Sunday, January 10, 2010

Stupidity and Ignorance, given enough time, eat mountains

In yet another example of evangelicals' revising history to fit their political agenda, the Austin Statesman has an article regarding the attempts by evangelicals to change textbooks to portray America as a Christian nation, as opposed to a secular bastion of freedom for both the religious, non-religious, and yes, even Pastafarians.

The two main culprits here are David Barton and Peter Marshall:

"Barton and Marshall were among six reviewers chosen by the board to make suggestions for changing the curriculum. Their key recommendations for revision include more emphasis on documents from early America like the Mayflower Compact of 1620, written by Christian pilgrims who wanted religious freedom, or adding the Bible to sources that influenced the creation of significant documents when America was founded. If their changes are accepted, students who now receive a more generic overview of religious freedom and its importance in the country's founding would be taught that the nation's founders wanted to shape America based on biblical principles."
OK, fine. You can put more emphasis on how the pilgrims wanted religious freedom, if you promise to also include an emphasis on how these Christians, just like most others, were just as intolerant and amenable to persecuting religious minorities as the Church of England. Or how they were the best-known proponents of murderous superstition in the New World (see the Salem witch trials, which give the Catholic Inquisition a run for its money in terms of reprehensibility).

But that's no excuse to continue trumpeting the tired dogma that America's most influential founders were Christian, which is absolutely not true and has been debunked so many times now that I can only imagine they are making the argument from repetition: that is, you continue repeating the same worthless argument until everyone else is so sick of talking about it that they give up.

These people are not only incorrect, ignorant, and idiotic; they are dangerous as well:

Barton, a Texas-based GOP activist and nationally known speaker, and Marshall, a traveling evangelist whose father was a U.S. Senate chaplain in the 1940s, are aligned with American University law and history professor Daniel Dreisbach — one of four academics on the review panel — in the belief that America was intended to be a "Christian nation" with no separation between church and state.
WHAT?! Have these people even read the constitution they claim to be defending? I need to go lie down now...

How these people have any standing to determine what is going to be taught to the next generation of Americans is beyond me. We've got to keep building the wall of separation before they can erode it bit by bit with their stupidity.D8SRTHNTWKMJ

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