But today just call me Chairman Pillow. See, here’s my trusty gavel—a gift from Justice Clarence Thomas. He and I met at a Fellowship barbecue in DC a few years back, and he personally used this gavel to tenderize his meat. Um, ground round, to be clear.
There’s a paper tent with your name about halfway down the Tree of Knowledge and Good and Evil boardroom table. By the way, this table is made from gopher wood hauled down from the remains of Noah’s ark on Mt. Ararat—or so that Turkish woodworker told me. Anyway, grab some sparkling Cold Duck and a plate of Amish cheese curds—a gift of Wisconsin Christian News—and have a seat. We’ll be starting as soon as Ken Ham and Chuck Norris arrive.
While you’re waiting, feel free to review the agenda and agenda items. And permit me to direct you straightaway to the White House map of states which have refused Medicaid Expansion. As coincidence would have it, this is the same list of states whose Governors support our Sacred & Holy Annotated Textbook initiative, or S.H.A.T. for short.
You may have heard of the Texas Board of Education’s recent curricular coup, in which certain inalienable holy historical facts have finally been chiseled into schoolroom textbooks, including of course the long-deserved inclusion of our most famous Founding Father, Moses. Few people realize that Thomas Jefferson scrawled his original draft of the Declaration of Independence on the back of one of the Decalogue tablets, which, sadly, one of TJ’s ignorant slaves later mistook for a pizza stone—otherwise this invaluable relic would as we speak be on display at the National Archives.
However—and I know you’ll agree with rip-roaring hallelujahs—Texas didn’t go far enough, which brings us to this pending meeting. Our 24-state S.H.A.T. coalition, along with several foreign municipalities, including the Pooh-hating town of Tuszyn, Poland, are prepared to take textbook revisionism so far that when we’re done, even homeschooling families in Oklahoma whose children haven’t seen the light of day since baptism in Lake Thunderbird, will be comfortable sending their kids to public schools.
Okay, I see that Mr. Ham and Mr. Norris have taken their seats. Let us begin.
Gentlemen and head-covered ladies, before you today is a simple action item. I, as your board chairman, call for a motion to approve the realignment of every K-12 textbook in the 24-state S.H.A.T. collation with the New International Version Bible and the fictional oeuvres of Tim LaHaye and Frank Peretti.
James Dobson moves. Is there a second?
Governor Nimrata Nikki Randhawa Haley of South Carolina seconds the motion.
Yes, the gentleman CPO from Lakewood Church requests that the Board Chair recap some of the biggest curricular changes. Gladly.
First, you’ll notice that all social studies books have been rewritten in a Mesopotamian-centric manner, with all references to Asia and the pre-Columbian Americas completely stricken—as we all know that Jehovah doesn’t give a dingedy-ding-dang about China or the Mayans. And also a special thanks to John Hagee for pointing out that the United States of America is really just a spiritual suburb of Davidic Jerusalem. In fact, we might even entertain a special ad hoc action item afterward for our 24-state coalition to become a recognized voting member of the Knesset.
Second—and here we owe a great thanks to Minnesota Representative Michele Bachmann—Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox have now been correctly identified as the individuals who helped Solomon, and then later the post-exilic Hebrew community under Ezra, to clear cut the Cedars of Lebanon in order to build the first and subsequent Jewish Temple. We now can read clearly the references to Babe as Gugalanna, the Bull of Heaven, in the Epic of Gilgamesh. And not to get too off track, but certain scholars at Wheaton College think that Mr. Bunyan himself may have been the mighty Gilgamesh of Uruk—and perhaps even Noah.
But here we dive too deeply into weeds.
Other essential curricular revisions include mandatory viewing of “Linsanity” in all Physical Education classes, mandatory Christian embroidery for all uterus-bearing students, and sexual education courses that stress the importance of…um…anti-palm-hair-growing with VeggieTales cartoon adaptations of the tale of Onan in Genesis 38. Also, all math textbooks henceforth must include images by the great Christian artist Warner Sallman any time the numbers 3-1-6 occur within the same equation or proof.
And, finally, all references to Islam and Mohammadeanism have been replaced with “the slaughtering scions of Ishmael.” This even applies to photo captions of Kareen Abdul-Jabbar and U.S. Representative Keith Ellison. And for this insight we have Senator Cruz to thank.
Okay, enough discussion. I, Chairman Pillow, call for a formal vote.
Anyway, 49-1, the Ayes have it.
America, your Pilgrim-Collared Founding Fathers, Part Deux, have spoken. Theocratic Education, lock and load.
Please open your hymnals to No. 1989a.
The teacher looked at me, and I said, “I know,
it’s off to the principal’s office I go.”
Behold, the Christian Right Weekly Round-Up.
Johnny Appleseed Being Considered as Star of Newly Unveiled Genesis Chapter 51, over at Christian News Network: “Texas Textbooks Under Fire for Suggesting Moses Influenced Founding Fathers”
Conservative Christian education leaders in the Lone Star State entered an entirely new dimension of fundamentalist stupidity this week. I typically avoid such base description of my political enemies, but I pretty much lose it when it comes to the blatant miseducation of children.
As Michael Stone at Patheos puts it: “The standards require teachers to emphasize America’s so called ‘Christian heritage.’”
Texas textbooks are now required to cite Moses in the same breath as John Locke with respect to influence upon the U.S. Constitution and our political system of democratic representation. (Gee, I wonder if this means the pioneers of modern democracy in 9th-century Iceland also sat around annually at Þingvellir discussing the Golden Calf and the Plague of Frogs.)
In the first place, the Moses of the Pentateuch was reared in the court of the world’s then-premier theocratic emperor, the Egyptian Pharaoh, and ultimately himself became a monotheistic theocratic wingman. By the way, Texas textbooks should conduct a little due diligence and at least include Akhenaten monotheism alongside Moses’ supposed influence on Founding Father Deism. (Also, let us not forget that Thomas Jefferson himself published a version of the Gospels which gutted all of the miracles of Jesus—which for some odd reason he thought particularly benefitted Native Americans.)
Second, one can in fact assert that the Ten Commandments greatly influenced Western history and politics. For instance, thanks to the sixth bullet of The Decalogue, Agatha Christie had quite the career. But the Code of Hammurabi and the Fraudulent Conveyances Act of 1571 (Statute of 13 Elizabeth) also greatly influenced American law and government. Yet I don’t see any long-bearded kings or red-headed queens gracing the pages of Texas textbooks.
Here’s what really drives me crazy, though: “Why Moses?!” In the fundamentalist mindset, Moses didn’t author a darn-tootin’ thing. A flaming bush penned the Ten Commandments. And Moses himself didn’t have anything against shellfish, nor did he establish Levirate marriage (which forced a brother to marry his brother’s wife). All of this was Jehovah’s doing.
So why should any credit be ascribed to Moses? When it comes to authorial credit for Levitical law, Moses was no more than a silver-haired grocery bagger.
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
And why should you care? Because textbook decisions made by the Texas State Board of Education have vast influence on the national textbook industry. As former Texas State Board of Education member (and fundie minister) Don McLeroy puts it:
“Sometimes it boggles my mind the kind of power we have.”
There is absolutely no point of reading this article today and “liking” or sharing it unless you are willing to take a few minutes to contact the 15 members of the Texas State Board of Education.
My suggestion? Sit down at your desk and pen a two or three-sentence reaction to the information you have just learned. Then CLICK THIS LINK of the list of all 15 Texas State Board members and send that two-sentence reaction to all of them.
Yes, it will take you about 10 or 15 minutes. Do it during halftime of your favorite NFL team’s game.
Here’s another thing you can do: sign the NAACP online petition “Not in my State,” which voices your protest against the “erasing of significant amounts of African-American and American history from student textbooks.” Yeah, we didn’t even have time to go into the Texas State Board of Education’s attempts:
“to paint the Confederacy in a positive light, rewrite the civil rights era, downplay the contributions of nonwhite characters in Texas history, and ignore the atrocities committed on our own soil by groups like the Ku Klux Klan.”
That’s a wrap!
Please open your hymnals to No. 1989b.
Won’t you believe it
It’s just my luck
Progressives, the November Elections are—damn, you missed it. It’s too late. While we Progressives sat around drinking craft beer, more than one-third of our fellow fundamentalist countrymen rushed to the polls and elected the most idiotic group of human beings ever yet to rule a superpower.
But don’t worry. You’ll get another shot to right the Good Ship Civilization on Tuesday, November 8, 2016. Hopefully our Little Blue Planet will still be alive and kicking by then. And hopefully you can get off your asses this time and find a voting booth.
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