Religious Freedom Fails in Texas

The Texas Freedom Network just sent out the following press release:

The Texas State Board of Education’s vote today against requiring that students learn what the nation’s Founders did to protect religious freedom represents an irresponsible rewriting of American history and a stunning triumph of politics over education, the president of the Texas Freedom Network said today.

“These board members voted to reject the most fundamental constitutional protection for religious freedom in America today: the principle that government may not disfavor or promote any religion over all others,” TFN President Kathy Miller said. “In a world plagued by religious conflict, the Founders understood that keeping government out of religion was essential to protecting freedom. It’s stunning that this board, which directs the education of nearly 5 million public school children, doesn’t understand that.”

The board’s vote came on an amendment offered by Mavis Knight, D-Dallas: “examine the reasons the Founding Fathers protected religious freedom in America by barring government from promoting or disfavoring any particular religion over all others.”

The board rejected Knight’s amendment on a party-line vote, with all Republicans voting no and all Democrats voting yes.

The board is continuing the revision of social studies standards today and tomorrow and will take a final vote in May. Publishers will use the standards to write new textbooks that will be sold in Texas and across the country.

13 thoughts on “Religious Freedom Fails in Texas

  1. Unbelievable. Tragic. The Bible says that a day will come when lies will become truth and the truth will become lies. The right-wing faction on the Texas SBOE is living out that Bible verse in Technicolor right before our very eyes today.

  2. So the SBOE’s Republicans have voted against teaching kids about the contributions of Jefferson and Madison and the Constitution and First Amendment to our country’s heritage of religious freedom! Astonishing! Mind-boggling! These people have forfeited any right to respect. Have they no shame? Have they no knowledge of history? Thank you, Texas Freedom Network, for continuing to fight for democracy in education. — Edd Doerr, President, Americans for Religious Liberty,

  3. And people have accused me of being too “negative” and criticized me for overstating the true goal of the TX religious right.

  4. Cytocop. You must be talking about acquaintances elsewhere. We here at TFN Insider know that you know the taste and smell of real fruitcake when you see it. There was enough today to satisfy a century full of Christmas dinners.

  5. How dare a company that would print a “text book” containing such rubbish call itself a publisher! Have they no shame, no ethical principles or basic concern for the potential impact of their complicity? Are the textbook publishers simply mindless machine filling orders, any orders, for a buck? It time to go after this group.

  6. My question is, are the TX school boards really in such good financial shape as to be able to afford new textbooks any time soon? Other school districts around the country are scraping for pennies. And if the TX boards don’t have the money, will they really _be_ such a large textbook market?

    Another item: the national educational standards promulgated by a number of the nation’s governors may shift the textbook-purchasing power balance, eventually. I hope so.

  7. MJ McCain:

    There was a time in this country when people appreciated good faith, truth, honesty, and ethical behavior. Once upon a time, many people could leave the doors to their houses unlocked. All of that has been replaced by what the Bible calls “love of money.”

    The large multi-national corporations, Wall Street bankers, and insurance magnates started setting the tone decades ago, and it is now fully evolved. These people looked out across the American landscape and said, “We now dominate all and only one threat to us is left. We must bring that under our total control to complete the ring.”

    That threat was the Gospel of Jesus Christ set forward in the Bible (and as our friend Cytocop will note—numerous Jewish writings). It was a threat because the spiritual content is at odds with virtually everything they hold dear. They had to find a way to take over these great moral/spiritual writings and institutions, twist and cortort them to suit their needs, and acquire large population of worship center congregations that could be brainwashed into doing their bidding at the grassroots level. This required a cadre of evangelical and fundamenatlist “high priests” who would cooperate by allowing the gospel and other basic moral mandates to be overtaken by corporate money values and a new set of moral standards that would ignore business immorality and excesses and focus congregants’ full attention on “smaller issues” that the money fiends on Wall Street do not care anything about at all (like abortion, same sex marriage, etc.). It has come pretty much full circle right now.

    The right wing Christians on the Texas SBOE are just well-meaning soldiers that have been sucked into the system, turned into slave robots, and let loose to further implement this evil system. As Jesus said, “Forgive them for they know not what they do.”

  8. Wow. What nutjobs. And just think, how scary, we may one day end up electing some product of that education system.

  9. Charles said “There was a time in this country when people appreciated good faith, truth, honesty, and ethical behavior. Once upon a time, many people could leave the doors to their houses unlocked. All of that has been replaced by what the Bible calls “love of money.” ”

    Charles, find yourself a copy of Horace Greeley’s “The American Conflict, Volume I”, circa 1862.

    Politics is politics is politics. People haven’t changed.

  10. The rewriting if history has been going on for years and very very few people bothered to notice. Unfortunately it started in our overly liberal educational system and mushroomed. And, of course, politics had to get on board, too. As to SOMEDAY electing an official — sadly we already have- he lives in the White House today. History is history and nothing we do will change it. So all you revisionists out there need to get over it!! We need to learn from our history and know our history and only then can we have a better world into which to live. Yes I know the deal about religion causing wars (are we not now involved in one??) and all the other issues that fanatics do in the name religion that is not right, but my observation is that since respect for our Christian faith in America has declined, so has our country. In spite of what many say, we are no longer the great country we were. I grieve for my grandchildren.

  11. BJ, you might want to read this study:

    Here’s a sample:

    [18] In general, higher rates of belief in and worship of a creator correlate with higher rates of homicide, juvenile and early adult mortality, STD infection rates, teen pregnancy, and abortion in the prosperous democracies (Figures 1-9). The most theistic prosperous democracy, the U.S., is exceptional, but not in the manner Franklin predicted. The United States is almost always the most dysfunctional of the developed democracies, sometimes spectacularly so, and almost always scores poorly. The view of the U.S. as a “shining city on the hill” to the rest of the world is falsified when it comes to basic measures of societal health. Youth suicide is an exception to the general trend because there is not a significant relationship between it and religious or secular factors. No democracy is known to have combined strong religiosity and popular denial of evolution with high rates of societal health. Higher rates of non-theism and acceptance of human evolution usually correlate with lower rates of dysfunction, and the least theistic nations are usually the least dysfunctional. None of the strongly secularized, pro-evolution democracies is experiencing high levels of measurable dysfunction. In some cases the highly religious U.S. is an outlier in terms of societal dysfunction from less theistic but otherwise socially comparable secular developed democracies. In other cases, the correlations are strongly graded, sometimes outstandingly so.

  12. I was going to respond to what BJ said but decided it would be a waste of finger movement.