Florida Lawmaker To Propose Bill To Make D’Souza Film Required Viewing For Students

s11_4787Republican state Sen. Alan Hays really really liked the film “America.” So much so that he wants to make viewing the film by conservative filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza required viewing for all students. Hays seems entirely unaware of the inherent conflict in responding to what he views as the dangerous influence of liberal views by seeking the mandatory viewing of conservative views.

Hays reported that “I saw the movie and walked out of the theater and said, ‘Wow, our students need to see this.’ And it’s my plan to show it to my colleagues in the legislature, too, before they’re asked to vote on the bill.” He would make every student, absent parental objections, watch the film in middle and high schools. That would cover 1,700 Florida public high schools and middle schools. For many of us, such a law seems a tab Orwellian.

D’Souza has become a rallying point for conservative due to a federal investigation that was launched while he was marketing the movie. He pleaded guilty in May to a charge that he made improper donations to a Senate candidate in 2012, though he insists that the case was the result of selective prosecution.

In fairness to Hays, he said that he would not object to a pairing of the movie with Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth (which is already shown in many classes) or some of Michael Moore’s left-leaning films. However, mandating such films through legislation is a dangerous and destructive path for politicians. These classes should be left to teachers and school administrators — not dictated by the shifting alliances of the legislature. These children are not a captive audience to be tossed about by our increasing rapid political debate. While I have been a long critic of administrators over the application of zero tolerance rules and lack of accountability, this intrusion into the classroom is menacing and ill-considered.

On the slippery slope of politically mandated education, we could see a race to the bottom as liberal and conservative states implement their own agendas of education. The result will be the further reduction of educational standards in the United States and the replication of the same intolerance that we see across the country in our political discourse. I have not see D’Souza’s movie or read his book. However, I am opposed to politicians picking reading or viewership lists for students. Indeed, politicians may be the least suited for such a role. There has to be some limit on the mutually assured destruction of the two parties — some protected zone that can be free of this self-destructive internecine struggle. We should at least be able to tell politicians to keep their hands off the kinder.

Source: Hollywood Reporter

112 thoughts on “Florida Lawmaker To Propose Bill To Make D’Souza Film Required Viewing For Students”

  1. Well, while your waiting, perhaps you will review the Texas GOPlink I posted earlier and comment on their actual version.

  2. Can I just say how much I admire the Word Press Co. and their boffins. And the people running this website? First Rate.

  3. It’s stuck, it’ll probably be a while unless there is a moderator about.

  4. John,
    Sorry I made a hash of the post.

    This happened a couple of years ago and made “the news” so to speak, It seems that since 2012 the Texas GOP has edited the statement to avoid this. Having watched Texas Board of Education repeatedly try to put creationism in science textbooks, and attempt to replace Thomas Jefferson with Thomas Aquinas and John Calvin as members of the Enlightenment (never mind that they were dust in their caskets by the time the Enlightenment came around), I would say that members of the board are in agreement with the thinking of many conservative christians that education and critical thought are antithetical to faith, and they are right.

    At the Texas Board of Education (let’s call it TBE) there is a cornucopia of what I would call seeing history thru the eyes of a theocratic authoritarian .

    As listed in the RationalWiki the TBE has tried to;

    • Focus on the “significant contributions” of pro-slavery Confederate leaders during the civil war. In general, historical figures of less orthodox religious views (Jefferson, Paine, Franklin) or political tendency (union organizer Dolores Huerta) were harshly demoted or removed completely from the study program, whereas a slew of more marginal figures from the revolutionary period, such as Charles Carroll and Jonathan Trumbull, were added – what the added figures had in common was, without exception, that they were vocal defenders of orthodox Christianity.

    • The study of Sir Isaac Newton was dropped in favor of examining scientific advances through military technology, and another curriculum amendment describes the civil rights movement as creating “unrealistic expectations of equal outcomes” among minorities, and at the same time drops references to the slave trade in favor of calling it the more innocuous “Atlantic triangular trade”.

    Note; Frigging Issac Newton? the inventor of Calculus? Frack. A simple no nothing he was. Apparently.

    • Board member Cynthia Dunbar herself called the amendments important steps to overturning what she believes is the myth of a separation between church and state, which – of course – is also the expressed goal of David Barton, whose work the board relied upon rather heavily.

    David Barton is a faux historian, and I call him a fake because his only credential is an academic degree is in Christian Education from Oral Roberts University. Which seems to be a correspondence course. If you’ve never had to defend your thesis from the criticisms of a group of PHDs, you can’t say your the kind of historian he says he is.

    If you are in agreement with M. Barton we wouldn’t have much to talk about.

    If you are unaware of tfn.org/site/PageServer/PageServer?pagename=issues_religious_right_watch_david_barton_scholarship_criticisms M. Barton he has created an industry for himself by saying things like “the Constitution is straight out of the Bible”, “Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson had already had the argument about the Decent Of Species and they dismissed it.”….. Forty years before the voyage of the Beagle.

    Some people call it liarsforjesus.com Lying for Jesus. My take is he’s just another conman preacher scamming the rubes.

    Among other critics are Warren Throckmorton & Michael Coulter, Professors at a conservative Christian College. Their worldmag.com/writer/michael_coulter/ extensive and thorough critique of Barton is at World magazine, a christian site

    His supporters come the wikipedia.org/wiki/Dominion_Theology Dominionist partition of Evangelicalism.

    In 2012 that was the boilerplate of the Texas GOP. A google shows the hubbub.

    The best article of the time is the in the austinchronicle.com/daily/news/2012-08-18/half-true-what-politifact-got-wrong-about-the-gop-and-critical-thinking Austin statesman. You will find all relevant links to the discussion there.

    The materialist critique is dailytech.com/Fearful+of+Evolution+Texas+GOP+Looks+to+Ban+Critical+Thinking+Education/article25070.htm at Daily Tech.

    What I posted is the original wording, and I think it reveals what the authors, and those that approved it think.

    The Jesuits say unexamined faith is blind obedience to dogma, I’ve always found that a useful guide for religion, politics and economics.

    PS There is a great documentary recounting the affairs of the TBE,pbs.org/independentlens/revisionaries/” rel=”nofollow”>The Revisionaries.

    Let me finish saying that I have many friends in STEM fields, they have discussed the insertion of fundie beliefs into public education with their SouthEast asian coworkers in various contexts. the response is always the same, “Good, more jobs for us”, us being non-Americans.

    1. Thepalescot,

      You might now be aware but on this on our site but the spam filter snags any comment having more than two hyperlinks. For this time I edited your post by dereferencing the links so that it would work and approved it for viewing.

      If you would like to provide more than two links to the readers, you can always do so within additional comments.

  5. Just a minute, I had to go out, and there many links in it so it will probably be caught in the spam filter. but let’s see what happens.

    Nice Word Press, of course everyone loves you……

  6. @barkingdog

    Oh I luuuvvvve Tennyson!!! His Shropshire Lad and “going down to the sea again.” No English poet did it better, except maybe Yeats with his sally into the gardens thingie! Oh take me to your leda!

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

  7. Palescot,
    Since your source didn’t provide a link, I decided to go to the TexasGOP website. Maybe you can provide an alternate source, but this is what I found in less than 1 minute:

    “Knowledge Based Education- We oppose the teaching of values clarification and similar programs that focus on behavior modification and have the purpose of challenging the student’s fixed beliefs and undermining parental authority. Rather, we encourage the teaching of critical thinking skills, including logic, rhetoric and analytical sciences.”

    There seems to be a bit of inconsistency here so perhaps you can clear this up with a link to your source. You know, so we can continue to pursue critical-thinking skills.

  8. In regard to Critical Thinking

    “Knowledge-Based Education – We oppose the teaching of Higher Order Thinking Skills, critical thinking skills and similar programs that are simply a relabeling of Outcome-Based Education (OBE) (mastery learning {aka “knowing what you’re talking about}) which focus on behavior modification and have the purpose of challenging the student’s fixed beliefs and undermining parental authority.

  9. Good movie on GW, Dredd. Amazing honesty from that man! He plays the BS game he’s told to play then admits it in a statement like having to catapult the propaganda!

  10. mespo:

    “At age 25, Churchill became a member of the Conservative party, his first political affiliation. Before that he was a soldier. He became a member of the liberal party several years later (1904) and remained so for 20 years, well past his 40th birthday. In 1924, he returned to the Conservative party at age 50. So his attributed saying makes no sense in terms of his own life.”

    So, basically, Churchill was conservative for a couple of years when he was young, then Liberal for many years, and when he was older, he became a Conservative. How is that at odds with the saying? Also, if he was quoting someone else, does that make it any less his opinion? Do not the young eagerly vote for higher and higher taxes, on “other people,” until they reach an age and station in life where they no longer get a tax refund every year, but owe. And, suddenly, it does matter when they raise taxes. And perhaps that tax money should not be wasted.

  11. John, Amen Brother. I never understand why libs hate private monopolies but love a govt. one.


  12. Paul Schulte: Well there are cannons to the right of me and cannons to the left of me and then there is Canon Law. I prefer the law of the jungle. Planet of The Apes was required reading and viewing for us before they let us come to Earth as Dogs.

  13. Beldar – Makes no difference where the guy is from. All levels of government make requirements for reading, etc. for their students. There are canons of literature that need to be read, canons of math to get through, canons of history, etc. Sadly, much of this material is constructed and controlled by liberals who control the school system. Requiring a conservative documentary among the 10-15 liberal ones they will see is not a big deal.

  14. It figures that this guy is from Florida. There is more news on this blog from FL than any other state. All the news that’s fit to print. And then some. They have a governor down there who shaves his entire head. He must be bald and wants to go all the way. For those of you considering that I suggest that its better to have some hair around the edges. As for compulsory films for brats: The Little Rascals.

  15. Mespo, conservatives seem to have a gift for twisting the meaning of any given literary work from the Bible to Dostoyevsky, to fit their world view. It’s a talent of sorts, the gift of self delusion.

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