Sunday, March 14, 2010

Texas Board of Education Declares War on Secularism, Thomas Jefferson, LGBT Community With Textbook Decision

Think Progress has the story.

The Texas Board of Education has been meeting this week to revise its social studies curriculum. During the past three days, “the board’s far-right faction wielded their power to shape lessons on the civil rights movement, the U.S. free enterprise system and hundreds of other topics”:

– To avoid exposing students to “transvestites, transsexuals and who knows what else,” the Board struck the curriculum’s reference to “sex and gender as social constructs.”

– The Board removed Thomas Jefferson from the Texas curriculum, “replacing him with religious right icon John Calvin.”

– The Board refused to require that “students learn that the Constitution prevents the U.S. government from promoting one religion over all others.”

– The Board struck the word “democratic” from the description of the U.S. government, instead terming it a “constitutional republic.”

As the nation’s second-largest textbook market, Texas has enormous leverage over publishers, who often “craft their standard textbooks based on the specs of the biggest buyers.” Indeed, as The Washington Monthly has reported, “when it comes to textbooks, what happens in Texas rarely stays in Texas.”

Where to begin?

My diatribe on this one would be far too long for this blog, so I'll keep it simple. Apparently, the Texas Board of Education failed to discover that the Constitution of the United States not only guarantees people Freedom of Religion, but Freedom FROM Religion.

The Board is also removing from their textbooks the man that wrote the following words: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

Jefferson also said, "“Information is the currency of democracy.”

It's these types of decisions by these types of people with these types of political agendas that are hurting our students. A public education should be SECULAR. Leave the religion to the church teaching! For goodness sakes, we aren't playing with toys here...these are the minds of our children and our NEXT GENERATION! We are teaching and raising the decision makers of tomorrow. Don't they need all the information to make the decisions they will face in the future? Unfortunately, in Texas, the answer to that question is apparently, "NO!"

Sickening. Just sickening.

The Texas Board of Education would be well served to watch Dan Brown's video, An Open Letter to Educators.

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