You probably know what Intelligent Design is, and you also likely know about the recent media frenzy surrounding the Dover vs. Kitzmiller court decision that threw ID out of public schools.
Try this on for size:
House Resolution 888 might as well be in endorsement of Intelligent Design because the people trying to slip falsified American history into the Congressional Record, and into American public schools, and those who who tried to slip ID into public schools are working together in the same movement. They lecture together at the same conferences and retreats and their goals, which are explicitly religious, are the same - promotion of the fundamentalist, Christian reconstructionist "Biblical Worldview". They are committed to re-making America
But, falsified American history, compared to ID and Creationism, is almost off the collective cognitive map of even committed political progressives.
[image, right: HuckaChuck Norris dropkicks American history]
Falsified American history has already been taught to 190,000 American public school students via an elective Bible class curriculum with bogus American history ( here's Chuck Norris and his wife, in a short video, to tell you about it) and on an even larger scale via falsified history - attacking church/state separation no less - that's been inserted in the Army's JROTC curriculum taught at public high schools nationwide.
This issue concerns more than a House Resolution endorsing fake history ; the core function of the falsified "Christian nation" historical narrative - which is built from many little history lies and distortions (and some big ones too) is to support Christian nationalism (link to an essay I did on how I think that works. What's Christian nationalism ?)
The fight over the American historical record is a battle about whose version of history will be the dominant narrative that will get to shape the historical understandings of the next generation of Americans. The falsified narrative of the Christian right has been gaining ground for decades but now - with the letters and phone calls people right here on this forum have sent and made to their representatives in Congress - the fightback, to protect the integrity of the historical record, is truly underway.
It is late : many Christian homeschooled children are already taught falsified American history and the stuff has been sneaking into American public schools as well. It should be tossed out on its ear as Intelligent Design recently was and for precisely the same reasons. But, that's not what's happening...
Fightin' Fake History Don't Get NO respect !
If a House Resolution to endorse Intelligent Design - as legitimate science - had been introduced to the US House Of Representatives and was coming up, possibly, for a vote the news would almost certainly be plastered across the front pages of the New York Times and innumerable other papers and media publications of note across the United States.
Last Thursday Senior Research Director For The Military Religious Freedom Foundation Chris Rodda posted a story on her discovery of H. Res. 888, which is coming to be an emergent scandal and which otherwise might well have wholly escaped scrutiny. Friday morning I broadcast the story in a popular post here and, in response to thse efforts, many smaller blogs, mostly atheist blogs, rallied and carried the story. Somewhere between 75 and 200 messages to Congressional Representatives have gone out, as letters, emails, and PDF's. Some people have made phone calls. At least one person but maybe a few have planned to visit their Reps. on Capital Hill.
But, a Google News search on House Resolution 888 shows that it has yet to be covered by a single commercial media outlet or, for that matter, most major politically progressive blogs on the Internet, ones that take the threat of ID quite seriously.
So the issue needs to be stepped up a notch or two. H. Res. 888, is an effort to overwrite the history record by giving fake history the imprimatur of Congress. Do you think that Congress won't vote H. Res. 888 in ?
Well, maybe you're right but there's reason to think otherwise...
House Resolution 888 - the "Biblical Worldview" Resolution
It's very simply really - Falsified American history, altered to show the US was founded as a Christian nation, is one of the two main pillars of the "Biblical Worldview" aka the "Christian Worldview". The other pillar is Creationism/Intelligent Design.
Public awareness of the damage the falsified American history promoted by David Barton and other Christian right activists is still only embryonic - even among key organizations that work to fight for our Constitutional and civil liberties. And so Intelligent Design/Creationism has been placed in a different category, both mentally and legally, from falsified American history. That is a mistake, and it is intellectually indefensible :
The people who promote ID and Creationism, and those who push fake American history, go to the same conferences and retreats - where they share the stage as leading acts. They appear on the same Christian TV and radio shows, often together as well. They both admit their goal is primarily religious - that of building a "Christian nation".
If H. Res. 888 gets passed by Congress that will represent a major advance for the "Biblical Worldview" ( or "Christian Worldview" ) movement that was the motive force behind the efforts to slip Intelligent Design into American public schools. The movement is based in Christian Reconstructionism and the end goal is theocracy. Keep that in mind.
Why I am asking you to go to yet another website
My apologies, dear readers, for the inconvenience of having to go to another site to finish this story. I have moved the last ~2/3 of this story so you can get and idea of where this sort of analysis and awareness of the Christian right, as a movement has come from - the origin of this story.
Back in late 2005 I co-founded Talk To Action, with Frederick Clarkson, to fill a need - there was far too little attention being paid to the Christian right, not as something to be mocked but as something to be understood, in a deep way, something to be taken seriously and fought.
The approach was that dictated by Sun Tzu, whose writing on military strategy is often required reading for the officers of the US military, and for good reason. Sun Tzu's work has stood the test of time. Sun Tzu advised that to fight an enemy effectively one must come to know that enemy like one knows oneself, and mockery is counterproductive because it only enrages and so increases the energy one's enemy has to fight.
Per Sun Tzu, the prerequisite to the effective combat, or strategic struggle, is knowledge - deep knowledge. The people who inhabit the Christian right are mostly honest, decent, and honorable. What motivates them in a deep way ? Do you even know ? Sun Tzu would ask ; how can one oppose a foe that one fails to understand and honor ?
Talk To Action represents the most comprehensive, most sustained, best informed analysis and commentary of the Christian right you'll find on the Internet or off. There really is nothing else like it. Many of the articles on the site are original. You'll find them nowhere else.
Are you disturbed by the ever-increasing "Christian" climate in America that seems really to be about suppressing minority religious and philosophical views ? Do you want a deeply informed sense of what the Christian right is all about, what it's up to ? Well, then Talk To Action is a site you might want to become acquainted with. It's not flashy, and it doesn't cover daily breaking news in the way many websites do. It provides the deeper understanding you'll need if you're convinced there's theocratic creep underway in America today, the understanding that's an essential prerequisite to effective action.
I say this, by the way, as someone who spent a good deal of the last year researching for MRFF. I've been groping my own way towards more effective action. We all are, and it's a learning and teaching process.
Co-Founder, with Frederick Clarkson, Talk To Action