As expressed in one of my favorite Christmas songs, as a transplanted Texan from Washington state, I still have difficulty getting in the mood of the season. As the hilarious country song “White Christmas in Houston” quips, “While you’re freezin’, throughout this Christmas season, we’ll be down here with Christmas cheer and flip-flops in the sand.” We may not have white Christmases in Houston – but some in the educational elite want to make sure it is not in Texas textbooks in any form.
A recommended revision to social studies books being proposed to the Texas State Board of Education would remove any reference to Christmas as part of our cultural heritage in favor of the well-known (?), highly recognized (?) and widely practiced (?) Hindu holiday of Diwali. The reason? A note from the “experts” explains that this assures that “the examples include the key holiday from each of the five major religions.”
We already have a “Christian” reference in the textbook standards with Easter (our apparent quota). So even though Christmas is a cultural, religious and economic staple of the U.S. and has been since our founding, it is again the target of multiculturalism in government schools.
How deep, far and wide is the practice of Hinduism in the U.S.? According to the U.S. Religious Landscape Survey of the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, it is a whopping 0.7 percent as opposed to 78.4 percent Christian. The point is not to demean Hindus as much as to expose the continued assault on logic, reason and academic standards in general and certainly the Christian faith in particular within government schools.
Let’s face it – the attempted removal of Christmas from the social studies textbooks in Texas – and subsequently nationwide due to the impact of the volume purchase of the Lone Star State – would not, on its own merits, threaten the existence of either the holiday or our faith. The greatest amount of harm to both has been self-inflicted by our failure to honor the Author of each with our obedience.
In his landmark work “Know What You Believe,” biblical Scholar Paul E. Little states, “Our faith is rooted in the Bible, but we do not worship it, we trust it. Every new idea and even our emotional experiences are to be tested by its teaching. Are my opinions, my worldviews, and my actions congruent with God’s revelation?” Would it be that ours were.
However, as historian and curriculum review committee member David Barton said in response to the proposed “Christmas cleansing,” “America is not equally divided among these five religions. … (Mentioning Christmas and Rosh Hashanah) does not promote either Christianity or Judaism; rather, it simply acknowledges with accuracy the religious culture of America as it actually exists, that these holidays have been awarded their place in the culture by the people themselves.”
The attack on Christmas comes before Halloween this year, but it is certainly not the opening shot. Granted, even some Christians do not celebrate this holiday; however, the fact is that more people celebrate this one holiday than all others combined by multiples.
It is the time of year when “peace on earth” and “joy to the world” are elevated in both visual and non-visual ways. The manger scene of Mary, Joseph and the shepherds surrounding the Christ-child springs up even in non-churched families’ yards. Families come together. Shopping malls overflow with shoppers eager to max out credit cards. Many “prodigal sons” make their annual appearance in churches of every denomination. Why would someone want to diminish this icon of American culture?
It’s about the name of Jesus, stupid. At the end of the day, it is always about the name and the divinity of Jesus Christ.
Secular, anti-Christian revisionists want our children to think that all religions are equal, that there are many paths to God, god-consciousness, Mother Earth, etc., and that all religions and cultures produce equal fruits. It is beyond disturbing that many if not most educational experts in charge of the majority of our nation’s children believe this to be true.
One of the outstanding resources that describes the basis of our personal, political and religious freedom, as well as economic blessing, is “Liberating the Nations” by Dr. Mark Beliles and Dr. Stephen McDowell of the Providence Foundation in Virginia. They teach leaders literally all over the world that the basis of our laws, free-enterprise system, educational excellence and political liberty that all once were indeed a “shining city on a hill” to the world, flow directly from Judeo-Christian principles in general and the Bible and Torah in particular.
The textbook battle in Texas is clearly just one of the fronts of this war and it is far advanced in most of rest of the country, particularly in the liberal bastions of the Northeast and the West or “Left” Coast. Courageous Texas State Board of Education members led by newly appointed Chairman Gail Lowe will once again stand strong, and we will make sure the churches are standing with them.