On July 30th 2010 Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson of Texas introduced a Sense of Congress resolution asserting the House’s firm support for “academically based social studies curriculum standards.” That what our children learn should be based in fact sounds pretty obvious right? Sadly, to some it is not. Rep. Johnson’s resolution is in direct response to the Texas State Board of Education’s changes to their state’s curriculum. These changes included removing Thomas Jefferson from a list of Enlightenment thinkers and striking down an amendment that would have required students to explore the Founders’ reasons for protecting religious freedom by separating institutions of religion and government. This resolution expresses Congress’ disapproval of these decisions themselves, and the process through which they were made (by politicians, not by scholars).
As frequent readers of the State of Belief blog know, Interfaith Alliance cares deeply about this issue and wants to make sure that children across America learn about our nation’s long history of religious diversity and pluralism. We have been involved in trying to correct the Board of Education’s decision since March, and played a large role in pushing for this recent resolution. And of course, Rev. Gaddy, discussed this topic on the most recent episode of his weekly radio show, State of Belief. In the coming weeks we will continue working to gain support to pass this resolution, so that the Texas State Board of Education understands that all children in America should learn about our nation’s history in an accurate and unbiased way – stay tuned and we’ll let you know what you can do to encourage your Representative to support this resolution!