Monday, May 24, 2010

Texas Textbooks and American Exceptionalism Part I

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The Texas State Board of Education adopted a new social studies and history curriculum this past Friday.

About 4.8 million Texas students will be taught from the new material over the next 10 years. In addition, because of the size of the Texas textbook order, the same curriculum will be used in many states across the country.

The process has been contentious and the Associated Press story reflects that. In fact, it is clear that AP is not happy with the final product. They are reporting that the adopted curriculum, "amends or waters down the teaching of the civil rights movement, religious freedoms, America's relationship with the UN and hundred's of other items."

Actually, the new narrative moves toward the truth and away from the political leftward drift of the past 20 years.

Here are several of the important items that will be changed in the new textbooks:

1. Considered by opponents to be one of the most significant changes, students will now be given the opportunity to study the separation of church and state issue more honestly. They will learn those words are not in the Constitution and will be required to compare and contrast the judicial language with the wording in the First Amendment.

The secularists are angry---including AP. In fact AP says, "The board attempted to water down the rationale for separation of church and state."

Sometimes facts are very troublesome.

2. The board rejected language that would "modernize" the classification of historic periods to the politically correct B.C.E. and C.E.. The intent, I believe, was not so much about "modernizing" as it was about eliminating the references to the birth of Christ.

The kids will be taught B.C. and A.D. for the next 10 years.

3. The new textbooks will require students to evaluate efforts by global organizations such as the United Nations to undermine US sovereignty.

4. Thomas Jefferson will not be presented as an example of an influential political philosopher in a world history class.

5. The new textbooks strengthen requirements on teaching Judeo-Christian influences of the nation's Founding Fathers.

6. The new curriculum requires that the US Government be correctly referred to as a "constitutional republic" rather than democratic.

7. Students will be required to study the decline in value of the US dollar, including the abandonment of the gold standard.

These are but a few of the changes. Liberals, or "secular socialists" are raging.

President Obama's Education Secretary, Arne Duncan, has weighed in saying that school officials "should keep politics out" of curriculum debates.

"Politics," of course refers, in this case, to any view that does not support a far left revision of history which has been in progress for sometime.

Duncan says, "We do a disservice to children when we shield them from the truth, just because some people think it is painful or doesn't fit with their particular views. Parents should be very wary of politicians designing curriculum."

Exactly.

Over the past generation or so a coalition of activist educators, politicians, the ACLU, homosexual advocates and the abortion industry has hijacked public education, misleading an entire generation and in doing so awakened another generation to what they are actually doing to children who have been entrusted to them five days a week.

Public education has all too often become a social experimentation, using our kids to further a radical secular socialist worldview. And public education student scores reflect that in many cities.

In the case of social studies and the study of history, these new textbooks will be most helpful in telling our kids the truth. However, there is a much broader dynamic in play in all this.

It has to do with what you believe about America. Is it an "exceptional nation" with a unique destiny or is it, as our President has said while in Europe, exceptional only to us just like Britain is exceptional to Brits and Greece is exceptional to Greeks. In other words, in his mind, America is not necessarily set aside for noble purposes as our Founders believed---it's just another country---no big deal.

What one believes about this country, under God, is close to the heart of most discussions about our culture.

In tomorrow's Blog, I am going to continue this by specifically addressing American "exceptionalism" and how what one believes is at the heart of our national debate of what we should tell our kids and how we, as a nation, ought to view our culture.

Be Informed. Be Prayerful. Be Blessed.

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Gary Randall
President
Faith and Freedom

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15 comments:

  1. Thank you for keeping us informed on this important issue.

    "For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places."

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  2. What would be the best way to contact the Texas School Board and THANK THEM for their courage and strength in standing up for our history? I am so glad to read about this and I want them to know that there are many people who support and agree with the decisions they have made.

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  3. Thank you for keeping us informed on this important issue.

    "For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places."

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  4. Gee maybe ow with the constitution being re-introduced to our students they will see just how much God our Creator was/is a part of our Judeo-Christian heritage. That must really tick the left off.

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  5. 2:41pm

    Actually, on the left, we've advocated for teaching more civics in school which, of course, would include the constitution.

    It's not coincidental that God is not mentioned once in the Constitution. That was a deliberate decision by our founders. That fact should be included in the studies.

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  6. hey, 3:57

    But it's a well known fact that our constitution is founded on God's priciples. If u don't believe it, look up all the comments that the signers made---'as long as the US stays within God;s princples, it will stand!
    Are you aware during the makeing of the constituion, they Went into groups' to PRAY for a few days, came together, and wrote it!
    What about our MONEY--in God We Trust.. all I have to say is with many of us Trusting' our God, things just maybe better for and all of us!

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  7. 2:41

    We can go back and forth on quotes all day. For every one you have, I have one to contradict it.

    However, the simple fact is that God is not in the Constitution, not once. Plus, when the founders had to go on record officially one way or the other, they officially stated that the US was 'in no sense founded on the Christian religion' in the Tripoli Treaty.

    Oh, and 'In God We Trust' was added to our money in my lifetime - in the 1950's. That was act of modern congress, not the founders.

    I'm all for heightened studies of the constitution in schools, it just needs to be factual.

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  8. Well, the seven changes being made by the Texas school board wouldn't be necessary if the Left had been teaching accurate civics, let alone accurate Constitutional history. So, when anonymous says, "Actually, on the left, we've advocated for teaching more civics in school which, of course, would include the constitution" -- it is a laughable but dangerous euphemism. We know, because for the last 35+ years publik skool kids have graduated "thinking" that the words "separation of church and state" mean that a person of faith should not be elected to office. Which, gets to another point: Leftists teach kids what to think, Centrists teach them HOW to think.

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  9. You can ignore it all you like, but the only official proclamation from the founding fathers acting as the US Government stated that our country was in no sense founded on the Christian religion.

    Until someone can show an official proclamation by our founders on behalf of our government to the contrary, that proclamation will stand as the official recorded position of the founding fathers.

    I'm sorry if you find the facts troublesome.

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  10. I guess you would chose to ignore the Declaration of Independence which clearly states that our rights are given by our Creator.
    The Founder's clearly understood that to be Jesus Christ,and it is his teachings that are the foundation for both the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.Which was upheld repeatedly by the Supreme Court and said to be so. You can ignore that if you want,it may be an inconvenient truth, but it is the truth nontheless

    Craig,Lacey

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  11. 4:31
    Follow up question:
    You said that the supreme court has repeatedly upheld JC as the foundation for both the constitution and bill of rights.

    I tried to verify this, but couldn't. Do you have any specifics to verify it?

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  12. The term 'Creator' is very ambiguous. For some, it refers to God, but not for all, And certainly not for the majority of people on this planet.

    What isn't ambiguous is the only official proclamation states very specifically that our nation was in no sense founded on the Christian religion.

    The founders were quite good with language. If they had wanted God or the Christian religion in the founding documents, it would have happened.

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  13. " In God we trust" was stamped on our coins in 1865, not 1950's.
    Not by a modern congress, If you're going to make statements like that, a least do your homework.

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  14. Church of the Holy Trinity v. U.S.,1892, U.S. Supreme Court:"No purpose of action against religion
    can be imputed to any legislation, State or national, becuse this is a relious people......This is a Christian nation". Updeghraph v. The Commonwealth,1824, Supreme Court of Pennsylvania: It was decided that," Christiaity, General Christianity, is, and always has been, a part of common law...not Christianity with an established church...but Christianity with liberty of conscience to all men".
    I have many,many more.State & Federal. Christianity is the foundation for our common law, that includes the Constitution & the Bill of Rights! By the way, the Declaration of Independence is an official proclamation of the U.S. Government. It states our rights are "inalienable", they are divinely given. Our founders were indeed very good with language, they understood "Creator" to mean Jesus Christ and their subsequent writings bear this out. You have been misinformed my friend, but don't believe me or any one else.
    CHECK IT OUT YOURSELF! God Bless!

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  15. I was aware that 'in god we trust' was on the money intermittently from the mid 1800's, however it was only officially our motto and on all money after an act of congress in the 1950's. Fine, I'll concede the earlier years of discontinuous appearance.

    Regardless, you actually help me make my point by confirming that it had nothing at all to do with our founders and occurred well after their time.

    Also, 'creator' does not mean God or Christ to me. I'm sure it does to you and we can argue about what the founders meant by using it.

    What we've had no argument about is what the words 'in no sense founded on the Christian religion' mean.

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