Texas Public School Course Teaches the 'Racial Origins Traced from Noah'
A new report put out by the Texas Freedom Network Education Fund reveals that in several public school classes on the impact of the Bible on history have found classes teaching from a right-wing, fundamentalist Christian standpoint.
A Southern Methodist University religious studies professor Mark Chancey found instances of students learning a literal interpretation of the Bible, that the earth is approximately 6,000 years old and that Judaism is a “flawed and incomplete religion” with materials “designed to evangelize rather than provide an objective study of the Bible’s influence.”
TFN also found a lesson explaining “racial origins traced from Noah.”
The claim that Africans are descendants of Ham, whom Noah curses in Genesis 9 after he “saw the nakedness of his father,” has long been used as a biblical justification for anti-black racism and slavery.
The report [PDF] even found courses that embrace the Christian nationalist ideology of the Religious Right, including inauthentic quotes attributed to the Founding Fathers:
In a few districts, Bible courses echo claims made within the Religious Right that the Founding Fathers were largely orthodox Protestant Christians who intended for the United States to be a distinctively Christian nation with laws and a form of government based on the Bible. This logic is implied, for example, in a Dalhart ISD daily lesson plan: “The student understands the beliefs, and principles taken from the Biblical texts and applied to elements of the American system of government.” These claims are problematic not only because they are historically inaccurate but also because they figure prominently in attempts by the Religious Right to guarantee a privileged position in the public square for their own religious beliefs above those of others.
Lubbock and Prosper ISDs are among the districts that relied on material from the NCBCPS [National Council on Bible Curriculum in Public Schools] course on this topic. Since at least 2005, the NCBCPS curriculum has included a 10-page selection of isolated quotations (at least five of them spurious) praising the Bible, God and Christianity set against a blurry backdrop depicting soldiers carrying an American flag.
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