Saturday, March 07, 2009

School Textbooks Distort Religion

Lauren Green, not to be confused with Lorne Green , the actor from the old Bonanza television show, Lauren Green with the FoxNews network had an article, “Authors Warn That Many Textbooks Distort Religion” . From that article:

“Authors Gary Tobin and Dennis Ybarra of the Institute for Jewish and Community Research found some 500 imperfections and distortions concerning religion in 28 of the most widely used social studies and history textbooks in the United States.”

Errors are going to happen, isn’t that what the bumper sticker says; close enough. The problem with errors and distortions is how they prejudice or bias the teaching process as well as the learning process when dealing with the different religions of the world.

“Islam has a privileged position,” he said. “It’s not critiqued or criticized or qualified, whereas Judaism and Christianity are.”

“One example is in the glossary of “World History: Continuity and Change.” It calls the Ten Commandments “moral laws Moses claimed to have received from the Hebrew God,” while the entry for the Koran contains no such qualifier in saying it is the “Holy Book of Islam containing revelations received by Muhammad from God.””

Whether or not the bias was intended or perceived determines the future in so many ways as the printed text becomes part of the distribution process, is handed out to “eager young minds”, then is turned over to the public schools and the teacher’s union operatives who at one time were called teachers. The trend, at least in the United States, over the past several decades has been to drive a huge wedge to separate church and state, to be in compliance with a Supreme Court ruling, one intended to turn America toward communism . We are to become a godless society in matters public, what you do in private; well, that’s your business.

“But First Amendment scholar Dr. Charles Haynes , who has written extensively on the subject of public schools and religion, says he thinks sometimes the criticisms go a little too far.”

“There’s no conspiracy in the textbook industry to favor one religion over another. ... I think the group that bangs the pot the loudest gets the most attention,” he said.”

Naturally I’d have to side with anyone who has “Dr.” in front of their name over some religious whacko with an ax to grind. I’ll use only one more quote from the original article and finish up, an example which pretty much covers the topic of distortion.

“A “true or false” question on the origins of Christianity asserted that “Christianity was started by a young Palestinian named Jesus.” The teacher’s edition says this is “true.””

I mean, anyone with half a brain knows, Jesus, just like Moses, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob were all Mormons. You can bet the farm that won’t get printed in the next history text book.

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