New Target of the Religious Right: Thinking Too Much

File this under 'Reasons why unfounded belief can affect and harm others'.

America is slowly pushing itself towards a middle-eastern sense of theocracy-controlled government.

'Americaistan' is just around the corner, if things like this can pass.  It is the GOP Party manifesto for the year, and the latest thing in a series of plain disturbing events coming from the American right.  How is it that Americans are becoming so ill-trained in the skill of interpreting the world around them that they are scared of a paper cup on some string?

The republicans, realising that critical thinking and wanting evidence for stuff causes people to question the beliefs of their parents have done the most logical thing - oppose the teaching of critical thinking in schools.
We oppose the teaching of Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS) (values clarification), critical thinking skills and similar programs that are simply a relabeling of Outcome-Based Education (OBE) (mastery learning) which focus on behavior modification and have the purpose of challenging the student’s fixed beliefs and undermining parental authority.
Right there on page 12 of the official GOP document, nestled amongst the other madness.  Really, it's a depressing read.

Yes, higher-order thinking is out for Texans if these people get in.  The bizarre irony of effectively trying to un-evolve a whole state's worth of people to an earlier form in a country decidedly unconvinced of our evolutionary ancestry would be funny if it were not actually happening.

So, higher-order thinking is now demonized because it challenges a students 'fixed beliefs'.  Challenging a belief is bad only when you have a belief that won't stand up to being challenged (and often that means such people complain about the erosion of 'religious freedom').  Instead of using the experience to refine a belief by casting aside the stuff that plain fails to maintain it's plausibility, the solution seems to be to brick up the windows to stop the light shining in.

Putting the GOP's concern-troll sentence into other, less obfuscated words reveals a long-term plan to increase their standings: the age-old process of parents - mindlessly parroting their beliefs onto their kids during the years where their minds are thirsty sponges, soaking up information from people they trust - is being rendered less effective by those kids being taught how to think too much.  The right has cottoned onto the fact that the more edumacated these kids get, the wider their eyes will open, and learn to question those things that don't stack up with what the world around is telling them.  Ergo they become more secular, more sceptical, and are less likely to vote for religious nutjobs and the GOP/Teaparty republicans don't get in.

It's in the best interests of these parties to ruin the education of millions of kids, so that they can win elections - standing on the backs of voters trained not to think, or to question.

If there is a thin silver lining to this, these idiots have not accounted for one thing: Kids aren't stupid.  The more they get told not to look at stuff and do stuff without being given a reason why, the more likely they are to take an interest.

I can only hope that this, and the education of present-day American public is enough to stop this self-serving lunacy in it's tracks.

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