May 21st, 2010
12:07 PM ET

Texas votes today on curriculum changes, including debate on church/state separation

Texas' state board of education votes today on dramatic curriculum changes, including introducing classroom debate about whether church/state separation is really a founding principle of American government.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Culture wars • Education • Politics

soundoff (13 Responses)
  1. Ben

    Wars are begun by politicians to protect the profit streams enjoyed by the rich and powerful.

    Wars are fought by soldiers who have been made to believe they are doing the right thing.

    The West's belief in individual freedom has made it more rich and powerful than the East. While western soldiers are deployed to protect western profits, they fight and sacrifice to bring freedom to people being exploited by western interests, by other outside interests, and by local despots seeking to stay in power.

    Eastern soldiers have been made to believe that imposition and enforcement of cultural and religious dogma and perpetuation of existing power structures are the right things to do. Western soldiers, whether they are conscious of it or not, are fighting for everyone's right to take ultimate responsibility for their own beliefs and behavior.

    This is the final battle – separation of church and state. Nothing is more important.

    June 2, 2010 at 3:09 pm |
  2. Tuan

    Hopefully future history books will mark these events as stepping stones to the defection of Texas from the United States. One can only hope...

    May 25, 2010 at 6:49 pm |
  3. Sharon

    How can they call this "History" when it is obvious it is so bias – like taking "slave" out and inserting "Mid-atlantic" trade – where is the other side of the story – something the right wingers don't want to hear or listen to – they only want their side and their ideas and their ideology – what a bunch of garbage – I hope California holds its ground and refused to buy the textbooks. I really fear where this country is going.

    May 23, 2010 at 10:36 am |
  4. Gina

    Lying about history is nothing new. Read "Lies My Teacher Told Me" by Lames W. Loewen. Nevertheless, Texas has sunk to an even deeper low. What's next? Verifying witchcraft via the classroom text?

    May 23, 2010 at 10:09 am |
  5. Liz

    On refection, these poor folks in Texas must be very fearful of other ideas that do not support their religious belief systems. Glad I live in Colorado

    May 23, 2010 at 7:50 am |
  6. luke

    deism, atheism, evolutionism, creationism are all faith based. so i agree take them all out the education system and lets stick to facts.

    May 21, 2010 at 9:20 pm |
    • Michael Wong

      Evolution is only "faith based" if nuclear fusion in the Sun is "faith based". Both have similar levels of physical evidence.

      May 23, 2010 at 2:27 pm |
  7. Lisa K

    God save America from the Christian Reich! The majority of our Founding Fathers were DEISTS – NOT Christians. To quote Founding Father Thomas Paine: "The whole religious complexion of the modern world is due to the absence from Jerusalem of a lunatic asylum."
    Religious ideology has NO place in the history books of our public schools. A lawsuit is in order here!

    May 21, 2010 at 7:54 pm |
  8. Moderate in VA

    This is sad. How can a few individuals with an extreme world view control the telling of history in public classrooms? Thomas Jefferson is a founding father. They say he is mentioned in their version of the history texts but the truth is that they have marginalized him. He is relegated to a minor role instead of a major player. They are using history books to promote their dogma. Somehow they think if they change the story in the history book then they have changed what really happened. Next thing you know they will be re-writing the science books such that Intelligent Design is taught (via "made up" science) and it will be back to the Dark Ages we go. They don’t care if they make our country a third world nation in education as long as they can propagate the dogma.

    May 21, 2010 at 7:53 pm |
  9. Moderate Tennessee Independent

    It's really scary that a handful of very conservative people on the Texas Board of Education can effectively cause every history book across the nation to be rewritten! If private Christian schools want to emphasize the Bible in their textbooks and curricula, that's just fine, but the teaching of "Biblical values" has no business in PUBLIC schools. Sometimes I think these crazy people would actually prefer to delete Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, & Harriet Tubman from our textbooks so they could include Jerry Falwell, Ronald Reagan, & Phyllis Schlafly instead. I bet the man who said Islam was evil would like to see our nation to become the Christian version of Iran (a theocracy).

    May 21, 2010 at 6:09 pm |
    • STEVE

      Agree. What's the difference between Iran, ruled by radical Moslem's and the USA (radical Christians). They have Sharia law. We have christian based laws (and now text books)?

      May 21, 2010 at 9:12 pm |
  10. mstras

    you're absolutely right, M Cow. The re-writing of history that these ignorant believers in Magic aspire to is frightening. And from what I understand Texas (of all places) because it is the largest consumer of text books, more or less determines what many, if not most, of our children will be taught.

    May 21, 2010 at 5:00 pm |
  11. Moooohammud Cow

    Save our history! History involves things that ACTUALLY HAPPENED, relgion is the OPPOSITE! They not only need to be seperated, but as FAR APART AS POSSIBLE!

    May 21, 2010 at 12:15 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.