Saturday, May 22, 2010

What if I Taught History the Texas Board of Education's Way?

As a follow-up to my alternate timeline of U.S. history as offered by Texas and Arizona, I asked our resident historian Wernor Herzog's Bear to write an actual lecture suitable for those guidelines. So imagine if you would, your children being socialized into this new truth. Ask yourself, what will be the consequences of this Orwellian, Christian Dominionist, Right-wing Conservative rewriting of history for how students will come to view their roles as citizens, neighbors, and voters in 21st century America? Who are the winners? Who are the losers? And ultimately, what type of future will they craft?


As many of you know, the Texas State Board of Education is about to have a vote on its social studies standards, which enshrine a Teabagger/Christian Nationalist view of American history. As a fun little exercise, I decided to write out a lecture on the Constitution that conforms to the standards. Although there's a little exaggeration here, it matches the new standards much more so than what I teach now, which is based on the work of actual professional historians.


Today class we will be discussing the creation of the Constitution. Last week during our class on the revolution we talked about the Articles of Confederation, which was America’s first form of government. It seems that the Articles just didn’t provide enough freedom, so the Founding Fathers in their infinite wisdom, guided by the hand of God, composed a more perfect document.

Their convention met in 1787, in Philadelphia. I should have you note that while many important Founders were there, Thomas Jefferson was not. You see, he really wasn’t all that significant, after all. We all know there would be no place for a Godless deist amongst the committed Christians who were going to accomplish God’s divine mission.

The Founders had a lot of ideas and precedents in their minds when they met in Philadelphia. They’d read the works of great Christian thinkers like Thomas Aquinas and John Calvin, and wanted to craft a constitution that was like the Ten Commandments, the most perfect example that they could find. What better source for how to live our lives is there than the Bible? They had read some stuff from the Enlightenment too, but understood that most of its ideas led to secular humanism.

God’s plan included sacred principles like the separation of powers and checks and balances, which were intended to create the maximum amount of freedom possible. Most importantly, it established a federal system of government, which means that the states have the freedom to defend their rights and do whatever they want. Unfortunately, that principle would not be followed in later years, leading to the unfortunate War Between the States.

There was something for everyone in the Constitution. Even slaves, who had already benefitted so much by being rescued from the horrors of the Dark Continent at the hands of benevolent European slave traders, got rights under the Constitution. Although they technically could have gotten nothing, they were given the status of 3/5s of a person, which was very generous for the time. Don’t forget, even though some of the Founders owned slaves, no one thought what they were doing was wrong at the time. And in any case, those benighted Africans weren’t going to civilize themselves!

After the Constitution was written, the Founders realized that it could use even more freedom, and so they added the Bill of Rights. The most important amendments are the second, first, and tenth. The Second Amendment gives all of us a right to bear arms, the only thing we have to protect our freedom, especially when the federal government oversteps its bounds. The First Amendment is especially important. Because the very first freedom mentioned in the Bill of Rights is that of religion, that means that America is without a doubt a Christian nation. Last, but not least, the Tenth Amendment protects states rights, and if properly interpreted, bans horrible tyranny like Obamacare.

Of course, sometimes we take some of these amendments too far. The Founders never would have thought that the Eighth Amendment banned torture, especially when applied to Muslim infidels. It’s great that we have the Fourth Amendment to protect us from the government taking our guns, but it shouldn’t be used to protect terrorists and allow women to have abortions. Hopefully someday these perversions of the Constitution will finally be overturned, and the will of God made manifest through this perfect document will be able to shine fully once again.

1 comment:

Lola Gets said...

LOVED IT! Whooo, that was too funny. And yet scary at the same time.