The late Stevie Ray Vaughan wrote and recorded a great slow blues entitled "Texas Flood." The lyrics tell about a hypothetical flood down in Texas when "all the telephone lines are down" and poor Stevie Ray is distraught because he can't find his main squeeze. Good stuff.
There's a flood going on in the state of Texas right now. Not a literal flood of water, but a flood of post-modern, conservative Christianist propaganda. The source of the flood is the Texas Board of Education....
The Texas State Board of Education agreed to new social studies standards on Friday after the far-right faction wielded its power to shape the lessons that will be taught to millions of students on American history, the U.S. free enterprise system, religion and other topics.
As part of the new curriculum, the elected board.....rejected an attempt to ensure that children learn why the U.S. was founded on the principle of religious freedom.
But, it agreed to strengthen nods to Christianity by adding references to "laws of nature and nature's God" to a section in U.S. history that requires students to explain major political ideas.
This flood of conservative wingnut ignorance won't simply be contained in Texas. Because Texas public schools buy so many books, they are the tail that wags the book publisher dog. These meant-to-be-biased textbooks will find their way into other states' public school curriculums.
Theocons, (those who believe Yahweh should be King of America, and Yahweh's biblical mumbo-jumbo should be the law of the land) are hellbent to stamp out any truth about the United States formally being a secular, a non-religious, country.
So desperate (and crazy) are the theocons, as we're now seeing worked out in Texas, that they have often insisted that the U.S. is, indeed, a Christian nation simply because Article 7 of the Constitution, which lists the signators and the states the signators were from, was written like this....
Done in Convention by the Unanimous Consent of the States present the Seventeenth Day of September in the Year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and Eighty seven and of the Independence of the United States of America the Twelfth. In Witness whereof We have hereunto subscribed our Names.
While clutching the thinnest of thin-reeds, what the Texas theocons want to reject is any "attempt to ensure that children learn why the U.S. was founded on the principle of religious freedom." So, the first amendment to the Constitution, which says this....
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;
....deserves no explanation or elaboration in Texas' new wingnut public school textbooks.
Of course, this is pure revisionistic history. It's an insult to those who actually dedicate their lives to educating, rather than indoctrinating, students. But it's not surprising in the least, considering that todays American citizenry can't agree on what happened yesterday.
These two diametrically-opposite views of the Texas School Board's revisionistic plans, I think, is indicative of the larger, national, dual-narrative crisis that bitterly divides us....
"We have been about conservatism versus liberalism," said Democrat Mavis Knight of Dallas, explaining her vote against the standards. "We have manipulated strands to insert what we want it to be in the document, regardless as to whether or not it's appropriate."
Republican Terri Leo, a member of the powerful Christian conservative voting bloc, called the standards "world class" and "exceptional."
When Texas is flooded over with the theocon flotsam and jetsam of nonsensical and propagandistic historical wreckage,....when ignorant Texas supernaturalists get their way and rewrite public school books replete with errors of mass educational destruction......how, exactly, will that help the children of America or make America stronger?
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