Sunday, September 15, 2013

History Alive: pro-Muslim, anti-Christian propaganda in school.

Last year I began a series on how the American public education system brainwashes young people against Christianity.   (Click the "education" label below for earlier installments.)  Some readers may approve of such public school biases.  But we like honest history here.  We despise intellectual bullying of defenseless young tykes.  And yes, we also tend to prefer Christianity to Islam, even on general moral grounds. 

Today I would like to explore the various lies I found in a popular history textbook used in our school district in Washington State, where I have worked as a substitute teacher.  The book is also used in other states.  

What I first noticed, a few years ago, was a wall filled with biographies of "The Prophet Mohammed."  I think it was a seventh-grade class at Snoqualmie Middle School.  These one or two page essays weren't really biographies, they were hagiographies: as I leafed through them, I couldn't find any critical comments about "the prophet" at all.  Many simply parroted Islamic dogmas about the prophet and his supposed divine mission.

Reading these tracts over, two questions seemed to knock on the door of my consciousness: (a) Where are similar biographies of Jesus, on the wall of public schools in America?  (Which is, after all, still more a Christian than a Muslim country?)  (b) And is it really the job of public schools to spoon feed religious dogmas to students?  (Even Christian, let alone Muslim dogmas?) 

Perhaps that was a fluke.  After all, lots of teachers have pictures of Albert Einstein on their walls, and many seem to be into Native Americans.  Maybe this assignment came from a teacher with a personal interest in (hagiographic) Muslim history.

But it was no fluke.  I never found those hagiographies of Jesus, in any of the classrooms I subbed in at some dozen schools in two districts.  Rather, I discovered that children in our district, at least, were being systematically brainwashed to despise Christianity, and to idolize Islam and the bloody tyrant who started that religion.  

Some time later, I located what seems to be the source of this river of propaganda: a tendentious, grossly unhistorical, shamelessly anti-Christian and pro-Muslim text entitled History Alive! The Medieval World and Beyond.  This book is the mothers' milk our children are being nursed: the understanding of our common past which is fed into their young minds.  Its effect is likely to be to poison children's minds against the noblest source of Western heritage.  Not to be alarmist, but it may even predispose a few susceptible students to turn against that heritage viciously, as may have occurred in the case of the Boston Bombers, who appear to have been similarly indoctrinated in high school.

History Alive is used in middle schools within our district.  While I have not read every chapter, I did take time during breaks to read a fair chunk of the most relevant chapters of this book, and copy many passages down.  In this post, I will substantiate the allegations made above. 

History Alive: An Overview

Three long units in History Alive seem most relevant to our inquiry.  Unit One is entitled, "Europe During Medieval Times."  The book begins with a brief description of the contributions of the Roman Empire to world civilization in chapter one.  The following five chapters are about what one might roughly describe as "Christendom:" Byzantine and Medieval Europe.

Unit Two then tells the story of Muslim civilization, chapters 7 to 10.  After units on Africa, China, Japan, and the Americas, the text then returns to the West in Unit Seven, "Europe's Renaissance and Reformation."  The book then concludes with Unit Eight: "Europe Enters the Modern Age," with chapters on "The Scientific Revolution" and "The Enlightenment" finishing up. 

I don't object much to the outline, which seems OK for world history.  (Though I am skeptical about both the Renaissance and Enlightenment as they are often described.  I did not have time to read these units, but I am sure they are deeply untruthful, as the Princeton AP text proved to be, as I plan to show in a later post.)

History Alive flagrantly and systematically distorts, even falsifies, history in favor of Islam, and against Christianity, and that will be my focus here. 

Let's now consider those three periods. 

Where Europe got its Mojo

Chapter 1, "The Legacy of the Roman Empire," includes subheads such as "The Legacy of Roman Art," "The Legacy of Roman Architecture and Engineering," "The Legacy of Roman Language and Writing," and "The Legacy of Roman Philosophy, Law, and Citizenship." 

The lesson is clear: Rome (and, no doubt, Greece before it) contributed a great deal to human civilization.  Despite high death rates in Roman cities from diseases, as historians attest, a vast slave industry, the cruelty of the arena in which thousands were slaughtered sadistically for entertainment -- the overall theme of the chapter is upbeat. 

No comparable language is used of Christianity in the intervening chapters on Europe and Byzantine, from 2-6.  One gets the impression life in Medieval Europe was rather nasty -- though in reality, Medieval cities were in many ways better than Roman ones.  There is no talk of the "Legacy of Christian Art" or "The Legacy of the Sermon on the Mount." 

But we'll return to this book's abuse of Christian history later, and some of its "sins of omission," when we discuss Unit Seven. 

Unit Two: the story of Muslim civilization -- brother, what a story. 

Chapter 8 begins with a white-as-the-driven snow hagiography of "The Prophet Mohammed," as the chapter is entitled.  (Affirming one of the two essential Muslim dogmas -- "Allah is God, and Mohammed is his prophet.")  Apparently it would not be merely intolerant, but a simple historical error, to deny that Mohammed really was a prophet of God. 

This is no doubt where the kids got the template for the hagiographies I encountered on classroom wall.  After describing the economics and tribal character of Arabia during the era, section 8.3 describe "Mohammed's Early Life:"

"As Mohammed grew up, he took on more duties and made more trading journeys.  He became a trader who enjoyed a reputation throughout Makkah for his honesty.  People called him al-Amin, which means 'the Trustworthy.'"

A trustworthy history book might remind students, at this point, that our sources for what local residents thought of Mohammed are all Muslim.  It might even point out, if it wants to teach students to engage in critical thinking, that some of Mohammed's behavior -- waging war on the Meccans, assassinating Meccan critics, destroying their religious relics by force -- may possibly have produced variant views of the man's character in a city victimized by such assaults. 

The text then describes Mohammed's calling, and his wife's reaction:

"For the next 15 years, Muhammed made his living as a merchant.  Although he enjoyed success in business, he also cared about spiritual matters.  He often spent time at prayer in the mountains around Makkah . . . "

"At first, Mohammed feared that he might be going mad.  But Khadijah consoled Mohammed and expressed her faith that God had chosen him as a prophet to communicate his words to the people

"Khadijah became the first convert to Islam.  The faith of Islam is based on monotheism, or the belief in a single god.  This God, Muhammed taught, was the same God of Abraham, Moses, and Jesus.  Through Gabriel, God told Muhammed to teach others about treating people with compassion, honesty, and justice. . . . "

At this point, a secular text would, one expects, explain to students in public schools that these are Muslim tenets about their faith.  "Mohammed heard from God through the angel Gabriel," will not be on the next test, with points marked down for unbelief!  Non-Muslims are not obliged to admit that God really did commission Gabriel to explain to Mohammed the basic tenets of universal morality, Ethics 101 (though granted, Mohammed needed such a lesson more than most.) 

In any case, who can read about Mohammed's career -- more than two dozens raids on neighboring cities and tribes, mass murder of 700 males in a Jewish clan in Medina that allegedly cherished subversive thoughts, enslavement and gruesome torture of enemies, rape and marriage to a 9 year old child -- and think, "Just the man to teach us about compassion and justice!"

Or how about Mohammed's charming methods of negotiating, as recorded by French sociologist Maxime Rodinson:

"Alliances were made with tribes in the vicinity of Medina . . . with no hesitation in resorting to the torture of prisoners as an example . . . They negotiated with the Jewish leader, Usayr ibn Razim, and ended by persuading him to go to Medina with an escort of thirty of his own men, to reach an agreement with the Prophet himself.  On the journey all the Jews were killed by surprise.  Mohammed congratulated the leader of the band on his return . . . " (Rodinson, Mohammed, 249)

The text does not breath a word of such episodes.  This is not, as we shall see, because the authors are afraid to speak evil of any religion! 

"For Muslims, Islam was a way of  life and the basis for creating a just society."

" . . . The poetic beauty of this book helped attract new believers to Islam."

Sounds swell.  God sent an angel to teach this honest, thrifty, hard-working, pious young prophet to promote kindness, justice, and honesty.  Why would anyone be so crass as to oppose such a noble man, sent by God no less, with such a virtuous message?  But human beings can be so obstinate.  There was found to be a fly in the ointment:

8.5  Muhammed's Teaching Meets with Rejection

"Around 613 CE, Muhammed began to preach to other Makkans.  He taught that people must worship one god, that all believers in God were equal and that the rich should share their wealth.  He urged Makkans to take care of orphans and the poor, and to improve the status of women.

More virtuous teachings we forgot to mention: care for the poor (such as, by raiding the rich and making yourself wealthy, taking a percentage off the top?), taking care of orphans and the poor (such as, by finding a wife for an orphan you adopt, then realizing she was too beautiful for him, and taking her off his hands?), and improve the status of women (such as, by putting veils over their faces and telling them to stay indoors?). 

Did you write down all the prophet's virtues?  We don't want to overlook any.  They will be on a test next Friday, after you demonstrate the proper stance for prayer to Mecca.

But this will not be on the test, nor will you find it in your history book:

"All adult males were to be slain, the women and children sold into slavery, and their property divided.  Mohammed cried out: 'You have judged according to the very sentence of Allah above the seven skies.'" (Rodinson, 213)

If we take the Muslim account of Mohammed hearing from God through Gabriel at face value, why not this account, in which Mohammed knows that Allah wants his tribe to get the booty of Jewish men who have laid down their arms, along with the price he can get for selling their children into slavery?

Is it thought that such accounts might distract somewhat from recital of the Prophet's many virtues? 

But the story continues:  

"Some members of Muhammed's clan became Muslims.  People from other clans and social classes also joined him.  Most Makkans, however, rejected Muhammed's teachings.  Makkah's leaders did not want to share their wealth.  They also feared that if Muhammad grew stronger, he would seize political power.  Merchants worried that if people stopped worshipping their gods, they might stop making pilgrimages to Makkah.  Muhamad's monotheistic teachings also disturbed Arabs who did not want to give up their gods.

Selfish pagans!  Notice how base their motives were, for rejecting Islam.  They would have to give up filthy lucre to the poor!  It might be bad for business! 

"To prevent the spread of the prophet's message, some Arabs called Muhammed a liar.  Some tortured his weaker followers.  Despite this treatment, the Muslims would not give up their faith . . . "

So apparently not all Meccans did praise Mohammed for honesty, after all.  The text authors have let slip the fact that some thought him a "liar."  But we know of course, that he wasn't, because our teachers have told us that he was honest.  And Mohammed did not engage in torture, his followers were merely the victims of torture.  But note their nobility: even under such pressures, they did not give up their faith. 

The following section of the book rounds out the life of Mohammed, from his flight to Medina to the end of his life.

"In Madinah, Mohammed developed a new Muslim community as more Arabs converted to Islam.  Muslims pledged to be loyal and helpful to each other.  They emphasized the brotherhood of faith over the ties of family, clan and tribe.  Mohammed also asked his followers to respect Christians and Jews.  Like Muslims, these "People of the Book" believed in one God."

"Respect" carrying the special meaning, here, that Mohammed drove out, scared out, or murdered all three clans of Jews living in Medina.  "Community" here carries the meaning of "authoritarian state under Mohammed's authority."   

"The Makkans, however, still felt threatened.  In 624, fighting broke out between Muslims and Makkans.  The Muslims successfully attacked a caravan on its way to Makkah . . . "

Fighting "broke out?"  No, the Muslims attacked a Meccan caravan.  So why did the Meccans "feel threatened?"  Oh, because they WERE threatened.  Then attacked, robbed, and (in some cases) murdered.

And who were these people whom Mohammed attacked?  Not Meccans themselves, necessarily, but a caravan headed to his home town.  

"Meanwhile, Mohammed convinced other tribes to join the Muslim community.  As Islam spread across Arabia, the Makkans made a truce with the Muslims.  In 628, they agreed to let Mohammed make the pilgrimage to their city the following year.  In 630, however, they broke truce.  As Mohammed's army marched toward Makkah, the city's leaders surrendered without a battle.  Mohammed and his followers destroyed the idols (statues of gods) at the Ka'ba and rededicated the shrine to Allah.  Mohammed also forgave his former enemies.  The war had ended."

Actually, Mohammed did not forgive all his enemies -- some of them he had killed.  That's according to Islamic sources.  He was really not so forgiving as our honest history text portrays him -- confusing him, perhaps, with some other prophet.  Here's the scene after another raid -- in this case, unlike the account cited earlier, Mohammed did not have all the men killed:

"The prisoners were herded together.  'Umar wanted them all slaughtered, but Mohammed decided that ransoms should be demanded first, after which they could kill any for whom no one was prepared to pay.  He even went so far as to release two of them on the spot.  On the other hand he gave free rein to his anger against two men who had attacked him on an intellectual level.  They had studied Jewish and Persian sources and had asked him awkward questions.  They had scoffed at him and his divine messages . . . He ordered their execution.  When one of them asked, 'But who will take care of my sons, Mohammed?'  he answered, 'Hell!'" (Mohammed, Maxime Rodinson, 167-8)

The fact that such things actually happened, is not reason enough to teach them in a history class, is it?  No, Mohammed was one to forgive his enemies (after he robbed their caravans, killed their defenders and conquered their city).

Having conquered Mecca and destroyed its religious sites, Mohammed made it the new center of Islamic pilgrimage:   

"In March 632, Mohammed led his final pilgrimage.  In the town of his birth, he delivered his Last Sermon.  He reminded Muslims to treat each other well and to be faithful to their community.  Shortly after his return to Madinah, Muhammed died."

A noble life, a gentle pilgrim, steeped in virtue to his dying day.  His many wives, slaves, and deceased victims must have felt honored to have had God's own prophet in their lives. 

Update: I find that William J. Bennetta has listed numerous specific historical errors in chapters 8-- of this book, in Part III of this analysis. 

Christianity vs. Islam

By sharp contrast, no such chapter in History Alive describes the even more influential life of Jesus.  In fact, this is about all students get:

"The Christian religion is one of the most important legacies of ancient Rome.  Christians are followers of Jesus Christ, who was put to death on a Roman cross in the first century C. E.  Christians believe that Christ was the son of God, that God sent him to Earth to save people from their sins, and that he rose from the dead after his crucifixion."

Do you see any praise of Jesus, or of the worldly contributions of Christianity, in this brief passage, at all?  I don't.  Nor did I find any in scanning the rest of the text. 

And notice that while The Medieval World repeats Muslim claims as if they are plain history which the student should apparently believe (Mohammed was known to be honest, he was a spiritual man of prayer, God spoke to him through the angel Gabriel), it strikes a more distant stance towards Christian doctrines: "Christians believe" all this, not "this happened." 

The lies the text tells about the kindness of Muhammed, are however not repeated in regard to Jesus, even though they would be true in his case.  Jesus is not described as honest, said to teach kindness (or practice it), be hard-working, care for women, or care for the poor.  In fact, nothing else is told about his life, even though it has transformed the world, raised billions out of poverty, inspired the abolition of slavery, and freed hundreds of millions of women from oppression.   

The influence of Christianity on Europe is, however, covered -- sort of -- later in the book.  Let us now turn to some of those later passages.  (I did not have time to read them all.) 

319. The Influence of Italian City-States.

The Renaissance began in northern and central Italy.  One reason it began there was the prosperity of Italian city-states . . .

The Italian city-states conducted their own trade, collected their own taxes, and made their own laws.  Some city-states, such as Florence, were republics that were governed by elected councils. Council members included commoners as well as nobles.

In theory, the power in republics belonged to the people.  In fact, it often lay in the hands of rich merchants . . .

The city-states' wealth encouraged a boom in art and learning.  Rich families paid for the creation of statues, paintings, beautiful buildings, and elegant avenues.  They built new centers of learning, such as universities and hospitals.  From the city-states of Italy, Renaissance ideas spread to the rest of Europe.

Note that in this description of the glories of Medieval Europe, not one gleam of credit, or even reference, is made to the dominant religion of the era.  One does not hear anything about the life that inspired that great art, or the Church that was heavily invested in founding universities and hospitals.

More on what History Alive fails to say, shortly.  Let's now see some of what our text does say about Medieval Christianity.

28.5.  The Growth of Humanism

"The interest in learning during the Renaissance was spurred by humanism.  This way of thinking sought to balance religious faith with an emphasis on individual dignity and an interest in nature and human society." 

So "religious faith" is not something that inspires human dignity, or an interest in nature and society.  (Even though this is where Francis of Assisi appeared, whose poetry and life was as clearly inspired by the life of Jesus as one life can be by another, distant in time.)  Never mind that the theme of much of that art was explicitly religious.  Let's just ignore Alfred the Great, Alcuin, Roger Bacon, Robert Grosseteste, St. Anselm, Thomas Aquinas, Jean Buridan, and John Scotus.  And never mind all the great Medieval art that came before the alleged Renaissance.  Christianity needed to be "balanced" by more healthy concerns. 

"Humanism first arose in Italy as a result of the renewed interest in classical culture.  Many early humanists eagerly hunted for ancient Greek and Roman books, coins, and other artifacts that could help them learn about the ancient world . . .

"In their studies of classical culture, humanists discovered a new way of looking at life.  They began to create a philosophy based on the importance and dignity of each individual.  Humanists believed that all people had the ability to control their own lives and achieve greatness.  In education, they stressed study of the humanities -- a group of subjects that focused on human life and culture.  These subjects included grammar, rhetoric (the study of persuasive language), history, poetry, and ethics (the study of moral values and behavior).

All of which were  traditional parts of the Medieval curriculum.

"Humanists tried to put ancient ideas into practice . . . (and improve on it . . . )

"The influence of classical ideals changed ideas about government.  Humanists separated the state and its right to rule from the church.  In doing so, they helped lay the foundation for modern thinking about politics and government."

So again, whatever is good in the Medieval world, could not possibly have come from Christianity.  It could only have come from classical ideas.  It was only by freeing themselves from Church control, that progress was made, at all.

Never mind the slow and steady influence of biblical teaching on the development of separation of Church and State, from St. Ambrose's rebuke of Theodosius, citing the precedent of Nathan's rebuke of King David ("I have written this, not in order to confound you, but that the examples of these kings may stir you up to put away this sin from your kingdom, for you will do it away by humbling your soul before God") all the way through the Middle Ages to Puritans like John Milton and biblically-minded reformers like John Locke.  No, it was the Greeks and the Romans who taught Europe to separate Church and State!  No contrary evidence can be admitted!  (Such as, for instance, the source materials Brian Tierney gathers in his excellent The Crisis of Church and State, 1050-1300 -- note that this mostly predates the so-called Renaissance.) 

"Humanist ideals also affected people's thinking about social standing.  In feudal times, people were born into a certain status in society.  If someone was born a peasant, he or she would always have less status than a noble.  Renaissance thinkers prized individual  achievement more than a person's class or family.  This emphasis on individualism was an enormous shift from medieval thinking."

"The humanists' new ideas sometimes brought them into confliect with the Church.  The church taught that laws were made by God and that those who broke them were sinful.  It encouraged people to follow its teachings without question in order to save their souls.  For the church, life after death was more important than life on Earth.  In contrast, humanists believed that people should use their minds to question everything.  Most tried to balance religious faith and its emphasis on the afterlife with an active interest in daily life.  Some directly challenged teachings that were dear to the church. An Italian humanist, Giodano Bruno, paid for his ideas by being burned at the stake." 

What an ugly picture these authors paint of Christianity.  The authors give Christianity no credit whatsoever for anything good that happened in the Medieval world.  "Don't question our dogmas, or you will go to hell!  Don't worry about your quality of life!  Don't doubt us, or we will burn you at the stake!"  And that's it.   In contrast to Islam, which taught kindness, honesty, women's rights, recycling, and whatever other ahistorical BS comes to the minds of these cranks and bigots. 

Finally, let's briefly consider a few more facts the authors of History Alive neglect to tell our students about the relationship between Christianity and the remarkable success of western civilization -- a success that was already manifest, contrary to these geniuses, well before or outside of the Italian Renaissance. 

Lies of Omission

History Alive does not seem (so far as I have read) to credit the Christian faith for a single positive development in western history.  By contrast, it credits Islam for numerous goods, and politely refuses to mention mass-murder, torture, rape, and war-mongering, when effected by the "prophet" Mohammed. 

One could apparently write at least two books to educate the authors of this text on history, before they educate our children.  I don't want to write a book at the moment.  But here are a few select items, described in detailed by eminent scholars, that at least to give the appearance of even-handedness, they might have found it in themselves to mention:

Charity.  Will Durant: "Never had the world seen such a dispensation of alms as was now organized by the Church."  She helped "widows, orphans, the sick or infirm, prisoners, victims of natural catastrophes; and she frequently intervened to protect the lower orders from unusual exploitation or excessive taxation."  (The Age of Faith, 77)

James Hannam (Oxford-trained historian of science): "It was the Church that acted as the Medieval welfare state." (The Genesis of Science)

Status of Women.  Rodney Stark (one of the world's leading sociologists of religion): Christian women married later, had more choice in marriage than Roman pagan women; rejected double standard; not forced to abort babies; "By prohibiting all forms of infanticide and abortion, Christians removed major causes of gender imbalance that existed among pagans."  "Women held positions of honor and authority within early Christianity."  (Rise of Christianity)

See also Near Eastern scholar Bernard Lewis' comparison of the status of women in Medieval Europe and Islam, in What Went Wrong: Western Impact and Middle Eastern Response, 65-67, Frances and Joseph Gies, Marriage and Family in the Middle Ages, etc. 

Freedom. Donald Treadgold (University of Washington historian): "Hebrew society was unique in the ancient Near East in managing to avoid the techniques, devices, and institutions of despotism."  (Freedom, A History)

According to Treadgold, three elements missing in classical civilization from Christianity: representative government, economy not built on slave labor, liberty of conscience. 


David Landes (Harvard historian), on Medieval Christianity: "support for institutions of private property" ("the concept of property rights went back to biblical times and was transmitted and transformed by Christian teaching." [Moses, "I have not taken one ass from them" Samuel: "Whose ox have I taken?"])

Thomas Cahill, St. Patrick was "The first human being in the history of the world to speak out unequivocally against slavery."  (How the Irish Saved Civilization)

Will Durant: "But though the Church accepted slavery as part of the law of war, she did more than any other institution of the time to mitigate the evils of servitude." 

The Truce of God.  Georges Duby (leading French historian): "The Peace and Truce of God, by attaching sacred significance to privacy, helped create a space in which communal gatherings could take place and thus encouraged the reconstitution of public space at the village level ... In the eleventh and twelfth centuries many a village grew up in the shadow of the church, in the zone of immunity where violence was prohibited under peace regulations." (Wikipedia)

Science. Many persuasive studies of the influence Christianity had on the rise of science in the West have been penned.  I've cited James Hannam already.  Oxford historian of science Allan Chapman wrote a chapter on "myths" about this subject for our book, Faith Seeking Understanding.  The myths he describe sound very much like what History Alive takes to be sober history.  He now has a book out on the subject, Slaying the Dragons: Destroying Myths in the History of Science and Faith.  Rodney Stark deals with this subject incisively, and with a great deal of detail, in a long chapter of For the Glory of God.  One might also cite Charles Thaxton and Nancy Pearcey, The Soul of Science

But let me simply cite a few comments by Harvard historian, David Landes, in his Wealth and Poverty of Nations.  These quotes are by themselves more than enough to reveal how derelict and dishonest, not to mention unjust to western tradition, the authors of History Alive have been, on this point, alone. 

David Landes: "Important in all of this (early Medieval invention -- DM) was the Church as custodian of knowledge and school for technicians" many labor-saving devices at use in monasteries.  In a mid 12 Century report, the author "thanks God that such devices can mitigate the oppressive labor of men and spare the backs of their horses." (Wealth and Poverty of Nations, 58)

Landes cites four factors commonly thought to explain the willingness of Medieval man to work and then to invent:

(1) The Judeo-Christian respect for manual labor. 
(2) The Judeo-Christian subordination of nature to man.
(3) The Judeo-Christian sense of linear time.
(4) The market. 
Landes emphasizes the latter factor, but clearly credits the other three, as well.  Some of these other scholars fill in the details in very interesting style and depth.  History Alive, by contrast, portray Christianity as nothing but an obstacle to progress. 

In some ways, my time subbing in Washington State public schools was somewhat encouraging.  It seemed to me clear that most teachers work hard and care about their students.  Many of the students also seem industrious.  I never came across mentally-capable children above the age of ten who could not read, if called upon to do so, as I might have expected from what one reads sometimes about the public education system.  And when students misbehaved, I almost always found the administration backed me up in properly disciplining them. 

But with what vile propaganda our schools sometimes fill the minds of children!

I am an historian of religions.  I've read both sides of the debate over Islamic history -- John Esposito, Karen Armstrong, Amin Maalouf, Edward Said, and Tarif Khalidi, as well as Bernard Lewis, Bat Ye'or, Paul Fregosi, and Robert Reilly. As an experienced scholar, I recognize when a book is full of bias, and often notice specific historical errors. 

But in a text for school children, who don't know enough to question what their teacher says, History Alive is an outrage.  This text teaches our children to despise their own civilization and (for many of them) their own faith.  And what it teaches is largely false.  As any fool who has studied western history ought to recognize, western civilization is largely the product of Christian reform, with vast realms of "value added" in the process. 

I am furious at the fact that our educators are pouring such lies into the minds of our children.  Are they trying to produce children like the Boston Bombers, raised it seems to despise western tradition and idolize a mass-murderer?  I don't know whether the gross biases and shameless distortions I have documented above disgust me more as a Christian, an American, a teacher, or as an historian.  Perhaps they bother me most of all as a parent of two children who went to school in this (in most ways pretty good) district.

I intend to work to make people inside our district, and around the country, aware of this pernicious propaganda.  Let me suggest that you check to see if your school district is also using this textbook, or anything like it.  We are a free people.  Public schools belong to us as parents, and to us as a nation of free people.  The way our schools feed the minds of our children with lies about both Christian and Islamic history, reminds me of nothing more than the way the Turks used to demand children from their subject Christian peoples, so they could be raised as fanatical warriors against the lands of their own ancestry.  This should not be allowed to stand. 

Dr. David Marshall


Crude said...

I wish you well in this, though more and more I think the solution is simply to homeschool - at least, for those capable of doing so.

Someone once described public school to me as "a fluourescent lit bunker where children spend 8 hours a day dancing to the tune of bells and asking permission to go to the bathroom". In retrospect, that's definitely part of it.

Not very encouraging.

David B Marshall said...

Well, my older son went to all those schools, and is now in his second year at the University of Washington (where my home-schooled niece also went), doing pretty well, and the propaganda slid off him. These particular schools are really not that bad, propaganda aside. And I'm glad to say, I looked through the AP history book last night that my younger son is using, and found it much, much better. Anyway, I'm a missionary, so I'm not inclined to cede public space.