kinds of “extreme-isms” and there are many extremisms that are not religious.
Many isms have people agree with part of many of them, often seemingly opposite.
ModeratISM is very popular. i just went to a “moderate” political site, and almost died from the weak, non-confrontationalm, inability to take a stand on anything. I am not saying you are or aren’t like that.
Barton has a set of beliefs, many of which I agree with, many I don’t.
Thing in terms of labels is an easy short hand way of thinking, but I don’t think it is very productive.
Lenin’s strategy as to put a label upon his enemies.
The common enemy of humanity I see at this is the International Bankers, Goldman Sachs and their empire of finance capital.
Yep, that’s me. I’m just like Lenin, because I labeled someone a far-right religious zealot. Everything else Lenin did pales in comparison to his habit of putting labels on people.
If you don’t consider McLeroy and Barton to be far-right religious zealots, who, in your opinion, would meet that description? What does it take to be called a far-right religious zealot? Is it your opinion that nobody meets that description? These are not rhetorical questions.
I have a hypothesis that far-right zealots don’t recognize themselves as such, and so far, it seems pretty accurate.
You are right Ben. Far right religious zealots just think they are all regular guys and gals. It reminds me of the famous movie drama moment when an insane killer has been cornered by the town’s people wielding torches and pitchforks. He turns around and faces the crowd with wild, bugged out eyes and says, “What? Me crazy? I’m not the one that’s crazy!!! All of you are!!!!” It also work in scenes with the guys who wear the white coats.
By the way, I never really cared for Lenin very much. I prefer a nice muslin, gabardine, or wool tweed. How about you?
I usually tend toward the conservative side of things, but this is just doubleplus ungood.
Thanks for this reporting. It came just in time before I decided to accept a lucrative job offer in Texas. I will not accept it because I don’t want stupid children!
I live in Virginia and am horrified. Not because the Texas SBOE voted as they did, but that my state, The Commonwealth of Virginia, will be forced to use the abomination that passes for education. A number of us are already writing our Commonwealth Delegates and Senators suggesting that the state/commonwealth refuse to accept this change in our textbooks. In my opinion, the only hope is for the other 48 states to ban together and refuse these changes.
Also, in point of fact, John Adams, the father, was furious Jefferson didn’t go further with separation of state and religion. He wrote that when religion and the state co-mingled, religion suffers and people turned away from their church—take a look a Europe. Furthermore, the Baptists were adamant about having this separation as they’d just been driven out of Massachusetts.
This is a sad thing to watch, nevermind have to live in.
Smart move Tim. Nothing is more important than your own religious convictions, kids, their education, and not growing up stupid. I bet there is another lucrative job out there in one of the other 49 states. Your story is the kind the Texas legislature needs to be hearing so it will finally figure out the fact that the Texas SBOE needs to be DELETED from state government in Texas.
Hear that dear legislators? It’s not that hard. All you do is poise your index finger above the DELETE KEY and let her drop.
St. Thomas Aquinas had some interesting ideas about the free market as I recall….He did not support people setting prices for goods high just because others needed that commodity and stated that a fair price for a particular good should be no more than what is necessary to recoup production costs and labor. Wonder what the SBOE would think of that?
They probably would not like that one Tim. These idiots actually think cutting the size of government and doing away with all the taxes that support it is going to make their paychecks bigger. They look on their pay stubs, see the total taxes withheld, the social security withholding, and so forth—and think if that would just all go away, they could keep all of that money, then they could finally live the “good-life” they have always dreamed of having.
They never stop to think that CEO Joe Bloodsucker at the Consolidated Pacific Tuna Company is looking at that same pay stub too. Right now he charges 69 cents for a small can of tuna. However, if he could just find a way to get the size of government reduced and stop all of that withholding from paychecks, people would have a lot more spending money than they do now. Why, he could find ways to cause the price of that 69 cent can of tuna to shoot up to say—$3.00 per can? The fact of the matter is this. If the American people have all of their taxes taken away—every doggone bit of them, American business is going to find ways to grab up that extra money as quickly as possible—while giving the common man the least product value possible in return for it.
It is the demonic rule that shrouds this world folks. There is no way of escaping it. Pay me now or pay me later—but know this—everyone will pay the uttermost farthing. Only a few win and even that is an illusion.
I’m a columnist at Texas Tech’s Daily Torreador. I intend to write a column about this, but I’d greatly prefer more than one source. Is this story in any of the news outlets? Thanks for the help.
TFN Says: March 14, 2010 at 5:20 pm
Actually, you don’t need to take anybody’s word for it — not even multiple anybodies’.
It’s all archived in online video.
TFN can provide the link.
There’s plenty of links at the following URL
As for my 2c on the subject… It is worth considering the notion of an informed, deliberative democracy, which Jefferson recommended. “”If a nation expects to be ignorant and free in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be.”
In other words, minimum education qualifications to the State Board of Education…
Jason, yes, it’s been covered in outlets ranging from the Austin American-Statesman to the New York Times, and many others, including TV, radio, etc. I’m sure you’ve done a Google search by now and have found these various sources.
If the Texas legislature allows this “garbage” to become education policy, they really should go head and “cede” from the United States. Their standards definately do not agree with the U.S. Constitution.
I liked one of the reader comments at the URL posted above by Lev Lafayette. “The Texas SBOE—building a bridge to the 16th Century.”
Oh-h-h-h-h-h-h. You guys are killin’ me.
Never underestimate the power of ignorance
Cirriculum standards will never overcome the left leaning educators that have been brainwashing our childeren for years and that is why public school graduates can not perform simple functions such as balancing a checkbook or paying their debts. The average public school student has no understanding of our democratic republic form of government and cannot grasp the concept of limited government. Students of today think that the government should take care of all their needs. If you think about the lawlessness and imoral decay of our society it all stems back to the removal of God from today’s public school cirriculum. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of understanding. The public schools teach theories as if they are fact and they ignore truth in every chapter of world history.
I get it.
Edgar = Poe = Poe’s Law.
Edgar R Reagan IV comment exhibits a tremendous arrogance on multiple levels. First, it assumes that all who oppose the religious agenda are leftists who support big government (for the record, I oppose government intervention in education for precisely so that fundamentalists are deprived of the ability to indoctrinate our children). Second, in a stunning display of arrogance, the writer assumes that without his favorite brand of Christianity, all of us will descend into immorality and violence. I ask that the writer speak for himself and not for others on such matters. Third, the claim is demonstrably false, as pious states such as Texas have the highest rates of alcohol related crimes, violence, and teen pregnancy to name a few. In terms of epistemology, religion has been the greatest enemy of scientific progress. There have been religious objections to Galileo and his heliocentric view of the Earth, Germ Theory of Disease which has saved billions of lives (on the grounds that technology stemming from this Theory deprives God of the ability to punish sinners, and even the advent lightning rods (for the same reason, thus vilifying yet another Founding Father.
Finally the writer is apparently ignorant of the how academics, particularly scientists use the word “theory.” A “theory” is not a mere hunch, but an explanation built on a large number of facts, and has never been falsified by opposing facts. Perhaps we need to pay a bit closer attention in our science courses before speaking on such matters.
“Poe’s Law points out that it is hard to tell parodies of fundamentalism (or, more generally, any crackpot theory) from the real thing, since they both seem equally insane. Conversely, real fundamentalism can easily be mistaken for a parody of fundamentalism. For example, some conservatives consider noted homophobe Fred Phelps to be so over-the-top that they argue he’s a ‘deep cover liberal’ trying to discredit more mainstream homophobes.”
Congratulations people, you can whine. We all have different views, how does that make any of us stupid?
The problem is if that anything is done to try to prevent this — people may be hurt.
Having a different view doesn’t make you stupid. Being stupid makes you stupid.
I’ve launched a Facebook page called “America Doesn’t Want Texas’ Textbooks” to spread the word on this issue and help people who want to contact national textbook publishers and make it clear to them we don’t want this decision to diminish the value of their product.
Texas has always been at war with the unperson formerly know as Thomas Jefferson!
In other news, chocolate production is up 300% this week!
Stupid is as stupid does.
Peter. Can you get me a list of the textbook companies that serve Texas and the names of their CEOs? I plan to lead a national revolution. You are welcome to join up. As the Joker said, “Wait’ll they get a load of me. Oo-oo. Heh-heh, heh-heh, heh-heh. Woo!!!!!!!”
IF you think US has a good education system, you’ve got another think coming.
PROOF is this- Did anyone teach you where our numeral system came from…1,2, 3,4,5…etc?
In ancient history, when we used single straight marks to designate numbers (like Roman no.’s)
someone with common sense suggested we mark down ANGLES instead of just LINES.
So we got 1=1angle, 2=2angles (like a Z), 3=3angles, 4=4angles (flat backside)…etc
How to signify NOthing? How about NO ANGLES or O?
That said, NOW how good do you think your modern education system is-
Hey, they can’t even teach us the ORIGINS of where anything came from
How they gonna’ teach us anything else?
Point is- You’re on your own if you want to know anything- its all up to U
Well, Roger. I would have to agree with you there. It has always seemed to me that the learning one does on their own exceeds that in school and probably sticks better. However, I think the schools lay a foundation that facilitates this more important and long-lasting personal learning.
To Mike Groshong: Puritans stopped the courts from continuing the witch trials in the states.
A great piece there, TFN!
Apologies for coming late to the party, but (living in the UK) I’ve only just been made aware of this move by the Texas Board of ‘Education’.
I hope you don’t mind, but I’ve cited you as a source in my piece on the same topic:
Revisionism: The Texas Brain-saw Massacre
I write the following as a patriotic American and as a Christian pastor:
1. To remind everyone, not all Christians think the way those fundamentalist Christians do.
2. It isn’t just that Jefferson was removed from the textbook, but that he was replaced by John Calvin! As an arminian (follower of Jacob Arminius’ teachings of free will over Calvin’s pre-determinism), my religious sensibilities are offended. The State of Texas has just violated the separation of Church and State by championing one religious perspective over another. It should be no surprise that that Board of Education has removed references to the separation of Church & State as well. : (
3. Time to Mess with Texas.
Right you are Rev. Wolsey. Unfortunato, the Texas SBOE is already messing with Texas, and it looks like a scrambled egg instead of a steak.
@Roger – Just joined your FB page, thanks for putting it up.
So we have a state school board rewriting history, but it’s Obama and the Democrats who are supposed to Stalinists. Can someone explain that to me?
Duro- Is it possible that Obama is a commie, and the school board are into control of a different sort?
In short, can we open our minds to the possibility that both Right and Left are up to no good?
And bypass our tendencies to be manipulated by getting into defending one side or the other?
I suppose the monument in Washington should be torn down as well? I suppose we should rip up the Declaration of Independence, along with our rights originally ratified by this wonderful document, drafted by our third president, Thomas Jefferson.
The real commies are the right wing Republigoons. Anything that will help our fellow man is called Socialist, Communist, Marcsist, or any other term their undereducated underdeveloped boneheaded arses can come up with.
TJ will be put back in, mark my words people! Mark my words!
Nature will do away with these abominations known as Republicans, their war mongering ways will be wiped away by God himself.
It’s all a matter of time!
I welcome any debate on their dumbness of the Republigoons.
Obama is not a communist. There is no evidence to suggest that he is. He is a Democrat and, despite what Fox News suggests, there are major differences between those ideologies. It is repugnant and pathetic that rabid righties are equivocating communists with democrats.
Obama is in favor of capitalism and free markets. Within the capitalist spectrum, he prefers more regulation and oversight. Given the obvious problems of unregulated markets as demonstrated by the recent bank crisis and meltdown, that is a prudent stand to take.
Check out credoaction.com to send a letter to the publishers. These textbooks don’t stay in Texas, that means they may end up in a school near you or me. It’s time to do something. Does anyone know of another on-line ‘take action’ site?
“Obama is not a communist. There is no evidence to suggest that he is. ”
First of all, as a basic tenet of logic, how can you say there is “no evidence” about anything?
You may be aware of no evidence, that is quite different.
People who are into investigating BHOs past point to his parents as having ties to communist ideas.
Alinsky had elements of communist ideology, and BHO has ties to Alinsky-ism or Alingky-ists.
The “health care bill” is quite far toward communist or socialist total control of health care, if you look at the details.
That is for starters.
“Obama is in favor of capitalism and free markets. ”
If capitalism = the latter day robber barons of Goldman Sachs and their utterly corrupt devils…
illuvatar11, Then according to your logic, there is evidence that you are a fuzzy pink stuffed unicorn doll.
Richard Nixon must’ve also had socialist or communist ties:
According to Dana Plato, the island continent of Atlantis lay to the west, beyond the Pillars of Hercules. No credible scientific evidence for the past existence of such a continent exists. The geology is just not there. However, aAccording to past accounts, Atlantis was there and was characterized by a wonderous culture advanced far beyond that of the Greeks. If you look at a map, hone on on the Rock of Gibralter, and draw a line straight west, it ends up somewhere in the general vicinity of the state of Georgia. Therefore, if there is no geological evidence for the existence of Atlantis, another option has to be considered.
At some point in time between the day of Solon and the time of Dana Plato, several ancient men became briefly entrapped in a small time warp zone that was migrating across the surface of the Earth. This time warp transported these men forward in time to the year 1996 and deposited them in downtown Atlanta, Georgia, during the Summer Olympics. They were there for just a few days, took note of the Grecian influences, and marvelled at the advanced technology all around them. They were soon entrapped again in the moving time warp and were taken back to their own time. When they were back home, they told everyone about the wonders they had seen. Hardly anyone they encountered believed them, but they were reported to have cried in anguish, “I tell you of a fact. Atlanta is there!!!! West!!! Beyond the Pillars of Hercules!!!!”
There is no point in arguing with ignorant people. The whole ideology behind the revision of textbooks is beyond comprehension and rationality. It is steeped in utter stupidity. Unfortunately, how these people were elected is beyond all human imagination. If education has been so behind all these years including when I was growing up, explain how students these days don’t even know the basics and I am left to teaching basic facts? How come universities and colleges are having to enroll more and more students in remedial classes? The attitudes reflected in this textbook fiasco would get people fired in any business, but we are allowing these people to continue in their positions. There should be a call for their removal and this hatefulness needs to change if we are to survive as a human race and, as a society.
LOL! (for the obtuse, note: sarcasm ahead) Indeed! And lets not forget that it was NIXON who normalized U.S. relations with Red China. Far more proof that Nixon was a Commie than Obama! (I cannot stand it when my fellow American citizens resort to such immature and idiotic behavior as to sincerely claim that Obama is a communist or socialist. Grow up people.)
Nixon was a tool of Kissinger, who was an is the CEO of the power elite, whose agenda is to merge mankind into manageable slave units.
Whether you call that “communism” or “fascism” or “corporatism” or “socialism”, won’t make a hill of beans to the enslaved men.
All the labels we tend to get too attached to have long withered in irrelevance.
Labeling people, whether communist, socialist, reactionary, conservative, nazi, liberal or with any other term is meaningless. What matters are the specifics of what they advocate or support. Does it merit the support of others? Can it be logically justified? Do facts or data support it (the scientific approach)? Labeling people is clear evidence of intellectual sloth.
So with respect to the Texas SBOE majority, whatever one wants to call them, their actions reveal either ignorance or a desire to rewrite history to reflect the world they imagine in their minds. That world, of course, never existed, does not now and is unlikely to exist in the future, given their complete disconnect from reality. In that respect they are classic conservatives (yes, I know I’m labeling them, but not to demean or belittle, merely to describe) who embrace a world view they adopted some time in the past and anything not consonant with that, in their view, must be bogus. Change scares the hell out of them. So the election of a black man is frightening. That the US government is proposing to alter the way health care is delivered, in a very minor way, is frightening. To them we have the best health care in the world. That a large portion of the American population gets either no care or substandard care is a non-fact in their eyes. Those people just don’t exist the world of “real Americans.” For them the world remains static, never changing, when in fact it changes every day. The world today is not the same as the world yesterday, last week, last year, or last century. But to them it is, or should be. So they do their level best to make it seem unchanging and will rewrite history to conform to their image. To them the rewrite is the truth. Thus they disbelieve in evolution, separation of church and state, equal rights of all. They think they can deny the reality of homosexuality and abortion. To do so, of course, denies two very large realities that cannot be banned by fiat, yet they’ll try mightily to do so. They are like the Catholic Church in South America where is smug about abortion being illegal, but where despite that, the abortion rate is almost uniformly the highest in the world.
In Texas, of course, they seek and often succeed (succeed only in the sense that laws get passed) in legislating private behavior but yet Texas has the highest or is among the highest in teen pregnancies, murder, domestic violence, executions, citizens without health insurance. One can go on. In other words denying reality won’t make it go away. In fact in trying to do so, the folks like those on the SBOE only make circumstances worse. For that reason they will always fail in the long run. But in the meantime they can sure mess things up for the rational, non-ideological folks rather badly.
“All the labels we tend to get too attached to have long withered in irrelevance.”
Then why do you use a phrase like “power elite?”
What can you expect coming out of the state of insanity in Texas. Their hairbrain Gov. has talked of secession, forgeting that over 600 thousand men gave there lives to save this Union. Fortunately, I do not have any children in school, but it will be a grave error if we the citizen of this great country allow those self righteous, pistol packing fools to remove one of America’s greatest leaders to instill their own narrow minded unenlightened views. They are willing to allow ideology and religion to rein supreme over science, facts and history. We need to take this precious and priceless authority to rewrite history out of their hands and not allow them to doom all of our children into abject ignorance. If they want Texas to remain the leader in dropouts and low test results, then so be it.
What slays me is when Obama is called a communist, a socialist and a facist. The morons don’t realize that to be one of those three excludes the other two. They are not the same.
“All the labels we tend to get too attached to have long withered in irrelevance.”
Then why do you use a phrase like “power elite?”
Well, you may have some point there. What phrase would you use? Or perhaps you deny the presence of such as thing as some type of elitist mentality, and that birds of that feather tend to flock together.
The banksters, corporatists, certain academics, media owners and stars, the governmental figures at the top have long ago amalgamated into a semi-coherent force, where the points of contention are how to keep those who are not part of the club, excluded. Because the elite know better what is good for them, of course.
Today as I see it we have
A lot of Communism/Socialism- where the state controls many things
A lot of Corporatism- where corporations control a lot of things, including much of the government with their “regulators” coming from industry and going back into industry when they are done, as well as the day to day life of people and “culture”.
Some fascism, where government own or controls corporations- GM, for one, but in a larger sense, where government regulations and world trade agreements control what corporations can do.
Banksterism, whereby through the printing of money out of thing air [aka fractional reserve banking”], and other means, bankers have the cities, states and nations on the point of bankruptcy, as well as corporations, homes, farms.
So what would we call this abominable mess?
What slays me is my female barber. She thinks Obama must be the worst President we have ever had “…because of all of the bad things so many people are saying about him.” That’s a quote. Notice the absence of a self-formulated opinion based on her own research and a personal evaluation of information and data. These are the kind of people who elected the Texas SBOE.
The reason all of this is happening is really fairly simple. Go look at human intelligence and a bell curve. We live in a society and world where Aaron Copland’s common man is lost, confused, and overwhelmed by things that he both DOES NOT understand and CANNOT understand. This is why Sarah Palin is so popular. The common man longs for a dumb butt national figure “JUST LIKE ME” to be President and calm him/her down by proving to him/her that everything is not lost, confused, and overwhelming—that things have not progressed beyond his ability to fathom.
The sad news is that they have progressed that far beyond the average or lower-end man.. We live in a society run by an intellectual and technological elite that has created a world that only they understand and fathom—and they have made it be not just their world—but everyone else’s world too. It is just like the words in the old Elton John song Rocket Man, “And all the science I don’t understand. It’s just my job five days a week.”
In the broad view of man’s history it could be divided into 3 basic premises based on man’s releation to his environment
1. Primitive man where the thrust of society was to adapt oneself to fit into environment- served us well for millenia
2.Western man where the thrust of society has been to gain control of environment. (not doing such a good job- too many of us)
3.Control man where the thrust of society has been to gain control of mankind. (hence communism, socialism, fascism)
Reason for control is basic management 101- For efficient operations some controls are req’d but too many & it all unraveles
Plot a curve of performance against controls and you get a bell shaped curve. No regulation controls & it all unravels, too.
So the extremes of BOTH right wing and left wing put us at the wrong ends of the control curve, where all unravels
Problem is we are becoming a society of HAVE-NOTS and HAVE-MORES with nothing in between where EFFICIENCY is best
EFFICIENCY will be the watchword of the 21st century. W/o a middle class society will become INEFFICIENT as intelligent
workers are req’d to run a modern society efficiently- That is disapearing and education system is MOST important now.
I’d call this time in mankind’s history, this abdominal mess, The Age of Genocide
Read http://www.genocideorigins.blogspot.com and Google “Solar Mortality Theory for more
To see what’s just up ahead 2010/11 Google “Mortgage Resets” Its already written…..
I’m actually surprised Thomas Jefferson was mentioned as a philosopher. When I was in school he was regarded as a hypocritical, white, slave-owning, plagiarist of Robert Locke. [sigh] I noticed that they have Thomas Aquinas in there. That is a very cool tie-in to some deep philosophical ideas which go all the way back to Aristotle and the roots of Western culture. I remember from when I was in high school that the history textbooks acted as though the world started during the Age of Enlightenment…
I’d be interested in where you went to school and when.
It seems to me that Jefferson should be the representative of American freedom philosophers, if one had to choose one man.
I think Colonel Jessep must have been the Head Master at Randy’s school:
Jessep: You want answers?
Kaffee (Tom Cruise): I think I’m entitled to them.
Jessep: You want answers?
Kaffee: I want the truth!
Jessep: You can’t handle the truth! Son, we live in a world that has walls. And those walls have to be guarded by men with guns. Who’s gonna do it? You? You, Lt. Weinberg? I have a greater responsibility than you can possibly fathom. You weep for Santiago and you curse the Marines. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know: that Santiago’s death, while tragic, probably saved lives. And my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves lives…You don’t want the truth. Because deep down, in places you don’t talk about at parties, you want me on that wall. You need me on that wall.
We use words like honor, code, loyalty…we use these words as the backbone to a life spent defending something. You use ’em as a punchline. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom I provide, then questions the manner in which I provide it! I’d rather you just said thank you and went on your way. Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a weapon and stand a post. Either way, I don’t give a damn what you think you’re entitled to!
Kaffee: Did you order the code red?
Jessep: (quietly) I did the job you sent me to do.
Kaffee: Did you order the code red?
Jessep: You’re GD right I did!!
You see. Colonel Jessep did not provide that freedom. Thomas Jefferson did. The soldiers—God Bless Them—have helped us keep it. I have never known one like Colonel Jessep. I suspect he never provided anything.
I am an outsider who may not understand this Texas educational situation correctly. If that proves to be the case then please accept my apology for this post. But if I do have a grip on this situation then the following information is being volunteered so that Texans can consider dismissing the current members of the Texas Board of Education from their jobs.
To begin with, “former” Klansman Justice Hugo Black cherry-picked Jefferson’s famous “separation of church and state” words in the Everson opinion, IMO, to rob the states of their power to regulate religion. More specifically, Justice Black ignored that Jefferson’s reply to the Danbury Baptist Association was addressing 1st A. prohibited federal power to regulate religion, not 10th A. protected state powers to regulate religion.
Before I go on, note that although state power to regulate religion might sound evil, it is the same power that permits states to authorize religious teaching, like Creationism for example, to be taught in public schools. But let’s not forget that this power is now limited by the honest interpretation of the 14th Amendment, not the USSC’s perversions of that amendment. More on this later.
Getting back to Jefferson ideas, here’s the real Jefferson’s stance on state power to regulate religion, as opposed the atheist Jefferson created by special-interest justices. Jefferson had actually acknowledged state power to regulate religion on at least three occasions.
“3. Resolved that it is true as a general principle and is also expressly declared by one of the amendments to the constitution that ‘the powers not delegated to the US. by the constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively or to the people’: and that no power over the freedom of religion, freedom of speech, or freedom of the press being delegated to the US. by the constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, all lawful powers respecting the same did of right remain, & were reserved, to the states or the people…” –Thomas Jefferson, Kentucky Resolutions, 1798. http://tinyurl.com/oozoo
“In matters of religion, I have considered that its free exercise is placed by the Constitution independent of the powers of the general government. I have therefore undertaken on no occasion to prescribe the religious exercises suited to it; but have left them as the Constitution found them, under the direction and discipline of State or Church authorities acknowledged by the several religious societies.” –Thomas Jefferson: 2nd Inaugural Address, 1805. ME 3:378 http://avalon.law.yale.edu/19th_century/jefinau2.asp
“I consider the government of the United States as interdicted by the Constitution from intermeddling with religious institutions, their doctrines, discipline, or exercises. This results not only from the provision that no law shall be made respecting the establishment or free exercise of religion, but from that also which reserves to the states the powers not delegated to the United States. Certainly, no power to prescribe any religious exercise or to assume authority in religious discipline has been delegated to the General Government. It must then rest with the states, as far as it can be in any human authority.” –Thomas Jefferson to Samuel Miller, 1808. http://tinyurl.com/nkdu7
So why did Justice Black take Jefferson’s word out of context? Evidently anti-religious expression justices had been looking for an excuse to argue that the 1st Amendment’s prohibition on federal power to regulate religion applied to the states. Unfortunately, PC perversions of the 14th A. gave them an excuse to argue this point.
In fact, here’s an excerpt from the Cantwell opinion which clearly expresses this idea.
“The First Amendment declares that Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof. The Fourteenth Amendment has rendered the legislatures of the states as incompetent as Congress to enact such laws. The constitutional inhibition of legislation on the subject of religion has a double aspect.” –Mr. Justice Roberts, Cantwell v. State of Connecticut 1940. http://tinyurl.com/38a87c
But there is a MAJOR problem with Justice Owen Roberts’ application of the 1st A.’s prohibition on federal government religious powers to the states via the 14th Amendment. More specifically, John Bingham, the main author of Sec. 1 of the 14th A., had officially clarified to his colleagues in the HoR that the 14th A. did not take away state powers.
“The adoption of the proposed amendment will take from the States **no rights** (emphasis mine) that belong to the States.” –John Bingham, Appendix to the Congressional Globe http://tinyurl.com/2rfc5d
“**No right** (emphasis mine) reserved by the Constitution to the States should be impaired…” –John Bingham, Appendix to the Congressional Globe http://tinyurl.com/2qglzy
“Do gentlemen say that by so legislating we would strike down the rights of the State? God forbid. I believe our dual system of government essential to our national existance.” –John Bingham, Appendix to the Congressional Globe http://tinyurl.com/y3ne4n
In fact, Justice Reed had officially noted the following about the 10th and 14th Amendmnets. Justice Reed noted that is the job of judges to balance 10th A. protected state powers with 14th A. protected personal federal rights.
“Conflicts in the exercise of rights arise and the conflicting forces seek adjustments in the courts, as do these parties, claiming on the one side the freedom of religion, speech and the press, guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment, and on the other the right to employ the sovereign power explicitly reserved to the State by the Tenth Amendment to ensure orderly living without which constitutional guarantees of civil liberties would be a mockery.” –Justice Reed, Jones v. City of Opelika, 1942. http://tinyurl.com/yvtqoy
Again, renegade justices evidently invented a Hollywood, atheist-type Jefferson, based on taking Jefferson’s famous separation words out of context, so that they could rob the states of their power to regulate, actually cultivate, religious expression.
Again, if I understand this Texas situation correctly, given that I’ve got my ducks in a row with respect to the information above, present members of the Texas Board of Education may need to make sure that their resumes are up-to-date.
It should also be remembered that just as important in this situation is the Constituation of the State/Republic of Texas. Most states in the U.S. have crafted their constitutions in large part upon the basis and modeling of the U.S. Constitution. And, similarly, precedent that may have been established in Texas’ court system will be important to consider here.
To read for yourself a transcript of “The Constitution of the United States” and “Declaration of Independence”
Go to where you’ll also find Bill of Rights, Amendments (1-10) and (11-27)
Also interesting to read Lincoln’s 1853 Emancipation Proclamation- its not what we were told
Lincoln’s proclamation made it illegal to work as a slave, but only in rebel states, not in border states.
In a sense he “fired” them, not unlike when GM lays their workers off- they’re free to go too, but go where?
Somehow “archives.gov” was left out-
Sorry about that-
Leaving Thomas Jefferson out of the study of great political thinkers is like leaving Moses out of the bible. Would the right wing religious fanatics like the bible to be “revised”? I think not. History is history, whether you agree or not politically. We cannot remove the effects of Nazism on history just because we disagree with it… it happened. Thomas Jefferson influenced the world with regard to politics and was responsible for sharing democratic ideals with the world. “Enlighten” the students of Texas (and possible the US) please!
Article 6 of the United States Constitution says in part;
…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.
The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.
So, under article 6 of the United States constitution the first amendment IS the surpreme law of the land and cannot therefore be impaired by the states.
But this is where it gets tricky.
“Religious test” could be interpreted to pertain to whether one is a member a sect, specific church, system of belief, etc.
This seems different, in my mind, than saying that ideas and philosophies about life and its meaning and structure that may be derived from or incorporated in different belief systems or “churches” or “religions”, are out of bounds.
The anti-slavery movement was often driven by Christian enthusiasts, for example. Their religion drove them.
But this is where it gets tricky.
“Religious test” could be interpreted to pertain to whether one is a member a sect, specific church, system of belief, etc.
This seems different, in my mind, than saying that ideas and philosophies about life and its meaning and structure that may be derived from or incorporated in different belief systems or “churches” or “religions”, are out of bounds.
The anti-slavery movement was often driven by Christian enthusiasts, for example. Their religion drove them.
I merely make the point that since Article 6 of the US Constitution says the states are bound by its foundational authority then the first amendment is not just a federal mandate. It applies to the states with equal degree. Free exercise of religious therefore must be the rule, forever outside the federal and state governments to impair or enhance.
As a Christian conservative, but not crazy, Texas Republican, I am appalled at the actions taken by the TSBE. They are the kind of people giving the rest of us intelligent fiscal conservatives a bad name. To take Thomas Jefferson from the text is unbelievable; and aside from developing what is now the Presbyterian denomination, John Calvin has little to offer national history.
As a teacher in Texas, downtown Dallas to be exact, I am humiliated by the agenda being pushed. However, I resent the comments about Republicans pushing their agenda. The fact is, EVERYONE is pushing THEIR agenda. We should be pushing for educated children, but that, unfortunately, is becoming less and less important. I say teach them everything and let them think for themselves. Isn’t that what good teachers and/or parents want, for children to be able to think and do for themselves?
Thank you, Rev. Wolsey, for your comments, as well as ne. Two Christian organizations in Dallas approved a statement focused on how we believe that the changes to the standards are an abomination to our faith. We support the separation of church in state because we believe that a small group of people who call themselves Christian can otherwise take over and oppress all of those of faith along with those who are not. http://dacpa.blogspot.com/p/texas-social-studies-standards.html
In my opinion, The term “one nation under God”, when referring to the United States is using the Lord’s name in vain. It may even qualify as blasphemy.
We represent 5% of the world’s population, while we are responsible for 50% of the worlds military spending. We cause a “9/11” somewhere, almost every day.
We use robots and drones to blow neighborhoods sky high while the operators are thousands of miles away in air conditioned safety.
Around 35,000 people in our country are killed either by people they know, or suicide. They are usually killed by a coward with a gun.
Millions have no health care. Millions more have sub-standard health care. Insurance companies in their ivory towers siphon of at least 30% of our health care dollar for no return.
Millions of people work long hours for poverty wages as their bosses live in unimaginable luxury.
(minimum wage is cheaper than slavery in 1830)
We allow our associates, relatives, and boyfriends, to have sex with our kids and then pretend that there are strangers lurking to cause this carnage. (Rape is OK if she is wearing a short skirt)
Our working class is crushed under unavoidable taxes as the privileged from birth pay nothing. Many wealthy finish paying their social security taxes at 9:15 on January 2nd and say they are abused.
We spend the Sabbath with Wal-Mart, Nascar, the NFL, NBA, or MLB.
We have Covet so bad (Thy neighbor’s Hottie, Thy neighbor’s McMansion, Thy neighbor’s Silverado) that we ruined the mightiest economy on the planet.
So just keep it up with the pledge people! Try not to be shocked when The Lord Jesus shows up with Arch-Angel Michael and his legions of Angels right behind him to destroy us. They may let the Amish live. But all of us pay per view, mega church going hypocrites are in deep do do. We can have all of the faith in the world, but if we don’t obey the rules, you and I are doomed.
What Texas’s elected state board of education has done is being completely misrepresented by some “journalists”, intentionally in many cases. For those interested in the truth please read this: http://spectator.org/archives/2010/05/19/how-dare-you-teach-conservatis/
I am very interested in following this. I was very upset to learn that not only had this change been made by deleting Thomas Jefferson and Enlightenment from the text books and denying children in schools a “full” education, but was equally disappointed to learn that creationism was now being taught in our public schools as well. Very troubling.
To Bobby: I see no evidence in the Spectator post that journalists are misrepresenting the actions of the Texas BOE — only non-specific, unsupported generalizations about motives and practices of liberals. Rewriting history to present a point of view has no justification. It is the same sort of propaganda used by totalitarian regimes throughout history to control attitudes and behavior of populations. (Read about Communist Russia, for example, or read Orwell’s 1984) If some historical treatment is thought to be “biased” or “unfair,” present research to correct it. Just opining that it presents someone, some institution, or a period of our history in a non-flattering light is insufficient reason to omit it from a textbook. The study of history is intended to help us learn from our past so as to avoid mistakes of the past and progress toward a better world for the future — not to make us look good.
And why would the Texas BOE choose to put John Calvin into a textbook concerning American history? Calvinism had ZERO influence on the founding of the United States. The Founders were most influenced by ideas of the Age of Enlightenment (also cast onto the BOE scrap heap) than they were by any religion or religious figure. Jefferson was a Deist, believing in a Supreme Architect, but not in a supernatural God active in human affairs. Madison, often described as the Father of the Constitution, may have been more atheist or agnostic than anything else. Jefferson, I realize has been trashed — I don’t know how Madison fares in the revised textbook. But, to the religious zealots on the BOE I hate to break it to you, but the old U. S. of A. was not founded on religion but rather on REASON – an attribute that seems to be in short supply among the Texas BOE.
By what reason does “Reason” lead to self-sacrifice of one’s personal interest?
Love and the Spirit transcends Reason.
Patrick Henry, that patriot and Founding Father of our country said, “It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded not by religionists but by Christians, not on religions but on the Gospel of Jesus Christ”.
The very first Supreme Court Justice, John Jay, said, “Americans should select and prefer Christians as their rulers.”
President, John Adams, said,
“We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge, or gallantry, would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”
“Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, Religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of Patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great Pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of Men and Citizens.”
Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest prop of the duties of men and citizens. The mere politician, equally with the pious man, ought to respect and to cherish them. A volume could not trace all their connections with private and public felicity. Let it simply be asked: Where is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation desert the oaths which are the instruments of investigation in courts of justice? And let us with caution indulge in the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle… Observe good faith and justice toward all nations. Cultivate peace and harmony with all. Religion and morality enjoin this conduct; and can it be that good policy does not equally enjoin it?
another generation in peril due to the fact their parents and teachers failed to prepare them for the world as it is, we need another cultural revolution in this country to repel this type of skank attitude
Beautifully DONE!! … We knew the legislatures in Arizona, Alaska and Texas were morons, we just had no idea to what extent.
Now we know. We’ll see how insane Kentuckians are in Nov.
Hope you don’t mind that we reposted this on our site … we gave you the by!!
GOOD JOB and thanks again
illuvatar11 : I think you need to crack a history book too – maybe one not endorsed by the Texas BOE. Of course, many of the founders were Christian of various denominations. But the Constitution itself, nor any supporting documents even mention “Christian.” Had you actually studied history you would know more about the philosophical foundations of our Republic. Some of the founders did favor a national church and greater formalization of religion in government — they were overruled in no small part because they could not agree on which church. They decided it best to simply guarantee religious freedom and leave it at that. Why is it that religious zealots seem to require institutionalization of their worship in order to feel comfortable praying? Jesus observed in the Pharisees a significant weakness in that they required an audience for their elaborate prayer. A drive down any street past the large number of houses of worship is evidence that we are a nation of faiths — many of them. I am of a Christian faith myself and though I greatly admire Jesus and his teachings, I don’t like his fan clubs.
And as to the teaching of American exceptionalism I might observe that if you have to teach it, it does not exist. America is exceptional, or has been historically, by virtue of its deeds, accomplishments, and attitudes. Lately, the luster has been tarnished, and Americans find themselves and their nation suffering a crisis of self-esteem. We are heavily in debt to China ( the only country in recent history who has threatened us with nuclear weapons), many of us are out of work, and we have no industry to speak of with over 65% of the GDP assigned to 6 multinational banks. There is good reason to feel bad. But merely extolling past virtues in the face of obvious failure can lead only to cynicism.
Emphasis on virtues of the free enterprise system might be useful as long as the teaching includes treatment of the consequences of unbridled greed – export of our manufacturing, our jobs, and investment capital for the enrichment of a handful of multinational corporations. The innovation and risk-taking that built America and a thriving economy still exist, but the innovators cannot get a loan to build their industry because the banks are investing in China, and the risk-taking is limited to casino gambling on Wall Street – though there is not much risk in betting on failure of investments structured to fail. This is the state of our free-enterprise system.
Reading the draft, with ‘tracking’ edits is breathtaking.
I read Kathy Miller’s editorial in our newspaper and was both amused and irritated by her hypocrisy.
She rails against “promoting the personal and political agendas of elected state board members” when that is exactly what she is doing herself!
I was also annoyed by the letters from out of state, some of which were possibly based on what has been put forth by the national media, which has an agenda sympathetic with Ms Miller’s. For example, the claim that Thomas Jefferson is being removed from the cirriculum, which is patently untrue!
Some of the people leaving posts on this site have minimal knowledge of American History and of its Founders as their postings demonstrate. Perhaps they should research the textbooks they studied themselves by reading from original correspondence, etc..
I am very far from a religious zealot, but I reserve my highest scorn for the typical and repeated misleading recitation of “the separation of church and state,” which is always used to try and get rid of any mention of or respect for religion.
The spouters always omit the last part of the sentence about not allowing any bars to the free practice of religion, and they completely distort the meaning, which was to ensure that America had no national DENOMINATION of Christianity as they had in England.
The only way to study American History adequately is to expand it to a required two years in high school. Until then, the sad reality is that some things will always have to be omitted, and that may mean some references to minorities.
If teachers had more well prepared, more dilligent, and better behaved students, more subjects and more people could be covered. The standards and requirement for both behavior and knowledge has declined significantly in the last several decades.
Where is the parental respnsibility? Is it their job to only produce offspring and send them off completely unprepared and unsupported?
Kathy Miller’s organization should devote it’s time to improving the parental responsibility and involvement before it presumes to address textbooks.
We have an interesting debate going on this topic at the following link:
Come join the discussion
the primary point is that they have removed the teaching of the fundamental principles of what makes us Americans.
Parents need to check their children’s history books to make sure important historical facts about the Constitution have not disappeared. It seems many candidates during this election season across the country (Sharon Angle, Christine O’Donnell, Glen Urquhart and more) do not think separation of church and state is a part of the Constitution. This kind of revisionist history is a danger to democracy. Historians across the country need to speak out and take action to protect children and teens from sanitized perverted versions of history.
The Religious Right, is SO wrong !
Texas Board of Education (considering Texas education standards) re-writing history for their own benefit, is nothing but to promote THEIR ideals.
As long as we do our work honestly and not hurt others, what does it matter if we believe in some invisible superman in the sky, who happens to have such a fragile ego so as to condemn people for not believing in him, no matter how good they might be?
Doing the best I can do in all endeavors , not hurting our fellow human beings , being the stewards of this planet, that’s my religion.
Religions have caused most of the problems in this world; I prefer not to be involved with them.
And you claim to be concerned over education Bawhb
“Religions have caused most of the problems in this world” what an utterly uniformed statement.
It is a statistical fact that indeed it is the total absence of religion that has caused most of the problems of this world.
Let’s just take one example. State sanctioned murder or Religious wars. Scholars will cite the Crusades, The Spanish Inquisition and the Salem which hunts are at the top of this list.
Crusades 58,000 — 133,000 lives
Inquisition 32,000 lives
Salem Which hunt 30,000 to 100,000 lives
If we take the high end numbers we’re looking at 265,000. Just over a quarter million. So, tell ya what. Lets error on the side of extreme caution and make this number a full 1 million.
No lets take a look at the results of anti-religious ideology
Cummunism (Athiest) “There is no God”, “Religion is the opiate of the masses”, many choices to choose from…
Mao’s Communist China –PRC– 1928-1987 76.7 Million people
The Soviet Gulag State 62 Million people
Nazi Germany’s Genocide 21 Million people
The above numbers are not causalities of war but of straight up state sponsored murder.
And then we have:
Abortion in this country alone since 1973 — 35 Million people
So 160 million from those three godless anti-religious “governments” alone. Not to mention the 2+ million from the killing fields of Cambodia under the communist Khmer Rouge.
So 160 Million + 35 Million unborn children murdered in this country by such a disgusting Newspeak term of “choice” puts anit-religion, atheism right around the 200 million mark. And that was just in the last century alone.
So, still think that religion is the cause of most of mankind’s problems.
> Now lets take a look at the results of anti-religious ideology
> Cummunism (Athiest) “There is no God”, “Religion is the opiate of the masses”, many choices to choose from…
> Mao’s Communist China –PRC– 1928-1987 76.7 Million people
> The Soviet Gulag State 62 Million people
> Nazi Germany’s Genocide 21 Million people
Nazi Germany’s genocide? It is laughable to say it was anti-reglious, who were the targets of the genocide? “mine is right and yours is wrong and different” is not the same as ‘anti’. Either you have a very cynical agenda or you are incredibly under-educated. Your incorrect spelling does say bit about you.
China? I suggest you learn some history. China has a long history of foreign intervention that impacted its society and its established non-Christian religions. It is a (greatly) more intense version of why our constitution forbids any state religion. http://www.china.org.cn/english/features/45466.htm
Soviet Gulag? You have to ask why did the Russian revolution actually occur, how did these people rise to power? Who sanctioned what and why.
BTW – did it not take until 1992 before the Vatican decided it was time to acknowledge that the earth (and other planets) do orbit the sun?
Just think of the damage if just a handful of people bought into this type of anti-history, anti-reality, BS