Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Faith-based U.S. history text exposed

The Center for Inquiry has released a detailed critique (PDF) of a U.S. history textbook by James Q. Wilson and John Dilulio, Jr., pointing out that it falsely claims that there's doubt about the very existence of the greenhouse effect, falsely claims that the U.S. Supreme Court has banned prayer in schools (as opposed to teacher-led prayer), falsely claims that the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Lawrence v. Texas overturned Texas's anti-sodomy law on a close 5-4 vote (it was 6-3), falsely claims that the checks and balances of the U.S. Constitution were motivated by worries about original sin, and so on. (A summary can be found at the Friendly Atheist blog.) Wilson is Ronald W. Reagan Professor for Public Policy at Pepperdine University and chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors of the American Enterprise Institute; Dilulio was the first head of George W. Bush's Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives and is a professor at the University of Pennsylvania.

The problems in this textbook were uncovered by Matthew LaClair of Kearny, NJ, who previously received a lot of press coverage for his exposure of a U.S. history teacher at his school, David Paskiewicz, who was using the classroom as a forum for proselytizing evangelical Christianity. That story broke in the mainstream media only after being publicized on this blog.


Trott said...

By "this blog" you don't mean the Lippard Blog, right?

Jim Lippard said...

Rich: Actually, I do.

See this post from November 12, 2006. The Newark Star-Ledger and the Jersey Journal picked it up on November 15, The Observer (Kearny's paper) picked it up on November 22, and the New York Times first covered it on December 18.

There are currently 18 posts in the "David Paskiewicz" category on this blog--we not only covered it first (thanks to an email from Matthew LaClair's father that was forwarded to the SKEPTIC mailing list), we covered it in more detail than anybody else.

Trott said...

Wow! How did I not know that?!

Einzige said...

Hey! Guess what!

Just as I predicted, the incompetent boob David Paszkiewicz is still a history teacher at Kearny High School.

What a school system!