The Blog

Opine Needles

The Blog

The Left Loves to Hate Texas

I am a Christian, but I’m the kind of Christian one of my cousins calls a “holiday Episcopal”. I think I’ve missed one Christmas Eve service in my life, but truth be told, I’d rather be on a golf course on Sunday morning. I believe in a higher power, and I think it is man’s ultimate folly to think otherwise. I tell you this because it is important in the context of the current hullabaloo the main stream media is making over the changes in school curriculum for which the Texas State Board of Education has recently voted. I firmly believe our children should be taught about the theory of evolution. I also believe it is borderline criminal to rewrite US history and omit the important role played by Christianity.

In 2007, Governor Perry appointed Don McLeroy to lead the State Board of Education. (SBOE), and charged Mr. McLeroy with chairing the process to revamp the core social studies, economics, and history curriculums. Mr. McLeroy is a dentist by trade, and is alleged to be a strict “creationist”. (Liberals love that word. The closest synonym they can muster is “Neanderthal”.) His term as chair of the SBOE just ended, and he recently lost his reelection bid (to a more moderate Republican) to continue on the SBOE. Governor Perry did not do himself or Texas any favors with this lightening rod appointment. Texas would have been better served by having a more moderate leader. But be that as it may, the SBOE did a good job and Texas has managed to stem the tide of secular liberal activism creeping into the educational process over the past several decades.

Texas buys a lot of textbooks. Many smaller states end up following along once Texas orders new books. So the publishers and the educators pay attention when Texas decides to change its course curriculums.

That is basically all the background you need.

The national media has had itself a self-righteous picnic with the debate swirling around the SBOE curriculum amendment process in Austin. Last week, an Austin based AP reporter names April Castro was given nationwide coverage by penning an article entitled “Texas Board Vote Reflects Far-Right Influence”. Her tome epitomizes the viewpoint espoused by today’s radical left. The New York Times also covered this story from a similar viewpoint. A self evident message here is that one really has to be discerning whenever one reads ANY news. The left has turned the news into nothing more than an opportunity to distort and convert current events into unrepentant editorial opinion. THIS UPROAR IS REALLY ALL ABOUT SECULAR lIBERALS’ (small case L, because these people do not stand for classic Liberalism in any way, shape, or form) HORROR THAT TEXAS HAS HAD THE COMMON SENSE TO SAY “NO MAS” TO SECULAR PROGRESSIVE EDUCATION BOARDS USING OUR CHILDREN AND GRANDCHILDREN AS GUINEA PIGS IN AN ONGOING POST WWII ATTEMPT TO COMPLETELY ALTER UNITED STATES HISTORY.

Following are some quotes and thoughts extracted from Ms. Castro’s article, with Opine Needles comments in response:

Castro-“…a far right faction of the Texas SBOE…succeeded in injecting conservative ideals into social studies, history and economics lessons that will be taught to millions in the next decade.”

Opine Needles—simply translated, by majority vote, the ELECTED Texas SBOE has decided to reorient the course of education in Texas and cover important topics which have, BY DESIGN, been neglected and gradually omitted in the state’s curriculum for the past several decades. For instance, the course study will once again examine the Judeo-Christian roots embedded in the core of our nation’s birth. This study will link our founding with thought from the Enlightenment. (Duh!) The Declaration of Independence reads “When in the course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them…..We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness….”

God, per se, was part and parcel of our founding. Fifteen years later, The First Amendment to our Constitution codified that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting free exercise thereof.”

One cannot find any suggestion in the Declaration of Independence, Constitution or Bill of Rights that Christianity was not embraced by our country’s founders. Indeed, the First Amendment served to protect it, separate it from Federal funding, and also ensure that Americans were free to worship as they wished. In short, Christianity was celebrated as part of our culture.

The secular liberals love to point to Thomas Jefferson’s “separation of church and state”. This is a red herring. Jefferson never once suggested that America should be a secular society.

The modern secular left prefers to have history taught from the perspective that eliminates Christianity as an important component of our past. Over the past fifty years, we have witnessed incessant attacks on references to God and Christians in virtually all public forums. Just last year, the President of the United States gave a speech in Turkey, and stated that the United States is “not a Christian nation.”

Mr. McLeroy’s alleged “creationist” views aside, Opine Needles supports the notion that Texas children cannot be taught United States history without reference to the important role Christianity has played.

Castro—is upset that the United States will be referred to as a “Constitutional Republic” as opposed to a “democratic government”.

Opine Needles—Whoa Nelly! We ARE a Constitutional Republic!

Castro—laments the fact that students will learn about:

–the decline in value of the US dollar
–the abandonment of the gold standard
–dates will be referred to as B.C. and A.D., rather than the new politically correct B.C.E. (Before the Common Era) and C.E..
–the roots of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, including who Golda Meir was.
–the Second Amendment to the Constitution
–the impact of the Reagan Presidency on the Cold War
–the argument for low taxes and trickle down economics

Opine Needles—are you kidding me? How can curriculums NOT discuss these topics? Opine Needles readers will know that the Second Amendment is near and dear to my heart. Scroll down the page to see what Messrs. Washington and Jefferson had to say about the right to bear arms.

Of course, there has to be a race card as well. The liberals decry the fact that students will no longer have to “explain how institutional racism is evident in American society.” This is classic permanent victim stuff. Enough already! If we want to talk about racism in 2010 American society, let’s start with Reverend Wright and Louis Farrakhan. The left continues to confuse the need to continue pushing for equality of OPPORTUNITY with their manic obsession with the need to continue pushing for equality of OUTCOMES.

In her article, Ms. Castro refers to the majority of the Texas SBOE as “ultraconservative”. These ultraconservatives have insisted upon course study that includes discussion regarding “American exceptionalism and the U.S. free enterprise system, suggesting that it thrives best absent excessive government intervention.” Lordy, lordy, God forbid our children learn about the tremendous work ethic and capitalist traditions which played such a crucial role in our development as a country. For crying out loud, the next thing we’ll be talking about again is manifest destiny!!

Case rested. I am sure there will be some omissions or statements in the new text books that upset every Opine Needles reader, as well as this Opine Needles author. (There is a yet to be finalized motion to delete Jefferson’s writings as part of an Enlightenment section. If true, that is regrettable.) But I couldn’t be happier that Texas is the ONLY state in the nation to have the nerve to stand up to the seemingly inexorable movement to destroy core values and actual events that created our great nation. The mainstream media can pontificate as much as they wish about Texas and its ultraconservatives. The “wack-job” righties they are describing are every day hard working Texans; people who care about their state AND their country. You and I are those wack-jobs. We want our schools teaching American History the way it happened; not the way the secular liberal left WISHES it happened.

More to follow-

  • Peter Duke

    >The left continues to confuse the need to continue pushing for equality of OPPORTUNITY with their manic obsession with the need to continue pushing for equality of OUTCOMES.

    AWESOME QUOTE!

  • Stephen Block

    >Jim, I thoroughly enjoyed and appreciate your comments on the textbook decision and Times piece. May I take issue with one implied critique as you quoted a presidential statement "the President of the United States gave a speech in Turkey, and stated that the United States is “not a Christian nation.” " I interpreted that initial statement in two contexts: 1. it was particularly relevant in a 'Muslim culture' country that prides itself on being a secular democracy, and 2. our political framers established a national government explicitly secular. Yes, the people where, are and can be predominantly Christian, but our founders were very concerned about any government sponsored religion, especially Christianity as it was notoriously practiced in several colonies. I think it would be inappropriate for the President of the USA to declare this to be a Christian nation. Predominately Christian culture or values, yes, but, back to Turkey for a moment, our Muslim allies do not have a warm feeling about the record of Christians in their neighborhood. I'm not ashamed of my values, but neither am I threatened by an even-handed, secular government.

  • Jim Pierce

    >To Peter…thanks…to Stephen–You are right to draw that distinction. Thanks for pointing it out.

    Jim