Wednesday, August 08, 2012

True Facts Being Taught in Louisiana

[Pardon the crude formatting, Blogger just isn't doing anything right this morning.]

 Much blog chatter over the "Wacky 'Facts' Kids will learn in Louisiana's voucher schools."  I can roll my eyes with the best of them (dinosaurs palled around with humans, oh yeah!).  But there are a few that may deserve special scrutiny.  In the spirit of the Public Editor, then, consider:
  • "God used the Trail of Tears to bring many Indians to Christ."   God has not yet returned out phone calls to confirm that it was his intention, but the tragic fact is that (many? some?) Indians probably did convert to Christianity.  I'd file that under "T" for "tragic," along with the truth that American blacks regularly embrace the names given them by the Christians who bought them, or failing that, by the Muslims who sold them. 
  • "Perhaps the best known work of propaganda to come from the Depression was John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath…"  I'll drink to that.  Sentimental drivel. Raise your kid to be a bank robber or a gangbanger if you like but never, never, instill him with bad taste.  If you must have a Steinbeck novel, send him to the far darker and less forgiving In Dubious Battle.

  • "[Mark] Twain's outlook was both self-centered and ultimately hopeless…Twain's skepticism was clearly not the honest questioning of a seeker of truth but the deliberate defiance of a confessed rebel."  True enough for government work.  The older he got, the bleaker and more nihilistic.  The sad consequence of his failed attempt at respectable Christian living.
  • "Several of [Emily Dickinson's] poems show a presumptuous attitude concerning her eternal destiny and a veiled disrespect for authority in general. Throughout her life she viewed salvation as a gamble, not a certainty. Although she did view the Bible as a source of poetic inspiration, she never accepted it as an inerrant guide to life." What's to quarrel with there?  "Presumptuous attitude concerncing her eternal destiny," check.  "Salvation as a gamble, not a certainty," check.  And bless here li'l rebel heart, that is just what we love in her.
  •   And as to the literary literacy rate in Africa being about 10 percent--I wonder what it is in Louisiana, just askin'?


Ken Houghton said...

"God used the Trail of Tears to bring many Indians to Christ."

And a lot more Indians got to meet G-d, if She exists, because of the Trail of Tears.

As Robert Earl Keen sings, "When you're in with the L-rd/There's just one reward/And they'd just as soon make it come true."

Jimbo said...

As someone who works frequently in Africa and other parts of the developing world, the 10% literacy rate (I assume - not literary rate, which, of course, is impossible to measure quantitatively), considerably higher than 10%. In the last 20 years, there has been a much more rapid rate of development in Africa, as a whole. Sure, Somalia, Sudan, Chad, Guinea, Congo and a few other states have deteriorated to failed states or nearly so status but the rest of Africa is improving rapidly.

But then again we are talking about extreme right-wing so-called "Christian" propaganda not evenly remotely factaul.

Ebenezer Scrooge said...

I'd call Mark Twain a backwoods Southerner who desperately wanted to be a respectable Victorian Northerner but never quite succeeded in his own eyes. Which would turn anybody into a nihilist.