Sunday, May 23, 2010

Warning - I'm on my Soapbox Again!

So, I realize that much of my blog is me ranting and raving about some news item that I find ridiculous or offensive or otherwise irritating.  And so, today will be...NO DIFFERENT!

On Friday, the Texas State Board of Education adopted a new (and dare I say improved?) social studies curriculum that makes some amazingly idiotic alterations to the current scope of learning relative to American history, the ideological and philosophical influences on the founding fathers, and the characterization of our country as a "democracy." (Oooohhh, democracy - that's a bad word, isn't it???)

Apparently, Texas lawmakers have long been concerned with this whole "separation of church and state" thing the Supreme Court seems so committed to.  Back in March they decided to remove Thomas Jefferson's writings from a critical thinking exercise that asked students to evaluate the influence of Enlightenment thinkers on political revolutions from 1750-present because, according to Cynthia Dunbar of the Texas Board of Ed, there were other Christian thinkers (like John Calvin and Thomas Aquinas) who were also influential, and the critical thinking exercise downplayed their importance.  And don't forget, she adds, the founding fathers were totally influenced by "biblical law" too.  I mean, just because practically all of those people at the Constitutional Conventions were agnostic at best doesn't mean anything.  The Constitution says we were "endowed by our Creator" and it's capitalized and everything.  They meant the Christian god and not some Allah or whatever. Jefferson's desire to keep religion out of politics is inherently offensive and we need to do something about it.  If we could get around that whole troubling fact of his presidency in 1800 we would!  So of course, Jefferson's out - Calvin's in.

BUT THAT'S NOT ALL!!  No - Texas educators want to be sure that students understand that this "separation" thing, doesn't exist anywhere in the Constitution.   Liberal judges on the Supreme Court made it up! The only thing the First Amendment requires is that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof..."  It doesn't say that we can't make kids swear on the bible or have an afternoon prayer or genuflect to the righteous Lord.  That's just a bunch of left-wing garbage.

Then there's this whole business about slavery.  Do we really have to keep flogging ourselves for something that happened like, 150 years ago?  I mean, let's just call it the "Atlantic Triangular Trade" and be done with it all ready!  And don't even get me started about Civil Rights.  Seriously, time to move on, people!

Of course, I'm getting all sarcastic and tongue-in-cheek about this, and you might wonder why I even care, given that I'm in Colorado and my children will never attend school in Texas.  But there's so much more at stake here.  First, with Texas' large population base, textbook manufacturers will obviously be taking these changes into effect when publishing their books.  Do I really want my kids learning from a text book in which Joseph McCarthy is just another senator and President Obama is continually referred to as "Barack Hussein Obama?"  NO!  Do I really want my kids to skim over the harsh reality of slavery or the Japanese Internment of the 1940s?  Do I really want my kids to be shielded from the mistakes we've made as a nation under some false notion of patriotism? NO NO NO!

Yes, my kids are patriots.  Ours is the greatest nation in the world and they live in a household that emphasizes the importance of being good citizens.  We read the Declaration of Independence from start to finish (including the whole long train of abuses) every 4th of July.  We read a great speech on President's Day (last year was the Gettysburg Address, this year we did Washington's First Inaugural Address).  We talk about our fallen heroes on Memorial Day and Veteran's Day.  But we also talk about the Vietnam War.  We read a speech of Martin Luther King's on MLK Day.  They know about slavery and Jim Crow Laws and the Civil Rights Movement.  And my hope is that they will learn from our past mistakes and take a better course in the future.

In defense of the changes, Jonathan Saenz of the Liberty Institute (a VERY conservative non-profit dedicated to "protecting freedoms and strengthening families" - huh?) says:  "Most of the complaints are coming from a liberal fringe. They're making a huge issue out of some very small changes. The people of Texas are simply trying to stop atheists and the extreme civil liberties lobby from taking over their history."

You know what, Texas?  You can have your history!  I'll keep teaching my kids the TRUTH!


  1. Great post! I whole-heartedly agree. And, what good traditions for July 4, Presidents Day, etc. Get ready for some speaches, Ross & Audrey!

  2. Oh my ga, Lo, I couldn't have said it better myself. I've been meaning to blog about this but to actually sit down and do it...Well, I can't get myself to actually do it. This is a new low, even for Texas. It would be one thing if it just affected Texas. Then you could choose not to live there and to not send your children to school there. But the fact remains that those same IDIOTIC text books would be sent to states and students across the country. I'm sorry, my child needs to learn, oh I don't know, ACTUAL HISTORY. Not sugar-coated, and not just the conservative white man's history. So much of what is taught is already "white man's" history (for a lack of a better term), but this is just extreme. Yes, let's forget all about slavery and the civil rights movement. That sounds like a GREAT idea, Texas.

  3. Great post.I hope the atheists do take over. I have zero tolerance for all religion. How is this even real? Worse than the Texas text books, I am afraid of what the world is going to look like when all the home schooled brain washed weirdos with semi-literate parent-teachers reaches adulthood. Oh and turn off your word verification feature on your comments. It is on my nerves.

  4. oh and I guess I was homeschooled looking at my comment. wtf?

  5. Great post Lorraine, your blog has been very entertaining lately. Especially when you go on these rants about idiotic "reform" that is taking place. I actually took Texas History and if memory serves me right after we learned about how the Mexicans "slaughtered" the well intentioned soldiers at the Alamo we skipped to the US annexing Texas and then inexplicably skipped to the oil crisis of the 80's. It seemed a little suspicious that they left out that whole secession thing, racism, dust bowl, and the assassination of a President.

  6. Thanks Chase! And Lori, Erin and Julie, of course!

  7. Wow! Can you hear me clapping! What an awesome post! When I first heard about what was happening in Texas, I almost couldn't believe it. This could end up being a big issue in all of our states with the textbooks. I could see more parents deciding to homeschool their kids over this.

    And thanks so much for dropping by my blog the other day. : )


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