14 March 2010

I dreamed...


“What have been its fruits?
More or less in all places,
pride and indolence in the clergy, 
ignorance and servility in the laity, 
in both, superstition, bigotry and persecution.”
 James Madison on Christianity

 James Madison
image from here

Last night I dreamed the Bible was being rewritten- though it has been done with this venerable book time and again- I thought why? Is it possible the next text the Texas Board of Education will "work" on is this one. Though the Bible is subject to vast interpretation-why not narrow that now so it will state Christian Conservative values? Surely the founding fathers of that great book meant it- their way. No? OF course there are always a couple of crackpots in any text where a number of writers exist.

Can these educators undertake such a task? eradicate the Radicals? Problems arise.
read Jesus the radical pastor.org here

Christ before Caiaphas by Giotto
image from wikipedia

The Texas Board of Education is rewriting American History. What will be taught in the classroom? The Gospel according to Texas? The powerful influence of this board reverberates through the country- Texas buys lots of TexT books- publishers will look to the Texas standards for guidance in content,  vomitously creating a poisonous rippling effect. The board, whose members are elected, has influence beyond Texas because the state is one of the largest buyers of textbooks. In the digital age, however, that influence has diminished as technological advances have made it possible for publishers to tailor books to individual states. the TIMES here

Cynthia Dunbar, a lawyer from Richmond who is a strict constitutionalist and thinks the nation was founded on Christian beliefs, managed to cut Thomas Jefferson from a list of figures whose writings inspired revolutions in the late 18th century and 19th century, replacing him with St. Thomas Aquinas, John Calvin and William Blackstone. (Jefferson is not well liked among conservatives on the board because he coined the term “separation between church and state.”) 

 Our guys signing the Declaration surrounded by red curtains

 There is a reason for those swags and sweeping gestures of grandeur in the Founding Father's portraits.

“The Enlightenment was not the only philosophy on which these revolutions were based,” Ms. Dunbar said. NYTIMES here

the Artist in his Library
Charles Wilson Peale here

GW here

“For happily the government of the United States, which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance, requires only that they who live under its protection, should demean themselves as good citizens . . . while every one shall sit under his own vine and figtree, and there shall be none to make him afraid.” GW

Dr. McLeroy, a dentist by training, pushed through a change to the teaching of the civil rights movement to ensure that students study the violent philosophy of the Black Panthers in addition to the nonviolent approach of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. He also made sure that textbooks would mention the votes in Congress on civil rights legislation, which Republicans supported.
“Republicans need a little credit for that,” he said. “I think it’s going to surprise some students.” from the NYTIMES here


I can see these curtains closing.

urban dictionary here

Letters in response to the NY Times article by Russell Shorto here


  1. Wow, what a powerful entry. It is pitiful that this B.O.E. wants to downgrade Jefferson or the ideals epoused by George Washington. What have we come to? I thought the words were "My country 'tis of thee, sweet land of Liberty..."

    What happened?

    Suzanne on St. Simons

  2. It is a sad, unfortunate reality that when times get difficult, the minds get smaller.

  3. Ann Richards is probably turning in her grave.

  4. This is all so absurd. I know this is actually happening, as hard as that is to believe -but I really wonder what the everyday people in Texas think of this. The man on the street -someone we may even know. Maybe Joni of Cote de Texas is a good person to ask? It is appalling for sure -it really blows my mind. Only in TX!

  5. Thank you, Little Augury, for this post.

  6. 'The gospel according to Texas' - stunning. You are doing important work here, Gaye. From across the pond, I shudder.

  7. One note--I worked for McGraw Hill text book division for awhile. It was common for them to do different book versions for Texas, as well as other states. They never put out one version for all 50 states. The Times did not do their research.

    Thank you for your lovely comment on my blog.

  8. The Texas school board has unbelievable arrogance---and too narrow for my taste. Wonderful post......

  9. Times are tough, but the $ says "in God we trust."

  10. Thank-you, Gaye.

    It boggles the rational mind.

  11. Dandy, I have been following along on this story a bit, and it seems that all the info news and tv say the decisions will effect the nation's textbooks. Not sure why?

  12. Just came upon this post. Thank you.



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