Written by Don Byrd

An advisory group made a number of recommendations to the Texas State Board of Education for revisions to the history curriculum. Among them was a proposal to remove an emphasis on the role of Moses and other “Judeo-Christian” influences on America’s founding documents and legal system.

The Houston Chronicle explains:

The advisory group recommended removing references to Moses as an individual whose principles of laws and government informed America’s founding. The advisory group wrote that Moses “is too removed from time period the U.S. constitution was authored and beyond time scope.”

Several historians and teachers also urged the board to heed that recommendation, noting there is little to no proof that Moses’ principles influenced America’s founding documents.

The Board however rejected this recommendation and voted to restore Moses to a prominent place in the American History curriculum as a key early influence. Texas Freedom Network political director Carisa Lopez criticized the move, saying “The board’s changes echo claims you might hear in Sunday school classrooms and certain political venues these days, regardless of what teachers and scholars say is accurate and appropriate for public school classrooms.”

There is no reason to deny religion’s influence on American history, culture, and art, but the curriculum should be based on religion-neutral criteria, and shaped by experts in the discipline. The Board will vote again on final approval in November.