Right Wingers Call Social Studies an Attack on Religion


From TFN Insider

Anything here sound familiar?

A prominent religious leader is now attacking the study of social sciences,
saying it “promotes doubts and uncertainty” and “secularism.”

A new development in the growing debate over social studies curriculum
standards in Texas public schools? Well, not exactly. The religious leader noted
above is Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the “supreme leader” of Iran’s theocratic
government. According to a story in the New York Times, Khamenei and
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad are suggesting “that the study of secular
topics and ideas has made universities incubators for the political unrest
unleashed after the disputed presidential election in June.”

“Many of the humanities and liberal arts are based on philosophies whose
foundations are materialism and disbelief in godly and Islamic teachings,”
Ayatollah Khamenei said at a gathering of university students and professors on
Sunday, according to IRNA, the state news agency. Teaching those “sciences leads
to the loss of belief in godly and Islamic knowledge.”

All of this comes as far-right ideologues helping guide the revision of
social studies curriculum standards for Texas public schools are insisting that
students learn the United States is a Christian nation and that the Founders
intended our society and laws to be based on the Bible.

Peter Marshall, a right-wing evangelical minister
appointed to a panel of social studies “experts,” has been particularly vocal about where he wants to take the
social studies standards, telling the Wall Street Journal:

“We’re in an all-out moral and spiritual civil war for the soul of America,
and the record of American history is right at the heart of

Marshall has argued that the current social studies standards in Texas fail to explain the country’s biblical origins:

“(T)he discovery, settling, and founding of the colonies happened because of
the Biblical worldviews of those involved. Only when this is taken into account
can America’s founding be properly understood.”

David Barton, also a so-called “expert” on the same social studies panel with
Marshall, calls the separation of church and state a “myth.” Barton — founder
and head of the Christian-right group WallBuilders — argues that the current standards fail to note the Godly foundations of
American government
. He claims there is a “war on God in America” and even says labor laws and progressive taxation violate biblical

We are reminded of something Sandra Day
said after she left the U.S. Supreme Court. She was asked about the
relationship between religion and government and replied that separation of church and state had been very good for the United

“I do think we’re lucky in this country. We have generally kept religion a
matter of individual conscience and not a matter for the prosecutor or
bureaucrat. . . . Why should we trade our system that has served us so well for
one that has served others so poorly?”

We agree.


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