I’m going to introduce you to some new names and faces. I guarantee you have never heard of them (except for the reader who tipped me off to this, of course.) They’re not lawyers or doctors. They’re not politicians or writers. They’re not publishers or artists.
They’re Mel & Norma Gabler of Hawkins, Texas.
Look at them! Don’t they look sweet? I feel pretty safe in saying that these two lived their lives and did their jobs as well as they could, and sincerely meant well. They’ve both died (or as their website says, “gone on to be with the Lord”). In spite of this, they were ignorant, uneducated, and did horrible harm to this country.
Mel and Norma founded “Educational Research Analysts.” Their mission, as stated in their website, says they are “a conservative Christian organization that reviews public school textbooks submitted for adoption in Texas.” Not surprisingly, neither one had a college degree. Apparently Bible study is all you need to censor textbooks.
Again, I have to exonerate Mel and Norma in a way, because they were just trying to poison the minds of Texan children. But the very next statement in their mission statement says, “Our reviews have national relevance because Texas state-adopts textbooks and buys so many that publishers write them to Texas standards and sell them across the country.”
So the State of Texas (God Bless ’em) actually relied on Mel and Norma to inform them of which books the State would allow–in their Public Schools. What they effectively did, however, was far worse. Since textbook publishers wanted to maximize their profits, they would censor their books to fit the harshest criteria out there–that of Texas. So now we have Ma and Pa Kettle spicing up the educational cuisine that feeds the youth of our entire Nation. And how long has this been going on? Golly gosh–for 47 years. It’s too darned bad I’m only 46.
Now, not everything Mel and Norma did was wrong. In 1973, they criticized a 5th grade History book for devoting more time and attention to Marilyn Monroe than to George Washington. Good point on that one. They even once found a textbook which claimed that Harry Truman ordered atomic weapons to end the Korean War. Uhhh, say what?
But what they did was mostly not good. Mel and Norma were bent on having their textbooks reflect a Biblical Universe, after all. One result of their intervention was reflected in 2004, when several textbooks defined marriage as a “lifelong union between a man and a woman”. I don’t know about you, but my marriage wasn’t “lifelong,” and some of them aren’t between a man and a woman. They also insisted that textbooks refer to the 1983 military intervention in Grenada as a “rescue”, not an “invasion”. Wrong.
But wait! There’s more! They objected to a history textbook that said “The law that allowed slavery in America was wrong, so people could break the law.” on the grounds that the statement encouraged insubordination.
Why don’t you be good slaves and do what you’re told!
Here’s a sampling of their criteria when reviewing textbooks. All this is on their website. They want textbooks to reflect the following values:
• Calvinist covenant theology nurtured constitutionalism.
• The Great Awakening promoted self-determination
(Note the odd inconsistency in the above two values. LOL.)
• To insure the uniform and predictable rule of law, Jefferson and Madison said the original intent of a law’s authors must prevail.
(You don’t “insure” this, you “ensure” it. Apparently correct spelling was not among their publishing criteria.)
• Reaganomics had benefits as well as defects.
– “The wealthy” (i.e., the top quintile of households in terms of annual income) received the most income because this quintile contained the most people — about 25% of the population in the 1980s, compared to about 15% for the bottom quintile (and also more than each of the middle three quintiles).
• Tax cuts promoted economic expansion. Deficits of the 1980s protected that expansion by restraining
government growth. Political liberals were the most upset about those deficits.
(Maybe because Political liberals don’t trust fuzzy math. Don’t all quintiles have 20%? Not if you base those numbers on an arbitrary income level!)
• Only the Christian West realized slavery was wrong and took the lead in abolishing it.
(Most other nations never legalized it at all, and thus never had to “abolish” it.)
• Some sub-Saharan African peoples practiced human sacrifice (e.g., Ashanti, Dahomey). The Aztecs and some other New World Indians engaged in cannibalism as well as human sacrifice.
(This also happened throughout Europe. But alas, that’s not important to point out.)
• British rule brought peace and a common language (English) to deeply divided India, ended or opposed suttee, infanticide, and child marriage there, improved Indian health, education, and transportation systems, and merely added another caste to the existing system.
(No comment necessary.)
Books must promote:
• A universe that rewards virtue and punishes vice, where good and evil are not moral equivalents, and where problems have solutions
• Diverse views on current controversial issues, when raised (e.g., “global warming,” feminism, naturalistic origins myths like evolution)
• Equal stress on Europe’s literary, religious, and cultural heritage compared to other regions
• Standard spelling, correct grammar, and grade-level appropriate English vocabulary (In other words: No Huck Finn.)
• No sensational violence, offensive language or illustrations, occultism, or deviant lifestyles (e.g., homosexuality) (Parenthetical is theirs.)
• Avoid asexual stealth phrases and definitions that covertly legitimize homosexuality.
• Humanize prenatal development. (Unless they are slaves. Then you must do as the law says.)
• Expect abstinence instead of just preferring it. (You can expect to win the lotto, too ….)
This post is overly long, so I will keep my conclusion short.
Send your kids to private school. Let’s fix this! California should enact its own standards that can over-ride those of Texas–there’s a start.