Texas textbook has a curious definition of the 2nd Amendment

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On radio this morning, Glenn shared a story that has gained major traction on TheBlaze. Controversy is growing around a U.S. history textbook used in a school district in Denton, Texas that has a curious definition of the Second Amendment.

“There’s a story on TheBlaze that is an absolute must‑read. It’s the most read story on TheBlaze,” Glenn said. “The question is how do you teach the Bill of Rights? Now, me personally, I think the Bill of Rights is pretty simple. I mean they are all like a couple of lines, you know? Maybe the quartering of soldiers in your house might need to be explained a little bit, but I’m pretty sure that everything else is pretty self‑explanatory. Well, not according to the textbooks now in Denton, Texas.”

According to United States History: Preparing for the Advanced Placement Examination, which acts as a study guide for the Advanced Placement U.S. history test, the Second Amendment says: “The people have the right to keep and bear arms in a state militia.”

“Oops,” Pat said. “That is not the Second Amendment.”

Below is the page from the textbook in question:

Source: “United States History: Preparing for the Advanced Placement Examination”

The Denton Independent School District maintains that the text is “supplemental,” and the schools are “disseminating the correct information on the Second Amendment” from other texts.

But, as TheBlaze reports, other schools appear to be using the text as well.

While the primary focus of the outrage has been on the description of the Second Amendment, Glen found another problem with the text.

“Here’s the First Amendment: ‘Congress may make no laws that infringe on its citizens’ right to religion, speech, press, assembly and petition. Congress may not favor one religion over another (separation of church and state).’”

“No, there’s no such clause,” Pat said. “No such clause as it won’t favor one religion over another.  Doesn’t say anything about that.”

“There’s no such clause as ‘separation of church and state.’ What are you talking about,” Glenn asked. “This is craziness. It is absolute craziness, and it is in a textbook here in Texas. Wake up.”

  • Gristle McThornbody

    Jefferson wrote, “I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should ‘make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,’ thus building a wall of separation between Church & State.”
    Jefferson’s metaphor of a wall of separation has been cited repeatedly by the U.S. Supreme Court. In Reynolds v. United States (1879) the Court wrote that Jefferson’s comments “may be accepted almost as an authoritative declaration of the scope and effect of the [First] Amendment.” In Everson v. Board of Education (1947), Justice Hugo Black wrote: “In the words of Thomas Jefferson, the clause against establishment of religion by law was intended to erect a wall of separation between church and state.” 

    In 1797, the United States Senate ratified a treaty with Tripoli that stated in Article 11: As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion; as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquillity, of Mussulmen; and, as the said States never entered into any war, or act of hostility against any Mahometan nation, it is declared by the parties, that no pretext arising from religious opinions, shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries 

    • http://www.artinphoenix.com/gallery/grimm snowleopard (cat folk gallery)

      Once again, in your blind and fanatical devotion to the leftist insanity of a bankrupt ideology you completely miss the point of the article.

      What is being pointed out is how the curriculum has completely rewritten and twisted the first and second amendments in order to indoctrinate the children to their way of seeing the world. You cherry-pick here and there to fabricate your twisted view of the world, return to the mother ship.

      • Gristle McThornbody

        I never thought a furry who drew somewhat disturbing, childlike renditions of “cat folk” would call my ideology “bankrupt” and instruct me to return to my mother ship.

      • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CUrbEIqFl_Q Sam Fisher

        This one is rather annoying for a troll.

      • mtman2

        Better to ignore childish wing-nuts like GM. I know it’s hard but he’s as -off -as the commies that twisted and ‘spun’ OUR Bill of Rights above to lie to OUR children.
        He’s  player in the “Hate America Crowd” as set forth by -OUR- Wise Founders.
        Snow leopards are almost mystical, he’s a rabid alley cat with worms + distemper.

    • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CUrbEIqFl_Q Sam Fisher

      And what does that have to do with the second Amendment you know the topic?

    • Anonymous

       Consider the historical context (as well as the context of Jefferson’s letter wherein your quote comes from). The point was that the government could not require a person to participate in, nor compel them to become a member of (i.e. ESTABLISH) ANY religion. Compare that to the Church of England at the time (think compulsory membership much of the time, as an Englishman). The point was that no specific religion or denomination would become the “state” religion, requiring attendance and obeisance by the people (hence in the same letter, Jefferson said that his religious beliefs were to be between him and his God). Consider the context of the times; the freakin’ capitol building was used as a church for crying out loud! Prayer has been made at the start of Congressional sessions since the beginning! If that Amendment was meant to push religion and people’s religious beliefs out of the “public square” (as the Freedom From Religion foundation and their allies would love), then not only would the framers and original Congresses under the Constitution, NOT had the capitol building as a church, and prayer opening the day, but they would have left out the important SECOND part of that, that “… NOR prohibit the FREE practice thereof.” That’s pretty self-explanatory; Congress can’t make a LAW (being the legislature’s SOLE purview) ESTABLISHING (i.e. making it the required/state religion) a religion, NOR prohibiting the free practice thereof (i.e. an individual’s right to practice their religious beliefs can’t be corralled, marginalized, or curtailed by Congress; an implied effect is that the President and SCOTUS also can’t because it is not within their enumerated powers either; think 9th and 10th Amendments). Ever since decisions like Everson, it has not been about Congress’ actions regarding religion, but rather the effect has been the diminishing and curtailing of the INDIVIDUAL’s Constitutionally protected right to practice their religion, in places such as schools. Everytime an atheist or someone who doesn’t like a religious expression, becomes “offended” by things like the Ten Commandments, or a prayer (non-specific to a religion or denomination) they sue the pants off the school or government building that it appears on. Well tough nuts! Many of the buildings in DC have religious carvings in them (think Judeo-Christian), that were built at the time the founders were not only alive (to protest if they wanted), but in those positions of power!
      That being said, SCOTUS’ decision in Everson (and its effects) are just plain wrong. But what can you expect from a post-Oliver Wendell Holmes SCOTUS?

    • Anonymous

      Here’s the complete text of Jefferson’s reply to the Danbury Baptists. Kinda different when not taken out of context:

      To messers. Nehemiah Dodge, Ephraim Robbins, & Stephen S.
      Nelson, a committee of the Danbury Baptist association in the state of


      The affectionate sentiments of esteem and approbation which
      you are so good as to express towards me, on behalf of the Danbury
      Baptist association, give me the highest satisfaction. my duties
      dictate a faithful and zealous pursuit of the interests of my
      constituents, & in proportion as they are persuaded of my fidelity
      to those duties, the discharge of them becomes more and more pleasing.

      Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies
      solely between Man & his God, that he owes account to none other for
      his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government
      reach actions only, & not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign
      reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that
      their legislature should “make no law respecting an establishment of
      religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,” thus building a
      wall of separation between Church & State. Adhering to this
      expression of the supreme will of the nation in behalf of the rights of
      conscience, I shall see with sincere satisfaction the progress of
      those sentiments which tend to restore to man all his natural rights,
      convinced he has no natural right in opposition to his social duties.

      I reciprocate your kind prayers for the protection &
      blessing of the common father and creator of man, and tender you for
      yourselves & your religious association, assurances of my high
      respect & esteem.

      Th Jefferson
      Jan. 1. 1802.

      • Anonymous

        Dyrewulf, well done, sir.

  • http://www.artinphoenix.com/gallery/grimm snowleopard (cat folk gallery)

    Nothing curious about it, the progressives are ensuring a step by step rewriting of history by the indoctrination of the youth. In this blatant move they make it appear that no one save for the armed forces and the government have a right to bear firearms.

    Translation = guns bad – people cannot have guns – government has guns – tyranny arises.

    • Draxx

      Michelle Obummer Said It In Front Of Many People, They Intend To ReWrite History…

  • Anonymous

    When the second amendment was crafted there was no standing army and the “militia” was comprised of ordinary citizens, shopkeepers, farmers, tradesmen and the like.  Each amendment in the Bill of Rights is about individual freedoms, not collective, as the leftist activists would try to make us believe.  The second was given to us not for hunting or sport shooting but as defense against a rogue government if need be.  To distort it and present it in a textbook as something else is negligent and, well, anti-American.  Stamp out leftist propaganda wherever and whenever we see it.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CUrbEIqFl_Q Sam Fisher

    I see liberals are trying to rewrite the bill of rights. you see let me help liberals who never read the Constitution. A well regulated Militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Paul-Marks/1266358046 Paul Marks

    Where government funds the schools and licenses the teachers (the products of teacher training courses) this collectivist propaganda is inevitable.

    • Anonymous

       Can we PLEASE get rid of the unconstitutional Department of Education?! (My wife is a public school teacher, and sadly she won’t agree with me on this one).
      And can we PLEASE go back to our communities hiring and paying the teachers, rather than high level government funding?

      • Anonymous

        voymasa, If only!

  • Jim

    The indoctrination continues! Little by little these future voters are being schooled so they’ll “vote the right way” when they reach adulthood. Gun control is coming! As sure as the banning of cigarettes. They were never outlawed, but look at all the prices and the places that forbid or restrict smoking. Little by little…incrementally! They will eventually have the votes they need!

    • Anonymous

      Jim, you may be aware that there are some cities/towns which do not allow smoking in

      a person’s own apartment.  Because of living close to neighbors, etc.

      • Jim

        I hear the same language being used. “We don’t want to take away your right to smoke(hunt). We just want “reasonable”…”common sense”… Sound familiar?

  • http://AskHuldah.blogspot.com/ Maidservant Huldah

    Does the Bible forbid Christians to defend themselves? See the article at

  • Anonymous

    I’ll pass on that editing of the First Amendment for now.  There are just 27 words in the 2nd.

    Too long to print out?  Or you didn’t want the students to know that the bearing of arms might

    be necessary for the SECURITY OF A FREE STATE?  Or that this right could not be infringed

    upon? ie: broken, violated.   If the words are too hard for the little darlings to understand either

    explain them or provide a glossary of the meanings.  And PRINT OUT the Constitution in full!

    Parts of it might have to be glossed over due to the wording, however, the full MEANING of the

    words should be retained. 

    • greywolfrs

      The Founders were some pretty smart guys. They wrote our founding documents in plain, simple terms so that anyone, with a second grade education, could understand them. I guess this just goes to show how the liberal edyucation system is dumbing-down our children.

  • George Allegro

    While democratic processes are capable of supporting liberty, centralized bureaucracy and administrative socialism must inevitably restrict it.

  • Anonymous

    Leave it to the progressive left to stoop to lying about something as basic as the wording of the second amendment in order to try to indoctrinate students into the idea that they have no individual rights if the government has not allowed the exercise of those rights. So long as it is for “the cause” there is simply no checks on behavior, lying, violence, abject hatred and indoctrination of young minds as fervently as any radical Islamist madrasa. 

  • greywolfrs

    The Founders were some VERY smart guys. They wrote our founding documents in simple, easy terms so anyone could understand the meaning. There is no need to “interpret” the meaning, as it is plain for any monkey to see. The only people who want to “interpret” those documents are the people who want to change the meaning.

    • http://www.facebook.com/brian.johnson.71404976 Brian Johnson

       They weren’t all that smart, if they were they would have realized that 100 years down the road some of their terminology might not be commonly understood and instead of trying to state an idea using as few words and as many commas as possible they should have taken their work more seriously and written these amendments with as much detail and clarity such that there could never be any question  of their intent. 

      • greywolfrs

        That’s funny, they did exactly that. Just because you lack the critical thinking skills to comprehend that, doesn’t mean they didn’t do exactly that.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1258480655 Jenny Williams

    Below is the response I received from Denton ISD in regards to the classroom curriculum. Specifically asked, “Can you please let me know where I can find the “other texts” that you are “disseminating the correct information on the Second Amendment” from? As a parent of four kids in this district I have the right to know, so do all of the other parents!” Their response,”The class textbook, American Pageant, is being used to teach the Bill of Rights and amendments verbatim — the teachers are aware of the incorrect language in the supplement and are not teaching that. Should you have specific questions regarding classroom instruction and your student, we recommend you contact his/her teacher. Our teachers and their administrators are readily available to answer your questions.”

    • Anonymous

      Jenny, your recourse appears to be 1) Ask your children what they are learning and look
      at their textbooks for the wording. 2) If you find this unsatisfactory, speak to their teachers about it and express your feelings. 3) Talk to other parents in your children’s
      class(es) and see if they feel as you, then see if some are willing to go with you to speak to administrators.  TAKE A STAND!

  • Anonymous

    And if possible Homeschool Folk’s you made them as you lay together and GOD blessed you with them .
    It does not stop they are your children forever teach them !
    We to have been taught to think we can’t learn to live with less mammon !
    Matthew 6:24
    Time to change has come .

  • Anonymous

    You cannot take your eyes off of liberals for even a second.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jim.miller.12532364 Jim Miller

    Expose the author and the funding source.  That will shine the light of day on the cock roaches.

  • http://www.facebook.com/brian.johnson.71404976 Brian Johnson

     You people put way too much importance on this document much as you do that other list of ten rules. The bill of rights serves mostly to give the supreme court the appearance that their decisions are arrived at using only the sacred text and pure reason. But it’s bullshit.If that were the case 5-4 decision would be unheard of. It tends to guide them on trivial matters but when they feel the need there is always an argument with which they can trample down any liberty they wish and neither God nor his precious constitution can protect you from them. There have been so many times throughout our history that the Court has sanctioned the Government in acts that so obviously violate those protected rights that It’s hard to believe that anyone still trusts that 9 old men and a scrap of paper offer any guarantee of protection. Not that the court hasn’t had some proud moments but it turned out Americans didn’t like the taste of actual liberty for all and eventually changed that court to one that understand what the founders really meant when they said liberty and justice for ALL  (wink wink) 

  • jiejie48


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