Texas Textbooks Under Fire for Suggesting Moses Influenced Founding Fathers

TextbooksAUSTIN, Texas — Social studies textbooks that have been proposed for use by Texas students next fall are coming under fire by those who take issue with the positively Christian worldview therein, including suggestions that Moses and the Ten Commandments were an influence on the founding of the nation.

The Texas Board of Education is set to vote tomorrow on the controversial set of books that are proposed for eight public social studies courses, which may also find their way into other states across the nation.

Opponents of the textbooks take issue with a number of factors, including its linking of terrorism to Islam, its challenge to the contention that humans are responsible for climate change and its assertion that the laws of Moses were an influence on America’s Founding Fathers. Edward Countryman of the Daily Beast outlined these matters in September after his colleagues on the review panel spoke against portions of the textbooks during the monthly board meeting.

“Southern Methodist University department chair Kathleen Wellman . . . told the SBOE that the effect of the TEKS requirement to find biblical origins for the Constitution would be to make Moses the ‘first American.’ Some historians give that honor to Benjamin Franklin. Whoever might merit it, Moses definitely does not qualify,” he wrote.

Others are cited as influencing the founding of the nation include Thomas Acquinas, John Calvin and English judge Willam Blackstone, known for his respected “Blackstone’s Commentaries” on the law.

Similar objections were made on Tuesday as four hours to testimony were heard by the board from both sides of the argument.

“We are deeply concerned over the ahistorical nature of those representations,” Jennifer Graber, a religious studies professor at the University of Texas at Austin, told those gathered, stating that the textbooks “exaggerate and even invent claims” about Christianity’s influence on the founding of the nation.

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Some have gone so far as to state that the textbooks lie to students.

“These textbooks were teaching pretty much the opposite of the truth,” Emile Lester, a reviewer from the University of Mary Washington, stated. “You would hope publishers felt their main allegiance be to the education of students, but it was quite obvious that their main goal was to appease members of the State Board of Educators.”

But David Bradley, a member of the board consisting of 10 Republicans and 5 Democrats, told reporters that despite outcry, many have expressed support for the textbooks’ content.

“[L]et us not forget the religious character of our origin,” American statesman Daniel Webster declared during his famous “Plymouth Oration” in 1820. “Our fathers were brought hither for their high veneration for the Christian religion. They journeyed by its light and labored in its hope. They sought to incorporate its principles with the elements of society, and to diffuse its influence through all their institutions, civil, political or literary.”

“Let us cherish these sentiments,” he continued, “and extend this influence still more widely, in the full conviction that [it] is the happiest society which partakes in the highest degree of the mild and peaceful spirit of Christianity.”


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  • [email protected]

    As a high school student myself, I couldn’t be happier that the board is proposing these new books. Our textbooks are at the least 12 years old and there appears to be to me a liberal bias amomg my teachers; I earnestly pray these books are approved!

    • Carol Cantell Moorby

      http://www.wallbuilders.com have revealed how the liberal atheists have revised and re written American history void of God and morals and values by omitting all the Christian truths and adding their own liberal philosophies.. Common core is trying to do the same thing by subliminally and under handidly brain washing and dumbing down our children . It is a deadly doctrine and must be exposed…..www.John@ jtahoe.com must be watched by every American. Watch and pass on to everyone you know.

      • annieconnor

        the same Barton whose book was pulled due to complete and total inaccuracies? He’s a hack at best.

    • Carol Cantell Moorby

      [email protected] I would love to be able to read the new text books myself. They may be even worse then before. Liberal atheists have revised our textbooks by omitting Christian truths and adding their own ungodly philosophies. http://www.wallbuilders.com documents the horrors of misleading facts concerning our Christian origins and how god haters have lied to us. it depends on who is approving the new books. I would highly value David Barton’s views as a Bible Christian who would discern them. He is an anointed Godly Bible Christian American historian . There are ministries who will,discern and expose the errors in all new text books. They will warn us of the lies. Common core is full of lies and is a government program used to control
      Schools and colleges by deception of facts. These new books are probably loaded with false information and error.

      • thoughtsfromflorida

        “I would highly value David Barton’s views as a Bible Christian who would discern them”

        You mean the books that have been widely discredited for being factually inaccurate and that even Barton has admitted contain information that is not true? That is what you highly value?

        “Common core is full of lies”

        Such as?

        “and is a government program used to control Schools and colleges by deception of facts.”

        So you really have no idea what Common Core is, do you? It is not a “government program”. The Federal government has nothing to with the development of the standards or the decision by states to adopt the standards. The CC standards are not for colleges.

        You may find it helpful as means of tempering your righteous indignation to be better informed on these issues.

  • pastoredsmith

    Honestly, I simply cannot understand how Christianity and its powerful influence on the founding of this country can simply be expunged! If history is to be accurate and true, it cannot be revised or made to fit anybody’s agenda! It ceases to be history at that point and becomes fiction based on some fact, some skewed information. We should be teaching history ACCURATELY; the way it really happened, not through the rose colored glasses of liberals….

    • BeWhoYouAre

      YES! Bravo!

    • Larry Linn

      “This
      nation of ours was not founded on Christian principles.”

      — John Adams

      • James Grimes

        One man’s opinion is simply not enough to make a general statement about this issue.

      • Jose

        Ok that was just one man, but this nation was built “by the people” and they were very much christian. Just read exodus 23 and tell me if that doesn’t sound somewhat like our laws

        • thoughtsfromflorida

          About 4 of them. The others, not so much.

      • Carol Cantell Moorby

        Oh yes Larry Linn….it was! God formed the first government in the book of Genesis from the beginning. Liberal secular humanistic atheists have revised our bible based Constitution and our children’s text books. In fact, the bible was the only test book used in our first schools to teach patriotism and values and morals. I remember when every school day was started with prayer. that was when the worst thing a child got into trouble over was chewing gum. Now it’s shootings and murder. See what happens when man eradicates god and his word? http://www.wallbuilders.com needs to be read by every American to see the truth of our origin. Our text books are getting worse and worse by omitting truths and adding liberal philosophies. look at common core……a doctrine of devils and invasion of our privacy plus brain washing and dumbing down our kids and GRANDKIDS to gain complete control of them and their families.It must be stopped a.s.a.p.

        • Binti

          If being in a building that recognizes god’s authority prevents bad things from happening, how come there are so many priests that rape little boys? I believe they start the day with a prayer too.

        • thoughtsfromflorida

          “Oh yes Larry Linn….it was!”

          Please point to the portions of the constitution that are direct reflections of Christian principles. Certainly not freedom of religious expression – the bible makes it clear that people should only worship the Christian god. Certainly not freedom of speech – the bible makes it clear that people are not allowed to speak against the Christian god. Of the 10 Commandments in the bible only two – murder and theft – are specifically prohibited by our laws.

          “look at common core……a doctrine of devils”

          Do you know who developed the Common Core standards? If so, what is your basis for stating they are “devils”?

          “and invasion of our privacy plus brain washing and dumbing down our kids”

          In what way do the Common Core standards invade your privacy? How are they “brain washing and dumbing down our kids”?

      • Carol Cantell Moorby

        Larry linn???you have misquoted John Adams.. Her are some of his Godly quotes……” The Christian religion is ABOVE ALL religions that ever prevailed or existed in ancient or modern times, it’s the religion of wisdom! virtue! equity and humanity?Suppose a nation in some distant region should take the BIBLE for their ONLY law book and every member should regulate his conduct by the precepts there exhibited , what a EUTOPIA …what a PARADISE this region be.”I vow that I then and now believe that those principles of Christianity are as eternal.and immutable as the existence and attributes of God.Without this religion this world would not be fit to be mentioned in polite company. I have examined ALL religions and the results is that the BIBLE is the best book in the world.” Go on http://www.wallbuilders.com to see verification of this information.

        • Larry Linn

          “The Government of the United States is not in any sense founded on the
          Christian religion.”

          — from The Treaty of Tripoli, Article 11, written during the administration of
          President George Washington, signed by President John Adams, and unanimously
          approved by the Senate in 1797

          “The divinity of Jesus is made a convenient cover for absurdity. Nowhere
          in the Gospels do we find a precept for Creeds, Confessions, Oaths, Doctrines,
          and whole carloads of other foolish trumpery that we find in
          Christianity.”

          — John Adams

          “This nation of ours was not founded on Christian principles.”

          — John Adams

          “The question before the human race is, whether the God of nature shall
          govern the world by his own laws, or whether priests and kings shall rule it by
          fictitious miracles?”

          — John Adams, letter to Thomas Jefferson

          “As I understand the Christian religion, it was, and is, a revelation. But
          how has it happened that millions of fables, tales, legends, have been blended
          with both Jewish and Christian revelation that have made them the most bloody
          religion that ever existed?”

          — John Adams, letter to F.A. Van der Kamp, 12/27/1816

          “I almost shudder at the thought of alluding to the most fatal example of
          the abuses of grief which the history of mankind has preserved — the Cross.
          Consider what calamities that engine of grief has produced!”

          — John Adams, letter to Thomas Jefferson

          “What havoc has been made of books through every century of the Christian
          era? Where are fifty gospels, condemned as spurious by the bull of Pope
          Gelasius? Where are the forty wagon-loads of Hebrew manuscripts burned in
          France, by order of another pope, because suspected of heresy? Remember the
          ‘index expurgatorius’, the inquisition, the stake, the axe, the halter and the
          guillotine.”

          — John Adams, letter to John Taylor

          “The priesthood have, in all ancient nations, nearly monopolized learning.
          And ever since the Reformation, when or where has existed a Protestant or
          dissenting sect who would tolerate A Earth? The blackest billingsgate, the most
          ungentlemanly insolence, the most yahooish brutality, is patiently endured,
          countenanced, propagated, and applauded. But touch a solemn truth in collision
          with a dogma of a sect, though capable of the clearest proof, and you will find
          you have disturbed a nest, and the hornets will swarm about your eyes and hand,
          and fly into your face and eyes.”

          — John Adams, letter to John Taylor

          “This is my religion … joy and exaltation in my own existence … so go
          ahead and snarl … bite … howl, you Calvinistic divines and all you who say
          I am no Christian. I say you are not Christian.”

          — John Adams, Toward the Mystery

          [In regard to the Trinity] “Tom, had you and I been 40 days with Moses,
          and beheld the great God, and even if God himself had tried to tell us that
          three was one … and one equals three, you and I would never have believed it.
          We would never fall victims to such lies.”

          — John Adams, letter to Thomas Jefferson

          “Indeed, Mr. Jefferson, what could be invented to debase the ancient
          Christianism, which Greeks, Romans, Hebrews and Christian factions, above all
          the Catholics, have not fraudulently imposed upon the public? Miracles after
          miracles have rolled down in torrents, wave succeeding wave in the Catholic
          church, from the Council of Nicea, and long before, to this day.”

          — John Adams, to Jefferson, 12/3/1813

          “The United States of America have exhibited, perhaps, the first example
          of governments erected on the simple principles of nature; and if men are now
          sufficiently enlightened to disabuse themselves of artifice, imposture,
          hypocrisy, and superstition, they will consider this event as an era in their
          history. Although the detail of the formation of the American governments is at
          present little known or regarded either in Europe or in America, it may
          hereafter become an object of curiosity. It will never be pretended that any
          persons employed in that service had interviews with the gods, or were in any
          degree under the influence of Heaven, more than those at work upon ships or
          houses, or laboring in merchandise or agriculture; it will forever be
          acknowledged that these governments were contrived merely by the use of reason
          and the senses….”

          — John Adams, A Defense of the Constitutions of Government of the United States
          of America

          “Nothing is more dreaded than the national government meddling with
          religion.”

          — John Adams

        • BeWhoYouAre
        • thoughtsfromflorida

          “Suppose a nation in some distant region should take the BIBLE for their ONLY law book and every member should regulate his conduct by the precepts there exhibited , what a EUTOPIA …what a PARADISE this region be”

          That’s been tried. It did not go well. Please Google “the dark ages”, “holy wars”, and “inquisitions” for additional information.

  • Frank

    Sounds like these textbooks are historically accurate and should be approved. Let’s pray the board approves them if they are as historically accurate as this article is leading us to believe.

    • Larry Linn

      “As
      I understand the Christian religion, it was, and is, a revelation. But how has
      it happened that millions of fables, tales, legends, have been blended with
      both Jewish and Christian revelation that have made them the most bloody
      religion that ever existed?”

      — John Adams, letter to F.A. Van der Kamp, 12/27/1816

      • Frank

        Quotes from a non Christian that knows not God means nothing concerning my original post.

        • Larry Linn

          [In regard to the Trinity] “Tom, had you and I been 40 days with Moses, and beheld the great God, and even if God himself had tried to tell us that three was one … and one equals three, you and I would never have believed it. We would never fall victims to such lies.” — John Adams, letter to Thomas Jefferson

          “Lighthouses are more helpful than churches.”–Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard’s Almanac, 1758

          “Religious bondage shackles and debilitates the mind and unfits it for every noble enterprise.” – James Madison

          “All national institutions of churches, whether Jewish, Christian or Turkish, appear to me no other than human inventions, set up to terrify and enslave mankind, and monopolize power and profit.”- Thomas Paine

          • Frank

            Again, quotes from non Christians that know not God has no bearing on my original post. Only a fool says in their heart there is no God.

  • James Grimes

    “including suggestions that Moses and the Ten Commandments were an influence on the founding of the nation.” OK, what’s the problem?

  • Carol Cantell Moorby

    Abraham Lincoln said, ” The bible is the best gift given to men.ALL the good the savior gave to the world was communicated through his book.” Franklin Roosevelt said, ” America was born to exemplify that the devotion to the elements of righteousness are those which we derive from holy scriptures.” Herbert Hoover said, ” American life is built and can alone survive on the fundamental philosophy of the Holy scriptures.” Franklin F. Roosevelt said, ” I suggest a nation wide reading of the Holy scriptures from Thanksgiving to Christmas for renewing and strengthening with those eternal truths and majestic principles which have inspired such greatness as this nation has achieved.” Harry Truman said, ” The basis of our Bill Of Rights comes from Exodus, Isaiah, Mathew and St. Paul.I don’t think we’ve emphasized that enough these days.” Dwight Eisenhower said, ” Religious faith is the foundation of free government.” Ronald Reagan said, ” Of the many influences that have shaped USA into a great nation and people none is more fundamental and enduring then the bible. ” Deep religious beliefs from the old and New Testament inspired many of our settlers which developed our foundation .The bible and it’s teachings formed the basis for our fore fathers . The idea set forth in the Declaration independence and the constitution . Whether America can be strong will depend on t heir knowledge of the Bible..

  • Demopublicrat