Weblog Commenting and Trackback by HaloScan.com The Dark Window: How Textbooks Are Ruining Our Children

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Tuesday, June 01, 2004

How Textbooks Are Ruining Our Children

I'm away visiting my family during this extended holiday weekend and one of the highlights of the trip has been attending my little brother's high school graduation. Sitting there watching all those impressionable young men and women of tomorrow walking across the stage to accept their diplomas, I started thinking a lot about how liberals are trying to destroy our children through textbooks. Fortunately, the good folks over at CBN News (Pat Robertson's organization) have a very timely story about the subject.

You see, it turns out that not all textbooks, especially those in the evil land of Calipornia, reflect conservative thinking. (Thankfully, those in the other state examined, Texas, are much better). CBN Congressional Correspondent (obviously eminently qualified to write about textbooks) David Brody tells us what's going on:

When you send your children off to public school in the morning, you may think they are getting a good education. And indeed, many schools in the country have fine academic principles. But beneath the surface, there is something else going on.

Per David, the "something else going on" is a serious ideological struggle. I'm guessing it must be a struggle between good and evil because he tells us it involves "religious conservatives" and "secular liberals." When you put it in those terms it's not very hard to figure out which side God is on. (Hooray for God and David!) Brody masterfully describes this struggle by interviewing David Barton, the president of a Christian group called Wallbuilders.

Political correctness seems to be the problem. In an effort to not offend any one group, especially when it comes to history, what happens is that the full story is not being told. Barton says key information is ignored or left out. Like with the Native American Indians.

Says Barton, "There were just some Native American tribes that were cannibalistic and that's just the way they were, and you just can't make them look good."

It really is true when you think about it: The vast majority of our problems today can be traced back to the time when American children stopped learning that some Native American tribes were cannibalistic. So many godly children were lost to the voracious appetites of hungry Hopi or starving Sioux that they really deserve to have their own monument in Washington DC - and nobody even learns that anymore. God, it makes me happy to know that somebody's finally standing up to these ravenous oppressors! Next thing you know they'll be trying to take our land and giving us blankets with small pox. What a bunch of savages.

And you can't say "old man" or "old lady" because it is demeaning to older people. And in some books, it is not Adam and Eve. It is Eve and Adam, so it can be shown that males don't take priority over females.

What textbooks is he talking about, exactly, that mention Adam and Eve? I'm beginning to agree that perhaps there really is a problem with the books being used in our schools.

Fortunately, there are brave people who are standing up against this attack of menacing textbooks. The article continues by telling us about the Gablers, a brave Christian family in Texas that reviews school textbooks for accuracy.

Because of the Gablers and others down here in the South, the conservative viewpoint wins out quite a bit. But if we leave the South and we head west, it's a much different story.

The California standards for evaluating social content say, "When ethnic or cultural groups are portrayed, portrayals must not depict differences in customs or lifestyles as undesirable, and must not reflect adversely on such differences."

This is indeed outrageous! If I had kids I'd be furious to know that they weren't allowed to learn that French Canadians live undesirable lifestyles. (Of course I could just introduce them to Dr. No to teach them that but I'm getting off topic.)

So for example, when it comes to learning about Islam, the mistreatment of women is not highlighted. Instead, you will see numerous mentions of Muhammad's name as well as verses from the Koran.

Right. It should read: "There is a religion called Islam that was started by 'some guy' and it uses 'a book.' Practitioners of this religion mistreat their wives." You know, if only Jack Chick wrote our textbooks, we wouldn't have these problems.

And lest you think this article is biased, David, in true CBN fashion, gives the liberals a chance to tell their side of the story. He briefly interviews a history professor from UCLA named Gary Nash. Mentioning that Gary has written textbooks, David feels it important to tell his readers that "Some of his critics say he is distorting history and in the process getting the history of our country all wrong." I feel it important to tell my readers that "some of David's critics say he is a complete moron." But back to the article:

Nash says his books don't bash America.

"I don't know of any historians who want to be historians in order to trash America," he says. "No. I would say they want to be historians to improve America."

But his critics say his books spout a philosophy of multiculturalism, that America was formed from a blending of Indian, West African and European cultures. One of his books says, "In time, this cultural exchange would form the foundation for a new nation, the United States of America."

Good God! Is this Nash guy really saying that some good things might once have happened in this country that didn't involve white Christians? He probably even thinks the cannibalistic Injuns played some sort of meaningful role. No wonder his critics are so upset.

Don't worry, though. Lest you think his article is all doom and gloom, Mr. Brody leaves us with a formula to rethink the way we write textbooks in order to make them more accurate. And for once, I'm going to let him have the last word.

Barton says when writing history, those writing these textbooks might want to look at how the Bible does it.

[ed. note: Barring major tragedy, I'll be back home late Tuesday night and able to resume my normal blogging duties on Wednesday so hopefully you'll check back then. I just pray Mr. Chick hasn't thrown any wild parties in my apartment while I've been away. I'm beginning to second-guess my choice of cat-sitters.]

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