Texas taxpayers’ money for blaming worlds wars on Enlightenment and Darwin


This video from the USA is called Zack Kopplin on the Teaching of Creationism.

The British Conservative Party government wants to spend lots of taxpayers’ money on “celebrating” the start of World War I.

I don’t know whether religious fundamentalist conservatives in Texas in the USA also think that bloody war should be “celebrated”. I do know now they have very unusual views on the causes of that war.

One might think that economic, political and military competition between the early twentieth century empires caused that war. Not true, Texas religious fundamentalists say: liberal Christians, agnostics and atheists were to blame. Ever since the Enlightenment ideas of the seventeenth and eighteenth century. How strange, if one considers that without the Enlightenment there would have been no eighteenth century American revolution. No independent USA with Texas as one of its states. The eighteenth century counterparts of twenty-first century fundamentalist Christians considered rebellion against a king like King George III of the British colonial empire a horrible sin against God. Especially so as King George III was also the head of the Church of England.

By Scott Kaufman in the USA:

Taxpayer-funded Texas schools blame world wars on evolution and lack of religion

Friday, January 17, 2014 12:59 EST

Texas students in publicly funded charter schools run by Responsive Education Solutions are learning that, “in the beginning, God created the Heavens and the Earth,” as well as that feminism is responsible for single women turning to the federal government as “surrogate husband[s].”

According to Zack Kopplin at Slate, Responsive Education Solutions has been “infiltrating and subverting” the charter school movement in order to push an explicitly Christian, conservative agenda.

Responsive Education Solutions has 17,000 students, more than 65 schools, and receives $82 million in public funding annually.

Kopplin acquired workbook for the school’s biology “Knowledge Unit,” which shares a first sentence with the King James Bible: “In the beginning, God created the Heavens and the Earth.”

The material that followed was equally misleading, including sections that claim that scientists “question the validity of the conclusions concerning the age of Earth.” The biology workbook is replete with other creationist arguments against evolutionary theory, including that there is no experimental data to back it; that transitional fossils which should exist, don’t; and that the theory can be directly linked to the rise of eugenics in Nazi Germany.

The book manufactures doubt where none should exist, and it does so deliberately. Rosalinda Gonalez, Response Education Solution’s Vice President of Academic Affairs, told Kopplin that the workbook “teaches evolution, noting, but not exploring, the existence of competing theories.”

However, even merely “noting” the existence of non-scientific “competing theories” was held to be unconstitutional by Edwards v. Aguillard.

The “Knowledge Units” pertaining to history are similarly problematic, only instead of pushing creation science on unwitting students, they showcase a version of history that contains a distinctly conservative ideological bias.

They claim that the First World War is the result of “the abandoning of religious standards of conduct” that began with the Enlightenment.

Let us look at two autocratic emperors who played a key role in starting World War I: Czar Nicholas II of Russia and Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany. Where they liberal Christians, agnostics, atheists or otherwise Enlightenment supporters? Had they “abandoned” religion? No sir. They both headed state churches. Czar Nicholas combined that with faith in questionable ‘faith healer’ Rasputin.

The New Deal “ushered in a new era of dependency on the Federal government,” and feminism created a class of women who “lacked male financial support and who had to turn to the state as a surrogate husband.”

According to Kopplin, its explicitly moral components refer not to civic virtues, but to “values” borrowed whole-cloth — and without citation — from the website of Bill Gothard, a minister who demands his followers incorporate “biblical principles” into daily life.

One significant problem with crypto-Christian charter schools operating in Texas is that the state only allows for 300 charter schools to operate at any one time. This means that these stealth-creationist, conservative outfits are preventing legitimately innovative charter schools from opening in the state.

Kopplin calls this “a moment of truth for the charter movement and for Texas politicians. Will they support removing from charter programs these schools that break the law?”

Calls for oversight into Ohio charter schools have been renewed this week, after an unprecedented 17 charter schools closed in Columbus, Ohio, in one year. Eleven of those closures took place this fall, forcing more than 250 students to scramble at the last minute to find new schools. The majority of the shuttered schools were open only a few months, and some only a few weeks. Although the educational viability of these schools was highly suspect—numerous charters have been involved in questionable practices—the state of Ohio used $1.6 million in public taxpayer money just to keep nine of these schools open only from August through October or November: here.

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17 thoughts on “Texas taxpayers’ money for blaming worlds wars on Enlightenment and Darwin

  1. I find both sides of this are using “convenient amnesia” Many of the views you shared are, as you said, the views of many fundamentalist Christians, but not all. However, you conveniently forget there were also fundamentalist Christians who were part of that revolution against King George. Censorship whether it is by the right or the left is wrong.

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    • Hi combs2jc, since you commented, I added a paragraph on Emperors Wilhelm II and Nicholas II who played major roles in starting World War I.

      Indeed, some fundamentalist Christians in Texas or elsewhere very probably have different ideas about what caused World War I than Responsive Education Solutions; or they may not be sure what caused that war. I did not write “*the* fundamentalist Christians.” The article centers on Responsive Education Solutions.

      Though many leading 18th century American revolutionaries, like Thomas Jefferson, were skeptical on organized religion, some Protestant Calvinists indeed did support the revolution. In Calvinism (making it different from eg, Lutheranism or Anglicanism) there is a “monarchomach” school of thought,

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monarchomach

      teaching that sometimes it is just to rebel against princes. That played a role in the sixteenth century Dutch revolt and the seventeenth century English revolution as well.

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      • I can understand skepticism on organized religion I share that. An unmentioned contribution to World War I was the hatred taught in French and English schools to children for Germany, and the hatred taught in German schools for the British. This hatered was seen in every part of society at the time, throughtout the world. many believe it may have even played a role in available help not getting to the Titanic in time to save more people.

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        • The Titanic disaster was in 1912, so there was no war then yet.

          Hatred for Germans in Allied countries, and for British, French etc. in Central Powers countries was indeed taught by governments during World War I. Not only in schools, but everywhere. In Germany, the slogan was: God strafe England; may God punish England.

          Helmut Herzfeld, German conscript soldier was so disgusted by this propaganda that he changed his name to John Heartfield. After the war, he became famous as photo montage artist, making art against Hitler etc.

          See

          https://dearkitty1.wordpress.com/2012/05/04/photomontage-from-john-heartfield-to-the-iraq-war/

          Like

          • I believe you meant the Titanic disaster was in 1912. And yes there was no war yet. That is precisely my point. The hatred for Germany by Anglo-Franco countries and vice versa was decades old. In 1912 Telefunken Wireless company operator wireless radios on German ships and Marconi operated wireless radios on British and American. It is well documented that radio operators used to interfere and send fake and false signals to operstors of the opposite company. The night Titanic sank a German ship that may have been close enough to help the Titanic turned off it’s radio after being told.by the Titanic radio operator “you are a fool”. The German operator reportedly believed the distress call was another prank by a Marconi operator to show up a Telefunken operator. The animosity between the two sides goes back decades before Titanic and increased with each passing year until the war. Though during the war this animosity was not shared by all the soilders and led too several cases of enemy soldiers fraternizing with each other in “no man’s land” during Christmas. The most wide spread fraternization happened in several places along the front in 1914, and had the commanding officers (safe in their headquarters far from the fighting) furious.

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