Education

Phyllis Schlafly Calls on Conservatives to Imitate Legendary Textbook Censor Norma Gabler

Today Phyllis Schlafly hosted Guy Rodgers of ACT! for America on Eagle Forum Live where Rodgers discussed his anti-Muslim group’s new report arguing that children have been “indoctrinated in Islam” by textbooks. Rodgers called on parents to follow the example of famed right-wing activists Mel and Norma Gabler to pressure schools into rejecting textbooks the group claims have a “pro-Islam” bias. “We need another Norma Gabler,” Schlafly said.

Of course, the Gablers were notorious textbook censors who attacked the inclusion of evolution and anything they deemed part of the liberals’ “mental child abuse.” Diane Ravitch writes in The Language Police that the Gablers went after any textbooks they believed “taught ‘humanism,’ sex-education, ‘one-worldism,’ ‘women’s lib,’ or the occult” or promoted “a religion of secular humanism, in violation of the Constitution.”

While both of the Gablers have passed away, their group, Educational Research Analysts, was instrumental in crafting a successful Texas State Board of Education (SBOE) resolution condemning the “pro-Islamic/anti-Christian bias” that “has tainted some past Texas Social Studies textbooks.”

As the Texas Freedom Network points out, “the Gablers had prominent roles in the Texas textbook wars for decades before their deaths” and an Educational Research Analysts’ newsletter on the supposed anti-Christian bias in textbooks was released just one month before the state passed its September resolution. The newsletter blasted “both militant Islamic cultural jihadists (backed by Arab petrowealth in the U.S. textbook industry), and American academic secularists, in their com¬bined assault on Christianity in World History classes” and called on the SBOE to resist the “Allah-lobby,” while noting that “Christian conservative mastery of detail in Texas' textbook approval process is power”:

High school World History will thus fulfill the Texas Education Code's legislative intent better than U.S. History, whose new standards stress free-market benefits much less emphatically. The SBOE should now add that while U.S. History texts must stop ignoring Christianity, high school World History books must cease attacking it. In World History the SBOE should take action in the interna¬tional as well as the national culture war. It should check both militant Islamic cultural jihadists (backed by Arab petrowealth in the U.S. textbook industry), and American academic secularists, in their com¬bined assault on Christianity in World History classes.



Many wrongly think Texas’ SBOE can reject only those textbooks that meet less than 50% of its course content standards, flunk certain manufacturing guidelines, or contain factual errors. But it can also dump those that clearly conflict with basic democratic values. For the first time ever the SBOE should invoke that power to warn publishers not to pander to Islam against Christianity – long a festering malaise (see the Manifesto within here) – in their new high school World History submissions.Christian conservative mastery of detail in Texas' textbook approval process is power … as vital to identify textbooks that so prostitute themselves, as it is to abort their local adoption statewide. Texas' elected SBOE is the one viable national democratic proven check and balance on textbook publishers' otherwise seemingly-unslakeable lust to kowtow to Allah-lobby conceits. All the oil money in Arabia cannot actually sell into American schools a book rejected by Texas' elected SBOE in response to documentation by knowledgeable citizen-voters

David Barton's Long Term Plan to Remake America

Back in 2009 and 2010, when David Barton was tapped as an "expert" to help the Texas State Board of Education rewrite the state's social studies standards, he claimed that he was not promoting any sort of agenda, but was simply dedicated to reintroducing into the curriculum ignored parts "of history that certainly should be presented."

Around the time this was all taking place, Barton appeared on some Rhode Island public access program where he said that his work on rewriting the Texas curriculum gave him tremendous optimism about the future of America because the textbooks written for Texas schools would be used all over the nation and influence the students over the next twenty to thirty years who will eventually be elected to public office:

Barton's involvement in rewriting the Texas standards provoked such an outcry that he now has to do all this sort of work in secret so that nobody knows just how or where he is reworking to inject this long term, right-wing political agenda into the nation's curriculum.

Harvey Suggests that Marriage Equality Leads to Childhood Depression

Mission America president Linda Harvey today addressed a potential constitutional amendment in her native state of Ohio that would legalize same-sex marriage and overturn a 2004 constitutional ban, warning that if it passes it would represent a “rebellion against nature, against civil order and against the beautiful design of God” and that it is a “pro-life issue” because it would turn children into “a problem.” Harvey also argued that marriage equality will lead to “pro-homosexual” education in schools, which she says makes children feel “anxious, stressed out and feel they have nothing to believe in sometimes.” “The deception that results is a dark cloud hanging over our educational environment and our culture,” Harvey said, “and it harms these precious, developing minds and hearts the most.”

Well it’s official, there is now going to be an effort by organized homosexuals and their allies in Ohio to undermine our constitutional amendment on marriage. A group called Freedom to Marry Ohio is launching a referendum drive to get the signatures to put the issue of same-sex marriage on the ballot, possibly this November. This group has filed the first step with Attorney General Mike DeWine’s office with their proposed ballot language, if it makes the Ohio ballot, it would read that marriage is “a union of two consenting adults regardless of gender” and also that “no religious institution shall be required to perform or recognize a marriage.”



People of this state already have the right to marry, adults in Ohio have the freedom to marry someone of the opposite sex because that’s what marriage is. Marriage law is simply a legal confirmation of what we see in nature, that a male and a female fit together anatomically, that this is how children and families are creation, that children and new humans are valuable, not a problem, so this is really a pro-life issue at its heart.

The fact that a few people have deviant desires and want to overturn marriage law for everyone is not an issue of equality, it’s an issue of morality. It’s rebellion against nature, against civil order and against the beautiful design of God. We need to tell the people and this effort a resounding ‘No.’

The question is sometimes asked, how would same-sex marriage harm your marriage? There are several simple answers. One, it changes what is considered normal and legal throughout our culture and therefore what is taught and modeled to our children and grandchildren. Do we want little Morgan in second grade to learn that when she grows up she might marry a boy or might marry a girl and either one is perfectly fine and she won’t know until she’s older which she prefers, but that’s OK. Do you think Morgan will develop with a secure and stable idea about her identity as a girl and woman with this shaky and morally irrational guidance? No wonder our kids are anxious, stressed out and feel they have nothing to believe in sometimes, they are being told what they can see themselves is foolishness and being told to swallow these lies and stay quiet if you don’t agree.

This nonsense is already being taught in some schools and in those states where same-sex marriage is legal it has exploded. Many schools now routinely shut off all debate about homosexuality, there is only one viewpoint and it is pro-homosexual. The deception that results is a dark cloud hanging over our educational environment and our culture and it harms these precious, developing minds and hearts the most. I urge you friends to stand against same-sex marriage.

Santorum Campaign Hails Support from 'Don't Say Gay' Bill Sponsor

Earlier today we reported that Rick Santorum’s campaign is promoting endorsements from anti-gay radicals like Sally Kern and Bobbi Radeck of Oklahoma and Ohio, respectively, and now the former Pennsylvania senator’s campaign is trumpeting the endorsement of Tennessee state legislator Joey Hensley, the chief House sponsor of the state’s “don’t say gay” bill. “We don’t want students to be exposed to alternate lifestyles,” Hensley said in defense of the legislation, which would prevent any discussion of homosexuality in K-8th grades classes. Hensley also criticized Modern Family because two of the show’s main characters are gay, calling it “inappropriate for children.”

Family Research Council Demands Elevation of 'Ex-Gay' Message in Schools

After a Maryland school district decided to reconsider its flyer policy after the “ex-gay” group PFOX distributed material promoting the discredited and dangerous reparative therapy, Family Research Council senior fellow and PFOX board member Peter Sprigg responded with a furious op-ed in the Washington Times and an appearance on Today’s Issues with FRC president Tony Perkins. During the interview, Perkins said that “the homosexual community” is trying to stop children from getting “the options or the help that’s available for them if they’re struggling with [sexuality] issues” by opposing the distribution of ex-gay material, and lamented that “government officials [are] increasingly becoming really patsies for the homosexual activists.” Sprigg said that unless the ex-gay “message gets out in the schools,” then more and more confused kids who “would end up being perfectly heterosexual” would be “told by their teachers and guidance counselors, ‘well you are probably gay.’”

Perkins: When you look across the board in different incidences where the homosexual community is involved, they simply want to shut down any discussion, they don’t want children to be aware of the options or the help that’s available for them if they’re struggling with these issues, and now you see government officials increasingly becoming really patsies for the homosexual activists.

Sprigg: Right. It’s especially important that this message gets out in the schools because it’s normal for young people, adolescents to experience some confusion about their sexual identity. An important statistic that I read once was that there’s a survey done of 12 year olds that found at age 12, 25 percent of the students were unsure of their sexual orientation. But we know from surveys of the adult population that only maybe 2 to 3 percent of the adult population will actually identify as homosexual or bisexual. So you have this population of young people that left to themselves, 9 out of 10 would end up being perfectly heterosexual, but now with the politically correct environment in the schools, those kids are being told by their teachers and guidance counselors, “well you are probably gay, you were born that way, you just have to accept it and embrace it.”

Linda Harvey Tells Parents Not to Send Children to Colleges with Gay Straight Alliances

Mission America president Linda Harvey has a stern warning for parents with college-bound children: don’t send your kid to a school with “a Gay Straight Alliance or any similar group” because “a faith-based school with a homosexual group has probably lost its first love for Jesus and His truth.” Harvey lamented that even evangelical and Catholic institutions are recognizing their gay and lesbian students that would make them stray from “God’s word” in order to “cave in to transient, trendy sexual preferences” and “aggressive homosexual activism.” She also railed against gender neutral campus policies and “deteriorating” standing of “moral judgment” in higher education:

Are you looking for guidance about where to send your son or daughter to college, well perhaps some recent news items about colleges will help. First, check out any trend toward gender neutrality on campus. More and more colleges are instituting bathrooms, showers and locker rooms for both males and females and whatever might me in-between, and you might be interested to know that there are now at least fifty-four colleges and universities in the U.S. with gender neutral housing. Yes, that means just what you’re thinking, students can be roommates regardless of their God-given genders. Another trend is toward bolder support for homosexuality, even at religious schools. We’ve been talking about the push to officially recognize homosexuals on the campuses of some evangelical colleges, which ones will remain faithful to God’s word and which will cave in to transient, trendy sexual preferences? It remains to be seen but if I were a parent I would check any potential college to see if a Gay Straight Alliance or any similar group comes up on a Google search.



Forty-three percent of Catholic colleges have some sort of homosexual group recognized on campus. This is recent news and another sign that moral judgment is deteriorating in the face of aggressive homosexual activism. So a faith-based school with a homosexual group has probably lost its first love for Jesus and His truth. Perhaps, parents, it’s a good idea to seek other alternatives.

Cindy Jacobs Claims American Schools Had No Problems Before 1962

Cindy Jacobs and her husband Mike on God Knows discussed a recent meeting they had with right-wing pseudo-historian David Barton where they agreed that problems such as “teen suicide, rape, murder [and] assault” are a result of a 1962 Supreme Court decision barring school-organized prayer. Claims that the Supreme Court’s ruling in Engel v. Vitale is responsible for America’s cultural and moral decline are commonplace in the Religious Right, and Barton even started his career by blaming the decision for a decline in SAT scores.

According to Cindy Jacobs, public schools in the U.S. had no problems besides “cutting in line” and “throwing spit wads” before 1962. Of course, Jacobs seems to ignore the egregious discrimination that African American students faced in the era of legalized segregation followed by the de facto segregation of schools, and even in integrated schools students like the Little Rock Nine in 1957 faced far more problems that spit wads. 

While she argued that the end of school-organized prayer led to “every evil thing” in America today, her husband claimed that a recent meeting of prophets decided that the European Union’s current “fiscal hardships” are a result of the fact that “they refused to acknowledge God.” What they fail to mention is that Greece, the EU country facing the most severe financial problems, like other European nations actually has an official state church.

Watch:

Cindy Jacobs: 1962, when prayer was taken out of our schools by the Supreme Court, and in 1967 when Bible reading was taken out of our public schools, what happened? I mean in ’62 our biggest problem that we had in the United States was cutting in line, throwing spit wads.



Cindy Jacobs: Yeah, these were our problems, after we took the law of God out of our school, what happened? Teen suicide, rape, murder, assault, kids bringing guns to school, does it matter whether we pray? Absolutely it matters. Does it matter whether we read the Bible? Absolutely it matters. You know Mike when we were kids here in the state of Texas, we began our school with prayer and we prayed in the name of Jesus, I mean nobody was forced to do it, they didn’t have to do it, and then we read the Bible and nobody complained. It was amazing what happened in the nation, but when you take out God out of the house, God out of the schools, what happens is every evil thing comes in, there’s a void place.

Mike Jacobs: Remember the prophets were talking specifically about the European Union and that one of the curses that’s on them right now, one of the reasons they are enduring some of the financial, fiscal hardships right now, is they said when they were doing the founding documents, they refused to acknowledge God.

Cindy Jacobs: That’s right, it’s not in there.

Religious Right Activists Warn Parents Against Sending Students to Communist, Atheist, Gay Public Schools

Public schools have long faced attacks from Religious Right activists who deem them ungodly institutions and conservative politicians who seek to defund and privatize them, and this week Truth in Action Ministries, formerly Coral Ridge Ministries, released the film The Dumbing Down of America on the “sinister” agenda of the public education system. We’ve selected highlights from the film which includes Religious Right figures such as radio talk show host Janet Parshall, Liberty Counsel chairman Mathew Staver, The Myth of Separation Between Church and State author Dee Wampler, Philomath Foundation president Katherine Dang and Center for Academic Freedom (a division of the Alliance Defense Fund) legal counsel Greg Baylor.

The film warns that public schools are based on what Parshall called a “Hitlerian idea” and are led by atheist, communist teachers who Wampler says seek “the eradication of Christianity.” Staver warned that public schools have created a “society that is ripe for chaos and disorder” and Wampler went as so far to blame public education for “everything bad that is happening in our country today.” Of course, no Religious Right film can go long without criticizing gays and lesbians, as Parshall and Baylor criticized positive representations of LGBT community in education.

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Spiritual Warfare for Public Schools

Many of the charismatic preachers, particularly those involved in the New Apostolic Reformation, claim that they are in the midst of taking control of the Seven Mountains of society: arts and entertainment, business, the church, education, the family, government and the media, through a mix of political advocacy and spiritual warfare. As Kyle has noted, we have already seen large prayer rallies with “the purpose of swinging elections, ending abortion, fighting marriage equality, converting Muslims, and even launching a presidential campaign,” and there is even a brand new effort to take dominion over Hollywood.

Now, there is a new spiritual warfare effort targeting public schools to bring about the return of government-organized school prayer.

Many Republican politicians and right-wing activists regularly and quite falsely assert that prayer has been outlawed in schools. As K. Hollyn Hollman, General Counsel of the Baptist Joint Committee writes: “Students, too, are free to pray voluntarily at various times of the school day, absent school involvement or disruption to others. There is simply nothing constructive to be gained from official prayer that advances or harms a particular religion. On the contrary, such prayers threaten individual freedom of conscience and violate the First Amendment’s promise of religious liberty for all.”

With the help of Lou Engle of The Call, one Religious Right activist is set to lead a prayer rally in Sacramento, California, on March 31 to bring government organized prayer back to public schools.

Brian Barcelona said he started a group called “the Christian Club” in a California public school that grew to hundreds of members and that thanks to his club “teachers have been healed of incurable diseases” and “students no longer have to turn to the counselors for advice.” He calls for students of all faiths to come together under Christianity:

This is a movement that is not about a denomination or a church, but a DEMONSTRATION of the Kingdom of God. Signs, wonders, and miracles have broken out amongst students and teachers alike. Teachers have been healed of incurable diseases, and students no longer turn to the counselors for advice, but the Christian Club for prayer and support.

A movement that doesn’t care if a student is a Christian, Hindu, Buddhist, Muslim, Wiccan, Atheist, or anything in between, all are invited to encounter the Love of Jesus and what He has to offer.

He goes on to say that a series of Supreme Court decisions have resulted “in the effective banning of prayer and Bible verse recitation in public schools” and dramatic increases in teen pregnancy, STDs, divorce, cohabitation, out-of-wedlock births, violent crimes, abortion rate and a decline in SAT scores.

Of course, if this were true his “Christian Club” and thousands of other clubs in the U.S. would have been shut down. But it’s not and that’s why students are allowed to pray as they choose to, rather than have the government dictate and lead students in organized prayer.

As. Dr. W. Kenneth Williams of the Baptist Joint Committee points out, government-compelled prayer “violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment and offends the consciences of those would not choose to participate in the prayers” due to their faith or lack of faith” and “many believers consider watered-downed, generic prayers to be deeply offensive.”

Most of all, Barcelona’s own example proves that students are not prevented from engaging in voluntary prayer, and surely he or others involved in his version of charismatic prayer may find vapid, government-written prayers offensive just as many students may not want to participate in a government-sponsored charismatic prayer.

Cindy Jacobs Warns of Satan's Grip in 'Ungodly' Education System

Self-proclaimed prophet Cindy Jacobs told participants of the Prophetic Marketplace Conference that the public education system has Satanic origins because John Dewey, who led the development of progressive education, was a signatory of the Humanist Manifesto. Jacobs said that God told her to “go look up the Humanist Manifesto” to learn about who is instructing the people of America and the entire world. “I began to study this and I began to see that there was something desperately wrong because since 1933 the educational systems of the world had been totally diluted, deceived, coopted and taken over by this ungodly system,” Jacobs explained. She concluded that Satan “founded humanism” in the Garden of Eden, which now, because of John Dewey, has taken over public education.

Watch:

Gates Foundation Raises Eyebrows with Grant to Right-Wing Lobbying Group

“We don’t want to be part of the controversy.” That’s what Melinda Gates, co-chair of the Gates Foundation, told NPR when asked why the foundation’s work on reproductive health avoided support for abortion care. While this was a grave disappointment to global women’s health advocates, it wasn’t altogether surprising. Despite the Gates Foundation’s staggering wealth and influence and willingness to try new – sometimes controversial – approaches, it steadfastly steers clear of political fights.

That’s why a recent award of $376,635 to a right-wing lobbying group, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), is raising eyebrows, and more, in progressive and philanthropy circles. Knowingly or not, the Gates Foundation has just stepped on a political landmine.
ALEC is engaged in all of the fiercest political fights of our day – working hand-in-hand with companies seeking to roll back healthcare reform, environmental protections, workers’ rights, corporate accountability, and taxes on the wealthy. The Gates Foundation, which is “dedicated to the idea that all people deserve the chance to live a healthy and productive life,” should know that those aims are incompatible with ALEC’s efforts to undermine Americans’ health, safety, and economic security to benefit the bottom line of its corporate backers.
 
The stated purpose of the Gates Foundation grant to ALEC is “to educate and engage its membership on more efficient state budget approaches to drive greater student outcomes, as well as educate them on beneficial ways to recruit, retain, evaluate and compensate effective teaching based upon merit and achievement.” On the face of it, this pales in comparison to ALEC’s other education work, which promotes large-scale voucher and privatization schemes that would destroy, not improve, the public education system.
 
Interestingly, Lee Fang recently reported in The Nation on the various ways that the Gates Foundation and ALEC are working – independently – to promote for-profit distance learning. These programs typically undermine public schools while benefiting technology and software companies, including Microsoft. The educational value of such programs is also highly contested.
 
But the bigger issue here is that the Gates Foundation – a grant-making behemoth – is legitimizing ALEC and all of its egregious lobbying by directly supporting a portion of the group’s work. One can only hope that the Gates Foundation staff responsible for the grant were narrowly focused on education policy and unaware of ALEC’s broader agenda. Either way, the foundation seems headed into the middle of a controversy, which is remarkable for an organization that took pains to avoid “the controversy” in the reproductive health arena.
 
For a primer on ALEC, see People For the American Way’s recent report:
When state legislators across the nation introduce similar or identical bills designed to boost corporate power and profits, reduce workers rights, limit corporate accountability for pollution, or restrict voting by minorities, odds are good that the legislation was not written by a state lawmaker but by corporate lobbyists working through the American Legislative Exchange Council.  ALEC is a one-stop shop for corporations looking to identify friendly state legislators and work with them to get special-interest legislation introduced. It’s win-win for corporations, their lobbyists, and right-wing legislators. But the big losers are citizens whose rights and interests are sold off to the highest bidder.

 

People For the American Way and African American Ministers in Action Support the DREAM Act (SJC)

People For the American Way and African American Ministers in Action believe that if students are able to complete their education and work legally, they will become a vital part of our society able to contribute to our economy and live their own American dream. We strongly support the DREAM Act.

Allowing Undocumented Youths to DREAM: Opening up Avenues to Education and Residency

The DREAM Act would open up avenues to education, residency, and potential citizenship for undocumented youths. If they are able to complete either education requirements or military service, and if they live and work in this country legally, there is greater potential for them to make vital contributions that help advance the American dream for them and for us all.

Young People for the American DREAM

Today, Sen. Richard Durbin (D-IL) reintroduced the DREAM Act, a bill that would allow access to affordable postsecondary education, opportunities for military service and potentially a path to full citizenship to thousands of qualified young students striving for a better future.

African American Ministers Support the DREAM Act

Today, Sen. Richard Durbin (D-IL) reintroduced the DREAM Act, a bill that would allow access to affordable postsecondary education, opportunities for military service and potentially a path to full citizenship to thousands of qualified young students striving for a better future.

Students Should Get Another Chance at the DREAM

Today, Sen. Richard Durbin (D-IL) reintroduced the DREAM Act, a bill that would allow access to affordable postsecondary education, opportunities for military service and potentially a path to full citizenship to thousands of qualified young students striving for a better future.

David Barton’s Christian Nation: Sham ‘Historian’ Hits the Big Time in Tea Party America

Who is David Barton? A new PFAW report explores the growing influence of the fast-talking, self-promoting, self-taught , self-proclaimed “historian” who is systematically misinforming millions of Americans about U.S. History and the Constitution – and increasingly influencing prominent Republican decision-makers.

Barton’s Bunk: Religious Right ‘Historian’ Hits the Big Time in Tea Party America

A new PFAW report explores the growing influence of David Barton, a fast-talking, self-promoting, self-taught , self-proclaimed “historian” who is systematically misinforming millions of Americans about U.S. History and the Constitution – and increasingly influencing prominent Republican decision-makers.

2011 Budget Deal Includes Costly, Ineffective and Constitutionally Troubling Voucher Program in DC

In the budget deal reached last week, the GOP used the threat of a devastating government shutdown to push a right-wing priority that has nothing to do with saving money or even with the 2011 budget: re-imposition of a five-year private school voucher program for the District of Columbia, beginning next year.

House Votes to Impose Costly, Ineffective and Constitutionally Troubling Voucher Program on DC

The House today voted to reimpose a costly school voucher program in the District of Columbia. The program, which stopped accepting new students in 2009, was found by the Department of Education to be ineffective at raising student achievement. Its reinstatement, which would cost federal taxpayers $100 million over five years, is opposed by DC’s elected leadership, including the city’s mayor and nonvoting delegate in Congress.  

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