House Resolution To Endorse "Biblical Worldview" Pending...
[image, right: Chuck Norris dropkicks American history]
This issue concerns more than a House Resolution endorsing fake history ; the core function of the falsified "Christian nation" historical narrative - which is built from many little history lies and distortions (and some big ones too) is to support Christian nationalism (link to an essay I did on how I think that works. What's Christian nationalism ?)
The fight over the American historical record is a battle about whose version of history will be the dominant narrative that will get to shape the historical understandings of the next generation of Americans. The falsified narrative of the Christian right has been gaining ground for decades but now - with the letters and phone calls people right here on this forum have sent and made to their representatives in Congress - the fightback, to protect the integrity of the historical record, is truly underway.
It is late : many Christian homeschooled children are already taught falsified American history and the stuff has been sneaking into American public schools as well. It should be tossed out on its ear as Intelligent Design recently was and for precisely the same reasons. But, that's not what's happening...
If a House Resolution to endorse Intelligent Design - as legitimate science - had been introduced to the US House Of Representatives and was coming up, possibly, for a vote the news would almost certainly be plastered across the front pages of the New York Times and innumerable other papers and media publications of note across the United States.
Last Thursday Senior Research Director For The Military Religious Freedom Foundation Chris Rodda posted a story on her discovery of H. Res. 888, which is coming to be an emergent scandal and which otherwise might well have wholly escaped scrutiny. Friday morning I broadcast the story in a popular post here and, in response to thse efforts, many smaller blogs, mostly atheist blogs, rallied and carried the story. Somewhere between 75 and 200 messages to Congressional Representatives have gone out, as letters, emails, and PDF's. Some people have made phone calls. At least one person but maybe a few have planned to visit their Reps. on Capital Hill.
But, a Google News search on House Resolution 888 shows that it has yet to be covered by a single commercial media outlet or, for that matter, most major politically progressive blogs on the Internet, ones that take the threat of ID quite seriously.
So the issue needs to be stepped up a notch or two. H. Res. 888, is an effort to overwrite the history record by giving fake history the imprimatur of Congress. Do you think that Congress won't vote H. Res. 888 in ?
Well, maybe you're right but there's reason to think otherwise...
House Resolution 888 - the "Biblical Worldview" Resolution
It's very simply really - Falsified American history, altered to show the US was founded as a Christian nation, is one of the two main pillars of the "Biblical Worldview" aka the "Christian Worldview". The other pillar is Creationism/Intelligent Design.
Public awareness of the damage the falsified American history promoted by David Barton and other Christian right activists is still only embryonic - even among key organizations that work to fight for our Constitutional and civil liberties. And so Intelligent Design/Creationism has been placed in a different category, both mentally and legally, from falsified American history. That is a mistake, and it is intellectually indefensible :
The people who promote ID and Creationism, and those who push fake American history, go to the same conferences and retreats - where they share the stage as leading acts. They appear on the same Christian TV and radio shows, often together as well. They both admit their goal is primarily religious - that of building a "Christian nation".
If H. Res. 888 gets passed by Congress that will represent a major advance for the "Biblical Worldview" ( or "Christian Worldview" ) movement that was the motive force behind the efforts to slip Intelligent Design into American public schools. The movement is based in Christian Reconstructionism and the end goal is theocracy. Keep that in mind.
What's a "Biblical Worldview ?
Well, it's a manifestation of Christian Reconstructionism. You may not know this, but there are at the very least two Christian Reconstructionist GOP presidential candidates - Mike Huckabee and Ron Paul - and the two carried 44% of Iowa's GOP caucus votes. Could a Christian Reconstructionist ascend to the US Presidency ? It doesn't seem likely now but anything can happen - terrorist attacks, weather disasters, new wars, assassinations... if Mike Huckabee carries the GOP nomination sure - he could be our next President.
The "Biblical Worldview" starts here ; the Bible is divinely inspired, inerrant, and literally true. From there we get Creationism and ID, and opposition to the theory of Evolution. For some reason, the falsified "Christian Nation" version of American history is also a part of the package even though the United States isn't mentioned in the Bible. But, those are arguably the two central pillars. There's more to the "worldview" but let's leave it there for a moment.
There's a concerted movement to push the "Biblical Worldview" into American politics and culture, and the same people who push falsified American history are the ones who tried to slip Intelligent Design into schools or, if they're not, the fake history folks and the ID/Creationism crowd attend the same "Creationism science" and "Christian worldview" or "Biblical Worldview" conferences and retreats - they're in the same movement.
Remember the landmark Dover decision that chucked Intelligent Design out of public schools ? Well, prior to the outbreak of litigation that resulted in the Dover vs. Kitzmiller decision the head of the Dover school board head Alan Bonsell was passing around a certain book to other Dover board members - with the explanation that he wanted Dover students to learn more about the founding fathers. The book ? - David Barton's Myth Of Separation.
Remember Intelligent Design ?
The Dover decision threw ID out of public schools but the people and movement who tried to slip ID into schools are also pushing the bogus "Christian nation" verison of American history.
They are trying to get fake American history into schools and the Congressional Record for exactly the same reasons, to promote their idea of a Biblical Worldview.
That's what House Resolution 888 is really. It's the "Biblical Worldview" resolution. Fake American history is one part of the core "Biblical Worldview" package - which starts with a literal reading of the Bible (probably the King James Version) and proceeds from there. Central to the worldview are Creationism and ID, and the falsified "Christian Nation" version of American history. The Home Schooling movement is the vector for the movement.
Now, the recent Dover vs. Kitzmiller decision that chucked Intelligent Design out on its ear, from American public schools, did so because 1) the motives of those pushing ID was specifically religious in nature, 2) ID is clearly not science and clearly has evolved from Creationism, also explicitly religious in nature. In short : a religious program, masquerading as science and pushed by religious partisans and organizations. Under those grounds, ID couldn't clear the Lemon Test: end of story.
Well, there's another legal case ongoing concerning an attempt, by explicitly religious groups and partisans, to promote a Bible class curriculum, that's allegedly religious in nature rather than secular, in American public schools: the Odessa case. Books will be written about the case when its over. It's the next Dover.
Funny thing though :
According an attorney working on the case for the ACLU the falsified American history in the National Council For Bible Curriculum In Public Schools' Bible class curriculum, which is the point of controversy in the ongoing legal battle in Odessa, Texas, supposively is not relevant to that case because it's not unconstitutional to teach fake, or fraudulent, history.
Say what ? Yes, that's the claim.
So, I am going to argue something here that has yet to be recognized by any major organization devoted to preserving our Constitutional and civil liberties. Americans United For The Separation of Church and State ? The ACLU ? People For The American Way ?
None of these organizations, which nonetheless do vital work, have recognized the simple truth that the falsified "Christian nation" version of American history that's now being taught in public schools - in an elective Bible curriculum and also in Army JROTC classes taught in high schools across the US - is clearly religious in nature and the activists who are promoting it say, directly, that their goal is primarily religious.
In other words, the falsified "Christian nation version of American history should, as a matter of simple common sense, get the same media recognition and the same legal treatment as Creationism and Intelligent Design have received ( a lot ). Because of that lack of recognition of fake history we're now in a position in which the United States House Of Representatives might pass a resolution that might as well be an affirmation of Creationism or ID - because it's part of the same political and religious movement : the "Christian Worldview" movement otherwise known as Christian Reconstructionism.
The Implacable Ooze : Fake History Spreading
Situation Under Control ? Not Really
GOP House Representative Randy J. Forbes' House Resolution 888 (w/31 co-sponsors), with its steaming mass of falsified American history, could potentially come up for a vote in little more than a week. It may well not make it out of committee at all, but we have no guarantees.
It may well pass, because there's been limited pushback on the Internet and the scandal of fake "Christian nation" version of American history in H. Res. 888 hasn't been covered by a single commercial media outlet, large or small. Only two major political blogs have seen fit to front-page (without much emphasis though) the issue.
Think of the calculus - last December the Christian nationalist "Christmas Resolution" passed the House on a 327-9 votes. Only 9 members of the House were brave enough to oppose the measure, which in effect declared American religious and philosophical minorities unworthy of recognition.
Further, such falsified history has been cited in the House and Senate for, literally, decades and nobody has made a concerted effort to fight it. Politicians from both major parties have no problem attending events at which fake US history is cited. So why would anyone fight it now ? Indeed, many Democratic Party politicians are trying to re-brand themselves as "faith-based" and so they're terrified of getting
Mainstream media doesn't care about fake American history and even the major progressive political blogs barely do. So why should our Congressional Representatives care enough to stick their necks out and vote against H. Res. 888 ? They know there's a tiny bit of grassroots opposition to the resolution, sure. I'm dubious that's enough to sway them much though, and we can't afford to risk it.
So, what to do ?
OK, I'm going to back up a bit - Chris and I have asked people to contact their Congressional Reps., and the response has been wonderful and inspiring. But more is needed... How ?
Well, this issue - which is far, far more than House Resolution 888 (888 is the "number of Jesus", by the way) and is at base the spread of Christian nationalist ideology - barely has traction on the Internet.
The Daily Kos membership is one of the few groups on the Net that has some awareness of this issue - I'd ask you to lobby the blogs. Yes, I'm serious - pick a few big political blogs and ask them why they aren't covering H. Res. 888 and all that comes with it. You might be surprised. I'm not sure there ever has been a collective effort to lobby blogs. Well, I think it's about time.
Additionally, there's some chance that mainstream media actually will pick up on this and wouldn't it seem silly if the progreesive blogosphere were actually behind the curve, trailing the mainstream media ? You never know. I've seen that happen.
On a lighter note, consider this approach if you're going to blog at all about this issue:
Yes, ridicule, that sauciest of all social sauces. A little goes a long way, sure, but it's very good too, when it's gooed on with abandon. Especially when applied to celebrities and politicians, the wealthy and famous.
Aaah... the sweet smell of ridicule
I'm sure somebody out there reading this is in a mood to dish it out far more saucily than I can at the moment. If ever there was a time and a place...
Randy J. Forbes and the 31 co-sponsors of House Resolution have demonstrated that they're all due for some remedial American history lessons - why are Congressional Representatives who don't seem on top of even some of the most basic aspects of American history in the position of being able to write and even pass national legislation ?
The old saw of "with enough monkeys enough typewriters" could be invoked here, I guess, except that on that premise we'd have to suffer through thousands of pieces of botched legislation and dysfunctional government programs and initiatives for each halfway decent piece of legislation that somehow managed to sneak its way through Congress.
Where are the mothers of these Representatives, the "Fake history 32" ? They should help us out and give their progeny a good talking too, or spanking even.
Best, Bruce Wilson
PS - If you're moved to contact your House Representative, Chris Rodda, in her last Daily Kos post on this, yesterday, has some good suggestions on how you can maximize the effect of contacting/writing your rep.
House Resolution To Endorse "Biblical Worldview" Pending... | 10 comments (10 topical, 0 hidden)
House Resolution To Endorse "Biblical Worldview" Pending... | 10 comments (10 topical, 0 hidden)