Texas Schools: Christian Indoctrination? No Problem. Critical Thinking? Devilish!


We’ve reported before on how Texas schools push their religious agenda on students. It’s insidious and constant in rural Texas schools. It’s also hypocritical. When an exercise in critical thinking brought religion into it, the “fundies” attacked.

An atheist couple in China, Texas has been complaining of overt Christian indoctrination going on in their daughter’s school. When they complained to the school, the daughter was threatened on social media and ridiculed at school. The parents, trying to make the community understand that this is a secular country when it comes to public institutions, held a public meeting on the subject. They brought in experts from the Freedom From Religion Foundation and Americans United for the Separation of Church and State, as well as a reverend from the Foundation for Contemporary Theology.

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The purpose of this meeting was to explain to the town (1) what the separation of church and state means, (2) how the 1rst amendment protects freedom OF religion by necessarily insuring (sic) freedom FROM religion, and (3) that the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion.

Unfortunately, the very people that the meeting was aimed at chose not to attend. Some are even protesting to the town’s mayor for allowing the meeting to happen.

The event was recorded for those who may wish to learn about what the Constitution says about the separation of Church and State. The presentation was followed by a Q & A.

Here’s my question for those who boycotted the meeting: what terrifies you so about other ideas? Are you so insecure that learning about how others live threatens your own faith? Lame.

Meanwhile, as pseudo-Christians in China attack atheists for not wanting their child to be indoctrinated in her school, in Katy, Texas, the school board dealt with a controversy. Well, it was a controversy for the Fundie crowd.

It seems that 7th-grader Jordan Wooley accused her teacher of making her “choose between her grades and her faith” during a lesson in critical thinking. The lesson asked students to state whether a subject was fact, opinion, or a commonplace assertion. When Wooley was asked which category God fit into, she answered “fact.” She was informed that was incorrect, that God is a commonplace assertion.

Jordan was not happy with that, making the mental jump from “commonplace assertion” to”myth.” They are not at all the same thing. Yet Jordan took her story to the school board:

Today I was given an assignment in school that questioned my faith and told me that God was not real. Our teacher had started off saying that the assignment had been giving problems all day. We were asked to take a poll to say whether God is fact, opinion or a myth and she told anyone who said fact or opinion was wrong and God was only a myth.

This was, of course, not what the teacher said. Jordan went on to say that she knew God existed, using the Bible as her evidence. That’s as may be. But, objectively, there is no proof — one way or the other — of the existence of God. The teacher was correct.

But the Fundies don’t think that way. To them, saying that God is, objectively, not a fact is tantamount to stripping Jordan of her religious rights. This is the narrative they’re pushing. Right-wing websites are riding this nonsense like a rented mule with the intent of using it to further their “religious freedom” agenda. They rail that Jordan’s teacher forced her to “deny God or take a failing grade.” Untrue. The assignment was not a requirement.

The school board looked into the matter and released the following statement on Wednesday. It reads, in part:

… the principal determined that the classroom activity included an item that was unnecessary for achieving the instructional standard. The activity, which was intended to encourage critical thinking skills and dialogue by engaging students in an exercise wherein they identified statements as fact, opinion, or common assertion was not intended to question or challenge any student’s religious beliefs as reported by some media outlets. The teacher is distraught by this incident, as some commentary has gone as far as to vilify her without knowing her, her Christian faith, or the context of the classroom activity.

Context? They don’t need no stinking context. They jumped to the conclusion that fit their preferred narrative. Even to the point of persecuting one of their own. This whole thing is yet another attempt by the pseudo-Christian right to claim that they are the victims. Their religious rights are being trampled, they can’t practice their faith, etcetera, etcetera.

The hypocrisy, when these incidents are juxtaposed, is clear. I wonder what the pseudo-Christians would do if the situation were reversed? Like if Muslims or Wiccans were trying to indoctrinate their kids? They’d go ballistic. Victims? Please.

Featured Image via Pixabay

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