Race, Religion Issues Divide Liberals and Conservatives in Textb - FOX 32 News Chicago

Race, Religion Issues Divide Liberals and Conservatives in Textbook War


If you view the fight over school books in Texas as a major battle in the culture wars, then the social conservatives on the state's Board of Education have been winning most of the skirmishes.

In a string of victories, they pushed through language that will require a return to the use of B.C. and A.D. when referring to periods of time in history.

"I simply wanted to change it because I like the traditional way of doing it." said board member Patricia Hardy.

Conservatives also pushed thorugh language that will require a focus on Roman Catholic Saint Thomas Aquinas and French theologian John Calvin.

And there will be textbook passages that examine the phrase "Laws of Nature and of Nature's God." which appears in the Declaration of Independence.

"I don't personally ever see why we would be afraid to use the language of the founding fathers, especially chose to put in the Declaration of Independence." said board member Cynthia Dunbar.

Another board member, Rick Agosto said, "I would take that insertion as more of a broad attempt to look at the western philosophies of religion and theologies."

That one passed 11 to 3.  One person abstained.  Conservatives also beat back a measure that would have required textbooks to emphasize the separation of church and state.

The liberals on the board were getting frustrated by that point.

"It has nothing to do with the left or the right, as we have constantly talked about instead of what is best for the children to know." said board member Mavis Knight.

There was more frustration when liberals on the board tried to require a focus on minority recipients of the Medal of Honor.

"If we can't even agree to put two names of Hispanics, just two of many that received the Medal of Honor..this is ridiculous y'all..this is a very minor thing that we are asking." said board member Mary Helen Berlanga.

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