Rewriting Texas history books to instill American (Judeo-Christian) Exceptionalism

Rewriting Texas history books to instill American (Judeo-Christian) Exceptionalism September 15, 2014

When I first started studying for the Texas Social Studies Textbook hearings last week to testify with Aron on Tuesday, I expected to find the most egregious historical misrepresentations by non-mainstream publishers like Worldview Software. And of course they didn’t fail to disappoint. Here is a quote from a Texas Freedom Network briefing to give you the flavor of the worldview  they are promoting…

“The spread of international terrorism is an

outgrowth of Islamic fundamentalism which opposes Western

political and cultural influences and Western ideology.”

Is that a fact? Are Islamic fundamentalists the only terrorists? Just in case you aren’t sure whether this publisher is being incidentally bigoted, their worldview on the origin of the inhabitants of Africa is straight out of 19th Century racist theories. I quote from here on out from the Washington Post‘s article on the hearing.

WorldView Software – World History A: Early Civilizations to the Mid-1800s

The text states: “South of the Sahara Desert most of the people before the Age of Explorations were black Africans of the Negro race.”

 Elsewhere, the text states: “The first known inhabitants of Africa north of the Sahara in prehistory were Caucasoid Hamitic people of uncertain origin.”

“Hamitic” pseudo-scientific theories of the origins of Africans originated in the 19th century’s attempt to explain  white supremacist assumptions. They believed that Northern Africans like Egyptians originated from the Biblical story of Noah’s cursed son Ham. They thought that the “Negroid” race as they called it was incapable of building civilizations such as Egypt. They sought to misappropriate their accomplishments to “Caucasoids” such as themselves.

As a teacher, I know that non-mainstream publishers don’t normally make their way into classrooms. No matter how much a crank publisher matches the ideas the right wing ideologues on the State Board of Education want to promote. So at first I wasn’t as worried.

Now that I have reviewed more of what is being published, it is worse than I thought. I am genuinely surprised and disappointed. Even mainstream publishers already on the bookshelves in many Texas classrooms are submitting new texts for adoption that revise history in such a way to emphasize Judeo-Christian influence over the Enlightenment secular ideals that our government is founded on.

McGraw-Hill School Education – United States Government

Text mentions Moses and claims that the “biblical idea of a

covenant, an ancient Jewish term meaning a special kind of

agreement between the people and God, influenced the formation of colonial governments and contributed to our constitutional structure.”

Let me get this straight our government is based on the covenant god gave to Moses in The Torah? The one most American’s break when they have pork ribs at Chili’s or shellfish at Red Lobster? We’re all going to Hell then for breaking the covenant  kiddos!

But wait there is more, I feel like a sadist for the face-palming that results from reading quotes from proposed history books in 2014!  Just a little break here to make you feel better.

You can still register to testify until Monday at 5:ooPM.  Instructions on how to testify and register are at the bottom of this briefing.

Join Texas Freedom Networks “Just Educate!” campaign to reform the Texas Board of Education.

Sign TFN’s petition for accurate textbooks.

Vote for reality based education in the school board. Voter’s Guide

Are you ready for more totally serious inanity from our national publishers?

This publisher goes even further than Biblical times with revising out the Enlightenment…

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt – United States Government: Principles in Practice

Text has a section on “Judeo-Christian Influences” that reads: “The Framers’ political thinking was influenced by a Judeo-Christian religious heritage, which includes traditions common to both Judaism and Christianity. These religions see the law and individual rights as being of divine origin. Moreover, the Framers benefited from the Protestant Reformation, a sixteenth-century Christian reform movement whose leaders developed ideas about individual responsibility, the freedom to worship as one chooses, and self-government.”

Cuz yeah Protestant settlers like the Puritans were all about the “freedom to worship as one chooses”. As long as you agreed with them, and conformed to their ideas of how to worship. If you were a Quaker though, not so much! Quakers were banished, branded, and had their ears cropped.

But what about separation of church and state you say? According to this national publisher…

McGraw-Hill School Education – United States Government

The text states: “Thomas Jefferson once referred to the establishment clause as a ‘wall of separation between church and state.’ That phrase is not used in the Constitution, however.’”

Fixed your wagon didn’t they?

If you think it can’t get more ridiculous, I have barely scratched the surface of what these textbooks are counterfeiting as history. Read the entire Washington Post article if you have a high pain threshold.

 

 

 


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  • smrnda

    Wow, the founding of the US and no mention of the Enlightenment? There’s nothing in the Bible about individual rights, checks and balances in government or representational democracy. On top of that, the Protestant reformation was not necessarily in favor of the freedom to worship as you liked – it was more ‘worship as Luther likes’ or ‘worship as Calvin likes.’

  • Narf

    Well, the fundies who are doing this sort of stuff don’t exactly think that the Enlightenment was a good thing, smrnda.

  • Narf

    Oh, and personally, the bit that I find far more ludicrous is that the Jews think that Jesus Christ was an important prophet. A lot of the complaints are about interpretation of at least somewhat-factual things. Saying that the Jews give fuck #1 about this Jesus guy is beyond stupid.

  • chris69

    Cuz yeah Protestant settlers like the Puritans were all about the “freedom to worship as one chooses”. As long as you agreed with them, and conformed to their ideas of how to worship. If you were a Quaker though, not so much! Quakers were banished, branded, and had their ears cropped.

    Or they were put to death.

  • EnlightenmentLiberal

    Just completely dishonest or completely delusional shits. I have an active loathing and hatred for these people. It’s particularly galling when they play up how Islam sometimes / often spread by conquest and the sword, and yet completely omit that Christianity did too. Similarly, it’s these same people arguing that Islam is dangerous to a civil society, but also arguing that Christianity is the basis of a civil society, except that to my perspective they’re the same shit with the same problems (contemporary Christianity often less-so, but damn these particular assholes are trying to make up for that and outdo the ills of contemporary Islam).

  • Eli

    ASIA FOR THE ASIANS, AFRICA FOR THE AFRICANS, WHITE COUNTRIES FOR EVERYBODY!

    The words “immigration”, “tolerance” and “assimilation” are being used to PROMOTE a program of geNOcide against White children.

    According to International Law, open borders, FORCED integration, and assimilation is GENOCIDE.

    Except they don’t call it GENOCIDE when it’s done to White children.

    Then they call it “multiculturalism”

    STOP WHITE GENOCIDE!

    Anti-racist is a codeword for anti-White

    • There is no white “GENOCIDE” in this country.

  • Crimson Clupeidae

    is Eli a poe? Or have you flushed a real life white supremacist outta the shrubs?

    So hard to tell these days.

    • Eli

      You are just engaging in childish name calling which is what you anti-Whites always do.

      • Consider this a warning Eli. I have no time for people, who aren’t here to discuss the topic in good faith.

        • Ei

          And yet you remain silent when someone engages in name calling against me. These are the typical bullying tactics we see from the PC crowd. You get your SCREAMERS to yell names, then your bring in THUGS to physically beat people on campus, then you finally introduce the Thought Police to end all free expression.

          • Blocked. Your post does resemble a “poe”, because some people post outrageous views like there is a “white genocide” in America simply to annoy people and they don’t actually hold the views in real life. You also are posting white supremacist talking points, so it’s hard to tell whether you really think there is a white genocide going on in which case there is no evidence to back that up, or you are trying to amuse yourself at other people’s expense. You are not entitled to behave this way in private gathering spaces like bars or restaurants either.

            I am not blocking you for name calling, which you have done more of than anyone you claim is calling you a name. Even if this were a government hosted discussion, you don’t have superior rights to speak at the expense of other people. Post on blogs that want to discuss white supremacist talking points if that is your wish. If not, there are other forums that host people, who just are after lulz. This discussion is not either one of those.