Saturday, September 12, 2009

War on Christmas in the Social Studies TEKS

Proposal Would Drop "Christmas" And Add "Diwali".

Notably, they reduce/eliminate Christian-centric traditions and build up other cultures traditions in the learning focus, they call it "multi-culturalism" but what it really is is the gutting of the cultural assumptions that make America a great freedom-loving place to live. Liberal academics in Texas are trying to remove understanding of our traditional American culture so students feel no allegiance to our traditions. Any patriot should be appalled at the overall subversive agenda at work and should push back on these efforts large and small to undermine understanding of the roots of Western civilization.

6 comments:

Zeke said...

They took out Christmas, but left Easter in the TEKS. How does that eliminate Christian centric traditions, especially when many Christmas traditions, including the date, are of pagan origin? Honest question. I'm also at a loss as to how this is a removal of an understanding of American culture, when it's for a world geography class, not a U.S. history class, and thus involves discussions of other nations, religions and cultures. Here's the relevant TEKS standard: "explain the significance of religious holidays and observances such as Easter, Ramadan, and Yom Kippur and Diwali in selected various contemporary societies." They've got a holiday from each major world religion, which one would assume is appropriate for a world geography class. I've also got a problem with people taking issue with standards when they include the term "such as". That means the standard is not definitive, but suggestive: meaning you could still discuss Christmas and Rosh Hashanah (which was also taken out of the standard). Instead of looking for conspiracies, people need to understand what the standards apply to and mean.

Freedom's Truth said...

"They took out Christmas, but left Easter in the TEKS."

Why did they take out Christmas? There was no good reason to do so. If they wanted to add Diwali, just add it an leave Christmas in there.

If you discuss Christmas, you can discuss how the different Christian sects celebrate it, and through that gain a rich understanding of many cultures and countries - Russia, Turkey, Germany, England, etc. It is a hugely valuable and teachable holiay.


" How does that eliminate Christian centric traditions"
- This is happening bit by bit.

" especially when many Christmas traditions, including the date, are of pagan origin?"
The birth of Christ is a Christian holiday and an important one in all Christian societies including the US. Your statement is irrelevent.

"Honest question. I'm also at a loss as to how this is a removal of an understanding of American culture, when it's for a world geography class"
- Christianity is our culture and our history. It is also the most important worldwide religion.

The point is that there is ongoing and subtle attempts to denigrate the role and understanding of America's traditions. When it comes to 'world' stuff, it means de-emphasizing the very important heritage of western civilization, while emphasizing irrelevent trivia about other societies. This inculcates 'multi-culturalism' and is helped along by keeping kids as ignorant as possible about America's founding, Christianity, western civilization and history.

"Here's the relevant TEKS standard: "explain the significance of religious holidays and observances such as Easter, Ramadan, and Yom Kippur and Diwali in selected various contemporary societies." They've got a holiday from each major world religion, which one would assume is appropriate for a world geography class."
- Not at all there are several Christian sects larger and more important than the other religions mentioned - Russian Orthodox, Greek/Eastern Orthodox, Protestant/Lutheran, Evangelical, Baptist, Roman Catholic. Each of this is larger than the Jewish religion, more diverse than Hindu religion that is merely on the Indian subcontinent, and is of greater importance in world history and culture as well. In particular the history of western civilization... my point is that it is western civilization that is what is undermined.

You can then explain how it came to be that there is an Eastern orthodox and western church.

Do you know the date of the very important schism between Rome and Constaninople? Do you know what it was about theologically? Politically? And how it shaped the rest of Western civilization?

NO?!?!?

I rest my case.

"Instead of looking for conspiracies, ...." - if you are not aware of 40 years of efforts of multiculturalists to indoctrinate children (viz Bill Ayers), you are either dumb or playing dumb. Allan Bloom's "The Closing of the American Mind" is a place to start retracing your steps.

This by itself is just one minor encroachment. If you check the Texas Insider, it has a lengthy report on what was attempted to be done to the TEKS.

Zeke said...

"You can then explain how it came to be that there is an Eastern orthodox and western church. Do you know the date of the very important schism between Rome and Constaninople? Do you know what it was about theologically? Politically? And how it shaped the rest of Western civilization? NO?!?!? I rest my case."

Yes, I can explain all that you asked (as a Catholic and student of history), but you're not really seeking an answer or a debate there, you're merely attempting to insult, which reveals much. However, no where in your comment did you answer how a suggestive standard prohibits the discussion of Christmas or eliminates Christian centric traditions, especially as it includes the most important event (that being the death, burial and resurrection of Christ) and holiday in Christianity (and one which has had more impact on the history, and theology. of Christianity than Christmas).

"Not at all there are several Christian sects larger and more important than the other religions mentioned"

This was in response to my comment that we should discuss the world's major religions in a class which is designed to study world cultures. So, because there are Christian sects larger than Judaism and more wide spread than Hinduism, when one studies India or Southeast Asia, we should just leave out all reference to Hinduism? Or when studying Israel or the Jews, we should not discuss the role of Judaism? You keep bringing up the U.S. and Western Civilization, but that's merely a strawman, because the class is about studying world cultures (not just Western Civilization or the U.S.). They will/need to discuss America's Founding in U.S. History and U.S. Government, and Western civilization will be covered in a world history class. The point of the standard is too broaden the scope of a geography education which has been woefully unsatisfactory in recent years.

I don't disagree that teaching Christmas celebrations, etc. is a valuable insight into various cultures, but the standard does not prohibit that. What I object to is distortion of this standard to further the politicization of curriculum, a battle in which neither side is innocent.

Freedom's Truth said...

"I don't disagree that teaching Christmas celebrations, etc. is a valuable insight into various cultures"

Then you dont disagree with me at all actually.

"but the standard does not prohibit that"

Then it should not be objectionable to you to keep it the way it was. that's what is being suggested.

"What I object to is distortion of this standard to further the politicization of curriculum, a battle in which neither side is innocent."

Those who take out Christmas have suggested many other changes that are wrong, for example reducing Columbus and other aspects.


"Yes, I can explain all that you asked (as a Catholic and student of history),"

Great, then you would agree as to the importance of it in history.

" but you're not really seeking an answer or a debate there, you're merely attempting to insult, which reveals much"

I was attempting to point out as to relative importance of events to western civ, and not at all trying to put anyone down. OTOH what you learned about the schism I suspect you learned outside of public school. we do not teach American school children enough of western european history and heritage. That's plain fact.

Multi-culturalism makes this problem worse by in effect watering down and diluting time spent on the topic.

" So, because there are Christian sects larger than Judaism and more wide spread than Hinduism, when one studies India or Southeast Asia, we should just leave out all reference to Hinduism?"

That's your own strawman. Neither I nor the site I linked to objected to adding Diwali. the canary-in-the-coalmine was why bother reducing / eliminating Christmas, as if it less important now than it was in existing guidelines. What's curious is that you are violating your own claims earlier. You claim nothing is excluded, even if its taken off the list, and that would be true of Hinduism too even if Diwali were not mentioned. You extend by argument for greater relative importance of Christianity into a strawman argument to exclude everything else - that's not my position nor point.

Freedom's Truth said...

Again: The problem isnt that Diwali was added but that, for no particular purpose/reason, Christmas was taken out - A celebration that you agree would be highly illuminating both wrt American and world culture.

"You keep bringing up the U.S. and Western Civilization, but that's merely a strawman, because the class is about studying world cultures"

I'm sorry ...Western Civ is not only part of the world, its the most IMPORTANT part of the world cultures for kids to absorb. So its not a strawman - It's the POINT. They dont GET to spend ANY time on European/western civ as its own required course (at best an elective for some high schoolers - at best) at any point.

The world cultures course should recognize the relative importance of western civ and center its focus on western-oriented history and culture, for if they do not, kids are defocussed into much trivia that gives them little knowledge nor understanding. That does include focussing perhaps more on Christianity and its history than other religions and their history, because its more important. Again, no need to exclude others in the process.

Which grade do they get a thorough background in Greek, Roman, English, European, Reformation, etc. history?
Whatever it is, it is not enough. It is watered down 'world history' that some multi-culturalists are attempting to hollow out western civ with.

I know this first-hand observing my children as they go through the grades at school.

What I can tell you is this: When I visited my son's middle school in RRISD, they had buddist religious tenets on the wall. If it was the 10 commandments and an ACLU person saw it, they'd get sued. I didnt see Luther's points, nor didthey recount St Paul's missions, or St Cyril's conversion of Russia. but they got buddhist stuff.

That is 6th grade. 7th is Texas. 8th is US ... 9th - 'world studies' and its just geography so far. gack, by the time they get an *inkling* of it, they have 'graduated', ignorant of much of the history prior to the Alamo that made our society what it is.

If they dont spend enough time to focus on some western civ and culture in 6th they wont get it in any other grades.

Zeke said...

Perhaps, we're not as far off as it seems. I agree with you that if the 10 Commandments, etc., there would be protests at the school board meeting, etc. I can't stand that stuff; it's more of what I consider to be the politicization of education. Ideology being put before education; facts are no longer important.

What I've been seeing in the posts about this particular standard is references to how Diwali plays a role in U.S. culture even though the class is not U.S. history. And personally, I believe some of those people are interested in promoting their own ideology in the classroom. If Christmas had been left in, I don't see a problem; left out, I don't see a problem, because the standard is suggestive. If any teacher is thinking those are the only holidays they can discuss, they probably shouldn't be teaching (and that's an issue I could go on for days about).

I recognize the relative importance of Western Civilization, and since there just isn't enough time to cover every region in the world, teachers have to make judgment calls about how much time to devote to each topic during the school year (unless we went to year round school perhaps). Presumably, the class will focus on certain regions and cultures more than others (i.e., the West). Possibly, a class is needed which focuses on Western Civilization. Such classes are offered in college - no reason they cannot be offered in high school.

As an aside, thank you for your post about Einstein being left out of the standards. I did not know that, and it's very discouraging to read. Hopefully that will be rectified before the draft is finalized.