Surprise! Textbooks distort religion

textbookSo it seems that the word is out: Textbooks are not accurate in representing Religion… what else is new..?,2933,506773,00.html

This reminds me of a time a few weeks ago when I was subbing at a middle school, and we read out loud as a class a chapter in their history textbook on the Crusades.

In explaining why some went to war, the textbook said “some were just looking for something to do…”


As if going to potentially die in war is a way someone cures their boredom, not to even mention the fact that the very concept of boredom is a modern invention.  Furthermore, in discussing religion with the students, it became apparent that they all thought that Protestants and Catholics were completely separate religions having nothing to do with each other.

(There was one “enlightened” student who summarized the difference as “Catholics worship Mary”).

Not surprisingly, they had never even heard of Eastern Orthodox, which is of course lamentable because the fact remains that without the Byzantine Empire it’s likely they’d all be Muslims.  But I digress.

Is there actually a way to fix public schools? I’m almost convinced that it would be better for people to go uneducated than to be educated in such a way as to make them think they know something but in actuality are unwitting slaves to secular humanists politically correct agenda.

Echoes of Alexis De Tocqueville keep ringing in my ear.  Because the natural tendency of a democratic society is toward trust in one’s own reason (why should I trust one’s opinion over mine? are not we equal?), religion becomes the most important for us to have fixed ideas because it is the most difficult subject, if left to ourselves, to wrap our reason around. Thus, religion by it’s nature forces us outside ourselves, it forces us to recognize an authority that is not our own reasoning.  It checks the natural errors of the “Enlightenment”.

What happens to a society where in the education of the many religion is badly taught and reduced to the margins?  See: Europe

As John Adams said, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”


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