Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Update: religious Right shocking content of publicly Paid For Christian School textbooks

* Christian nationalists the Mormons the GOP and Mitt Romney
* Christian /Mormon Theocracy
* Using tax payer money to support private Christian schools
* Hypocrisy : Louisiana reps upset about giving vouchers to Islamic schools

 The Republican party is now in the hands of religious and ideological extremist.
presidential candidate Mitt Romney though he belongs to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints often referred to as the Mormon Church or LDS is in agreement with the  Christian Religious Right on a number of issues  ie. from reducing the size of government to basing laws on Biblical or scriptural principles to outlawing abortion (overturning Roe V Wade) and various forms of contraception to prohibiting sex education, teaching of evolution to prohibiting same sex marriage and  are also anti-union and anti-government run welfare programs or healthcare (ie Obama Care) and in favour of reducing taxes especially on the income of the wealthy and are against Equal Rights for women (ie ERA) and so forth.

 Like the right wing Evangelical Christians and their "fellow-travellers"  the LDS are anti-gay and of course anti-same sex marriage  and against abortion and all forms of contraception  as well as being anti-evolution believing in a divine creation and believe the USA was itself a Divine creation and has a major role to play in God's plans for humankind.

The LDS when not trying to cosy up to other Christian sects in common goals insists that their church is the only true Christian Church. Since their sacred religious text The Book Of Mormon was given to the church's founder Joseph Smith in the 19th century as an update and corrective of the Bible that is both Old and New Testaments.

What is interesting is that the LDS was treated by mainstream Christianity and Evangelicals in America up until the last few decades as a non-Christian or even an anti-Christian Cult.

In the early years of the Mormon Church the leaders allowed or even encouraged polygamy but this doctrine was condemned by the Church in 1890 to appease the US government when the Mormons decided it would be best to become a state within the Union and so was born the state of Utah.

Conveniently some have suggested the President of the Mormon Church had a revelation about the sanctioning of Polygamy:
"In 1890, President Wilford Woodruff received a revelation that the leaders of the Church should cease teaching the practice of plural marriage . The Lord’s law of marriage is monogamy unless he commands otherwise to help establish the House of Israel (see Encyclopedia of Mormonism ".
and more currently this stand has been reiterated
...President Gordon B. Hinckley, prior president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints made the following statement in 1998 about the Church’s position on plural marriage: “This Church has nothing whatever to do with those practicing polygamy. They are not members of this Church.... If any of our members are found to be practicing plural marriage, they are excommunicated, the most serious penalty the Church can impose. Not only are those so involved in direct violation of the civil law, they are in violation of the law of this Church.”
(quotes from: Do Mormons practice polygamy? at :The Church of Jesus Christ of latter day Saints

The LDS was also racist refusing to allow African-American's full membership in the Church until 1978 when the Federal Government threatened to cut off any government funding or to remove their Tax Exemption status if the Church would not permit African-American full status in their church or to enrol in Church run schools or Universities . Other Conservative Christian churches in America at the same time also had a change of heart about the status of African Americans in their churches and colleges ie Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell ,Billy Graham etc.

This changed when the Christian Right and the LDS realized that many of their concerns about America becoming in their view a secular atheistic socialist society were held in common. Both believe in America as being founded as a Christian Nation by men who were in fact following or even dictating God's will. Both in essence wish to create a theocratic government in America .
Both groups believe that the Government and laws of the land must ultimately rest upon Biblical and other religious theological  principles .

Evangelical Christian Nationalists' religious, anti-science (deny evolutionary theories) , Homophobic ,sexist and racist propaganda being taught in private Christian schools funded by state governments including Louisiana and Pennsylvania government's educational voucher system taking money out of the state's already reduced budget for Public Schools.
This video is about Pennsylvania, but what is seen in this video is also taking place in Florida, Arizona, Ohio, Georgia, and other states with school vouchers and/or corporate tax credit programs. ...Full Length Version (34 minutes)  "School Choice: Taxpayer-Funded Creationism, Bigotry, and Bias," with research compiled by Rachel Tabachnick and Bruce Wilson.
School Choice: Taxpayer-Funded Creationism, Bigotry, and Bias from Rachel Tabachnick on Vimeo.

Excerpts from article on the Louisiana 's newest voucher program intended to provide government funding for private Christian schools even though their curriculum and pedagogical approach are not in line with Louisianna's  public school curriculum and accepted educational theories.

The Loch Ness Monster Is Real; The KKK Is Good: The Shocking Content of Publicly Paid for Christian School Textbooks | Education | AlterNet

Thousands of Louisiana students will receive state voucher money, transferred from public school funding, to attend private religious schools. What will they learn there?

 ...On the list of schools approved to receive funding through the new voucher funding, that critics warn could eventually cut public school funding in half, are schools that teach from the Christian fundamentalist A Beka Book, Bob Jones University Press, and Accelerated Christian Education curriculum.

What's in that curriculum? Last year, researcher Rachel Tabachnick and I co-produced a 35-minute documentary on the spread of a similar voucher program in Pennsylvania and other US states, titled "School Choice: Taxpayer-Funded Creationism, Bigotry, and Bias".

...One of the schools cleared to receive substantial new funding through LA governor Bobby Jindal's voucher program is Eternity Christian Academy, in Westlake, LA, which according to Independent Weekly writer Walter Pierce,

...has been approved to accept 135 new students. That's a considerable uptick in enrollment, which at the end of this school year stood at 38 -- a more than 300 percent increase. Talk about buttressing the budget; $1 million in tax dollars will be diverted from the public school system to Eternity Christian, a school that, according to its mission statement, offers "a quality faith-based curriculum that is soley [sic] based on principles from the Bible ...

  Among the other claims taught in ACE science curriculum, according to Scaramanga, are the following (the last three ACE curriculum claims are detailed in a subsequent post by Scaramanga titled, 5 Even Worse Lies from Accelerated Christian Education),

- Science Proves Homosexuality is a Learned Behavior
- The Second Law of Thermodynamics Disproves Evolution

- No Transitional Fossils Exist

- Humans and Dinosaurs Co-Existed

- Evolution Has Been Disproved

- A Japanese Whaling Boat Found a Dinosaur

- Solar Fusion is a Myth

One of the latest posts on Scaramanga's blog is a testimony from a professed "survivor" of the ACE curriculum who says he nonetheless went on to become a synthetic biologist and worked on the Human Genome Project, and writes,

 "Everything about ACE is inimical to responsible education. It serves no purpose except to brainwash children and give parents the feeling that their children are being placed on the way to godliness. It is a travesty of schooling. Any teacher with any dignity or integrity would not put children anywhere near ACE."

Scaramanga's broader critique of ACE takes on the curriculum's primitive teaching methods, and its racial and cultural insensitivity:

Learning and assessment methodologies
...ACE tests almost exclusively consist of multiple choice, matching, or fill-in-the-blank questions. These means only test factual recall, not understanding. Even if the students are trying to take a deep learning approach, they are not given the opportunity...

ACE prescribes a system of rewards and punishments for students.4 Those who achieve academic and behavioural goals are awarded privileges such as extended break times and the freedom to move without permission. All the rewards offered are forms of extrinsic motivation, emphasising that learning itself is not the thing of value.

ACE assessments do not provide evidence that deep learning has taken place. Options on the multiple choice tests are frequently meaningless, such as "Jesus died on the (cross, toss, chrome)".

Meanwhile in an outrageous case of hypocrisy Louisiana reps upset about providing vouchers to Islamic schools:

Louisiana Reps Object to Vouchers for Islamic School, No Problem With Christian Schools by Adam Peck at Think Progress via Alternet, June 13, 2012

The Louisiana legislature narrowly passed a new education spending bill last week that allows students in low-performing districts to pay for private school tuition using state-funded vouchers.

The new provisions for funding private and parochial schools has quickly devolved into a war of words over religion. Even though millions of dollars are being made available to dozens of schools with overt religious agendas, some Republicans balked at the last minute when it was revealed that a private Islamic school had also applied for 38 vouchers under the new program:

Rep. Kenneth Havard, R-Jackson, objected to including the Islamic School of Greater New Orleans in a list of schools approved by the education department to accept as many as 38 voucher students. Havard said he wouldn’t support any spending plan that “will fund Islamic teaching.”

No comments: