Scott’s Blog 10/06/08
They Couldn’t Say it If It Wasn’t True?
There was a time when most people assumed that telling the truth was one of the most important values in our culture.
Even if we heard something outlandish, the general reaction was, “They couldn’t say it if it wasn’t true.”
And so we dutifully nodded as PBS specials told us that molecules to man by random mutation was a proven fact. After all, our development as embryos recreates our progression from fish to lizard to mammal to man.
And that the latest sugar crusted oat-like product was really good for you.
And that wearing the right sneaker could make us run faster and jump higher.
But then we discovered that those text book drawings showing that our development as embryos were faked by a turn of the 19th century evolutionary zealot.
And the Choco-Sugar-Wackies we ate for breakfast were causing us to pass out before lunch.
And the shoes? Well, in the end, they were only slightly more performance enhancing than your basic penny loafer.
We realized that we had been fooled – taken in by people we assumed were telling the truth.
One of the most valuable survival skills we need to develop living in the age of hype is the fine art of discernment.
Just because we see it on TV, read it in print, or (heaven forbid) catch it on the internet, don’t make it so.
News outlets like the Associated Press that once proudly aimed for objectivity and fairness in every story, now openly practice what is known as “advocacy journalism”.
The thinking goes like this, “Human beings are biased. Since biased human beings write our stories, we cannot expect objectivity. Therefore we encourage reporters to allow their own point of view to be represented freely in their dispatches.”
Not only do they admit their reporting is biased, they act as if that is a good thing. And if you suggest that actually striving for objectivity might make for more accurate reporting – you are the one with the bias problem.
The same mentality has now crept even into into the text books that supposedly represent a factual view of history to our children.
BRAVE NEW SCHOOLS
‘Jesus was a Palestinian,’ claims U.S. history text
Study: American public school books have ‘same inaccuracies’ as Arab texts
“It is shocking to find the kind of misinformation we discovered in American textbooks and supplemental materials being used by schools in every state in the country,” said Dr. Gary Tobin, president of the Institute for Jewish & Community Research and a co-author of the study.
“Elected officials at every level should investigate how these offensive passages are creeping into our textbooks. Presenting false information in the classroom undermines the very foundation of the American educational system,” he said.
Tobin teamed with insititute research associate Dennis Ybarra for the study, titled, “The Trouble with Textbooks: Distorting History and Religion.” The five-year effort, which looked at 28 prominent history, geography and social studies textbooks, reveals American public school students are being loaded up with indoctrination about Christianity, Judaism, Islam and the Middle East, to the cost of Christianity and Judaism and the benefit of Islam.
The study also supports other assessments of U.S. texts on which WND has reported.
According to an earlier report from the American Textbook Council, history textbooks throughout the U.S. schooling system promote Islam.
The new study by the IJCR found more than 500 erroneous passages in the books, including one textbook that charged that early Jewish civilization contributed little to the arts and sciences.
An excerpt from “World Civilizations,” published by Thomson Wadsworth, for example, said, “Excepting the Old Testament’s poetry, the Jews produced very little of note in any of the art forms … There is no record of any important [early] Jewish contributions to the sciences.”
The level of outrageousness grew: “Christianity was started by a young Palestinian named Jesus,” claims “The World,” published by Scott Foresman.
“The textbooks tend to be critical of Jews and Israel, disrespectful about Christianity, and rather than represent Islam in an objective way, tend to glorify it,” said co-author Ybarra. “To teach children, for instance, that Jesus was a Palestinian and de-emphasize his Jewishness does a disservice to Christians and Jews as well as anyone who cares about historical accuracy.”
The institute analyzes issues such as racial and religious identity, philanthropy and higher education. Its full report is available at TroubleWithTextbooks.org, where all 28 books that came under its review are listed.
The authors found textbooks that stated or suggested:
- Jesus was a “Palestinian,” not a Jew.
- The Arab nations never attacked Israel. Arab-Israeli wars “just broke out,” or Israel started them
- Arabs nations want peace, but Israel does not
- Israel expelled all Palestinian refugees
- Israel put the Palestinians in refugee camps in Arab lands, not Arab governments
- Palestinian terrorism is nonexistent or minimal
- Israel is not a victim of terrorism, or terrorism against Israel is justified
- U.S. support of Israel causes terrorism, including 9/11
- The intifadas were children’s revolts not involving adults or terrorism
They also found that Judaism and Christianity are treated as matters of believing, while Islam is treated as a matter of fact. In the glossary of “World History: Continuity and Change,” the Ten Commandments are described as, “Moral laws Moses claimed to have received from the Hebrew God Yahweh on Mount Sinai.” But the same glossary states as fact the Quran is a, “Holy Book of Islam containing revelations received by Muhammad from God.” http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=76671
It is clear from the examples sited above that any parent who believes his or her children are getting the facts about even the basics of Western Civilization from an objective historical perspective better wake up and smell the coffee.
Even the class room is swimming in bias in our days.
Knowing the truth well enough to spot errors is not just something for scholars.
And the same is true in our walk with God.
Running under the assumption that something is true Biblically because “I heard it in church” or “I saw it on Christian media” is a recipe for disaster.
Paul gave us some on target advice in his letter to the church at Thessalonica.
When something seems amiss in a spiritual message ask yourself:
– Where does it say that in the Bible?
– Are there clear passages in Scripture that contradict this message?
– Is respectful questioning of those in authority based upon a shared commitment to God’s truth encouraged or discouraged?
Just as in the class room or the cable TV commercial, even what so called authorities and experts in the church say may not really be so.
Let’s make sure we love God’s truth enough to seek it, stand for it and accept no substitutes for it in these dark days.
Test all things; hold fast what is good. (I Thessalonians 5:21)
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