Steve Blow:
Turning textbooks into the Good Book

10:05 AM CST on Sunday, March 5, 2006

Did you know that liberal elected officials don't understand biblical principles?

Or that all liberals worship man rather than God?

I didn't. But it must be true. It's being taught in schools.

It's kind of funny. A front-page news story the other day said conservatives want more control over textbooks in Texas public schools.

Well, it looks like liberals – those godless rascals – better pay attention to what's being taught in some private schools.

Now, I realize private is private, and such schools can teach anything they want. But when does education become indoctrination?

And when does it begin to affect us all?

I'm not talking about one or two little schools. This involves curriculum used by private schools and home-schoolers all over the nation. Indeed, all over the world.

The curriculum is published by Accelerated Christian Education. And that company started right here – in Lewisville.

Though ACE is now headed up in Florida, its distribution and other facilities in Lewisville are valued at more than $20 million on county tax rolls.

So we're not talking about some little fringe operation.

A concerned mom called my attention to the politically loaded lessons. She was troubled by some of the Texas history worksheets her son was bringing home.

That's where he had learned the definitions of liberal ("referring to philosophy not supported by Scripture") and conservative ("dedicated to the preserving of Scriptural principles").

The mom said she sent him to a small Christian school for more personal attention. But she didn't know that would mean such lopsided political ideology.

After talking with her, I ordered sets of American and Texas history workbooks from ACE.

The booklets are designed for individual, self-paced work. For the most part, they offer a straightforward, rather dry, dates-and-names approach to history.

But there are some definite quirks – like a certain egocentric sense of history. Care to guess what is "the most marked development of modern Texas?"

Right. "The growth of church schools." Of course.

And fill in this blank: "The single most important event in American history is surely ____."

Don't strain too hard. Surely you're not about to say "the Great Awakening," the religious revival that swept the colonies in the mid-1700s.

In more recent history, the re-election of Bill Clinton is explained thusly: "To some Americans, a healthy economy is more important than the moral fiber of their country."

Interestingly, the various investigations of Mr. Clinton get more than twice the space in the workbooks that Watergate gets.

And Jimmy Carter is described as someone who "claimed to be a Believer."

I can almost hear the Church Lady delivering that line, eyebrow arched steeple high.

On the matter of evolution, there is no pretense of balance. "The theory of evolution has no real scientific basis. ... There is simply no true scientific support for the theory," according to the ACE version of American history.

(In the interest of balance, type "statement on evolution" into Google and you will find solid support from virtually every scientific organization.)

The textbook goes on to set up a false choice between evolution and God. "Both cannot be right. Is it logical to trust Darwin or God? It is odd that whenever given the choice of accepting the Bible or some man-written book, the liberals always reject the Bible and accept the other book."

I had hoped to discuss educational philosophy with officials from ACE. But after they heard my questions, I got a polite decline.

I'm sure they're nice, well-intentioned folks and all that.

But a question comes to mind: If they teach that God is only on their side, how is that different from those we fight in Iraq?

E-mail sblow@dallasnews.com

Online at: http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/dn/localnews/columnists/all/stories/DN-blow_05met.ART.North.Edition2.3e852c7.html