The Florida Department of Education is proposing new curriculum standards that would indoctrinate children into the Christian nationalist view of American history. There is still time to oppose the changes.
It is crucial that Floridians oppose these new rules. The Florida Department of Education is accepting input on these proposed changes through April 23. Please tell the department to eliminate these two benchmarks from the final rules: SS.7.C.1.12 (7th grade) and SS.912.C.1.5 (9th grade). Contact information listed below.
The standards would force students to recognize a fallacious, revisionist history of the United States, that “Judeo-Christian values influenced America’s founding ideals and documents.”
The problematic new proposal for 7th grade reads:
- Recognize how Judeo-Christian values influenced America’s founding ideals and documents.
- Students will analyze the degree of civic participation inherent in these civilizations.
- Students will identify Judeo-Christian values (e.g., rule of law, God-given rights, equality of mankind, limited government, separation of powers, consent of the governed) in founding documents.
- Students will recognize the influence of the Protestant work ethic on economic freedom and personal responsibility.
- Students will recognize the influence of the Ten Commandments on establishing the rule of law in America.
- Students will explain what is meant by “All men are created equal and are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”
The proposal for the 9th grade curriculum is more compact, but basically identical: SS.912.C.1.5 Analyze the influence of Judeo-Christian values on America’s founding ideals and documents.
- Students will recognize Judeo-Christian principles of law and government in primary sources (e.g., rule of law, God-given rights, equality of mankind, limited government, separation of powers, consent of the governed) in primary sources.
Michael DiPierro, Bureau of Standards and
Instructional Support, Florida Dept. of Education
Suggested talking points:
As a Florida voter, I urge you to eliminate SS.7.C.1.12 (7th grade) and SS.912.C.1.5 (9th grade) from the final civics and government curriculum standards.
This is an attempt to smuggle Christian nationalism into public schools. History simply does not support this benchmark.
“Judeo-Christian” is a contradiction in terms.
Judeo-Christian values often opposed the values and principles that founded the United States.
Much of this benchmark is simply wrong. For instance, separation of powers is not a Judeo-Christian value, but came from Montesquieu. We know this because the Founders said so.
The Ten Commandments did not influence our founding documents. Which ten commandments will be taught? There are four different sets in any bible and different bibles interpret them differently. The set in Exodus 20 contain rules that thoroughly conflict with American ideals of liberty and justice.
This claim is simply not supported by history. Instead, it is an attempt to justify an exclusionary movement in pursuit of power today, right now. That movement is called Christian nationalism.
The desire to teach the impact of so-called “Protestant work ethic” is really a Trojan horse to propagandize Christian nationalism and economic individualism, which fuel systems of oppression, including white supremacy and unregulated capitalism.
Christianity has been used to defend the evils of slavery, genocide, segregation and systemic inequality of all stripes. Claiming our economic systems originate in rugged individualism and “divine guidance” is a well-worn Christian propaganda device, but is not true to the secular founding of our country. This serves those attempting to hoard social and political capital very well, while brainwashing public school children about the origins of our economic system.
More information on the Florida revisions of student standards can be found here.