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With God On Their Side...

With          God On Their Side...

The texts' approach to politics can be summarized this way: Democrats are deluded, liberals are villains, and conservatives are heroes. This is part of a pattern where descriptions used for people, groups, and movements clearly imply that some are unacceptable.

In A Beka's world history textbooks, the term “liberal” is tied to, among other things, the belief in evolution - and both are thoroughly castigated. In the eighth grade U.S. history book, a liberal is defined as: “a person who believes government should have more control over people's lives, that government through taxes should provide for more of people's needs, and that Biblical traditional values are not strong considerations.” 3 The authors acknowledge that liberals and conservatives exist in both parties, but point out that liberals are more likely to be found in the Democratic Party and conservatives in the Republican Party.

The publisher's 10th grade text defines a conservative as “a person who wants to conserve a standard [that] is desirable if the standard is good (the Bible, the U.S. Constitution, Judeo-Christian ethics) and undesirable if the standard is bad (Marxism, false religions, immorality).” 4

The text also emphasizes that “American and other Western conservatives believe there are eternal values that need to be preserved in human thought and action; they also seek to preserve the Judeo-Christian heritage that has made the West great [emphasis in the original].” 5

Another pattern in the Christian school textbooks is that conservatives are cited and quoted with approval, while liberals are given less coverage, omitted, or treated in a critical fashion. A Beka's fourth-grade history text, for example, includes a color photograph and 22 lines about conservative Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. “Through his own hard work and God-given ability,” the book says of Thomas, “he earned a law degree and achieved several important government positions.” 6 Thurgood Marshall, the first African-American appointed to the court, is not mentioned at all.

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