Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Jefferson v Calvin and the Women-hating Anti-Choicers

This is a confusing decision to me. The Texas State Board of Education takes out Thomas Jefferson and puts in John Calvin. Why Calvin? He's not even part of the 'Enlightenment'.

From Wikipedia:
The Age of Enlightenment (or simply the Enlightenment) is the era in Western philosophy and intellectual, scientific and cultural life, centered upon the eighteenth century, in which reason was advocated as the primary source and legitimacy for authority.
And if you notice, it says the age of REASON, not religious dogma. Anyway, back to the Texas crew:
According to TFN: "the board stripped Thomas Jefferson from a world history standard about the influence of Enlightenment thinkers on political revolutions from the 1700s to today. In Jefferson's place, the board's religious conservatives succeeded in inserting Thomas Aquinas and John Calvin. They also removed the reference to 'Enlightenment ideas' in the standard, requiring that students should simply learn about the influence of the 'writings' of various thinkers (including Calvin and Aquinas)."
So they are getting rid of one of our very own American philosophers and thinkers and presidents to drag in a fifteenth century religious theologian.


More research (all from Wikipedia):
*Calvinism (also called the Reformed tradition, the Reformed faith, or Reformed theology) is a theological system and an approach to the Christian life.[1] The Reformed tradition was advanced by several theologians such as Martin Bucer, Heinrich Bullinger, Peter Martyr Vermigli, and Huldrych Zwingli, but it often bears the name of the French reformer John Calvin because of his prominent influence on it and because of his role in the confessional and ecclesiastical debates throughout the 16th century. Today, this term also refers to the doctrines and practices of the Reformed churches of which Calvin was an early leader. Less commonly, it can refer to the individual teaching of Calvin himself.[2] The system is best known for its doctrines of predestination and total depravity, stressing the absolute sovereignty of God.

*The Calvinistic doctrine of predestination is a doctrine of Calvinism which deals with the question of the control God exercises over the world. In the words of the Westminster Confession of Faith, God "freely and unchangeably ordained whatsoever comes to pass."[1] The second use of the word "predestination" applies this to the salvation, and refers to the belief that God appointed the eternal destiny of some to salvation by grace, while leaving the remainder to receive eternal damnation for all their sins, even their original sin. The former is called "unconditional election", and the latter "reprobation". In Calvinism, men must be predestined and effectually called (regenerated/born again) unto faith by God before they will even wish to believe or wish to be justified.

*Total depravity (also called total inability and total corruption) is a theological doctrine that derives from the Augustinian concept of original sin. It is the teaching that, as a consequence of the Fall of Man, every person born into the world is enslaved to the service of sin and, apart from the efficacious or prevenient grace of God, is utterly unable to choose to follow God or choose to accept salvation as it is freely offered. It is also advocated to various degrees by many Protestant confessions of faith and catechisms, including those of Lutheranism,[1] Arminianism,[2] and Calvinism.[3]
Dusty Crickets offers this review of Calvin in comments:
From a link I tagged from over at PZ's place...

"...John Calvin is considered the founder of the Puritan ethic. The theocracy he established in sixteenth-century Geneva, Switzerland, prohibited dancing, drinking, gambling, card playing, ribaldry, fashionable clothes, and other amusements. Theaters were closed and attempts were made to drive taverns from the city.

Proclaiming "the chief duty of man is to glorify God," Calvin required religious instruction for all, public fasting, austere living, and evening curfew. According to the town records, a man was imprisoned for three days for smiling during a baptism.

Sex researcher Aileen Goodson, Ph.D., states the Puritans who came to America emphasized biblical interpretations that considered the human body as inherently impure and depraved. She further reports they "had neither the time nor the inclination for frivolity. Their body guilt and shame became the law of the land, and this law was even more extreme in the United States than overseas."

The anti-sex attitude of the Puritans is also described by historian John Demos. He reports that throughout the seventeenth century, the Puritans in Plymouth Colony had "a steady succession of trials and convictions for sexual offenses involving single persons. 'Fornication,' in particular, was a familiar problem."
Although the Puritans had serious and even pathological hang-ups about pleasure, they were into violence. Calvin's Geneva beheaded adulterers. Religious dissenters were hanged, decapitated, or burned at the stake. Christopher Hitchens describes Calvin as "a sadist and torturer and killer, who burned Servetus (one of the great thinkers and questioners of the day) while the man was still alive."
Massachusetts Puritans also had a law, based on Leviticus 20:9 from the Old Testament, that a child who curses his or her parent shall be put to death. Calvin would have approved, for his government used the same verse to justify beheading a small boy in Geneva for striking his father.

As a result of the command at Exodus 22:18, "Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live," Puritans were responsible for the insanity of the Salem witch trials......."

and so on.
Lovely. So why on earth is Texas trying to drag us back into the Dark Ages? Just who are they writing these 'history' textbooks for?

These guys:


These men are going to prevent you from controlling your own body. Because they are men and you are a woman. Because JESUS says so. And He's a man.. or something.
Anti-Abortion Extremists Go to “Hell”

In the escalating fury of anti-abortion groups since George W. Bush left office, Operation Rescue/Operation Save America (OR/OSA) has announced that protesters will storm “the gates of hell” to shut down family planning clinics in Charlotte, N.C. the week of July 17-24.
Even though OR/OSA’s head extremist, Phillip “Flip” Benham, was recently arrested in Charlotte for stalking and for violating a South Carolina law against residential picketing, his organization is still determined to harass doctors and patients. But as part of its National Clinic Access Project, the Feminist Majority Foundation is trying to prevent Benham and the other protesters from setting up ladders and scaffolding on the property of the Family Reproductive Health Clinic and using amplified sounds systems to scream at patients from ladders on the other side of a 6-foot fence.
Even more unsettling have been threats against abortion-providing doctors in Charlotte, as Benham has plastered the clinics and home neighborhoods of two doctors with menacing “WANTED” posters that include threatening language as well as their names and addresses of their private offices and homes. The posters encourage people to contact the doctors, “expose [them] to the powerful Gospel of Christ” and make them stop “killing babies.” At least three abortion providers who were murdered in the past had been similarly targeted with “WANTED” posters that were distributed publicly.
And these guys: Catholic bishops want to control your uterus. They know what's best. Amazingly the sisters don't agree! The nuns support health care reform ... because they remember what it was like to be human?

And these guys: Utah considers stoning, shaming and the stocks?
Utah Anti-Abortion Bill Citing ‘Reckless Act’ Is Withdrawn
DENVER — A sweeping anti-abortion statute in Utah that would have allowed up to life in prison for a woman whose fetus died from her intentional or reckless behavior was withdrawn by its sponsor on Thursday and will be revised to be narrower in scope.

The original bill, which was sent to Gov. Gary R. Herbert, a Republican, for his consideration — and set off a firestorm of anxiety and criticism from abortion rights and women’s advocacy groups around the country — now goes back to the Legislature, neither signed nor vetoed.

The sponsor, Representative Carl D. Wimmer, a Republican, said he had removed a key clause that would have allowed prosecution under Utah’s criminal homicide laws for a “reckless act of the woman” that resulted in death to a fetus. Language will remain, he said, that makes a woman’s “intentional” actions, if resulting in the death of her fetus in an illegal abortion, a felony.
Frustration Makes Pro-Lifers More Anti-Abortion Than Ever

Anti-abortion advocates coined the moniker "pro-life" because they wanted to connect with the majority of Americans who supported abortion restrictions. A new poll shows just how anti-abortion the "pro-life" movement really is.

The new poll,by Gallup, shows that, since the nineties — and the wholesale adoption of political evangelicals into the Republican Party — anti-abortion Republicans have become increasingly opposed to abortion. In a bit of good news, the increasingly crazed rhetoric from those people has seemingly driven more Democrats to the pro-choice position.
This is why Texas is rewriting textbooks, to placate the ignorant, the hateful, the fearful, the stupid. This is why our country will look like this in a few years....


Update 3/20: Credo Action has a petition to fight against the rewriting of history Texas is doing.


JJ said...

On the upside, the US of Canada will have single payer universal healthcare. (And cookies.)

ellroon said...

I tried and tried to get you guys to invade us, but NNNooOOOoooOo....

Now we have to do all the heavy lifting ourselves, like try to get health care and stuff...


Anonymous said...

that's some seriously depressing information, ellroon. Thanks.. I guess. ;)

ellroon said...

*sigh* ... It's like spraying for ants. You block one entry and they start creeping in from another.