Thursday, June 10, 2010

‘God Bless Texas’ and the Texas State Board of Education

Cynthia Dunbar
Cynthia Dunbar

Last night I had the opportunity to hear Cynthia Dunbar, a member of the Texas School Board speak at a campaign rally for Cece Heil. I discovered that Cynthia Dunbar and Cece Heil are sisters. Ms Dunbar spoke for almost an hour. She was eloquent and scholarly. She was not scary at all and she did not have horns and a tail.

Among informed liberals, Dunbar is one of the most hated women in America, somewhere in the ranks of Sarah Palin and Phyllis Schlafly. She has been accused of wanting to keep American school children dumb and has been called a Christian Taliban. There have been death threats on her life. She is controversial because she has led the fight in Texas to insure that history books used in the Texas school system accurately present the Judeo-Christian heritage of America and present a proper understanding of the founding principles of our county and for her advocacy of what should be included in the text of history books. Since Texas is one of the largest purchasers of school text books, the textbooks written to satisfy Texas are often used in the rest of the nation.

Face it; no social studies or history text is free of bias. I just prefer my text books with a little pro-American bias. Not all historical documents can be studied and not all historical figures can be included in a text book. What to include and what to exclude is a value judgment. Whether Cesar Chavez is more important than Newt Gingrich or Jerry Falwell is a matter of opinion. Whether to call America a “Democratic Society” or a “Constitutional Republic” is a matter of values. When should the term “expansion” be used and when should a text use the term “conquest?” When should a text refer to people as “global citizens” instead of “American people?” Someone has to decide. Should our economic system be called “capitalist” or “free enterprise?” Does it matter?

Far from dumbing-down school children, the conservatives on the Texas school board advocated a more challenging curriculum. Some of what you have heard about the Texas text book controversy, Ms Dunbar said is simply not true. Thomas Jefferson is not deleted from the history books, slavery as a cause of the civil war is not glossed over and Senator Joe McCarthy is not praised. The Civil Rights Act of 1957 is not included, however, because the liberal faction on the school board opposed it. The motivation for opposing the inclusion of this act is surmised to be because it was a Republican piece of legislation and liberals wish to maintain the fiction that all civil rights advances occurred because of Democrats.

I myself am in fact a pretty secular guy and a fairly liberal Christian, but I have absolutely no fear that Ms Dunbar wishes to turn America into a theocracy. I was very impressed by her speech. I am pleased that Ms Dunbar is able to influence what is in American text books. I would rather have her on the text book committee rather than any liberal I know.

Stumble Upon Toolbar
My Zimbio
Top Stories


  1. Sit down and read Dunbar's book "One Nation Under God" -- in which she refers to public education as "the Enemy's most subtly deceptive tool of perversion" and argues that the US public education system is unconstitutional -- and then tell me this woman isn't an extremist.

  2. For the real facts about the Texas Social Studies standards, go to