Sunday, September 27, 2009
The Texas State Board of Education(SBOE) is in the process of selecting new textbooks in social studies which includes history, geography and economics. One area of controversy is the religious views of the founding fathers. In a San Antonio Express article describing the issues, the SBOE is seen as leaning toward designating the United States as a Christian nation. Part of the problem seems to be that the SBOE's expers seem to be prejudiced and in favor of the Christian designation.
I am no expert on this nation's early history, but I have read Benjamin Franklin's autobiography and biographies of several of the founding fathers. My impression is that they are a mixed bag as far as beliefs. Many were Christians, but a large number were deists. Having been a deist myself, I know that they were not Christians. Deist believe in a clockmaker God, a God who created the universe, set it in motion, then relaxed to let it run. The deist belief is far from a God that would come to this world himself to redeem it.
I do not understand this desire to limit the diversity of the Founding Fathers and change history. Saying that the United States was founded as a Christian nation betrays the school children of Texas. Distorting history does not help them. Is the assumption that most will never study these subjects again? I can only assume so. How sad.
What do the Christians on the SBOE fear? Christianity has flourished for almost two thousand years. We do not need to change history to help the faith. Such action makes Christianity appear weak, needing government to maintain its place in the United States. Christians need to remember that Christ message was one of victory. God does not need the SBOE to succeed.
Photo by cloudsoup.