Constructing A Protestant Nation
Religion, Politics, and the Texas Public School Curriculum
Keywords:Texas curriculum, Texas public school, Conservative Christians, Bible literalism, American exceptionalism, Christian nationalism
This article examines the recent controversy surrounding the Texas public school social studies curriculum revision process. The focus of this project is the text of the revised statewide curriculum, which offers a means of investigating the ways in which the conservative Christian authors of the new guidelines employ language to disseminate their particular worldview and propose a direction for the nation’s future. Through an analysis of the primary text, coupled with a discussion of scholarly sources, this article argues that the authors of the revised curriculum standards define American national identity as originating in Protestant Christianity, and construct a biblically-based narrative of United States history that challenges the notion of separation between church and state. The article also considers the concepts of the Judeo-Christian tradition, literalism, and American exceptionalism within the context of the curriculum guideline changes, and concludes with a discussion of Christian nationalism and fundamentalism.
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