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I just got done reading a few news story write-ups about the Texas Social Studies Curriculum changes that were proposed, and voted through on Friday, May 21st. All I can say is, this: What are we doing?

After reading what they are doing, and now worrying about the impact this will have on textbooks sent to many other states, including my own one of Pennsylvania, I am seriously worried about the future of our children. History is not about presenting differing views on a subject; it’s about give the facts, and teaching children to learn from those facts. It’s about learning from our past mistakes so that, Divine Creator willing, we don’t make them again. It is NOT about turning our educational system into a propaganda machine for either side.

You cannot look at information presented that was of great importance to the history of our nation, and then dismiss it because a Liberal politician or president implemented it. You cannot downplay the role, positive or negative, that someone played in our history because of their political affiliation, sexual orientation, racial ethnicity, or religious background. History is not about playing a modern day political game with young minds.

I am reading over some of the proposed changes, and not all of them are horrendous things. But some of them, like seriously downplaying the role of the Tuskegee Airmen, or vilifying Joseph McCarthy and his witch hunts, should not be permitted. They are attempting to rewrite history. And that cannot be countenanced.

It frightens me that they are seriously talking about removing the role that Thomas Jefferson played in the founding of our nation, all because he was a Deist, and a huge driving force in the idea of separation of Church and State. There are, first of all, so many reasons why the separation of those two offices is a necessity in our nation. Second of all, the man was a true genius, and is responsible for a large amount of the wisdom imparted to the written words of our founding fathers, along with Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, and James Madison.

It disheartens me, as well, to see that so many are behind these changes, wishing to see the presentation of historical fact left in the dust, in order to forward their own political agendas, and create a new generation that will willingly follow them, without question. People should always question their leaders. Without questioning, there is no true free thought. And without free thought, it turns to blind faith. And with blind faith comes zealotry. And with zealotry… comes terrible things. Any zealotry. It is because the zealot trades reason and accountability for the oftentimes false promise of prosperity or reward.

I understand that this is indeed a free country. And I support that with all my heart. But the distortion of fact is not a freedom. In fact, it is the opposite of freedom, as it encourages indoctrination into a system of belief, instead of allowing the choice between ideologies. Our country is built on the right to choose. That right is what made us a haven for those that saw where they lived, and saw that what they had was inhospitable, intolerable. And they came here to find freedom, instead of oppression. The sad part is, apparently, we have not learned from world history.

Socrates was sentenced to death for teaching his students truth and fact, and encouraging them to make their own decisions about many things based on what they learned, instead of indoctrinating them into an established ideology. In early Maoist China, the government set out to make a curriculum that glorified the Communist Party, and taught them very little in the way of information that was unbiased. They ended up with a useless crop of students that could barely work in industrial settings, something China needed dearly at that time.

Nazi Germany created curricula to teach about the evils of the Jews, Gypsies, the like. They created an ideology that, unfortunately, survives to this day, and has no basis in fact at all, just political leaning. Time and time and time again, we have been shown that the usurpation of education by a political agenda does not provide positive or strong improvements to youth. It does, however, help to create a crop of fanatics and zealots who willingly listen to the leadership in whatever they say or do. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is propaganda.

Propaganda: the use of information and imagery to sway the maximum number of people to a given mode of thought, with total disregard for appeal to higher emotions or intelligence. It has been used by every nation on the planet, in an effort to reach the greatest amount of people at one time, and use the people’s fears, worries, and anger to sway them to the desired course of the leadership. Propaganda is a device that undermines education. It ignores the education of the masses, in the hopes of the masses coming to understand and side with the establishment on the basis of thought and reason, and instead preys on the baser emotions that drive all humans to rash and unreasoning decisions.

This is where we are headed. Education is not about a balanced political agenda. It is about fact, plain and simple. Political agendas are based on opinion, not fact. Our children should be taught to evaluate all the facts, thinking critically, so that they may create their own informed opinions, and not just fall into line with established opinions because it is what they have been taught to do. If we are to reclaim our place of greatness, we have to return to the idea that we are all individuals working towards one common goal: greatness.

These School Board members have a right to their opinion. I will defend that. What they do not have a right to do is indoctrinate, to one leaning or the other, our youth. Not in our schools. If they wish to do it through organizations like the Young Republicans, Tea Parties, Young Democrats of America, the Young Men’s Christian Association, or whichever organization is chosen, so be it. But not schools. In school, teach them to think on their own, and you will find stronger followers than the blind zealots that are being developed.

We are a nation of individuals, come from the rejects of the rest of the world. We came together to form a nation made of those whom the world said they no longer wanted, and those that decided their homes were not satisfying them, or even welcoming them any longer. In that crucible, we were formed as a nation. We stood tall and fought for our freedom. We learned that in this new land, if we worked hard enough in our lives, prosperity would be ours. And we came to it on our own. We decided then that we would not be led around by our noses, told what to do, how to worship, who to support, who to deny. We decided we would be a nation that thought for ourselves, and not one that was told how to think.

And what are we doing now?


One Comment

  1. You know, funny thing? I was JUST thinking about Socrates a half hour ago or so. I was pulling a hemlock out of the garden 😛

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