Textbooks by public referendum

Letter to the editor

Posted: Thursday, August 18, 2005

I agree with the reader who thinks we should have a public referendum to ensure that our students aren't learning science from atheists. But why limit this to science textbooks alone? Should we be letting our students learn history from historians whose politics we may not agree with and who control the interpretations of history paraded in history textbooks? Just because the historians know the facts is no guarantee that they will interpret those facts in a way that will satisfy the majority's political views.

And, now that I think of it, mathematicians too might be spinning their own politically charged or irreligious views of mathematics; as any good statistician knows, numbers can be made to say whatever you want. And how do we know our mathematics textbooks haven't been skewed by some mathematician's atheism? In fact, shouldn't all of the textbooks our students use be subjected to the same public scrutiny and authorization? I don't want my children studying home economics from a textbook written by some feminist who thinks that women shouldn't be kept in the kitchen, barefoot and pregnant, or learning psychology from some scholar who subscribes to the ludicrous views of that atheist, Sigmund Freud.

Indeed, what reason could we have for letting experts in any field be responsible for teaching their subject to students? Personally, I would like to make sure that the Sunday schools at our local churches are not being taught by people who harbor the sacrilegious presumption to understand the mysteries of God's creation without bothering to explore it.

Jim Hale

Juneau



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