Files Challenge to Pro Islamic Anti-Christian Textbook
Pacific Justice Institute Press Release:
San Luis Obispo, CA - A concerned parent from San Luis Obispo contacted the Pacific Justice Institute after she noticed her 7th grade child's textbook had a distinct bias toward Islam over Christianity. When the 7th grader, Eric, was asked how he felt about the instruction, he responded, "It hurts my stomach." The Pacific Justice Institute assisted the mother in filling an administrative complaint with the school district.
The textbook allegedly makes statements of fact instead of qualified statements of belief. Some examples found in the state approved textbook entitled, "Across the Centuries," are: "The Arabic word Quran can be loosely translated as recitation. In fact, the very first word the angel Gabriel spoke to Muhammad was Recite" (Page 63) and "Arabic lettering had a special significance for Muslims, because it was used to write down God's words as they had been given to Muhammad." (Page 88)
The text also allegedly goes out of its way to depict Christianity in a negative light. The text specifically displays its bias by only citing Christianity for examples of religious persecution, focusing on church schisms, crusades, and inquisitions.
However, the greatest controversy has been found with reports of students in other school districts being instructed to carry out actual practices of Islam including adopting Islamic names, building model mosques, and memorizing scripture from the Quran. These practices at least partially contradict the teacher's handbook for the text, which condemns role-playing activities because they may "undermine the integrity of the faith involved."
The textbook and much of the controversial related activities are taking place throughout public schools in California at the 7th grade level. "When asked to opt out my child on religious grounds the principal told me he can't," said Jen Shroder, who is being represented by Pacific Justice Institute. After the administrative complaint was filed with the school district, the school district is reportedly reconsidering how they will address the matter.
"While it is constitutional for school districts to teach about religions to foster awareness, they must do so in way that is fair and balanced," said Brad Dacus of the Pacific Justice Institute. "Parents who feel the instruction violates their faith generally may opt their child out of such instruction on religious grounds."
Why All The Furor?
If youíve been listening to Pastorís sermons since September 11, or if youíve read his new book, youíll know one thing for sure: Allah is not Yahweh and Mohammed is not Jesus. Islam and Christianity are vastly different. Thatís why, at our Pastorís urging, we must "respond" to Islam.
Many who read this will agree that at best, Americaís dominant culture is now post-Christian, and possibly anti-Christian. For twenty five years weíve endured the scourge of abortion. It was initiated as a safety net contraceptive for the sexual revolution and has desensitized generations to the destruction of helpless human life. It shakes its ugly fist at God by destroying the most defenseless among us and tosses the "image of God" underfoot like a useless candy wrapper.
Enter homosexuality, stage left. For the last decade, this abomination has infiltrated entertainment, media, literature and education as if it is one of the essential tenants of western culture. Is homosexuality offensive to biblical Christians only because the Bible classifies it as a sin? I think the issue is a little deeper. Think about how God describes the relationship between Christ and the church. We are the bride of Christ. What does Paul say Ė the union of a man and a woman in marriage is given to us in part as an illustration of the relationship between Christ and the church. In the case of homosexuality, man is substituted in for woman and woman for man. The analogy is turned on its head and can no longer accurately depict nature of manís relationship with God.
How did we jump from Islam to abortion to homosexuality? In each case, falsehood is traded for truth. God is not Yahweh, God is Allah. Human life does not contain the image of God. God has not revealed Himself through marriage.
Each of these falsehoods is a contemptuous utterance towards our Creator and how He has characterized Himself, the life He has placed in each of us, and the ideal relationship He has ordained between Himself and man. In each case, man stands against Godís revelation and says "we know better, no, we know best." In doing so, man claims for himself the place of God.
What do contemptuous utterances and making oneself out to be God have in common? According to The American Heritageģ Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition, each defines "blasphemy." Islam, abortion, homosexuality Ė blasphemy.
Unfortunately, these three have more in common than that. The Pacific Justice Institute press release that began this article described the promotion of Islam in public schools. We know for a fact that both abortion and homosexuality share that same acceptance in Californiaís public school system.
Before I go further, let me clearly state that there are many biblical Christians teaching and holding administrative positions in our public schools. This is not "teacher bashing." These are dedicated professionals who labor for us as parents and for the God they serve. If fact, there are some public schools that, without promoting a particular religion, operate on sound biblical principles. I expect there are even some entire school districts that do the same. However, when taken as a system, as a whole, public education in California stands against the God we know, the Creator we worship. On traditionally two, and now apparently three separate fronts it engages is systematic blasphemy.
This past weekend I attended a conference entitled "Reclaiming San Diego for Christ." The speakers (including our own Pastor Garlow), encouraged us to take action to reclaim San Diego, to work to fulfill the two commissions God has given mankind. First, to fulfill The Great Commission of Matthew 28, making disciples. Second, to fulfill the cultural mandate given in Genesis 1, to fill the earth, subdue it and rule over it.
These two commissions are joined together in one word: redemption. We are to participate in the redemption of individual men and women as they respond to the gospel of Jesus because they are bought with the price of His life. We are also to participate in the redemption of the institutions of our society, marriage, family, government, law and education.
How do we redeem public education? That, too, comes with a price. We must hold it accountable. Raise the alarm when your child brings home a textbook used in San Diego County schools entitled "Across the Centuries." Shout a warning when homosexuality is presented as a normal, acceptable, alternative lifestyle that he or she may be oriented towards, or when abortion held out as a means to deal with a bad situation.
You and I both know that we cannot stand by when a fundamental institution of society blasphemes God. Each of us bears responsibility toward redemption. As parents, we need to know our childrenís teachers, know the curriculum, and know the assembly programs and the extra curricular activities. If we donít have children in school, maybe we need to come along side parents who do. Maybe we need to meet with school administrators and express our concerns or volunteer our time to the school to become "salt" and "light" similar to the teachers I described above.
I want my children to grow in the knowledge of Christ, but shame on me if I subject them to blasphemy more than worship.
The mission of C.B.I. is to raise up a generation of Bible "thinker/appliers" who engage our culture. For more information, contact Bill Trask at 619-463-1646.