Texas Public Schools are Teaching Students That Black People are “Descendants of Ham”
According to a recent report by the Texas Freedom Network Education Fund, several public schools in the state are quietly teaching students a literal, right wing interpretation of the Bible.
Classes purporting to focus on the Bible’s impact on history are in fact evangelizing children with a literal interpretation of the Bible; namely, that the Earth is 6,000 years old, Judaism is a “flawed and incomplete religion,” and Black people are descendants of Ham.
Some courses are essentially a means by which students are indoctrinated with the tenets and ideology of the Religious Right.
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.
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How will we ever move forward as a nation when this kind of ignorance
is being taught in our schools?
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