A Biased Textbook, Says a Biased School Official

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/23/education/23texas.html?ref=education

This article is making the claim that there is a pro-Islam bias in history books that are being used in Texas.  The school board official for Odessa, Mr. Randy Rives, is heading this issue.  Mr. Rives makes the claim, “If you can control or influence our education system, you can start taking over the minds of the young people.”  Saying that, essentially, the textbook publishers are pushing for Islam.

Mr. Rives, who has been pushing a Bible study curriculum, is obviously a devout Christian.  He says that there used to be anti-Christianity parts of past textbooks.  This makes me wonder, is he really concerned about there being an unfair amount of Islam information or just that Islam is mentioned in the text at all?

It seems to me that Mr. Rives is more concerned about a different religion than his being taught in schools.  To me, textbooks are a wealth of knowledge that we are all lucky to have.  Also, in my personal opinion, which I know people will differ from, I believe that there should be more information of subjects we know little about.  Maybe it is the fact that when growing up, my family always urged us to follow Catholicism, but they were also willing to accept the fact that once we had enough knowledge, that everyone must make their own decision and choose what would be best for them.  My father has studied and read many of the different religions “books”.  He has always shared his opinion on all of his own opinion and findings.  Once we were roughly the age of 16, he never once pressured us to follow any religion we didn’t want to follow.  The only thing that he did stress is to make well informed decisions.

As I said, I think this is more an instance of Mr. Rives being concerned about the mentioning of Islam and the lack of Christianity.  Fair enough.  We each have our own views on how we think things should be, but should we let our educations be shaped by cultural wars? That’s what this is.  A cultural war.  Aren’t we then being biased against Islam?  Mr. Rives is fighting for this to be removed, but he’s not seeing that it would then not be doing the job of the textbook, to inform young individuals of the world surrounding them.

I think there is nothing wrong with Islam being in textbooks.  Even more about Islam in textbooks than Christianity, is ok in my book.  Christianity is so mainstream in our country, a society that preaches separation of God and State, that we deserve some diversity in our lives.  Let the people be informed of the different cultures and their religions.

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One Response to A Biased Textbook, Says a Biased School Official

  1. acute73 says:

    Great post! I agree that people should be informed of different cultures and religions. In this country, we encounter so many different people with a variety of backgrounds. What could we lose by stepping outside ourselves to expand our minds? We don’t have subscribe to any one persons views or ideas, but it would help us to be able to explain with some intelligence, our views.

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