Organization Taking Action To Ensure Board Vote Doesn’t
“We do not take lightly the changes approved by the Texas SBOE, and at this point we are working to ensure that other children across the country are not taught an inaccurate history of our country,” said Rev. Dr. C. Welton Gaddy, president of Interfaith Alliance and author of the letter sent to the publishing companies. “We understand that textbooks will not be uniform, but it simply is incorrect to state we are a Christian nation founded upon and governed by Christian beliefs. Unfortunately, this is just one of multiple inaccuracies that will now be included in
Gaddy is referring to the many amendments voted on at a Texas SBOE meeting March 11, 2010. Along with the “Christian nation” language, a Christian conservative bloc of the Board also voted to incorporate the study of the right to bear arms (the Second Amendment) in the curriculum on First Amendment rights and free expression, and to remove Thomas Jefferson from the curriculum that covers the Enlightenment period. Equally as important as these votes, the Texas SBOE also struck down an amendment that articulated “the reasons the Founding Fathers protected religious freedom in
“The Texas SBOE members certainly are entitled to believe whatever they want about our country and its history,” Gaddy continued. “The problem arises when their religious beliefs begin to essentially rewrite history for our children. Separation of church and state was a core tenet of our nation’s founding. Whether you like him or not, Thomas Jefferson was a leading thinker during the Enlightenment. It’s almost unfathomable to think that
In the letter sent to the publishing companies, Rev. Gaddy offers, “Should you need our support in resisting this pressure from the Texas SBOE to replace American history with conservative ideology, we would be honored to stand by you and support your commitment to the most accurate educational materials possible.” The edits to the
Below is the letter that was sent to executives of the Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Identical letters were sent to executives of the McGraw-Hill and Pearson companies.
Interfaith Alliance is a network of people of diverse faiths and beliefs from across the country working together to build a resilient democracy and fulfill America’s promise of religious freedom and civil rights not just for some, but for all. We mobilize powerful coalitions to challenge Christian nationalism and religious extremism, while fostering a better understanding of the healthy boundaries between religion and government. We advocate at all levels of government for an equitable and just America where the freedoms of belief and religious practice are protected, and where all persons are treated with dignity and have the opportunity to thrive. For more information visit interfaithalliance.org.