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Litofsky
03-13-2010, 11:29 AM
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/13/education/13texas.html?scp=1&sq=Texas%20Approves%20Curriculum%20Revised%20by%20 Conservatives&st=cse

Quite recently, the Texas Board of Education passed a slew of new amendments that would ultimately alter the content of the information presented in the Social Studies/History textbooks. From what the article says, the mostly-Conservative Board decided to include additional information about religion's impact on America's founding, and how it has affected our laws and leaders.

“We are adding balance,” said Dr. Don McLeroy, the leader of the conservative faction on the board, after the vote. “History has already been skewed. Academia is skewed too far to the left.”

...

There are seven members of the conservative bloc on the board, but they are often joined by one of the other three Republicans on crucial votes. There were no historians, sociologists or economists consulted at the meetings, though some members of the conservative bloc held themselves out as experts on certain topics.

The conservative members maintain that they are trying to correct what they see as a liberal bias among the teachers who proposed the curriculum. To that end, they made dozens of minor changes aimed at calling into question, among other things, concepts like the separation of church and state and the secular nature of the American Revolution.

I find this action quite appalling, considering that these board members are trying to alter history in order to fit their notion of the world (not that it hasn't been done before, that is to say). The mind of a child is not something to be trifled with; though, they seem to be doing it with relative comfort.

What are your all opinions of this?

jrrtoken
03-13-2010, 11:41 AM
This is one of the many reasons why public education standards should be federalized, and it's not just due to a evolution-creationism fiasco; Texas' standards are appalling comparing to the rest of the US, which is even more appalling considering the failure that is every other states' educational systems.

Liverandbacon
03-13-2010, 12:12 PM
I really hate how many religious conservatives seem to think that religion is part of being right wing. I myself vary from left to right depending on the issue, but many of my secular conservative friends feel that the religious right is trying to hijack and twist their beliefs. I think that the US's two party system is fundamentally flawed, but there's very little that can be done about it.

Edit: Though the people in the article are taking it too far, IMO, it should be at least mentioned that religious beliefs had some impact on the Revolution, as did philosophies of the Enlightenment. I was just a bit annoyed that the school board used "left wing" when they meant secular, and "right wing" when they meant religious.

Totenkopf
03-13-2010, 12:18 PM
The Revolution didn't occur in a philosophical bubble. I think it's stupid to suggest that their religious beliefs didn't impact their actions. Frankly, it was a combination of secular and religious influences that drove the Founders. It was neither completely secular nor completly religious.

Working Class Hero
03-13-2010, 01:11 PM
A few gems taken from the article:
Dr. McLeroy, a dentist by training, pushed through a change to the teaching of the civil rights movement
There were no historians, sociologists or economists consulted at the meetingsMavis B. Knight, a Democrat from Dallas, introduced an amendment requiring that students study the reasons “the founding fathers protected religious freedom in America by barring the government from promoting or disfavoring any particular religion above all others.”

It was defeated on a party-line vote. 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.”)
What is going on with this? Science textbooks don't have guidelines set by farmers, dentists, and butchers, so why do history textbooks? How are children supposed to learn from the past if it's censored? The federal government needs to step in, this is absolutely ridiculous.

Web Rider
03-13-2010, 01:38 PM
You know what, I'm tired of advocating talking to these people.

Kill them all.

Jae Onasi
03-13-2010, 01:54 PM
There have been a number of events in the US that had a religious basis, and while I think it needs to be worded very carefully, ignoring the effects of religion on US history is foolish. Why did the Puritans ride the Mayflower over? For religious freedom. Why in part did the Revolution happen? So we were free of being forced to adhere to the Church of England. The Great Awakening in the 1800's had an impact on many aspects of American life, from the Abolitionist movement to temperence. Our Constitution is heavily influenced by the Founding Fathers' desire for the US to have religious freedom. To deny the impact of religion on our history is to miss a huge facet of our development, and actually puts students at a disadvantage in understanding the 'how' and 'why' of our history. Just as you cannot fully understand Middle Eastern history without having a basic understanding of Islam and its influence on the culture, or Judaism's influence on Israeli history or Hinduism's influence on Indian history, Western Europe and the US is profoundly influenced by Christianity. One can study Christianity's influence on things like the Abolition movement without being forced to worship a specific religion or deity. Stating that the US came to being without mentioning desire for freedom of religion is doing students a disservice.

Web Rider
03-13-2010, 02:00 PM
There have been a number of events in the US that had a religious basis, and while I think it needs to be worded very carefully, ignoring the effects of religion on US history is foolish. Why did the Puritans ride the Mayflower over? For religious freedom. Why in part did the Revolution happen? So we were free of being forced to adhere to the Church of England. The Great Awakening in the 1800's had an impact on many aspects of American life, from the Abolitionist movement to temperence. Our Constitution is heavily influenced by the Founding Fathers' desire for the US to have religious freedom. To deny the impact of religion on our history is to miss a huge facet of our development, and actually puts students at a disadvantage in understanding the 'how' and 'why' of our history. Just as you cannot fully understand Middle Eastern history without having a basic understanding of Islam and its influence on the culture, or Judaism's influence on Israeli history or Hinduism's influence on Indian history, Western Europe and the US is profoundly influenced by Christianity. One can study Christianity's influence on things like the Abolition movement without being forced to worship a specific religion or deity. Stating that the US came to being without mentioning desire for freedom of religion is doing students a disservice.

Nobody denies ANY of these things happen. Texas only changed the curriculum because it didn't focus on the Christianity and some of our Founding Fathers had ideas they didn't like. All the things you mention are already in Texas schoolbooks. But now Thomas Jefferson isn't because he suggested that Church and State should be separate.

People like these don't deserve to live in the United States. They **** on all the values we've tried to establish and protect for over 200 years. They'd praise Al Queda if they happened to be Christian instead of Muslim.

mimartin
03-13-2010, 02:51 PM
All the things you mention are already in Texas schoolbooks.
And do to the size and number of students/schools in Texas, Texas requirements force Textbook publishers to include this information in their Textbooks and that means what is in Texas Textbooks make its way into the rest of the nations Textbooks. I could actually disregard this stupidity not for that fact. If my home state is dumb enough to elect zealous to decide what is taught to their children, it is their right to have stupid children, but these zealous should not have the right to influence what is in Textbooks outside of Texas.

Darth InSidious
03-13-2010, 02:58 PM
Do you honestly think the curriculum wasn't presenting an unbalanced treatment of your history already?

All governments - local or national - edit history curricula to their own advantage. Or attempt to.

Sorry.

mimartin
03-13-2010, 03:01 PM
Do you honestly think the curriculum wasn't presenting an unbalanced treatment of your history already?

All governments - local or national - edit history curricula to their own advantage. Or attempt to.

Sorry. True, it would not be that bad if it were only history they been doing this to.

Web Rider
03-13-2010, 03:08 PM
Do you honestly think the curriculum wasn't presenting an unbalanced treatment of your history already?

All governments - local or national - edit history curricula to their own advantage. Or attempt to.

Sorry.

Textbooks are not rewritten yearly on who won the Civil War, what the reasons for the Revolution were, or who our most important Founding Fathers are. You don't remove Thomas Jefferson because you're a Republican!

Pavlos
03-13-2010, 03:15 PM
Textbooks are not rewritten yearly on who won the Civil War, what the reasons for the Revolution were, or who our most important Founding Fathers are. You don't remove Thomas Jefferson because you're a Republican!
I think the point was that the history curriculum is probably skewed in favour of showing how wonderful the United States is.

Web Rider
03-13-2010, 04:30 PM
I think the point was that the history curriculum is probably skewed in favour of showing how wonderful the United States is.

Which I'm pretty sure is both irrelevant to the subject matter since it is a US history textbook, and pretty much the same thing every other nation does.

Gurges-Ahter
03-13-2010, 05:04 PM
I'd say there's at least an equal chance that this article is as skewed as its subjects.

Endorenna
03-13-2010, 05:08 PM
You don't remove Thomas Jefferson because you're a Republican!

Yea, removing Thomas Jefferson is pretty stupid. Frankly, it's also pretty stupid to write about the Civil War the way textbooks present it, but that's a different issue. :lol:

Putting more about religion's impact on history = Good, for all the reasons Jae listed
Removing certain important people because they said things some people don't like = Terrible

So--good in one way, bad in another. That's all I can say.

Ping
03-13-2010, 05:53 PM
So, they're rewriting history just to teach kids about religion and how state and church should be together? This just makes me believe more and more that religion should be banned. It's done more harm than good. I also think the school board members would freak out if they learned that some of the Founding Fathers were deists.

You know what, I'm tired of advocating talking to these people.

Kill them all.

People like these don't deserve to live in the United States. They **** on all the values we've tried to establish and protect for over 200 years. They'd praise Al Queda if they happened to be Christian instead of Muslim.

Ditto on both of the above. I'm sick of religious jackasses who can't seem to realize religion isn't everything, and may not even be right. Someone remind me never to go to Texas, as I happen to be an agnostic. :¬:

Jae Onasi
03-13-2010, 06:08 PM
Textbooks are not rewritten yearly on who won the Civil War, what the reasons for the Revolution were, or who our most important Founding Fathers are. You don't remove Thomas Jefferson because you're a Republican!
:yodac:
New editions of textbooks are written all the time, including in the history field. I've bought enough of them to know.

I re-read this article to see just what was being proposed.

They also included a plank to ensure that students learn about “the conservative resurgence of the 1980s and 1990s, including Phyllis Schlafly, the Contract With America, the Heritage Foundation, the Moral Majority and the National Rifle Association.”
Well, Reagan and Bush 1 were conservatives--that's historical fact and should be acknowledged. If it's not, I have a problem with that textbook. The Moral Majority and the Contract with American had definite effects on our political and economic history, and that can't be swept under the rug.

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.
Malcolm X is a huge figure in civil rights history, and should be acknowledged as well. His violent methods did have an impact on the movement, like it or not. I have no problems with Republicans being mentioned as supporting the civil rights legislation. If they had not, non-whites would still be disenfranchised--LBJ needed every single vote he could get to get the Civil Rights and Voting Rights acts passed. Why the NYTimes thinks this is a negative thing is beyond me.

Mr. Bradley won approval for an amendment saying students should study “the unintended consequences” of the Great Society legislation, affirmative action and Title IX legislation. He also won approval for an amendment stressing that Germans and Italians as well as Japanese were interned in the United States during World War II, to counter the idea that the internment of Japanese was motivated by racism.If by 'unintended consequences' they refer to welfare fraud, sure. I've seen enough fraud in the welfare and Medicaid system to be severely ticked off about people driving up in new cars, professionally manicured nails, and expensive jewelry and then whipping out their Medicaid cards to pay for their exams. As for Germans and Italians being interned--sure. It shows what war did to us. We don't lock up Americans of Iraqi descent just because of their nationality precisely because of what we learned in WWII. I'm not sure why NYTimes thinks this is 'bad'.
In economics, the revisions add Milton Friedman and Friedrich von Hayek, two champions of free-market economic theory, among the usual list of economists to be studiedWhy in the world would anyone find it objectionable to include Friedman, who won a Nobel prize in economics and who was one of the biggest influences on economic theory in the US for decades? Is there some compelling reason why students should NOT be learning about these men?

In the field of sociology, another conservative member, Barbara Cargill, won passage of an amendment requiring the teaching of “the importance of personal responsibility for life choices” in a section on teenage suicide, dating violence, sexuality, drug use and eating disorders.
Well, God forbid we actually teach about personal responsibility for things like drug use and dating violence, because we all know that society forces the pills into our mouths, the needles into our arms, and people to beat the snot out of each other. Nope, learning to control your own behavior and be responsible for your own actions must be just awful. I believe I'll exercise my personal responsibility in calling the writer of this article biased in the extreme, and idiotic on top of it.

As for cutting Jefferson from the curriculum--the writer is very careful here to say Dunbar cut it from her list, but didn't specify if the entire panel agreed to this or not. However, he writes it in a way that makes the reader think that at first blush the panel passed this as an amendment. I believe that particular paragraph, and the parenthetical judgment by the writer, was put there simply to be inflammatory.

This is not a news article, it's an op-ed essay pretending to be a news article. I would recommend looking at the original meeting minutes instead of McKinley's very opinionated review of the meeting. I'm sure it'll be far more enlightening.

True_Avery
03-13-2010, 07:00 PM
I'm with Web. These people need to die.

And, is this really how far Texas is down the dump? I learned about Malcolm X, the Black Panthers, Reagan, Bush, the religious influence's of many different religions on this country, our internment of people within the US during history, and so on multiple times in multiple history classes.

Nearly everything right they are trying to correct with this stuff has been in California curriculum for years. Nearly everything wrong with this just goes to further show how big'a scumbags these board members are and how backwards that state's education is. Sorry to be a little partisan here, but those Republicans can go **** themselves.

Seriously, denying Separation of Church and state? Trying to put more Christianity into the schools? Removing founding fathers? Putting emphasis on Republican contributions?

You know, no offense to Evil Q, but I usually take the whole "the schools are trying to brainwash us!" spiel with an ocean of salt but, in this case, I have to completely agree. This is just a blatant attempt to lean kids with manipulated and false information.

This is just disgusting if any of this is true.

I'd say there's at least an equal chance that this article is as skewed as its subjects.
Someone please find a less opinionated article so I can figure out exactly wtf is going on with Texas.

Gurges-Ahter
03-13-2010, 08:35 PM
Jae is right - some of the stuff written in there was aimed at being inflammatory instead of just reporting what actually happened. Here (http://content.usatoday.com/communities/ondeadline/post/2010/03/texas-school-board-backs-conservative-curriculum/1?csp=34) is a shorter article that highlights what actually was changed in the curriculum.

Endorenna
03-13-2010, 09:09 PM
This just makes me believe more and more that religion should be banned. It's done more harm than good. I also think the school board members would freak out if they learned that some of the Founding Fathers were deists.

Yea, 'cuz obviously, having a percentage of the people in America believe that there is absolute truth, set morals, and God is horrible. Getting rid of that will cut down on crime and make everyone's lives better. :rolleyes:

Yes, some of the Founding Fathers were deists. The reason they could be deists was because religious freedom was clearly outlined as a fundamental right in the first amendment. In fact, the reason you can be an agnostic is because of religious freedom. If the Founding Fathers hadn't put religious freedom in the Constitution, you'd be having to follow a state religion right now or be persecuted for your beliefs.

Banning religion means that atheism will be a state religion and everyone who believes otherwise will be persecuted.

jrrtoken
03-13-2010, 09:13 PM
• Struck the word "democratic" in references to the form of U.S. government and replaced it with "constitutional republic."While I suppose that the latter term would be more appropriate in the context of classifying a government, and is also a tad more specific, both are inherently interchangeable, which brings me to rule that it is definitely biased against the Democratic Party.

• Rejected lessons about why the United States was founded on the principle of religious freedom.Rather vague, but that's irrelevant; this completely eschews the deistic nature of a good deal of the framers, and presents a rather distorted view of the Constitution. Furthermore, why should freedom of religion imply secularism? Even the Charter of Medina guaranteed religious and governmental autonomy for non-Muslims living within the caliphate, and that was in practice for 1000+ years.

• Removed most references to "capitalism," "capitalist" and "free market," because conservatives said they had a "negative connotation." Instead, "free enterprise" will be used when referring to the U.S. economic system.I can somewhat agree with this notion, as the term "capitalism" has become as nearly as derogatory as "socialism", or at least in the US. Still, that doesn't mean that they shouldn't call it by what it really is.

Darth Avlectus
03-13-2010, 09:57 PM
On the other end you could have secretive textbook publishing in such a way that continually tries to show how outdated the constitution is. That our U.S. history should not start at George Washington but rather later. With some slight nods to communism in a positive light.

Ping
03-13-2010, 10:09 PM
Banning religion means that atheism will be a state religion and everyone who believes otherwise will be persecuted.

I worded it that way due to lack of a better term. I don't think religion should be practiced publically, or beliefs should be known, because you have some Christians who just go, "Convert or burn in Hell," and then there's the Christian extremists. I'm for freedom of religion, but I don't think it should be a public thing. I know, I know, the chances of that working are slim to none, but as I said before, religion seems to do more harm than good. Buddhism has to be one of the few religions I respect any more, just because I'm unaware of extremists from that particular religion, and to my knowledge, it's never started a religiously fueled war. It's by no mean perfect, but it works.

mimartin
03-13-2010, 10:58 PM
Yea, 'cuz obviously, having a percentage of the people in America believe that there is absolute truth, set morals, and God is horrible. You can be a moral person and not believe in God, just as you can believe in God and be a immoral person. The two are not mutually exclusive.
Banning religion means that atheism will be a state religion and everyone who believes otherwise will be persecuted.Nope. Atheism is not a religion.

I actually believe in the constitution and the separation of church and state. I also believe in the freedom of religion. Our founding fathers were intelligent enough to protect our beliefs, unfortunately some of us (those on the Texas Board of Education) believe the constitution protects their freedom of Religion, but still want to force their beliefs onto other.

Endorenna
03-14-2010, 12:59 AM
I worded it that way due to lack of a better term. I don't think religion should be practiced publically, or beliefs should be known, because you have some Christians who just go, "Convert or burn in Hell," and then there's the Christian extremists. I'm for freedom of religion, but I don't think it should be a public thing. I know, I know, the chances of that working are slim to none, but as I said before, religion seems to do more harm than good. Buddhism has to be one of the few religions I respect any more, just because I'm unaware of extremists from that particular religion, and to my knowledge, it's never started a religiously fueled war. It's by no mean perfect, but it works.

So...it's okay for us to have freedom of religion as long as we give up freedom of speech? o_0

You can be a moral person and not believe in God, just as you can believe in God and be a immoral person. The two are not mutually exclusive.

Quite true, but many religions do say that morals are not an option--they're a definite need, which does sorta help one follow those morals. :lol: But no, I'm not saying that all unreligious people are immoral. They just don't have a basis in absolute truth, which logically leads to "I can do whatever I want".

Nope. Atheism is not a religion.

Atheists have faith that there is no God, so I disagree with your statement.

Anyway, I was just responding to the "religion should be banned" thing. This thread is getting kinda off-track, so I think I'll step out now before it veers away from the topic any more.

True_Avery
03-14-2010, 01:13 AM
So...it's okay for us to have freedom of religion as long as we give up freedom of speech? o_0
I'll have to agree with this statement. Public show of Religion is a right of Freedom of Speech.

However, I do think it still needs to stay out of politics and its influence not be allowed to be used in school as a form of indoctrination, as is being shown by the Texas board.

But no, I'm not saying that all unreligious people are immoral. They just don't have a basis in absolute truth, which logically leads to "I can do whatever I want".
Um, no. Being nonreligious doesn't mean you give yourself permission to "whatever". It means you're nonreligious. You are exactly saying all unreligious people are immoral.

ForeverNight
03-14-2010, 03:49 AM
While I suppose that the latter term would be more appropriate in the context of classifying a government, and is also a tad more specific, both are inherently interchangeable, which brings me to rule that it is definitely biased against the Democratic Party.

No, the two are NOT inherently interchangeable. The US is not a democracy, despite what Hollywood and other propaganda has said, the US is still a Republic, a Democratic Republic yes, but not a Democracy. Thus one is not, 'more appropriate', one is correct the other is wrong.

The United States of America (commonly referred to as the United States, the U.S., the USA, or America) is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district.

Emphasis Mine

Source (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_of_America)

Sorry, but that's one thing that really annoys me.

I can somewhat agree with this notion, as the term "capitalism" has become as nearly as derogatory as "socialism", or at least in the US. Still, that doesn't mean that they shouldn't call it by what it really is.

Nearly? At least where I am Socialism is greeted with cheers and Capitalism with boos. But then, Minnesota is a rather screwy place. However, But, yea, I'm with you here, let's tell it like it is.

mimartin
03-14-2010, 04:19 AM
They just don't have a basis in absolute truth, which logically leads to "I can do whatever I want".By the same logic, you could say religion can lead to evil acts because they believe are doing it in the name of their God. (Personally, I disagree with both because I believe it is the person that does wrong and religion or lack there of is only used as a scapegoat. )


Atheists have faith that there is no God, so I disagree with your statement.Nope, Atheist believe there is no God because they see no proof that God exist. It is the oposite of faith which believes in something without evidence.

Well, God forbid we actually teach about personal responsibility for things like drug use and dating violence, because we all know that society forces the pills into our mouths, the needles into our arms, and people to beat the snot out of each other. Nope, learning to control your own behavior and be responsible for your own actions must be just awful. I believe I'll exercise my personal responsibility in calling the writer of this article biased in the extreme, and idiotic on top of it. Just say no. There that is the Republican plan on how to fix drug abuse. It was started in the 80s so America must be drug free by now. Hope they don’t forget to put that in the Reagan section. Just abstaining instead of actually teaching sex education seems to be working out real well to, just ask the brilliant mind from Alaska. I'm all for personal responsibility, but just telling someone to say no or don’t does very little in giving people the tools needed to be responsible.

Ping
03-14-2010, 01:59 PM
@Endorenna: You don't need religion to have morals. I do know some atheists myself, and they are very normal people, with clean records, and they know what's right and wrong. You have seriously flawed logic if you think people need religion to learn morals.

So...it's okay for us to have freedom of religion as long as we give up freedom of speech? o_0

I'm fine with giving up some forms of freedom of speech; protests by hate groups are not needed. Religious groups are things that are unneeded. People are capable of getting through life without faith or proof of a higher power.

By the same logic, you could say religion can lead to evil acts because they believe are doing it in the name of their God. (Personally, I disagree with both because I believe it is the person that does wrong and religion or lack there of is only used as a scapegoat. )


Religion does lead to evil acts. Look at all the extremists who hate and terrorize in the name of religion. Then there's these people on the school board. If there was no religion, the world would be much better off.

mimartin
03-14-2010, 03:03 PM
Religion does lead to evil acts. Look at all the extremists who hate and terrorize in the name of religion. Then there's these people on the school board. If there was no religion, the world would be much better off.Religion can lead to evil acts, just as non-religion can lead to evil acts. Evil acts are carried out by people, not by concepts. Other than the “true” instances of mental illness, people choice to be immoral. Saying that their God or their lack of faith made them evil is merely an attempt to divert the blame either while trying to shift the blame to others or while trying to figure out why they would do such a thing. Just because I am a Christian does not mean Christianity should be blamed for my immoral behavior. I am the one that made the choice; I am the only one to blame. End of story.

Web Rider
03-14-2010, 03:42 PM
Atheists have faith that there is no God, so I disagree with your statement.

Nope, Atheist believe there is no God because they see no proof that God exist. It is the oposite of faith which believes in something without evidence.

You're both wrong. There is not enough evidence to prove there is, or is not a God, therefore, belief in either direction is faith. Proof=/=Evidence, but proof requires evidence. Atheists DO have faith that God does not exist, as the very definition of faith is a belief in something that cannot be proven. Just as I have faith there are aliens in our universe, and others do not. This simply means that Atheists have a belief.

However, a religion is a belief system, defined by a core dogma. Atheists do not have this. There is no Book of Atheism, there is no single document to which all Atheists claim to define the way in which they believe. Sure, some people say well "But but but Richard Dawkins!!" To which I, and many other Atheists will respond with "...is an ass."

Atheists have faith yes, but no religion.

Just because I am a Christian does not mean Christianity should be blamed for my immoral behavior. I am the one that made the choice; I am the only one to blame. End of story.
But neither can it be ignored. And yes this goes both ways, but say there was a 200% jump in crime in some city when a new Satanic cult showed up, now, certainly these people are responsible for their own actions this is true, but that does not mean we should not take into consideration where they got the motivation for their acts. Likewise if we see a spike in Christians beating their children right after a conservative christian chruch published a book called "10 simple steps to beat your child", then we should not ignore what could very well be the source of the problem(this publication, and by extension, the religion that inspired it).

Darth Avlectus
03-14-2010, 03:56 PM
Let's just make sure we don't have a preset premise to which we only seek answers to...

mimartin
03-14-2010, 06:01 PM
Atheists DO have faith that God does not exist, as the very definition of faith is a belief in something that cannot be proven.

Need to turn back the clock in Kavars about a year. You want to post that in the Senate? :xp: I disagree, but I also don't care enough to debate.

But neither can it be ignored.Yes, it can. You can not blame all Athiest or Religious people for the actions of a certain subset. So if you have a group performing immoral behavior, personally I would blame each indiviual and the subset before blaming the entire religious community or Athiest community.

Web Rider
03-14-2010, 06:25 PM
Need to turn back the clock in Kavars about a year. You want to post that in the Senate? :xp: I disagree, but I also don't care enough to debate.
I don't go to the Senate. EVER.

Yes, it can. You can not blame all Athiest or Religious people for the actions of a certain subset. So if you have a group performing immoral behavior, personally I would blame each indiviual and the subset before blaming the entire religious community or Athiest community.

Which is not what I said and not what I suggested doing. I'll reiterate: If you notice an increase in a certain activity, such as beating children, and it coincides with the publishing of a book that encourages beating children, do you not investigate that book to see if it has any relevance? Likewise, if that book claims to get it's justification from a certain moral or religious background, should not that moral or religious background be considered when looking for causes of the problem?

People make their own choices, but that does not change the fact that people are often stupid, desperate, and gullible. Other people often take advantage of this. When it comes to religion, religion is often used by the strong to control the weak. But doing so is difficult when the subject matter does not leave room for such control to exist. In order for somebody to use religion as a tool of control, that religion must have space within it for people to do so.

You cannot simply say "Oh they're bad people." and not look and further. If you don't take into account the people, or the systems that are encouraging this behavior in people, you are going to only be dealing with the problem superficially, and therefore never actually solve the problem.

Jae Onasi
03-14-2010, 07:58 PM
Just say no...Just abstaining
That is not teaching personal responsibility anymore than blaming it all on society does makes the problem go away, either.

Edit: I don't agree with everything the TX panel decided to do with the curricula. However, the author of the Times article is so blatantly biased about it, it's not funny.

jrrtoken
03-14-2010, 09:07 PM
However, the author of the Times article is so blatantly biased about it, it's not funny.Not really; it felt quite neutral, to me, at least. It's difficult not to have a slightly condescending attitude when you see the hard evidence, particularity in this case.

Totenkopf
03-14-2010, 11:06 PM
Need to turn back the clock in Kavars about a year. You want to post that in the Senate? I disagree, but I also don't care enough to debate.

I don't go to the Senate. EVER.

Can't say as that I blame you WR. A lobotomy would be about as enjoyable and probably more productive. Besides, last thing the Senate needs is yet another revival of the God is dead strain of debate.

Some of the suggestions listed as changes were NOT unreasonable. Keynsian economics is a bust, so if it's going to be taught, there's no reason the kids shouldn't be taught about Freidman as well and the "free-enterprise" system. If McCarthyism is going to be taught, then the Verona papers should be mentioned as well. Proves McCarthy was right about the threat, but was likely his own worst enemy in presentation. And both faces of the "civil rights" proponents should be examined. I'll reiterate here what I said above, the revolution wasn't some strictly secular movement vs the Brits. The "founding fathers" were comprised of more than just a few cherry picked figures, prominently figuring amongst them Jefferson. I don't advocate leaving him out, either, though.

mur'phon
03-15-2010, 08:00 AM
Keynesianism is hardly bust, a lot of the core ideas are still around for good reason (no, staglfation, while important hasn't killed it off). While I have little problem with teaching Hayek and Friedman, given how Adam Smiths ideas have been raped, I'm concerned about how it'll be taught. If they point out facts like Hayeks views on the health care market and Friedmans Chile, I'm all for it, though I doubt that'll happen and we'll end up with the road to serfdom and little else.

Atheism might well be a belief, but if so, it's the same kind of belief as not believing that the world is being ruled by mind tricking Gizkas with stealth generators.

Darth Avlectus
03-16-2010, 11:30 AM
well...At least someone believes in a balance in Econ. curriculum. (Many professors do not! They only seem to want to teach one or the other and have it measured like heinously-overdone/underdone.)


I have little problem with revisions just so long as everything AND its flaws are shown.

mimartin
03-16-2010, 12:58 PM
Keynsian economics is a bust, so if it's going to be taught, there's no reason the kids shouldn't be taught about Freidman as well and the "free-enterprise" system.
"Those that forget history are doomed to repeat it." While I agree with mur'phon assessment, I would like to point out that studying past mistakes and failures is just as important studying triumphs.

Totenkopf
03-16-2010, 02:18 PM
"Those that forget history are doomed to repeat it." While I agree with mur'phon assessment, I would like to point out that studying past mistakes and failures is just as important studying triumphs.

Yeah, I wasn't saying they shouldn't be taught that but rather that other views should be taught as well. Although in-depth studies about the vagaries of market or state controlled economies might be better fodder for university level, there's no reason the kids should be introduced to things like capitalism (w/it's successes & failures) with mostly trite epithets about how it sucks.

Q
03-16-2010, 06:30 PM
You know, no offense to Evil Q, but I usually take the whole "the schools are trying to brainwash us!" spiel with an ocean of salt but, in this case, I have to completely agree. This is just a blatant attempt to lean kids with manipulated and false information.
It's a lot easier to see when the philosophy being pushed is one that you disagree with.
This is just disgusting if any of this is true.
Yeah, I don't like it when either side does it.

Web Rider
03-16-2010, 07:57 PM
It's a lot easier to see when the philosophy being pushed is one that you disagree with.

And it's a LOT easier when that philosophy inherently disagrees with the founding concepts of your nation.

Ctrl Alt Del
03-17-2010, 01:05 PM
I find it sadly humorous that no professionals of the area were spoken to. As if professions like historian and social scientist weren't depreciated enough already. And what's more is that these ammendments are already in work. It's impressive it's even considered serious. Exactly what you get when the people that have actual basis to ponder on these matters aren't around to say when it halts to be a serious study and becomes sheer foolishness.

Totenkopf
03-17-2010, 02:15 PM
Problem with professionals is that they are as biased as anyone else, but they have degrees/accredidation for said biases (regardless of their slant). Not saying they shouldn't be included in that kind of discussion, but a degree doesn't necessarily make an individual any wiser or competent than his fellow citizens.

Ctrl Alt Del
03-17-2010, 02:28 PM
At least they have a certificate of excellence to back up their opinions and, in the case, defend the current curriculum. Like it or not, that weighs heavily on a reform of this dimension.

Also, there may very well be a reason as to why none of said pros were spoken to, if you catch the drift.

Web Rider
03-17-2010, 06:17 PM
Problem with professionals is that they are as biased as anyone else, but they have degrees/accredidation for said biases (regardless of their slant). Not saying they shouldn't be included in that kind of discussion, but a degree doesn't necessarily make an individual any wiser or competent than his fellow citizens.

Unless you know, you wanted to know the history of Prussia, and you had to choose between asking someone who's degree is in Prussian history, or a baker.

mimartin
03-17-2010, 06:18 PM
but a degree doesn't necessarily make an individual any wiser or competent than his fellow citizens.You are correct it does not make them any wiser or more competent than his/her fellow citizens. However, it usually does make them more knowledgeable about the subject their degree is in. A bartender may just as intelligent and competent as a doctor, but if I need surgery, I’d much rather see the doctor over the bartender. If I want a good drink then I will see the bartender about that.

Totenkopf
03-17-2010, 09:00 PM
Unless you know, you wanted to know the history of Prussia, and you had to choose between asking someone who's degree is in Prussian history, or a baker.

You are correct it does not make them any wiser or more competent than his/her fellow citizens. However, it usually does make them more knowledgeable about the subject their degree is in. A bartender may just as intelligent and competent as a doctor, but if I need surgery, I’d much rather see the doctor over the bartender. If I want a good drink then I will see the bartender about that.

Fair enough, but since textbooks aren't formed on the back of a napkin or matchcover during cocktail hour, and there's this great "new" research tool called the internet (where you can find knowledge and accredited takes on said knowledge), it's kind of moot. Also, like court experts, I'm sure you can buy your academician of choice whereever you can find 'em. But remember, I ALSO said there was no reason to exclude people like that from the process: Not saying they shouldn't be included in that kind of discussion, Just be aware of their particular biases when eliciting their judgement.

Also, there may very well be a reason as to why none of said pros were spoken to, if you catch the drift.

I'm going to go ahead and say "philosophical differences", not malfeasance.

mimartin
03-18-2010, 12:14 AM
Fair enough, but since textbooks aren't formed on the back of a napkin or matchcover during cocktail hour, and there's this great "new" research tool called the internet (where you can find knowledge and accredited takes on said knowledge), it's kind of moot.It is moot that children have to wade through utter nonsense in school because they can look on the internet for the information, got it. Wouldn't it be better if we actually attempted to teach our children pertinent information to help them become productive members of society without all the bias unnecessary nonsense? Wasting their time in the classroom only to advocate them learning on their free time does not sound like a constructive learning experience to me.

Totenkopf
03-18-2010, 01:39 AM
Exactly why forcing kids to waste time on Al Gore's Inconvenient Truth was such a collossal waste of time. Besides, teachers already waste kids' time with trite bromides like "capitalism sucks". Anyway, I wasn't referring to kids in the classroom but the people who decide what goes in a textbook, which was pretty clear from the context of the discussion at hand.

mimartin
03-18-2010, 09:12 AM
This is not a new tactic in Texas; these people are trying to introduce their bias agenda through the classroom. Before you say they are already that they are only doing the same thing as the liberals go back to my first point. This is Texas, even when the Democrats were in charge they were conservative Democrats not liberal Democrats and it has been a long time since even they have been in charged. The difference now is people that only qualification is they are on the religious right are the only ones that are being elected to the board of education because their intention is to indoctrinate our children to further their political agenda.

You can bring up red herrings like Al Gore all you want, but go back to we are talking about Texas not California or New York, Al Gore has nothing to do with Texas’ education system. The topic is what Texas is putting into textbooks to teach their children. If it was not being mandatorily taught to children I would not care what was being put into the book. I have no problem with Savage, Rush, O’Reilly or any liberal hack writing a book. The problem, I see, is when they force teachers to teach propaganda over facts and science in the classroom.

Totenkopf
03-18-2010, 12:43 PM
The only reason I even bothered referencing Gore in the first place was b/c of your contention that the teachers shouldn't be wasting kids time with questionable learning material that you felt had no bearing. Now, maybe TX was different and its public school system didn't inflict Gore on its children, but that wasn't the thrust of my point, merely an aside to point out that education already does it anyway. Having read the article, I mentioned only that at least SOME of the things they were pushing for were NOT w/o merit. If one of your hangups is that they are looking to teach "creation science" in the science classroom.....well, I've already said elsewhere that it doesn't really belong there. As to talking about the role God or religion had on the founding of the country, it's simply a lie to imply that the Founders put God in a box and decided to ignore Him completely when crafting the country.

The Revolution didn't occur in a philosophical bubble. I think it's stupid to suggest that their religious beliefs didn't impact their actions. Frankly, it was a combination of secular and religious influences that drove the Founders. It was neither completely secular nor completly religious.......Some of the suggestions listed as changes were NOT unreasonable. Keynsian economics is a bust, so if it's going to be taught, there's no reason the kids shouldn't be taught about Freidman as well and the "free-enterprise" system. If McCarthyism is going to be taught, then the Verona papers should be mentioned as well. Proves McCarthy was right about the threat, but was likely his own worst enemy in presentation. And both faces of the "civil rights" proponents should be examined. I'll reiterate here what I said above, the revolution wasn't some strictly secular movement vs the Brits. The "founding fathers" were comprised of more than just a few cherry picked figures, prominently figuring amongst them Jefferson. I don't advocate leaving him out, either, though.

So, maybe I missed something from your pov, but what exactly are they advocating as a change that you find objectionable? Or is the process used to arrive at the content the problem?

mimartin
03-18-2010, 01:25 PM
I’m against forcing anything useless down the throats of our students in the name of a political agenda. Making teachers waste their and their students’ time on meaningless drivel to push forth any political agenda is ludicrous. Not eliminating people based on the fact that they may actually be knowledgeable in a field of study and know what the student needs to learn in order to advance to the next level of study may also be a little helpful. That is, if the goal of our education system is to actually advance learning and not merely be socialized daycare centers.

I totally advocate the learning of God and Christian values for those that want such things, just they should be taught at home and in church, not in public schools.

Web Rider
03-18-2010, 02:02 PM
The only reason I even bothered referencing Gore in the first place was b/c of your contention that the teachers shouldn't be wasting kids time with questionable learning material that you felt had no bearing. Now, maybe TX was different and its public school system didn't inflict Gore on its children, but that wasn't the thrust of my point, merely an aside to point out that education already does it anyway.

You know, I'm kinda curious who exactly is forcing children to watch Al Gore's movie. Even if it was wrong on several points, and Al Gore can be a hypocrite, it was kinda a big deal at the time. I wasn't even in high-school then, and the movie is still fairly recent, so I'm just wondering who, in the last 4 years, has updated their curriculum to have kids watch this movie?

jawathehutt
03-18-2010, 03:35 PM
My schools Env. Science class had to watch it but it wasn't the same as like watching a documentary on cell organelles where pretty much everything is set in stone truth, they had to write a paper on if they agreed with it or not or something like that, I never took the class because I had better things to do with my time.

Totenkopf
03-18-2010, 04:22 PM
You know, I'm kinda curious who exactly is forcing children to watch Al Gore's movie. Even if it was wrong on several points, and Al Gore can be a hypocrite, it was kinda a big deal at the time. I wasn't even in high-school then, and the movie is still fairly recent, so I'm just wondering who, in the last 4 years, has updated their curriculum to have kids watch this movie?

Kinda curious how you decided I said/implied it was actually a codified part of the curriculum when I made clear that the Gore piece was an example of people in education wasting kids time (in response to mimartin's stated concern that kids have their heads filled with mush during the schoolday) w/at best, questionable material presented as fact in school systems throughout the US and apparently even in Britain, where there was a consequent legal ruling on it's suitability. What kids see in school isn't merely what's in a textbook, but also whatever materials a teacher wishes (or is permitted) to add to supplement it with during the class lesson.

I totally advocate the learning of God and Christian values for those that want such things, just they should be taught at home and in church, not in public schools.

Frankly, I agree that the public school shouldn't be indoctrinating kids with any one religion's theologies. However, there is a great degree of overlap between many religious and secular values (if you use the 10 Commandments as an example, pretty much everything from #s 4-10 are secular in nature anyway). Fankly, there is no reason that religion should be dropped as subject material from a public school b/c the idea is to educate kids about the world around them. Mind you, I'm not talking about preaching, but rather exposing kids to the roles religion has played throughout history, esp American history (as we're talking about the US here). The world is not a secular vacuum where religion exists only in the homes of individuals, but is a major motivational (for good and bad) force in human events. Also, it's impossible for people to understand the antipathies at play, for example, in the ME w/knowing anything about religion. So, like with any subject, it's not so much the material.....but also the spin put on it that causes most of the problems.



That is, if the goal of our education system is to actually advance learning and not merely be socialized daycare centers.

Sadly, they seem to have become that anyway.

Darth Avlectus
03-18-2010, 04:27 PM
You know, I'm kinda curious who exactly is forcing children to watch Al Gore's movie. Even if it was wrong on several points, and Al Gore can be a hypocrite, it was kinda a big deal at the time. I wasn't even in high-school then, and the movie is still fairly recent, so I'm just wondering who, in the last 4 years, has updated their curriculum to have kids watch this movie?

Northern CA most likely. Though it's nearing 10 years even since I graduated, myself. The ones that did have environmental science mixed into their curriculum often had teachers of that particular subject who were almost fanatic about Al Gore and them. So I imagine this type of teacher who has been around between the turn of the century and now have glommed onto it.

While complaints forced the schools to stop requiring viewing of such material in order to get a passing grades, often times the department would find ways around it. I.E. reward you for watching it and not reward you for not watching it. While this doesn't sound so bad at first, the curriculum was largely on a curve whose content hinged around such documentaries. Tricky questions on the final. While you'd still pass if you didn't answer them correctly, you might only get a B or C, instead of A's and B's.

Though there are other, more agreeable relevant ways to make up for it through extra credit. However it would take longer and more involvement than if you just bit the bullet and put up with the BS.

Web Rider
03-19-2010, 09:13 PM
Kinda curious how you decided I said/implied it was actually a codified part of the curriculum when I made clear that the Gore piece was an example of people in education wasting kids time (in response to mimartin's stated concern that kids have their heads filled with mush during the schoolday) w/at best, questionable material presented as fact in school systems throughout the US and apparently even in Britain, where there was a consequent legal ruling on it's suitability. What kids see in school isn't merely what's in a textbook, but also whatever materials a teacher wishes (or is permitted) to add to supplement it with during the class lesson.

NO, I'm sorry, you do NOT get to repeat the "but they're making kids watch Al Gore!!" Throughout over half a dozen posts and then turn around and say "well I didn't mean that." You claimed it, now back it up.

Totenkopf
03-19-2010, 10:27 PM
NO, I'm sorry, you do NOT get to repeat the "but they're making kids watch Al Gore!!" Throughout over half a dozen posts and then turn around and say "well I didn't mean that." You claimed it, now back it up.

You are sorry and YOU don't get to twist words and make irrational demands either. Also, hyperbole doesn't help on your part. ;)

Q
03-20-2010, 02:01 AM
And it's a LOT easier when that philosophy inherently disagrees with the founding concepts of your nation.
I would venture to say that anything that undermines a person's free will disagrees with the founding concepts of my nation, no matter what agenda it's pushing.

Jae Onasi
03-20-2010, 02:38 AM
Web Rider, Totenkopf, tone it down. The topic is Texas curricula, not Al Gore. Web Rider, if you don't like the answer (or perceived or actual lack thereof), you are not required to answer. No one is required to answer some or even any of someone's questions.


And a note to everyone, once you report a post, if you go back and respond to the person you've just reported, it makes more work for us. If we end up deleting part or all of the reported post, we have to go back and delete the relevant portions in YOUR post as well. This does not make us inclined to look favorably upon your post/report/commentary/etc. You are free to continue making obscene and/or socially unacceptable gestures at your monitor, however.

Darth Avlectus
03-20-2010, 03:39 PM
OK. Back on subject: messed up as it is, you have this instance of curriculum revision in this direction, and so many others 'revise' in the opposite direction. So IMO it sort of has a net balancing effect.

Texas affecting textbooks for the rest of the country? Maybe nearby states to TX or something like that. It would seem to act in a reverse or opposite direction in CA. :indif: Wasn't the case with Nebraska schools when I was there either. Or Ohio. Or Colorado.

So mimartin...I'm not sure what you're saying here, because none of the places I went to seemed really affected by Texas. Could you please be more specific?

True_Avery
03-20-2010, 05:05 PM
OK. Back on subject: messed up as it is, you have this instance of curriculum revision in this direction, and so many others 'revise' in the opposite direction. So IMO it sort of has a net balancing effect.

Texas affecting textbooks for the rest of the country? Maybe nearby states to TX or something like that. It would seem to act in a reverse or opposite direction in CA. :indif: Wasn't the case with Nebraska schools when I was there either. Or Ohio. Or Colorado.

So mimartin...I'm not sure what you're saying here, because none of the places I went to seemed really affected by Texas. Could you please be more specific?
Most states buy textbooks from Texas. So what changes they make and what rewrites they make can, and will bleed in other states books. If they turn out too mangled (as it appears they will be) districts may just stop buying from them and find a new supplier which is, most likely, what is going to happen.

The main issue being that they've removed a few important historical figures from the books, and are messing with the Constitutional law sections and doing so without the guidance or even input from anyone from the respective fields. They also appear to be messing with sociology textbooks, and I can tell just by reading their comments on it that they really have no idea how Sociology works. While I appreciate some of their upgrades in some areas, I fear for the wording of such upgrades since they've already stated their goal is to fight the "liberal bias" and make the Republicans look better in students eyes.

For laughs:
http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/wed-march-17-2010/don-t-mess-with-textbooks

mimartin
03-20-2010, 05:45 PM
Texas affecting textbooks for the rest of the country? Texas like larger states California, New York, Florida... These larger markets can force book manufactures to include stupid material like this into their books. Then smaller markets with less influence get stuck with the consequences. Either that or text book manufactures can print multiple additions of the same book, however this option only increases their cost which they pass on to the consumer. You know us tax payers.

So far the text book manufactures have sold the Texas influence books nationwide, hopefully this latest attempt at stupid wasteful requirements will make them reconsider.

Totenkopf
03-20-2010, 05:48 PM
I would agree with the assessment that "none of you probably knew who he was before..." was a lame reason for exclusion. Has anyone seen a complete list of all the proposed changes and their rationale yet?

Jae Onasi
03-20-2010, 07:01 PM
I would like to see which changes actually went through, versus what was proposed.

mimartin
03-21-2010, 10:49 PM
I would like to see which changes actually went through, versus what was proposed.Then you will have to wait until May when their decision is due. I’m not optimistic as these are the same people that put non-science into science textbooks.

Q
03-31-2010, 02:57 PM
I'm for freedom of religion
No, you're not.
This just makes me believe more and more that religion should be banned.
At all.
I'm fine with giving up some forms of freedom of speech
So, your nation's constitution and its amendments don't mean jack to you? Scary.