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November 22, 2004
Faithophobia Dumbs Down Maryland Education

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.

The people in charge of the curricula want to create their own reality by constructing a fantasy world where no one ever believed in God, unless it's to teach how religious fanatics caused all wars and genocides, a fable gaining currency despite the 20th-century history of secular tyrannies such as Nazi Germany, Soviet Russia, Maoist China, and Cambodia under the Khmer Rouge. People who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it, as the saying goes. People who fail to teach history create the necessary environment for its repetition.

Sphere It Digg! View blog reactions
Posted by Ed Morrissey at November 22, 2004 5:14 PM

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» Thank Anybody, Except God? from CALIFORNIA YANKEE
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