Religious Freedom Opponents Fail to Rewrite Textbooks
Austin, TX, November 21, 2014 – Today, textbook publishers rejected efforts by opponents of religious freedom and our nation’s religious heritage and refused to eliminate references to Moses, the Ten Commandments, Judeo-Christian principles and their impact on American law, government and its founding. Some groups were pressuring textbook publishers and elected State Board of Education (SBOE) members to eliminate references to Moses and Judeo-Christian principles from new textbooks being proposed for approval. The SBOE has the authority to review and approve new social studies textbooks on a periodic basis and they are currently scheduled to make a decision by Friday of this week. Americans United for Separation of Church and State and Texas Freedom Network are two of the groups demanding that publishers rewrite history books on this topic. Thousands of emails flooded the elected State Board of Education this week to support the inclusion of Moses and America’s religious heritage.
Texas has one of the most open and transparent review and adoption processes in the country and as part of its duty, the SBOE adopted strong new materials for social studies, high school math, and fine arts, after receiving over 750 pages of public comments and conducting numerous public hearings.
Jonathan Saenz, president of Texas Values Action, released the following statement:
“We are pleased that Texas students will get to learn about our American religious heritage because of the leadership of publishers and the majority of the elected State Board of Education, led by SBOE Chair and educator, Barbara Cargill. The acts by anti-religious freedom groups to eliminate specific references to Moses and Judeo-Christian principles were extreme and met with substantial opposition, as you would expect. From the halls of the U.S. Capitol to the U.S. Supreme Court and even here on the Texas Capitol grounds the images, references and monuments highlighting Moses and the Ten Commandments make clear the influence they have on our law, government and founding. The efforts by these “Moses Deniers” to rewrite history were firmly rejected.”
Earlier this week, Texas Values Action presented testimony to the State Board of Education discrediting the efforts by some who want to eliminate references to Moses and Judeo-Christian principles and texts that relate to the Ten Commandments from proposed Texas textbooks. The SBOE was presented with a U.S. Supreme Court case, Van Orden v. Perry, a case from Texas where a Ten Commandments monument display on the Texas Capitol grounds was allowed to stand because of its historical significance. In the opinion, the Court outlined several examples of national government buildings where the connection between Moses and American law, government and founding are recognized and highlighted, including inside the U.S. Supreme Court itself.
About Texas Values Action
Texas Values Action is the new advocacy arm of Texas Values, a non-profit organization dedicated to standing for faith, family, and freedom in Texas. More information is available at txvaluesaction.org.