Teaching History in “Christian” Schools

Available on Amazon as “United States History for Christian Schools”

“The U.S. History text covers our nation’s history from colonial times up to the present. Special attention is given to God’s providence and the nation’s Christian heritage.”  Published by BoB Jones University Press.

“In the ravages of lives and families being torn apart, believers found – in the north and south alike – new strength in God. The south suffered greatly both from the war and the period of reconstruction that followed but ‘de land ob cotton’ rose from the ashes to become the bible belt, a part of the country that has continued to stand firm on the fundamentals of Christian faith.

From a text book used in Christian schools on the positive legacy of the Civil War

Under radical reconstruction, the south suffered. Great southern leaders and much of the old aristocracy were unable to vote or hold office. The result was that state legislatures were filled with illiterate or incompetent men. Northerners who were eager to make money or gain power during the crisis rushed to the south … For all these reasons, reconstruction led to graft and corruption and reckless spending. In retaliation, many southerners formed secret organizations to protect themselves and their society from anarchy. Among these groups was the Ku Klux Klan, a clandestine group of white men who went forth at night dressed in white sheets and pointed white hoods.

From a text book published by Accelerated Christian Education publishers.

“Unfortunately, Americans’ views of race relations declined after Obama came into office. Race riots in places such as Ferguson, Missouri, and Baltimore, Maryland, greatly escalated racial tensions and worsened strife between minorities and local police,” the textbook reads. “President Obama’s attempts to resolve these problems often seemed to make the situation worse.”

Groups such as black lives matter (BLM) sharpened the divide between police and citizen, and black and white, with divisive rhetoric,” says the textbook.

From a test book published by Abeka, used in many Christian schools.

A Bob Jones university Publishing world history textbook paints the religion of Islam as violent, with one section titled “Islam and murder”. An Abeka 11th-grade history textbook passage describes slavery in purely economic terms, ignoring its human costs, writing that “slaves seemed to be better investments than indentured servants”. As the Abeka textbook moves to modern history, the authors criticize President Barack Obama for harming race relations in the country.

These textbooks also treat same-sex relationships as a matter of biblical immorality. Under a section called “Cultural Decay”, an Abeka history textbook says that “increased acceptance of homosexuality” has been a result of declining “American family values”, noting that such acceptance increased during the Obama administration.

These textbooks teach history from an evangelical perspective and have been around for decades, working to stoke fears about secular society, and more specifically, what goes on in public schools, says Adam Laats, a professor at Binghamton University who studies the history of American education and has researched these publishers.

One history textbook exclusively refers to immigrants as “aliens”. Another blames the Black Lives Matter movement for strife between communities and police officers. A third discusses the prevalence of “black supremacist” organizations during the civil rights movement, calling Malcolm X the most prominent “black supremacist” of the era.

“While public school textbooks suffer from their own blind spots, a Guardian analysis has found that private schools, especially Christian schools, use textbooks that tell a version of history that is racially biased and often inaccurate. These textbooks, used in thousands of private schools, many of which receive tens of thousands of dollars in public funding every year, whitewash the legacy of slavery, frame Native Americans as lesser and blame the Black Lives Matter movement for sowing racial discord.”

About half of states have enacted or are looking to enact restrictions on discussions of systemic racism. In Florida, for example, the state board of education recently voted to ban the teaching of critical race theory (a catch -all to ban any discussion of race in America) and the 1619 Project, a curriculum born out of a New York Times Magazine initiative that seeks to reframe American history through the historical legacy of slavery. In Iowa, the governor has signed a bill broadly banning the discussion of “divisive concepts” in public school, including racism and sexism.

 Dozens of textbooks produced by the Christian textbook publishers Abeka, Bob Jones University Press and Accelerated Christian Education, three of the most popular textbook sources used in private schools throughout the US have been reviewed. These textbooks describe slavery as “black immigration”, and say Nelson Mandela helped move South Africa to a system of “radical affirmative action”.

So next time a good Christian bigot is objecting to the history textbooks used in public schools you will know what they want taught to your kids.  It’s what they have been teaching those impressionable young minds in their “Christian” schools for years.

Maybe someone in Florida will mention to our school children that of the 140,400 residents in 1860, 44% were slaves.  And that the county adjacent to mine was populated by South Carolina “planters” who came here with their slaves to make a buck.

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About toritto

I was born during year four of the reign of Emperor Tiberius Claudius on the outskirts of the empire in Brooklyn. I married my high school sweetheart, the girl I took to the prom and we were together for forty years until her passing in 2004. We had four kids together and buried two together. I had a successful career in Corporate America (never got rich but made a living) and traveled the world. I am currently retired in the Tampa Bay metro area and live alone. One of my daughters is close by and one within a morning’s drive. They call their pops everyday. I try to write poetry (not very well), and about family. Occasionally I will try a historical piece relating to politics. :-)
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6 Responses to Teaching History in “Christian” Schools

  1. beth says:

    scary and crazy

    Liked by 1 person

  2. John says:

    I have taught in a school here in Australia that used Abeka texts. I found them fascinating and scary and very soon they remained closed in my classrooms. The science textbook tempted me to rip some pages out but I was in desperate need of a job so I left out some sections and luckily I was able to write my own syllabus. But that was over 20 years ago. I survived but am still frightened by some of the damage done in other classrooms. I could write a book but I won’t because there were some good people there.

    Liked by 1 person

    • toritto says:

      Hi John – The right wing assault on public schools has become quite apparant during the last year or two. Our Governor here in Florida has been a leader in the national assault. This year for the first time in my 80 years I had to do research to sort out the various candidates running for school board seats, weeding out the religious fanatics and neo-fascists.

      Best regards from Tampa Bay.

      Like

  3. Lauren says:

    It is frightening what some people push down the throats of innocent children. I taught in public school and sadly knew some science teacher that refused to teach evolution. They skipped the chapters because they “objected” to the concept.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. beetleypete says:

    I suspect that the people writing those books have a favourite film that they watch regularly.
    This is that film.
    https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0389828/
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

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