Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The little Girl Cheif

Whale Rider is about a 12 year old girl whose mother and twin brother died. Her father ran off on her and her grandparents are raising her. The story takes place in New Zealand. The girl whose name is Pai, played by Keisha Castle-Hughes, is the rightful future chief of her native people. Her grandfather, the currant chief sees thing a little bit differently though. He has absolutely no intentions of making her the chief. Determined to change his mind, she goes through all the training that the boys are going through and learning all the same things trying to change his mind. She is convinced that she called the gods and they came to her when a bunch of whales got stuck on the beach. One whale that is only half way in the water looks like it is going to die. Pei gets on its back, like her ancestor did and rides it out to the ocean(though her ancestor rode the whale to shore). Pei states that she is not afraid to die suggesting she is tired of her grandfathers oppression and is driven to commit suicide. Next scene her grandfather gets a call and she is in the hospital, alive. At this point the chief knows he must make his granddaughter chief even though she is not a boy. The movie ends with the touching scene of all the men hauling a boat into the ocean and Pei ordering them to row, and she is sitting next to her grandfather.
This was a good movie. I liked how the director made me feel bad for this little girl. She knew what she had to do and she was ready to take on her challenges. The girl playing Pei I think does a very good job of making people feel what her character is feeling. The grandmother I think could have been a little bit more emotional when she notices that Pei is missing and could have done a better crying act. The grandfather does a good job of acting stone cold towards his granddaughter, and making the transition to a much softer person when he sees her riding the whale.

Whale Rider

The film Whale Rider is about a 12 year old girl Pai whose mother and twin brother died during birth.  After the death of Pai’s twin brother, the girl’s grandfather, Koro, believes that the community is doomed since the first born males are to be considered Paikea’s direct descendants, making them the new chief.  Paikea is an ancestor who rode to shore on the back of a whale after his canoe flipped over.  Pai eventually wished to fulfill the spot as chief when she saw her grandfather’s school training young boys to hopefully find a future chief.  Since Pai wasn’t allowed in the school, she observed and learned the moves better than the boys.  When Pai is finally given a chance to show her worth, she proves her grandfather wrong.
I really enjoyed this film, and the positive message entailed.  It was interesting seeing the different type of culture and traditions people have.  Pai’s perseverance is almost inspiring.  I think I would definitely watch this again.

Strong Girl

The film Whale Rider is a film about acceptance and bringing a people together. Twins are born in the beginning of the film. The mother and boy die while the girl lives. The grandfather wanted a grandson to teach the old ways and make a chief of thier people. The girl is named Paikea, that name is also shared by one of her ancestors that was a great chief. Paikea is treated harshly by the boys her age but she doesnt really care. Her grandfather trains the local boys to be warriors and chiefs but excludes his granddaughter. She learns the old ways on her own by spying and from her uncle. She is attacked by one of the boys in training and beats him in a traditional weapon sparring match. Her grandfather was disapproving and angry. The grandfather gives the local boys a final test. He throws his whale tooth into the water and has them get it. None of the boys succeed. He has failed training a new chief. He calls for guidance from the ancient ones, as does Paikea. One day out on the boat with her uncle she dives into the water and gets her grandfathers necklace. She invites him to her school concert but her grandfather doesnt go. Then the people find beached whales. Paikea knew she called them. After a day of work they couldnt move the whales. Paikea goes to the biggest whale he "ancestors" whale, climbs on the whale and asks it to move. It moves and goes back into the ocean. She has brought the people together in a new time of prosperity and all ends well.
The film Whale Rider is a great film. I have always been taught to be a strong man. A warrior or chief like the boys in the village but I also learned to respect strong women. This film shows how Paikea pushed through adversity and kept her chin high. She had to fight for her acceptance and to be recognized and loved by her grandfather. She is knocked down several times but stands up again. This film has a great feel to it and is a good movie for a saturday afternoon. Id recommend it to my family and friends.

"I wanna ride a whale"

the film whale rider is a short film about a native girl who is kind of the child the parents weren't expecting. she is born in to the world and the mother and her also born brother who is supposed to be like the chosen one both pass away. Her dad leaves her in like the care of her grandma and grandpa she is brought up trying to live up to her name and become the chosen one. Her grandpa creates a school so that one the boys will become the leader that they need but none of them pass the test when he throws his necklace into the ocean devastated by his failure her calls on the spirits they don't hear his calls but they here hers. The spirits who are whales get stuck on the beach trying to help her she saves the whales by becoming the whale rider.

This film is extremely interesting and shows you that no matter what happens or who tells you not do do something don't listen and follow your heart and be brave. She is probably one of the most bravest girls i know i mean at her age who says "I'm ready to die" crazy like a boss she has my respect to save her people and the whales she was ready to giver her own life great movie.

Trying to Gain Acceptance

The movie "Whale Rider" was filmed in 2002. It begins as a mother gives birth to a set of twins (a boy and a girl). The baby boy dies, as well as the mother. In the community of Whangara, the first-born, which was always the male is considered Paikea's direct descendant. These descendants are intended to be the new chief. But being that the male died, it was now trouble for the community. After all this Paikea believes she is to fulfill the spot. Her grandfather Koro didn’t want this to happen so he didn’t treat her with any respect. Throughout the movie Paikea is trying to gain the acceptance of Koro. When she gets tired of how her grandfather treats her, she decides to leave to Germany with her father. After a while she changes her mind and returns back to her grandmother and grandfather. While living there, she wanted to attend the same school as the boys but wasn’t allowed in. She eventually learned the moves better than the boys, and again Koro didn’t accept this one bit. After the ancestors didn’t respond to Koro’s call, Paikea attempts to help and do the same, only, they responded this time. Her success isn’t what she thought, as the whales started to wash up on the shore and all begin to die. As the people couldn’t get the whales back in the water,Paikea tries to help but Koro doesn’t let her, “You’ve done enough” he told her. To show that she isn’t afraid; after the people were leaving she climbed on top of a whale and kicked it. As the whale began to move back to the water she stayed on and rode it in the water. She was brave enough to not let her family down, and let them know she wasn’t afraid to die.

This movie is definitely a “Have to see.” I really enjoyed this film. It was very interesting and I loved the way Paikea never gave up. It stood out to me because anything a man can do, a woman can do also. I also liked the fact that she showed her grandfather that tradition isn’t always right. She then believed in her heart she was the chief. I would definitely love to see this movie again.

Waiting For A Leader

“Whale Rider” begins when a young woman is giving birth. The woman gives birth to a set of twins (a boy and a girl), one of which (the boy) dies. The mother also dies. The death of the male baby spells trouble for the community of Whangara because the first-born, who has always been male, is considered Paikea’s direct descendant. These descendants are destined to be the new chief. From that moment, Koro, the twins’s grandfather, believes that the community of Whangara is doomed.

As Pai grows older, she believes herself to be destined to be the new chief. However, due to Koro’s belief in tradition, she has to fight him all the way through. Koro assembles an all-male school designed to teach the boys the old ways of their people, and hopes to eventually find his chief. Pai hides and watches the lessons, attempting to learn from her observations. Unfortunately for her, Koro catches her many times and she believes that he has begun to despise her.

When Koro has lost all hope, he calls unto their ancestors for help, but they do not listen. In an attempt to help, Pai calls unto them as well and is successful. However, her success isn’t what she’d hoped for. The whales from the ocean wash up onto the beach and all begin to die. When the people can’t get them back into the water, it is up to Pai to take action and try to save the whales, as well as her people.

I really enjoyed watching this film. It was interesting to see the different traditions of their people. I always find it somewhat interesting to how different other cultures are from ours. Just the little things that they do differently stood out to me. For example, when the people greet each other, they touch noses in a sort of embrace. In our culture, I feel that would be extremely uncomfortable. I also really liked Nanny. I enjoyed how she let Koro believe he was the boss, but really she was in more control than he would have imagined. She was a very strong woman. All in all, this was a very good film and I think I would enjoy watching it again sometime.

She's Brave!

Whale Rider is deffinitley a go see movie. I enjoyed every moment of this movie. The movie stars Keisha Castle-Hughes(Paikea), Rawiri Paratene(Koro), and Vicky Haughton(Nanny Flowers). This is a movie about how Paikea tries so hard to gain acceptance from her grandfather Koro. Their family is apart of the Maori tribe and in this tribe the first born son is suppose to become the head chief. When first born, Paikea's twin brother and mother both died. After this happened, Paikea was determined to fulfill this spot. Koro didn't want this to happen so he didn't treat her with respect. She decided to leave and go to Germany with her father because of the way her grandfather was treating her. Paikea changed her mind and returned back to live with her grandmother and grandfather. While there she tried to join the school the boys attended to gain training but wasn't aloud in. Paikea ended up learning the moves better than the boys but Koro refused to accept this no matter what she did. He got upset with her and told her to apologize to these boys. Koro took the boys out in to the sea and through his whale tooth in to the sea expecting one of them to bring it back to him. The only one that could do that job was Paikea. Koro didn't know this at first and ended up so depressed. Koro decided to call on the ancestors but they weren't listening to Paikea tried and they came. Next day all the whales were out on the shore. They weren't going to leave unless Paikea talked to them. Koro still wouldn't let her attempt to help. When she did it, the whales finally moved back to the sea and she was riding the whale as well. She was brave enough to let her family that she wasn't afraid to die.

This movie deserves two thumbs up from me. I felt that this movie truly sent out a message to all girls that may have to deal with something like this. Women are always discriminated against because of who they are. Women are aloud to do anything a man wants or thinks he can do. Paikea showed to her grandfather that tradition is also not always right. Certain things in a family line aren't always made for a man. I can relate to this movie alot. I am so happy to have been able to watch this.

WP 3 Rough Draft Due NEXT Week, Not This

Hey Guys!

Your WP 3 assignment sheet states that your Rough Draft is due tomorrow for peer review. However, I'm not sure we're there yet, and I want to discuss your summaries more before you turn it in. Lucky for you all, this gives you till Monday to continue drafting, visit the Writing Center, and ask questions in class about this very complex paper topic.

In the mean time, keep preparing for our Practice Debate tomorrow, and we'll hammer out the draft details tomorrow.

Statement Paper on Founding Fathers.

For both sides of the issue, the main point I think that is trying to get across is that secularists want to be in denial over the influence of religious beliefs that the Founding Fathers used in forming our country.
With editors for many text books trying to write out that they were religious is almost elephant dung. I really do think that they had their religion influence them in writing the constitution but that doesn't mean that they were trying to enforce it on others. They took accountability towards everyone's religion.
The First Amendment stating that it doesn't keep state and the church separated. But it does keep the government from invading on the affairs and likes of the church.
Whatever our Founding Fathers believed shouldn't necessarily affect us or hinder us in todays world.
It has been around two hundred years since the constitution was written and states of change are always in play. If our nation were to become a nation of church. There would be uprisings. If we were a nation of pure government and limited church, still there would be uprisings. There needs to be an equilibrium but it seems that will probably be an ongoing case of "whimsical fuckery" in courtrooms, board meetings and congress.

Monday, October 24, 2011

That Dang Curriculum Change

The article “How Christian Were the Founders?” by Russel Shorto is about the Texas board of education wanting to change the social studies curriculum. Their decisions are going to significantly affect the entire United States. Texas has the bigger budget to spend on text books, so technically they control the standards for what goes into textbooks. The article then goes on how our founding fathers were Christian, therefore our children should be taught with large emphasis of the Christian faith. Two prominent figures in this debate whom stand pro Christian are Cynthia Dunbar and Don McLeroy, they are conservative board members who consider themselves experts in history. They’re the ones who are pushing for less evolution and more Christianity. On the other side of the spectrum, we have people who disagree with the changes made to the history curriculum. For example, independent parties such as Judy Brodigan who is a textbook writer and has to stick to the true facts. In addition others believe the board has a different agenda which they don’t take the general public into consideration.

Based on this reading I have to protest and take a firm stance against the Texas Board of Education changing the social studies curriculum because the changes were made unethically. America is considered the melting pot, this includes religion, therefore by making a Christian curriculum you are hurting students whom don’t believe in the faith nor want to learn about the faith itself.

Wall of Separation?

The article “How Christian Were the Founders?” by Russell Shorto is about the controversial subject of the Texas Board of Education’s plan to change the K-12th grade curriculum.  The board, which is made up of mainly conservative Christians, who wish to add an emphasis on Christianity into the history curriculum.  Russell Shorto gives background information and knowledge of these changes they wish to include and the arguments behind them.  Included in this article are the many view points and opinions of members of the school board, defending their opinions.  Even though Shorto includes many examples of the school board’s credibility, the article remains very bias.
I believe that this article and the arguments included have a few valid points made, but I still disagree with the incorporation of religious teachings in public schools.  For example, the idea that our founders were all Christians and wanted our nation to be brought up around the same idea.  This may be true, but I think that children should be familiarized with multiple religions, IF any type of religion is to be taught in schools at all.  It isn’t fair that one religion gets a pass, due to majority ruling.  In the article, Randall Balmer, an American religious history professor at Barnard College, explains how David Barton argues that the phrase "separation of church and state" is not in the Constitution.  Balmer goes on to say "He's right about that.  But to make that argument work you would have to argue that the phrase is not an accurate summation of the First Amendment.  And Thomas Jefferson, who penned it, thought it was."  This explanation is one of the few pieces of credibility in the article on the opposing side, and an important one in my opinion.

Religion or No Religion

The Texas Board of Education seems to be the popular people out the group when it comes to chaging the cirriculum in the books. The article I read basically discussed whether or not to leave the religious stuff that was already in there or take it out. People of all races and faces came out to speak their public opinon. Even though they spoke up the board still decided on changing the cirriculum based on how it would affect children that were in kindergarten to 12th grade with in the next 10 years. The Texas Board wants more of the religious side. The Republicans on the board say it isn't enough religion in the text.

The way I feel about this is that they should seperate religion from state. I my self go to church on Sundays and I respect the religions but some people want to keep their belifs seperate. It's just the way of America not everyone wants to read upon it everyday. They read upon it on their own. Texas revisers aren't thinking of the other side, they seem to be doing what they feel is right. Yes they have to hire workers to look over their revisions but those workers may just be on their side.

Feeder 3.3

Feeder 3.3

This article is about putting by not separating church and state and combining the Christian faith in with the student’s social studies books. That these new guidelines will affect grades from kindergarten till twelfth grades. Many people are against the vote to put Christianity into books just because of their thoughts on gay marriage, abortion and government spending. They also want to say that the United States was found devout Christians and according to biblical precepts. A big problem was the process of revising the social studies guidelines was the desire of the board to stress American acceptance. David Barton states that students should be taught the following principles that there is a fixed moral law derived from god and nature, there is a creator, the creator gives to man certain unalienable rights, etc. these right were taken from the Declaration of Independence. By March 3 all the decisions on Texas curriculum will be history.

Putting the Christian belief into the curriculum is a dictates religion saying that the United States was founded by a bunch of Christians by changing the components of history itself. They might as well just change the whole entire outcome of everything not just the science and the social studies books all of them so they everything would just be the way Texas curriculum wants it to be.

Crucify me, Cap'n.

For every school across America, curriculum and text books are not only a major concern but a major expense. Most schools do not have the money to fund the publishing of textbooks that have been customized to their state’s needs and beliefs. But for states that do have the money, like Texas, the customizations do not come easy. Texas school board members are elected like any other state representative. Member like Don McLeroy openly holds titles like “conservative republican”, while other call themselves “liberal democrats” but the majority of the board agrees on being “fundamentalist Christians”. Every ten years debates are held over the revision of the state’s textbooks and what topics, names and facts should be added or removed for the students of the next decade to learn. “How Christians Were the Founders?” Russel Shorto discusses how in the past several years the debates have become quite controversial over topics like whether the founding fathers wrote the constitution with Christian values in mind, if the country was founded on Christian beliefs and if ethnic minorities should allowed into the history books. And their team comes prepared, equipped with a practicing lawyer, Cynthia Dunbar is also an assistant professor who’s done her homework and is not shy about using debate methods like incorporation by reference. She states “When you have in one legal document reference to another, it pulls them together, so that they can’t be viewed as separate and distinct. So you cannot read the constitution distinct from the declaration.” And the declaration famously refers to a creator and grounds itself in “the Laws of Nature and Nature’s God.” Therefore, she said, the religiosity of the founders is not only established and rooted in a foundational document but linked to the constitution. Of course both sides have their own proposals for additions and ideas for editing but the conservative’s side of the argument goes a bit over the line of simple revision and crosses into attempting to change laws that have stood since the early years of our country. Laws like “the separation of church and state”, a term coined by Thomas Jefferson that got him removed from the curriculum, though the board is a democracy and everything is voted on, it’s still Texas, a notoriously conservative state. The criteria of Texas’ textbook would seemingly only affect the students of Texas, but like I said before, most states cannot afford to have customized textbooks published. So they buy the books they can afford, which by chance, are the books that the Texas board of education has revised and voted on. Texas is the largest of the upper 47 states and its educational decisions influence most of the other 46. California, the most populated state, would be one of the only exceptions if it wasn’t bankrupt. Like most other problems that we encounter as Americans, we confront this issue with our political party titles and all of our personal beliefs intact. As a country we seem to have a problem with tolerance, with our pride of freedom and democracy we find it hard to swallow anyone else could be having their way with things. So instead of trying to agree upon a fairly balanced curriculum that covers both sides of the nation’s opinions we try our hardest to force feed our young a mindset instead of an education.

My Take on Feeder 3.3

The article "How Christians Were the Founders" illustrated how the Texas Board of Education is editing textbooks in order to shine more light on religion. Currently, conservatives are trying to put a heavy emphasis on Christianity in the classroom. The Board members aren't changing public schools into church houses, but there is much controversy over some of the amendments passed in order to change Social Studies and History textbooks. A lot of the changes deal with religious issues in current history text books and how, in the eyes of the Republican Party, textbooks today do not have enough emphasis on religion.

Some of these amendment changes vary from calling creationism a theory to how "The United Stated was founded by devout Christians." (McLeroy 91) One of the conservative persons that is trying to change curriculum and believes he's smarter than historians is dentist Don McLeroy. He is saying bias things like "There are two basic facts about man, he was created in the image of god, and he has fallen." He says that the founding fathers recognized this, but that is irrelevant to how our country was formed. Even if our fathers were heavily Christian which in some ways the founding fathers were: Missionaries, Imprinting God's name on currency, etc.) it doesn't mean we should exclude other religions. In my opinion, if religion is going to be taught in the classroom (which I think children should be familiarized with it), all varieties of religion should be taught. I think it is selfish to want to teach religion in the classroom, but only focus on one because the old white men who founded our country happened to all be Christian.

position statement: Someone else needs to do their homework

Although the author of the article "How Christian Were the Founders", Russell Shorto, is very bias, I must corroborate with his argument that the Texas State Board of Education is not being fair with how they change the curriculum. The board has obviously not done their homework on who the people being voted into the spots really are. Shorto mentions Cynthia Dunbar who is a lawyer and professor, stated that the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution become one in context because of "incorporation by reference", which is when one document refers to another. Because of this, she believes church and state should not be separated because the Declaration of Independence mentions one creator. she then goes on to say she does not believe in public schools and her own kids either went to private school or were home schooled.Bill Martin Jr. was wrongfully kicked off the board because they believed he was a Marxist author and communist, when in reality he wrote books for children. Of course there is the dear Dr. McLeory, a dentist and someone who "reads a l lot" but has no background in education must be in the middle of every controversy. The Texas Board of Education should revise its members before the curriculum.

"How Christian Were the Founders?"

Feeder 3.3
            In the article “How Christian Were the Founders?” it discusses the wall of separation between church and state and also how religion is excluded from history. They discuss amendments that are made and how they have changed history and excluded all of the religious teachings. They want students to be taught that we are a Christian America. But, history books do not teach us that. In the article Russell Shorto states “ In American history, religion is all over the place, and wherever it appears, you should well the story and do it appropriately.” quoted by Martin Marty. Russell Shorto also says “textbooks basically ignore religion”. That is so very true I don’t remember learning about the religion side of anything I was taught I guess it was just the basic things they wanted us to know. You can’t teach most of history without religion and that’s what the argument is. Christianity is everywhere in history and is not being taught correctly. It is taken out because of the wall of separation. And still after this there will be no change it will not be added to the guidelines, and when it comes time again all the discussions and the decisions about what goes in will be history.

Position Statement – I remind us that it is right to take out religion because some parents are against their kids being taught another religion if they do not believe in that. But, I also do remind us it is wrong because history is not being taught properly and loses its’ true meaning. So I stand in between I don’t favor one more than the other.

Feeder 3.3

The text “How Christian Were the Founders?” gives detail about how the different discourse communities (Christians, Jews, housewives, naval officers, professors, and many others) view the teachings of the current social studies curriculum. These people were meeting to give their input on what should be taught. As you would have it, each community is partial to his/her own community’s people. For example, one elderly Hispanic man told the Texas State Board of Education insists, “Please keep Cèsar Chávez.” With each person’s bias, how is the board to decide what goes into the textbooks and what stays out?

Unfortunately, not only are those giving their piece bias, but so are those of the Texas State Board of Education. Don McLeroy, he who dominated the board’s meeting, has been moving for amendments in the curriculum all the way through. McLeroy is a dentist, but claims that he’s read a lot about history. The text states, “The injection of partisan politics into education went so far that at one point another Republican board member burst out in seemingly embarrassed exasperation, ‘Guys, you’re rewriting history now!’” This shows how the bias of the different discourse communities is not only excluding historical events from history but rewriting them entirely. Still, the majority of McLeroy’s amendments passed in a vote held across the board.

The specific argument among the people, reported in this text, was whether or not the founders of America intended for the United States to be a “Christian Nation.” Those who are Christian like to believe this is true and attempt to prove so by insisting, “But Christianity has had a deep impact on our system. The men who wrote the Constitution were Christians who knew the Bible. Our idea of individual rights comes from the Bible. The Western development of the free-market system owes a lot to biblical principles.” These people believe that America’s system of government derives from teachings of the Bible and also point out that no “wall of separation” was ever officially published in any government documents. The Christian activists also assert that in school, science teachers should cover the strengths and weaknesses of the theory of evolution. They argue that “to bring Christianity into the coverage of American history is not, from their perspective revisionism but rather an uncovering of truths that have been suppressed.”

David Barton is a nonacademic expert who is nationally known as the leader of WallBuilders, who aims to “present America’s forgotten history and heroes, with an emphasis on our moral, religious and constitutional heritage.” Barton urged the Texas school board that students should be taught principles that derive directly from the Declaration of Independence. These principles are: “1. There is a fixed moral law derived from God and nature. 2. There is a Creator. 3. The Creator gives to man certain unalienable rights. 4. Government exists primarily to protect God-given rights to every individual. 5. Below God-given rights and moral laws, government is directed by the consent of the governed.”

Another expert, Daniel L. Dreisbach, a professor of justice, law and society at American University recommends to the guideline writers that “the founders were overwhelmingly Christian; that the deistic tendencies of a few-like Jefferson- were an anomaly; and that most Americans in the era were not Christians but that ‘98 percent or more of Americans of European descent identified with Protestantism.’” Thus proving the Christians who believed America to be a “Christian Nation” wrong. Richard Brookhiser, the traditionalist columnist and author of books on Alexander Hamilton, Gouverneur Morris and George Washington reports, “The founders were not as Christian as those people would like them to be, though they weren’t as secularist as Christopher Hitchens would like them to be.” Basically, each argument presented is biased in the opinion of he who presents it.

The text states that McLeroy met with the publishers to discuss that Christians wanted books to include classic myths and fables as opposed to newly written stories whose messages they didn’t agree with. McLeroy states, “I met with all the publishers. We went out for Mexican food. I told them this is what we want. We want stories with morals, not P.C. stories.” The text goes on to state that McLeroy showed an e-mail message from an executive at Pearson stating, “Hi Don. Thanks for the impact that you have had on the development of Pearson’s Scott Foresman Reading Street series. Attached is a list of some of the Fairy Tales and Fables that we included in the series.” McLeroy didn’t even appear to have a valid reasoning as to why these changes should take place. The Christian activists wanted these changes because they didn’t agree with them, not because they were what was factual. Still, they were taken into consideration and made their way into the textbooks.

I feel that every argument being presented is biased. The only ones that are not biased are those of the experts. Now, why might that be? I would think this is because a fact can’t be argued. History is all about the facts. This is what the social studies curriculum should be based on. If it’s factual, it should be covered. Of course, the length of a term is not far long enough to learn all of the information, so the more cultural impacting events should be covered more than those that are not so relevant. I feel that the board members voting on what goes into the curriculum shouldn’t even have a say. Being a self-proclaimed expert does not make you an expert. When it comes to the social studies curriculum, who should you believe, those who have an education in the subject or a dentist with a little reading? Think about it, would you trust the professors of justice, law and society to give you a root-canal?

Wall of Words!!! Were Christians the True Founders? Fact or Opinion?

The article, “How Christian Were the Founders,” it just one huge continuing argument that is made up of some other little arguments about the Texas curriculum. The board members of the Texas want to add some more information about Christianity and how the principles guided the “founding fathers” to find this country. A few citizens make some suggestions about what the board members should do. One lady suggests that the board members put the religion of Sikhism, it is the fifth-largest religion in the world according to her. She is simply implying that the board members add more religions, rather than just one religion. They are not only arguing about the textbooks but they are also arguing about the separation of church and state. Another argument that comes up in the debate is about the first amendment, and whether it states the idea of church and state. But one person, Randall Balmer, states that the first amendment doesn’t state the idea of separating church and state but that the idea came from different personal interpretations. Near the end of the article there is a lawyer that is mentioned, her name is Cynthia Dunbar. She has found a loop hole for the separation of church and state through her law practices. Her legal practice is called, “incorporation by reference.”

I believe that they are trying to force their religion on everyone. They need to know that not everyone believes in the same faith. I quote the textbook, “The Christian “truth” about America’s founding has long been taught in Christian schools, but not beyond.” I believe that the reason for stopping the studies at Christian schools is because we have Freedom of Religion. Christian schools are a part of the school system but they are also allowed to have teachings of the bible. As for public schools that are funded by the government and don’t interpret a lot of religion in their studies. Instead of learning about Baby Jesus, we learn about how some guys sailed across the ocean and found this country. It has been like this for a long time and nothing has gone wrong. We have been trying to maintain a separation of church and state. But the people who are proposing that Christians founded the country are trying to disrupt the balance. And as a personal opinion I don’t see why we should change anything now. Just because a few people think that should add more information about their religion. Yes, I understand that they feel very strongly about their religion but I think that if they do add more Christianity information in the textbooks, they should also add more information about the Native Americans’ culture and beliefs, and don’t forget the Hispanics, the African Americans. They shouldn’t just favor one religion or one historical leader. Don’t let the winners write all the history. Yes, I know that the winners always write the history and I don’t think this will change. Before I read the passage I didn’t think much about a suggestion declared by a lady. I strongly support this lady’s idea. In the passage a woman says that, “Sikhism is the fifth-largest religion in the world and should be included in the curriculum.” Honestly, I thought that we shouldn’t take anything out or put anything in. And that is where I left this argument, I didn’t think outside the box nor did I consider other ideas. Why don’t they just add everybody in the textbooks? I know there will be conflict but why not give them what they want and give us what we want. If we do add everyone in the book then we will truly balance everything out.

From the time that we are young, we are taught to look at everything, every situation, and every conflict from both sides. So we can see from other people’s point of view. I understand that Christianity is their faith and I would urge them to continue believing in their faith. But I believe strongly in my Native traditions and Catholicism. I would like for everyone to learn a little bit of information about my Native beliefs and how my people were told that the world came about. Why? Because I believe this is the way everything happen. But I know that everyone has their own beliefs and I shouldn’t be conceded and want to push my values and beliefs on everyone else.

But all in all the author of, “How Christian Were the Founders?” has some good points to make about both sides of the argument. I do admire the title of his most recent book, “Descartes ’Bones: A Skeletal History of the Conflict Between Faith and Reason.” I didn’t understand the title until we had a classroom discussion on it. And now I understand that he was simply saying that faith is the absent of reason. But ain’t that what religion is all about. To be your last resort when all else fails.