Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Congress Shall Pass No Law

Respecting the accurate teaching of history.

This from Captain's Quarter's.

Fox News reports that Maryland educators have such a fear of anything religious that they have begun rewriting history to remove any references to faith in the classroom -- beginning with Thanksgiving:

Young students across the state read stories about the Pilgrims (search) and Native Americans, simulate Mayflower (search) voyages, hold mock feasts and learn about the famous meal that temporarily allied two very different groups.

But what teachers don't mention when they describe the feast is that the Pilgrims not only thanked the Native Americans for their peaceful three-day indulgence, but repeatedly thanked God.

"We teach about Thanksgiving from a purely historical perspective, not from a religious perspective," said Charles Ridgell, St. Mary's County Public Schools curriculum and instruction director. School administrators statewide agree, saying religion never coincides with how they teach Thanksgiving to students.

Every time I think I've heard the dumbest education excuse, along comes another one to top it. Teaching that the Pilgrims gave thanks to the God in which they believed doesn't amount to teaching religion -- it's teaching history. The Pilgrims of the Massachussetts Bay colony came to North America to practice their rather radical and austere form of religion unmolested by the moderating influences of the mainstream Anglican Church. How can schools teach history without mentioning the faith of the colonists?

The forces of political correctness threaten to turn us into a nation of historical illiterates. I don't want public schools teaching religion to students -- not because of any First Amendment issues, but because they'd do a horrible job of it -- but rewriting history to turn the Puritans into secular humanists is ridiculous. It recalls the worst of Soviet-style education, where teaching the party line carried more worth than the truth.

No comments: