The Texas State Board of Education is currently considering a proposal that would ensure sixth-grade students learn about at least one religious holiday from each of the five major world religions. Currently, students learn about more Christian and Jewish holidays, and Hinduism is excluded. The new proposal would replace Christmas and Rosh Hashanah with Diwali. “It’s outrageous that the war on Christmas continues in our state and in our nation,” said Jonathan Saenz, a lobbyist for the conservative Free Market Foundation. Some more details on the proposal:
The standards currently instruct sixth-grade students to be able to explain the significance of religious holidays such as the Christian holidays of Christmas and Easter, the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, and the Jewish holidays of Yom Kippur and Rosh Hashanah. The proposal, which is set to be debated during a hearing next week, removes the words Christmas and Rosh Hashanah. Diwali, a Hindu festival, is added.
In a note explaining the change, members of a review committee wrote “the examples include the key holiday from each of the five major religions.”
Sixth-grade social studies in Texas “is focused on world geography and cultures,” and Hinduism is the third-largest world religion, following Christianity and Islam. However, one Republican activist serving as an “expert” advising the board said that including more Christian and Jewish holidays “simply acknowledges with accuracy the religious culture of America as it actually exists that these holidays have been awarded their place in the culture by the people themselves.” (HT: TP reader Sergio)