‘Texas schoolbook massacre’ rewrites American history

Thomas Jefferson is always one of my favorite reads. A mind constantly at work considering human possibilities, he did more than spout philosophy, he acted upon it.

Philosophers give us thoughts that transcend generations, and sometimes millenia.

Jefferson is an odd bird. He is at once a darling of both Left and the Right; and to read most of the literature being cranked out by the Right you would think he is ‘the man’.

There is an uneasy relationship however between Jefferson and the Right. Jefferson was strongly opinionated but enjoyed open debate. He accepted that democracy could be messy.

Jefferson was also a deist (as were 3 of the first 4 U.S. presidents) and a Unitarian Christian that spent his winters as president cutting and glueing parts of the Bible together to give us what we now call the Jefferson Bible — all the supernatural stuff was thrown out.

The difference between a deist Christian and a non-deist is that deists put more trust in logic and argument than in faith. They have faith in the tangible, not the ‘Trust me. My interpretation is correct. Just have faith.’

Thomas Jefferson had faith only in the ‘self evident’.

Faith makes the Right tick because it essentially means ‘if you have to ask why then you are not one of us’.

Why? Explain to me? Why not? These are important questions in making republican democracy work.

Texas schoolbook massacre

As some of you may know, the ultraconservative politically correct school curriculum commission in Texas (yes, it happens on the Right, too)  threw Thomas Jefferson out of the state’s school books. And because Texas is such a huge market then that means that Thomas Jefferson is being thrown out of the school books of more than half of the United States.

We can argue about what it all means here in the USA, but here is how the Brits see it — and they have no reason to love Thomas Jefferson after that little Declaration of Independence note that he penned: “‘Texas schoolbook massacre’ rewrites American history“.

The ultraconservative self-proclaimed Christian members of the commission voted 15-5 to toss Jefferson completely from American schoolbooks. He will no longer exist.

It is 1984 … brought to you courtesy of those who would really rather you did not ask ‘why not?’

Learn more about this by Googling: http://www.google.com/search?q=texas+schoolbook+thomas+jefferson



Filed under Uncategorized

8 responses to “‘Texas schoolbook massacre’ rewrites American history

  1. Jack Stell

    Bill, I am astounded! One of the framers of the constitution expunged from textbooks!! Who will be expunged next; Lincoln? FDR? Kennedy? and for what reason. I know that throughout time history is written by the conquerers. Has Texas assumed unilateral responsibility for what constitutes history taught in all public schools. I must be getting old. I never thought I’d see this happen.

    • They did far more than just expel Thomas Jefferson, they also removed the word ‘democratic’ from history and social studies books and replaced it with ‘republican’.

      It is true that the word ‘democracy’ and ‘democratic’ do not appear anywhere in the Constitution, and ‘republic’ and ‘republican’ does … but obviously these folks are cleaning up American history and social studies books with the knowledge that they need to retrain the minds of the next generation.

  2. I really enjoyed this piece about Jefferson and particularly pleased to read about the Jefferson Bible. Some of us believe that Jesus was one of History’s great philosophers and try to live by what he taught. As a Deist, Jefferson believed that God created the universe; however, God didn’t really get involved in the “details”. Specifically, Deists reject the notion that God involved himself in the details (or the daily affairs of man). Some refer to this as the “Architect’s” view.

    I like the Jefferson Bible because it attempts to document the philosophy and wisdom of the man (which is profound) without the embellishment of his followers (which is questionable – particularly if you have any familiarity with the evolution of the modern Bible(s)). This is particularly important when one interprets the founding father’s intentions when they wrote the Constitution (to the great discomfort of the Religious Right).

    Good post. Texas is… well…. being Texas. I had to take a Texas loyalty oath to teach at a College there.

    • It only seems fitting that we let Jefferson speak for himself since we are discussing this topic:

      “Truth and reason are eternal. They have prevailed. And they will eternally prevail; however, in times and places they may be overborne for a while by violence, military, civil, or ecclesiastical.” –Thomas Jefferson to Rev. Samuel Knox, 1810.

      “Difference of opinion leads to enquiry, and enquiry to truth; and I am sure…we both value too much the freedom of opinion sanctioned by our Constitution, not to cherish its exercise even where in opposition to ourselves.” –Thomas Jefferson to P. H. Wendover, 1815.

      “In every country where man is free to think and to speak, differences of opinion will arise from difference of perception, and the imperfection of reason; but these differences when permitted, as in this happy country, to purify themselves by free discussion, are but as passing clouds overspreading our land transiently and leaving our horizon more bright and serene.” –Thomas Jefferson to Benjamin Waring, 1801.

    • “Fix reason firmly in her seat, and call to her tribunal every fact, every opinion. Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there is one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blindfolded fear.” –Thomas Jefferson to Peter Carr, 1787.

  3. I just noticed your blog runs on GMT.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s