Are Parts of American History Unconstitutional?

 American or Roman; the discussion continues

I just received a newsletter from David Barton, about his experience as an expert reviewer of the 2010 history and social studies standards for new textbooks in Texas. When going over the proposed standards, he noticed that mention of  Dan’l Boone, Nathan Hale, and George Patton, Christmas day, Martin Luther King Day, among others, had been eradicated.  And he also noted that the writers insisted that any mention of,  “American love of individualism, inventiveness, and freedom” or any specific beliefs that shaped our national identity, would be “sending the wrong message”. They apparently felt that the inclusion of many of the people and events, as well as the role of Christianity in early America history, must be supressed or edited to better shape students to become global citizens.

Barton, in his reviews of the standards, suggested the inclusion  of William Penn and Roger Williams and their early advocacy of  constitutions to limit government. He also stressed the role the Jews played, cooperating with their Christian counterparts during the American Revolution. Barton’s suggestions led to a ruckus, much of it in the local press. One of the most vocal was a Baptist pastor from Baylor, who insisted it would be unconstitutional to mention Christianity’s role in the schools textbooks because “it would portray America as a Christian nation in some legal sense”   In answer, Barton pointed out, “According to Dr. Davis, it would “violate the Constitution” if the history texts were to include information from the more than 300 court rulings over the past two centuries that have declared America to be a Christian nation.”

Barton concludes with a small list of quotes from past presidents, from which I will borrow one, belonging to Franklin Roosevelt;  “We cannot read the history of our rise and development as a Nation without reckoning with the place the Bible has occupied in shaping the advances of the Republic.” [1] 

Roosevelt learned his history from books whose standards were written before WW ll. However you can be sure that the historical revisionists have worked hard to make sure future students won’t draw that same conclusion. And they have already been fairly successful, “reshaping” history in the last twenty years. How far are we willing to let them go?

[1] American Presidency Project, “Franklin D. Roosevelt: Statement on the Four Hundredth Anniversary of the Printing of the English Bible, October 6th, 1935” (at http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=14960).

 (the entire news letter should be available at www.wallbuilders.com, you might try www.newsletter@wallbuilders.com but I’m not sure)

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About notmanynoble

woodcutter from Washington State
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2 Responses to Are Parts of American History Unconstitutional?

  1. Tony J. Bowe says:

    Absolutely frightening – perhaps moreso due to how unsurprising it is. Nothing like a little elitist propaganda for morning middle school classes. Don’t forget to eat your Cheerios, kiddies….

    Like

  2. Mark Hodges says:

    Yeah, Tony, The state board of directors have not decided on the standards yet, so there is still a good chance that David Bartons review suggestions will be implemented, despite a lot of ballyhoo from the atheists groups, etc., so you might hold that in prayer. But you’re right, it is nothing new, just a little more extreme.

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