Friday, March 12, 2010

Rewriting History...Literally!

AUSTIN, Tex. — After three days of turbulent meetings, the Texas Board of Education on Friday approved a social studies curriculum that will put a conservative stamp on history and economics textbooks, stressing the superiority of American capitalism, questioning the Founding Fathers’ commitment to a purely secular government and presenting Republican political philosophies in a more positive light.

This is the first paragraph of an article (written by James C. McKinley, Jr.) published today in The New York Times. I first saw it on Facebook. Then on Twitter, where it's been tweeted and retweeted all day long. The country is abuzz.

It's a sad day when politics is allowed to rewrite history.

Particularly disturbing is this one, also taken from the New York Times article: "Cynthia Dunbar, a lawyer from Richmond who is a strict constitutionalist and thinks the nation was founded on Christian beliefs, managed to cut Thomas Jefferson from a list of figures whose writings inspired revolutions in the late 18th century and 19th century, replacing him with St. Thomas Aquinas, John Calvin and William Blackstone. (Jefferson is not well liked among conservatives on the board because he coined the term “separation between church and state.”)

While this is not the first incidence of history being rewritten, it is the whackadoodle incident that forced the birthing of this blog.

Will we let Texas get away with this?

Will we allow them to write our third President, a man consistently ranked by scholars as one of the greatest U.S. presidents of all times, out of our history books?

Will we allow Texas to remove from our history books the man who was one of this country's Founding Fathers and the architect of our Declaration of Independence?

Will we stand by and let Texas write him out of our history books, just because he happened to support the separation of church and state? (Which is, after all, just plain common sense.)

Thomas Jefferson also supported the separation of bank and state. He should certainly be included in our history books for this warning:

“The Central Bank is an institution of the most deadly hostility existing against the Principles and form of our Constitution. I am an enemy to all banks discounting bills or notes for anything but coin. If the American people allow private banks to control the issuance of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that grow up around them will deprive the people of all their property, until their children will wake up homeless on the continent their Fathers conquered.” Thomas Jefferson

Ouch. This has come to pass. The banks and corporations that grew up around them have deprived people of all their property, and their children are waking up homeless all across this continent. This has happened to me. I am a doctor. A good one. Yet, I have lost all my property to the banks. And am encumbered by usurious, astronomical student loan debt for the rest of my life. I am also basically homeless, except for a dear friend who took me in.

It's happening all around us. Maybe even to you.
How could we possibly write Thomas Jefferson out of our history, this luminary who had the foresight, 200 years ago, to predict and warn our country against what is currently happening in our country, on so many different fronts? Is this another, more hidden motive for Texas moving to strike him?

Shame on you Texans. Do not let this stand.

More eerily insightful quotes by Thomas Jefferson

In case you, like me, had no idea who William Blackstone is/was this will make interesting reading...

Pictures courtesy of Samuel P. Huntington on Flickr;