We told you yesterday how the old warhorse of the right-wing censorship movement in Texas, Educational Research Analysts, works to intimidate publishers and promote a divisive ideological agenda in public school textbooks. As we reported, the group’s July newsletter called for the Texas State Board of Education to reject textbooks that are allegedly anti-Christian and pro-Muslim (even though claims of such bias are not supported by facts).
Another passage from that same newsletter makes the religious right’s obsession with political power and pushing an ideological agenda rather than educating kids even clearer:
“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 … in their new high school World History submissions. Christian conservative mastery of detail in Texas’ textbook approval process is power.” [emphasis added]
This is a stunning declaration by culture warriors who are determined to put their personal political agendas ahead of the education of Texas schoolchildren. Yet it is not a toothless declaration: for nearly two decades, far-right pressure groups and their wealthy supporters have slowly built a powerful faction of culture warriors on the state board. And that faction of political extremists is determined to control what our public schools teach millions of Texas kids, even if it means distorting what the law really says.
Here are just some of the fruits of their dangerous and divisive efforts: