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.Like the one teaching "Christianity was started by a young Palestinian named Jesus."
Ybarra says part of the problem is that publishers employ or contract with writers who are not experts in the subject, or they may use out of date information. Or they may bow to special interest groups.Not surprisingly (since Christians don't issue fatwas or blow up publishing houses) Islam alone gets all the respect in the world and then some.
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 qualifier in saying it is the "Holy Book of Islam containing revelations received by Muhammad from God."Partly, the study says, it comes down to money. Forget the smoke-and-mirrors talk of education being a higher calling and sacred purpose. Like the dirty little secret of the "woman's right to choose," education is an industry, at least to those without a moral compass. From publishers down to local teachers unions.
For those with a moral compass, it still likely won't resemble the traditional, let alone biblical variety.
But Ybarra said it goes deeper than pure economics. He thinks textbooks are being used as tools for propaganda, particularly in negative attitudes towards Christianity and Israel and pro-Palestinian views concerning the Middle East.Puts a fresh perspective on the Intelligent Design embargo enforced by the same crowd, doesn't it?
"We fear that this is creating a generation of biased school children," he said. "Some of our projects in the higher education realm with some of these same subject matters, we find that students do show up at universities with these prejudices."
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