Stone on the Texas Board of Education and Textbook Content
During the era of McCarthyism, Red-baiters fed upon the image of "godless" Communists infiltrating our educational system in order to brainwash the youth of America. As it turned out, that image was largely imaginary. Ironically, though, we now really do have a coterie of Christian evangelicals who are attempting to infiltrate our educational system in order to brainwash the youth of America. They are in Texas.
For reasons peculiar to the textbook industry and the Texas educational system, the Texas Board of Education has enormous influence on the content of textbooks used throughout the United States. Conservatives and Christian evangelicals have taken over the Texas Board of Education and they are right now in the process of rewriting the American history our children will learn.
Among the propositions the Texas Board of Education is attempting to impose upon the next generation of Americans is that the United States was founded as "a Christian nation." What follows from this, of course, is that our Constitution and laws must be understood through the prism of this perspective. Although evangelicals have been pushing this line for two centuries, it is simply, factually, and historically false. But the members of the Texas Board of Education, who are not themselves historians, nonetheless persist in this effort to propagandize the youth of America. This is dangerous. It must be contested.