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Monday, February 15, 2010

Separation of Church & State

On February 3, I wrote about the National Standards, and mentioned the affect of religion. Now I have read the cover story of The New York Times Magazine, "How Christian were the Founders?" by Russell Shorto. Were we to adopt a national standards in this country, Texas, would reign over it as it already does our textbook industry as shown in this article by Shorto. It is the strongest argument against National Standards. We have seen how the Texas State Board of Education, led by the Gablers, has operated over the past decades and its strong Christian emphasis. After reading this article and particularly learning how McLeroy took publishers to a Mexican restaurant to dictate how the texts should be altered in a Christian manner, I cursed Polk for acquiring Texas and suggest we give it back to Mexico. It further convinces me why we should reject our textbooks.

As I understand it, the early colonists came here to plunder the new land as the Spanish did in search of gold, the Jamestown colonists for goods, and the Pilgrims for religious freedom and to leave a nation ruled by a religious monarch. Another thing that always confused me was how the Founding fathers came up with ideas of freedom since they had no European models. Did Locke and Rousseau get their ideas from early reporters returning from the new world with reports of the Iroquois Nation as outlined in Bruce E. Johansen's Forgotten Founders, Benjamin Franklin, the Iroquois and the Rationale for the American Revolution? I would strongly recommend this short treatise for enlightenment on the topic of the creation of this country.

As I said on February 3, we are a nation made up of 50 sovereign states, but I must amend that since Texas seems to have more power over our textbooks in our states than it should. This may be the strongest reason to abandon textbooks and to use the electronic media and to get back to good old common sense teaching in our classrooms and not to depend on an industry that's in it to make money not to spread the truth. I will not be controlled by idiots from Texas. We've been there and look at how that worked out.

Once again we see important educational decisions made by people not even in the teaching profession. I'm further reminded about that in my own city where Chancellor Klein told the principals to make test results part of granting tenure. More on this at the end of the week. As the Shorto article suggests we should pay attention to the March 3 Texas school board District 9 Republican primary results.

The separation of church and state is very important. We know this as we observe how the Middle East operates and how religion complicates their government. We don't need to complicate our government with religion. Religion is a personal matter and my religion should not be dictated by the state or other individuals in power. Texas is stepping on my First Amendment rights. Step off Texas. And publishers, do the right thing.

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