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Austin Cline

Creationism, Christianity, and Racism in Texas Public Schools

By January 28, 2013

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A 2007 law requires public schools in Texas to include instruction about the influence of the Bible on history and literature (contrast this with their decision to keep out information about Hispanic figures in history). The result has been falsehoods, misrepresentations, and even racism -- all once standard aspects of conservative evangelical teachings about history which had slowly been wiped from secular school education.

Evolution, Darwinism Cause Violence in Students
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Technically, courses and information about the Bible are supposed to be academically rigorous and constitutional. In reality, many don't appear to be anywhere close to that. The Texas Legislature didn't bother appropriating money to ensure that would happen and schools have just ignored the fact that teachers are supposed to get training before teaching such things. Does anyone want to bet that this was expected/intended?

This information comes from a report written by a religious studies professor at Southern Methodist University in Dallas:

  • Instructional material in two school districts teach that racial diversity today can be traced back to Noah's sons, a long-discredited claim that has been a foundational component of some forms of racism.
  • Religious bias is common, with most courses taught from a Protestant -- often a conservative Protestant -- perspective. One course, for example, assumes Christians will at some point be "raptured." Materials include a Venn diagram showing the pros and cons of theories that posit the rapture before the returning Jesus' 1,000-year reign and those that place it afterward. In many courses, the perspectives of Roman Catholics, Orthodox Christians and Jews are often left out.
  • Anti-Jewish bias -- intentional or not -- is not uncommon. Some courses even portray Judaism as a flawed and incomplete religion that has been replaced by Christianity.
  • Many courses suggest or openly claim that the Bible is literally true. "The Bible is the written word of God," students are told in one PowerPoint presentation. Some courses go so far as to suggest that the Bible can be used to verify events in history. One district, for example, teaches students that the Bible's historical claims are largely beyond question by listing biblical events side by side with historical developments from around the globe.
  • Course materials in numerous classes are designed to evangelize rather than provide an objective study of the Bible's influence. A book in one district makes its purpose clear in the preface: "May this study be of value to you. May you fully come to believe that 'Jesus is the Christ, the son of God.' And may you have 'life in His name.'"
  • A number of courses teach students that the Bible proves Earth is just 6,000 years old.
  • Students are taught that the United States is a Christian nation founded on the Christian biblical principles taught in their classrooms.
  • Academic rigor is so poor that many courses rely mostly on memorization of Bible verses and factoids from Bible stories rather than teaching students how to analyze what they are studying. One district relies heavily on Bible cartoons from Hanna-Barbera for its high school class. Students in another district spend two days watching what lesson plans describe a "the historic documentary Ancient Aliens," which presents "a new interpretation of angelic beings described as extraterrestrials."
  • Source: TFN Insider

    Some of this is clearly just laziness rather than malice, like using cartoons and "Ancient Aliens." Most of it, however, is unambiguously wrong and unconstitutional. They wouldn't even pass cursory and superficial legal scrutiny -- but there won't be any legal scrutiny at all unless someone in these districts is willing to be a plaintiff in a lawsuit.

    This is what "Christian" and "biblical" education look like in America. It's what's been taught in Sunday Schools for generations. It's what used to be taught in public schools, too, until the courts started forcing them to adhere to church/state separation and secular educators took control.

    Comments
    February 2, 2013 at 1:16 pm
    (1) Deliverance says:

    So much manipulation and brain-washing going on in Texas and other states as well. I guess everyone does know this old message:”You can bring a horse to water but you can’t make it drink.”And in Texas, “You can bring a child to the sciences but you won’t let him/her think?” From the cradle to the grave in Texas and other quasi-Bible Belt States,the drum beat of that ‘Old Time Religion’ is louder and more influential than the fact that there is not a shred of proof that Jesus actually existed back when so many Man God’s ruled and in fact, still do.Appolonius and Mithra, etc., hey now, at least there is some verification. And the children in Texas Bible classes might have a problem after noting that they have to hate their family in order to follow J. My oh my, that would create chaos with truancy, suicides, and runaways. Dammit, where is Jones town? Heavens Gate? Charles Manson? There are some smart – ass hucksters in the world- probably a little crazy-bent, who early in life discovered that 98% of the populace in any country is hungry to be led..to slaughter or to the way beyond…and by god, they were and are just opportunistic enough and wile enough to have completed their mission over and over and over again. Hallelujah, when do we have the next bloodbath? Bring on the Crusades…the earth is flat and Chimps and Apes don’t share our DNA…nor Mama’s Mitochondria. Homo habilus, Homo erectus and Neanderthals never existed and it is a conspiracy of evil scientists that Asians and Europeans and their descendants have some 3% Neanderthal Blood. But the earth is flat and young and the new Inquisition has begun. Only in Texas where everything is bigger…so too Xian Brainwashing

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