Texas Education Board Debates Moses As Founding Father

Conservative Christians in Texas use public schools to teach students that Moses influenced the U.S. Constitution and other Bible based non-sense.

Currently Texas teaching standards allow for teaching public school students that the Founding Fathers based the Constitution on the Bible, and that the American system of democracy was inspired by Moses. However, later this week the Texas State Board of Education will be holding hearings and there is a chance that they may rectify this grave mistake.

The Texas Freedom Network reports:

The State Board of Education’s revision of its politically biased curriculum standards for social studies classes in Texas public schools is moving into a new and important phase. On Tuesday (June 12) the board will hold a public hearing on proposed revisions drafted over the past several months by teams of scholars and educators. Now the focus turns to whether state board members will put political agendas aside, listen to the concerns of educators and #TeachTheTruth.

What do the current standards teach Texas students? Moses was a major influence on the Constitution. The roots of our nation’s legal and political systems are found in the Bible. Slavery wasn’t the primary cause of the Civil War. Confederate General Stonewall Jackson is a role model for students. McCarthyism was justified. International treaties are an anti-American conspiracy. And plenty of other misleading standards push right-wing political arguments. In fact, even reviewers for the conservative Thomas B. Fordham Institute have called the current standards a “politicized distortion of history” filled with “misrepresentations at every turn.”

Reporting on the story, Lilandra Ra, writing for Reason Advocates, explains:

Should Texas students be told that Moses and Judeo-Christian Biblical Law influenced the founding of our laws? According to the Texas Freedom Network, the Texas School Board will be hearing testimony on this on Tuesday, June 12th, and some other culture war questions that politicize history such as:

  • Was the Civil War about State’s Rights?

  • Was McCarthyism justified?

  • Is the separation of Church and State a key constitutional principle?

The current instructional standards that the Board of Education approved back in 2010 were written with the explicit intention of forcing social studies teaching to adhere to a conservative Christian agenda. The standards require teachers to emphasize America’s so called “Christian heritage.”

In fact, in 2014 the Texas State Board of Education approved textbooks reporting that Moses was a Founding Father.

In essence, Christian conservatives in Texas have successfully forced a false historical narrative into public school textbooks that portray Moses as an influence on the Constitution and the Old Testament as the root of democracy.

In addition, the Texas teaching standards minimize the role slavery played in the Civil War while trying to valorize treasonous traitors who fought for the Confederacy and the preservation of slavery.

More details from the Texas Freedom Network:

Following the June 12 hearing, the board could direct curriculum teams to make further revisions (or reverse some changes already made). Then the board will hold another public hearing in September. Board members will also be able to vote on changes to the standards and proposed revisions at that September meeting. A final vote on the revised standards is set for November.

In short, Texas is currently teaching public school students that the Founding Fathers based the Constitution on the Bible, and that the American system of democracy was inspired by Moses. And some good people are trying to change this travesty. However, if the conservative Christians win, the children of Texas will lose.

Bottom line: Children in Texas deserve better. Children deserve the truth. 

Texas Education Board Debates Moses As Founding Father (Image via YouTube)
Texas Education Board Debates Moses As Founding Father (Image via YouTube)
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