Columns » Bob Lancaster

Lose Tom

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     I see that the great Texas School Book Purge has turned its attention to Thomas Jefferson, a well-known lefty radical of some time ago. The school-textbook rewriters down there want Phyllis Schlafly and Newt Gingrich in their American history pantheon, but not Thomas Jefferson. Big surprise, eh?

     It sounds like they want to turn Jefferson into a non-person, one of those never-wases that were the Big Brother-Soviet specialty. In the future if his name appears in your child's history book at all, it'll have to be redacted, perhaps with a black Magic Marker. If a teacher wants to mention that the Declaration of Independence had an author, he or she would have to hold his or her hand over his or her mouth and say to the class that somebody named um-um um-um-um, about whom he or she is proscribed from saying more, wrote it. Presumably he or she could mention Yellow Sally; but not Marse Tom. The Louisiana Purchase might have to be recrafted as the Louisiana Gift.

     The animus here apparently derives from Jefferson's advocacy of a wall of separation between church and state. He loved the idea of that wall, but contemporary Texans hate it. At least contemporary Texans hate it who think that the current Texas governor is a sane human being who ought to continue to be allowed to run around loose. That's a big majority of them. It's a 2-to-1 majority of the Texas State Board of Education, and, for some reason, it's 100 percent of Texas dentists. What is it with Texas dentists? 

     They hate Jefferson's wall – and Jefferson too, because you can't hate a man's ideas without hating him personally for having advanced those ideas – because they think the church ought to be able to use the power of the state against unbelievers and wrong believers. In the good old days the church did this all the time. It would hook up with some monarch or emperor, and together by the use of pograms, inquisitions, genocides, and the like, they'd harry the Devil until he fled to some other temporarily more tolerant jurisdiction.

     In most of these cases, the Devil disguised himself as a heretic, or as a slew of them. Heretics are some of the hardest-headed people in the world. You can point out to them chapter and verse of where they're wrong, and explain to them exactly how to correct their thinking and get themselves right again with their Maker, and it's just a waste of your time and breath. They're bound and determined to believe abominable things, like healing the sick and comforting the bereaved and turning the other cheek and pretending not to understand Glenn Beck's blackboard gibberish.

     You can't rescue them from their pernicious beliefs without nearly killing them -- or in fact, uh, killing them --  and that's where the power of the state comes in. Without it, they can tell you to go do to yourself what Vice President told Sen. Leahy to go do to himself, and you just have to grin and bear their impudence. But when the state tells you that you can skin them alive – really! -- when they're recalcitrant, it puts the matter in a much different light. A whole lot of that cockiness will disappear after just a few waterboardings or just a handful of thumbscrews.

     I gather that the Texans think the Devil has disguised himself in our country and our day and time as a liberal, or as the whole kaboodle of them. Liberals are pretty easy to identify nowadays – and they often don't even bother to deny their diabolical views. Some even warmly espouse those views, and actually seem proud of them. They won't tell you who thought them up –   Karl Marx, or old Fred Nietzsche, who said God is dead, or the socialist New Deal bunch, or the Sage of Monticello and his impious running buddy Thomas Paine, who needed introduction to Uncle Pit and Uncle Pendulum if anybody ever did.

     Liberals try to hide these disreputable sources with tricks like quoting Jesus, always out of context and twisting his words so that they have  bleeding-heart implications that don't exist in the original Aramaic. You can argue with a liberal until you're red-white-and-blue in the face, and as with the heretic it never does any good – it only muddies the issue for bystanders. It increases the likelihood of confusing and duping those bystanders – whether it's an independent voter or a vulnerable child reading a history textbook.

     What's wrong with using the power of the state to protect these unfortunate people who don't have the capacity to choose for themselves whom they should serve?

     It's been Jefferson this and Jefferson that, and St. Jefferson who could do no wrong, for 200 years now. Or Franklin D. Roosevelt. It's all you hear from the old-hippie wall-favoring elites that love whales and quiche and free condoms for everybody and hate fiscal responsibility and family values and the old-fashioned way. They wrote the school books for 200 years, and look at the shape we're in. They had their turn. Let Roy Moore have a crack at it now. Jay Sekulow. Bradley Gitz. The abstinence-only course developers. Just about any of the brainiacs from Bob Jones University Press.

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