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Textbook Wars: The Endless Battle Over Public Schools’ History Textbooks

Written by Gary North on October 24, 2015

We need independent education, funded by parents, in which no parents are required by law to teach someone else’s view of history or anything else.

Parents are responsible for teaching their children. The state isn’t. We turn the schools into battlefields when state coercion becomes the legal foundation of education.

Here is an example. The New York Times Magazine ran a long story on the battle over the content of public school history textbooks.

The author did not discuss Mel and Norma Gabler, who launched this battle 40 years ago. I was friends with the Gablers. They singlehandedly (maritally speaking) created havoc for textbook publishers. They exposed the incompetence of the authors. Norma Gabler was a master of public relations. Texas is one of four states that the tax-funded school textbook publishers must get sales from in order to be successful, along with New York, Illinois, and California. The Gablers repeatedly cost textbook publishers millions of dollars.

They did not win. They could not win. They merely inflicted pain.

Read my obituary of Mel Gabler here.

The battle over the question of America as a Christian nation is never discussed in terms of this: the definition of a nation. It is always discussed in terms of this: the Constitution as Christian. On this issue, the Christians will always lose. The Constitution is not Christian. It is self-consciously neutral. There is no neutrality. It is therefore humanistic.

Is a nation or a society correctly defined when defined exclusively in terms of national politics? Yes, say the humanists, who cling to the Constitution. Yes, imply the Christians, who have invented a mythological history of the Constitution. I say no. A nation is what its people confess, and what their institutions defend. A nation is far more than its civil covenant.

The United States of America has been Christian from the beginning. It has had a humanist Constitution since 1788. The nation is confessionally schizophrenic. Neither side in this long battle is willing to admit this.

I have written about this confessional schizophrenia in my book, Conspiracy in Philadelphia: Origins of the United States Constitution. It is posted here.

(For the rest of my article, click the link.)

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