Secular Coalition Applauds Resolution Supporting Fact-Based Education, Denouncing Texas School Board Meddling

The Secular Coalition for America lauded a House resolution (H. Res. 1593) supporting fact-based social studies curricula in public schools, introduced by Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX) in response to the social studies curriculum established by the Texas State Board of Education, one which imposes a theocratic slant on the teaching of American history and other subjects. The Secular Coalition for America advocates for separation of church and state and is the national lobbying organization representing the interests of secular Americans - atheists, agnostics, humanists, and other nontheists - in our nation's capital.

The Texas Board of Education voted this year to change the state's social studies curricula to teach the falsehood that the U.S. Constitution and American justice derives from Biblical law. Theocrats on the Board also tried - but failed - to eliminate Thomas Jefferson from a list of influential thinkers, to be replaced with religious figures such as John Calvin. Previously, the Board eliminated from textbooks a reference to the scientific consensus regarding the age of the universe - apparently because science contradicts the Biblical date of origin. As school board member David Bradley told the New York Times, "I reject the notion by the left of a constitutional separation of church and state."

Due to the size of the Texas textbook market, the dictates of its theocratic school board effect textbooks used by public school students all over the country.

"If the United States is to embrace national educational standards, the teaching of our biological, national, and philosophical origins must be based in fact, never religious bias," said Sean Faircloth, Executive Director of the Secular Coalition for America. "The imposition of theocratic bias by the Texas Board of Education underscores the need for any national educational standards to apply equally.. Right now standards apply to English and math, but fail to encompass social studies and science as well-the two areas most vulnerable to theocratic meddling"

Faircloth urged the adoption of H.Res. 1593, saying, "The passage of Rep. Johnson's resolution would send an unmistakable signal that our Congress will not stand for our children's education being tampered with to suit a religious-extremist agenda based on religious bias and outright falsehoods."

For immediate release: August 10, 2010

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