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2Chronicles7:14-“If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”

Archive for the ‘books’ Category

How “Revised” Are Textbooks?

Posted by wordforit on January 4, 2008

Revisionism:

How to Identify It in Your Children’s Textbooks

Revisionism is the common method employed by those seeking to subvert American culture and society. The dictionary defines revisionism as an “advocacy of the revision of an accepted, usually long-standing view, theory, or doctrine; especially a revision of historical events and movements.”

Revisionism attempts to alter the way a people views its history and traditions in order to cause that people to accept a change in public policy. For example, during the 150 years that textbooks described the Founding Fathers as being devout men and Christians who actively practiced their faith, civic policy embraced and welcomed public religious expressions. But in recent years as the same Founders have come to be portrayed as atheists, agnostics, and deists who were opposed to religious activities, public policies have similarly been reversed.

Revisionists generally accomplish their goal of rewriting history by:

-Underemphasizing or ignoring the aspects of American history they deem to be politically incorrect and overemphasizing those portions they find acceptable;

-Vilifying the historical figures who embraced a position they reject; and

-Concocting the appearance of widespread historical approval for the social policy they are attempting to advance.

There are many means that are used by revisionists to accomplish these goals but the most common include:

1. Patent Untruths

Numerous history texts make claims such as: our “national government was secular from top to bottom,” or that the Founders “reared a national government on a secular basis.” Those who have studied the American Founding know that this is a patent untruth – proved by numbers of Founders, including John Adams, who declared: “The general principles on which the fathers achieved independence were the general principles of Christianity.” (Even the text of the Declaration of Independence refutes any charges of government secularism.) This approach usually relies on a general lack of public knowledge about that untruth; consequently, such untruthful claims are rarely made in areas where citizens have broad general knowledge (such as claiming that James Madison used an atomic bomb to end the Civil War, or that the first sub-machine gun was developed in 1536 in Nevada by the Quakers). Revisionism relies on a lack of citizen knowledge in specific areas.

2. Overly Broad Generalizations

This revisionist tool presents the exception as if it were the rule. For example, texts often name Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, and Thomas Paine as proof of the lack of religiosity among the Founders yet fail to mention the rest of the almost 200 Founding Fathers – including the dozens of Founders who not only received their education in schools specializing in the training of ministers of the Gospel but who also were active in Christian ministry and organizations (e.g., John Hancock, Samuel Adams, John Adams, Benjamin Rush, Roger Sherman, et. al).

Similarly, when discussing religion in America, the Salem Witch trials are universally presented; but rarely mentioned are the positive societal changes produced by Quakers, Baptists, Presbyterians, and dozen of other religious groups and organizations that worked for the abolition of slavery, secured religious freedoms for all, and fought to end societal abuses of all types. (Also never mentioned is that the American witch trials resulted in some two dozen deaths – and were halted by religious leaders, while the European witch trials resulted in 100,000; that is, American Christianity at that time might not have been perfect but it was light years ahead of both the Christianity practiced in Europe and the European secularism that resulted in 40,000 executions in the French Revolution.)

3. Omission

Notice the following three examples from American history works:

We whose names are under-written . . . do by these presents solemnly and mutually in the presence of God, and one of another, covenant and combine our selves together into a civil body politick. MAYFLOWER COMPACT, 1620

Is life so dear or peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? . . . I know not what course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty or give me death? PATRICK HENRY, 1775

. . . ART. I.-His Britannic Majesty acknowledges the said United States . . . PEACE TREATY TO END THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION, 1783

What was omitted from these important historical quotes?

We whose names are under-written having undertaken for the glory of God, and advancement of the Christian faith and honor of our king and country, a voyage to plant the first colonie in the Northern parts of Virginia do by these presents solemnly and mutually in the presence of God, and one of another, covenant and combine ourselves together into a civil body politick.

Is life so dear or peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty or give me death?

In the name of the Most Holy and Undivided Trinity. It having pleased the Divine Providence to dispose the hearts . . . ART. I.-His Britannic Majesty acknowledges the said United States . . .

The omitted segments are those that indicate the strongly religious nature of American government documents and leaders. Also regularly omitted from texts is the fact that gratitude to God was central to the first Pilgrim Thanksgiving – and the fact that in 1782, the Congress of the United States was responsible for America’s first English-language Bible; and that in 1800, Congress voted that on Sundays, the Capitol Building would serve as a church building and that by 1867, the largest protestant church in America was the one that met inside the U. S. Capitol; etc.

4. A Lack of Primary Source References

The avoidance of primary-source documents is characteristic in revisionism. For example, the authors of the widely-used text The Godless Constitution blatantly announce that they have “dispensed with the usual scholarly apparatus of footnotes” when discussing the documentation for their thesis that America’s government is built on a secular foundation. Similarly, the text The Search for Christian America purports to examine the Founding Era and finds a distinct lack of Christian influence. Yet 80 percent of the “historical sources” on which it relies to document its finding were published after 1950! That is, to determine what was occurring in the 1700s, they quote from works printed in the 1900s.

Summary

To locate revisionism in a text, look at its tone, the documents it presents, and the heroes it elevates.

To discover a revisionist tone, find the answers to these questions in the textbook:

Is exploration and colonization motivated only by the desire for land or gold?

Are those who promoted religious and moral values portrayed as harsh, punitive, and intolerant? Is traditional family ignored?

Is government presented as statist – that is, that the state (rather than individuals, families, churches, or communities) is to take care of society’s needs?

Is there a victim ideology – a steady diet of those who have been exploited throughout history rather than those who have uplifted their culture?

Are other religions portrayed positively and Christianity negatively (if at all)?

Are original documents presented? (Do students see the actual text or only what someone else says about it?)

Do they see the Mayflower Compact, the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, George Washington’s “Farewell Address,” and Abraham Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address?

Are the documents heavily edited to present only a sentence or two or do they provide a substantive amount of text?

Who are the heroes presented?

   – Do they tend to be angry – fighting an unjust society or government? Do they tend to be modern heroes only?

   – Do they tend to be only secular leaders? For example, the U. S. Capitol displays some 100 statues of the most important individuals in America’s history; a significant percentage of those statues are of ministers and Christian leaders.

Will your children receive in their textbooks at least the same view of American heroes that is presented in America’s pre-eminent government building?

When examining a text, always remember that your children do not know as much about history as you do and consequently have no basis for identifying bias. Therefore, examine each text as if you knew nothing at all about history except what is presented in that text; on that basis, will you be pleased with the tone toward America inculcated in your child through that text? If not, then urge your school to get a better text or be diligent to supplement for your children what is missing or wrongly presented in the text.

It is not melodramatic to state that America’s future rests on what is taught to our children, for as Abraham Lincoln wisely observed:

The philosophy of the school room in one generation will be the philosophy of government in the next. (attributed)

Famous American educator Noah Webster therefore rightly admonished:

The education of youth should be watched with the most scrupulous attention. . . . [It] lays the foundations on which both law and gospel rest for success.

Indeed!

by: David Barton~ Wallbuilders.com <<New window to more articles very well-written and researched. I have known about and studied for several years the information David Barton analyzes…I enthusiastically recommend his website with the in-depth articles!

May God Have Mercy.

Posted in Bible, books, Christianity, culture, current events, education, family, history, politics | Leave a Comment »

Schmoozing with Terrorists at Facebook

Posted by wordforit on October 20, 2007

It’s worth a few minutes to go to Facebook and see what Aaron Klein turns up. On one hand, I couldn’t care less what the murderers think of us or matters of life. Another part of me wants to know if Aaron Klein teaches us anything. It’s not a site I would dwell in, but it is fascinating that we are dealing with real people, flesh and blood, who would hate so passionately as to make our most heated arguments look like temper tantrums from small children.

If you’re interested in the audacious mindset of terrorists, type “Schmoozing with Terrorists” in the search box at Facebook. If you don’t have a Facebook account, it only takes a sec to get one. It is serious brainwashing like I’ve never read of and the deathly seriousness of the terrorists’ desire to annihilate all who disagree with their dogma is shocking. The article below offers information so I will not expound.

As for me, I am concerned and alert, but I am not afraid. I pray that your heart is right with God and, terrorist or otherwise, you are ready at any moment to face Jesus.

Romans 13:10-14 “Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore, love is the fulfilling of the law. 11 And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. 12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light. 13 Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying. 14 But put you on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.”

God Bless and Keep You Always, In all Ways.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Shocking new book starts its own online community

Posted: October 19, 2007
1:00 a.m. Eastern
© 2007 WorldNetDaily.com

The wired world should consider itself warned – a book that features an Orthodox Jew confronting recruited suicide bombers and jihadist desecrators of holy sites and includes terrorists dishing on loudmouth Hollywood liberals and U.S. politicians is about to start an online community of its own.

Schmoozing with Terrorists: From Hollywood to the Holy Land, Jihadists Reveal their Global Plans – to a Jew!by author and WND Jerusalem bureau chief Aaron Klein yesterday initiated a Facebook page that will include exclusive material and allow readers to interact directly with Klein.

Facebook users can sign up for the “Schmoozing” group here.

The page will be constantly updated with news related to terrorism, the book and Klein’s media appearances. Klein also will contribute exclusive commentary, insider information regarding the Mideast and even behind-the-scenes anecdotes from his chilling conversations and meetings with terrorist leaders.

Among the highlights of Schmoozing with Terrorists“:  

  • Madonna and Britney Spears stoned to death? What life in the U.S. would be like if the terrorists win.
  • Terror leaders dish on loudmouth, anti-war celebrities such as Rosie O’Donnell, Sean Penn, Susan Sarandon, Jane Fonda and Richard Gere and even sound off about American talk radio hosts such as Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity.
  • Jihadists list their U.S. election favorites, mouth off about politicians and even threaten to kill one 2008 presidential candidate.
  • Klein and friends confront well-armed senior terrorists about whether suicide bombers really get 72 virgins after their deadly operation.
  • Terror groups funded, trained and armed by the U.S.? American tax dollars donated to schools that double as terror training zones and jihadist recruitment grounds? A shocking expose on how your tax dollars fund terrorism!
  • Bibles used as toilet paper, synagogues as rocket launching zones? Meet the leaders of the most notorious holy site desecrations in history.
  • The under-reported story of Christian persecution in the Middle East as told by the antagonists and victims
  • Terrorists even offer tips on how to win the war on terror!

Klein has been interviewing terrorists since age 19, when he spent a weekend with a group connected to al-Qaida. He reports daily from Israel, going where many of his media colleagues dare not tread.

Klein is known for his regular appearances and segments on top American radio programs, where he has many times interviewed terrorists live on air. He served as a co-host of the national “John Batchelor Show.”

The oldest of 10 children, Klein attended Jewish schools from kindergarten through college at Yeshiva University in New York, where he served as editor-in-chief of the undergraduate student newspaper.

To interview Aaron Klein, contact Tim Bueler Public Relations by calling (530) 401-3285 or e-mail media@timbueler.com .

Posted in books, culture, current events, daily life, faith, family, God, history, laws, Life, muslims, politics, Religion, research, survival, war | 1 Comment »

Faith Resistant Mindset and Young Adults

Posted by wordforit on October 18, 2007

This is a report from The Barna Group who conducts research in the interest of religious trends. Also, there is an article in Christianity Today which is encouraging and gives more details on how George Barna persevered and did not dismiss his dedication to God when no one was listening. Both articles (here and in CT) are lengthy but well-worth reading! (links open in new windows).

God Bless and Keep You.

Atheists and Agnostics Take Aim at Christians

June 11, 2007

(Ventura, CA) – A new evangelistic movement has emerged in America. Yet this effort does not spring from those loyal to a particular faith or religious view.

The new evangelists are atheists. People who have determined there is no God or who doubt his existence (a group commonly known as agnostics) are adopting a more aggressive, intentional effort to discredit the notion that God exists and to critique people of faith. Widely reviewed new books such as The God Delusion and God is Not Great represent this movement.

Beyond the bestseller lists, however, a new survey shows there is indeed a significant gap between Christians and those Americans who are in the “no-faith” camp. For instance, most atheists and agnostics (56%) agree with the idea that radical Christianity is just as threatening in America as is radical Islam. At the same time, two-thirds of Christians (63%) who have an active faith perceive that the nation is becoming more hostile and negative toward Christianity. (“Active faith” was defined as simply having gone to church, read the Bible and prayed during the week preceding the survey.)

A new study by The Barna Group examines the numbers, lifestyles and self-perceptions of America’s atheists and agnostics, contrasting the no-faith audience with those who actively participate in the Christian faith. Surprisingly, not every measure shows points of differentiation; there was also some common ground between the two groups who are at opposite ends of the faith spectrum.

Two Worlds…Colliding?

In the study, the no-faith segment was defined as anyone who openly identified themselves as an atheist, an agnostic, or who specifically said they have “no faith.” In total, this group represents a surprisingly small slice of the adult population, about one out of every 11 Americans (9%). However, in a nation of more than 220 million adults, that comprises roughly 20 million people.

Interestingly, only about five million adults unequivocally use the label “atheist” and, when asked to describe the nature of God, staunchly reject the existence of such a being. In other words, most of those who align with the no-faith viewpoint harbor doubts as to the existence or nature of a supreme deity but do not express outright rejection of God.

Atheists and agnostics are distinct demographically from the active-faith segment. The no-faith audience is younger, and more likely to be male and unmarried. They also earn more and are more likely to be college graduates.

Perhaps partly due to the younger nature of the audience, atheists and agnostics are more likely than are active-faith adults to say they are into new technology (64% among no-faith individuals versus 52% among active-faith adults) and to assert that they adapt easily to change (81% versus 66%). Atheists and agnostics are also significantly less likely to say they are convinced they are right about things in life (38% versus 55%).

One of the most fascinating insights from the research is the increasing size of the no-faith segment with each successive generation. The proportion of atheists and agnostics increases from 6% of Elders (ages 61+) and 9% of Boomers (ages 42-60), to 14% of Busters (23-41) and 19% of adult Mosaics (18-22). When adjusted for age and compared to 15 years ago, each generation has changed surprisingly little over the past decade and a half. Each new generation entered adulthood with a certain degree of secular fervor, which appears to stay relatively constant within that generation over time. This contradicts the popular notion that such generational differences are simply a product of people becoming more faith-oriented as they age.

A Secular, Faith-Resistant Mindset
is More Common among Young Adults

generation

current ages

1992*

2007*

adult Mosaics

18-22

19%

Busters

23-41

16%

14%

Boomers

42-60

8%

9%

Elders

61+

4%

6%

* % atheist and agnostic
(Source: The Barna Group, Ventura, CA)

Independent…and Disengaged

One of the most significant differences between active-faith and no-faith Americans is the cultural disengagement and sense of independence exhibited by atheists and agnostics in many areas of life. They are less likely than active-faith Americans to be registered to vote (78% versus 89%), to volunteer to help a non-church-related non-profit (20% versus 30%), to describe themselves as “active in the community” (41% versus 68%), and to personally help or serve a homeless or poor person (41% versus 61%). They are also more likely to be registered to vote as an independent or with a non-mainstream political party.

One of the outcomes of this profile – and one of the least favorable points of comparison for atheist and agnostic adults – is the paltry amount of money they donate to charitable causes. The typical no-faith American donated just $200 in 2006, which is more than seven times less than the amount contributed by the prototypical active-faith adult ($1500). Even when church-based giving is subtracted from the equation, active-faith adults donated twice as many dollars last year as did atheists and agnostics. In fact, while just 7% of active-faith adults failed to contribute any personal funds in 2006, that compares with 22% among the no-faith adults.

Lifestyle Gaps…and Common Ground

The study produced a mix of findings when it came to lifestyle and personal priorities. In terms of differences, Christians were more motivated by faith, as expected. Yet, just one-quarter of active-faith adults identified their faith as the primary focus of their life. For their part, atheists and agnostics were more likely than were Christians to be focused on living a comfortable, balanced lifestyle (12% versus 4%) or on acquiring wealth (10% versus 2%). Three-quarters of no-faith adults said they are clear about the meaning and purpose of their life and a surprising one-quarter said the phrase “deeply spiritual” accurately describes them. One of the largest gaps was the perception of being “at peace,” a description less frequently embraced by no-faith adults (67% versus 90%).

Nevertheless, there were a number of areas of commonality between the two audiences. The two groups were equally as likely to think of themselves as good citizens, as placing their family first, as being loyal and reliable individuals, as preferring to be in control, and as being leaders. Each group admitted to experiencing personal difficulties with similar frequency, including being in serious debt (11% versus 10%), dealing with a personal addiction (13% versus 12%), and trying to find a few good friends (41% versus 40%). Christians admit to being overweight with greater frequency (26% of no-faith, compared with 41% of active-faith), while atheists and agnostics are more likely to feel stressed out (37% versus 26%).

In their interactions with others, the two groups also share common ground. Both audiences were equally likely to say they have discussed political, moral, and spiritual issues with others in the last month. In addition, about one-fifth of both active-faith and no-faith adults said they often try to persuade other people to change their views.

Read an engaging story of an atheist and a pastor who visited Christian churches together, recording their conversations and impressions:
Jim and Casper Go to Church.

Perspective on the Findings

David Kinnaman, the president of The Barna Group, directed the study of the lifestyles and habits of no-faith adults in America, and pointed out some of the implications of the research. “Neither the 20 million no-faith adults nor the 58 million active-faith Christians are as internally consistent as those who write and speak on behalf of their groups make them out to be. Proponents of secularism suggest that rejecting faith is a simple and intelligent response to what we know today. Yet, most of the Americans who overtly reject faith harbor doubts about whether they are correct in doing so. Many of the most ardent critics of Christianity claim that compassion and generosity do not hinge on faith; yet those who divorce themselves from spiritual commitment are significantly less likely to help others.

“Ironically, however, both atheists and committed Christians share one unusual area of common ground: concern about superficial, inert forms of Christianity in America. There are nearly 130 million American adults who describe themselves as Christians, but who are Christian in name only; their behavior includes little related to experiencing and expressing their alleged faith in Christ.”

Kinnaman addresses some of the realities of increasing hostility toward Christians in a new book that examines Mosaics and Busters, releasing in the fall of 2007, called unChristian: What a New Generation Really Thinks About Christianity…And Why It Matters. “It is important for Christians to understand the environment and the perspectives of people who are different from them, especially among young generations whose culture is moving rapidly away from Christianity. Believers have the options of ignoring, rejecting or dealing with the aggressiveness of atheists and those hostile to the Christian faith. By their own admission, Christians have difficulty handling change, admitting when they are uncertain of something, and responding effectively to divergent perspectives. These characteristics make the new challenges facing Christianity even more daunting.”

For more information about David Kinnaman’s forthcoming book, unChristian: What a New Generation Really Thinks About Christianity. Click here

Research Details

This report is based upon a series of nationwide telephone surveys conducted by The Barna Group with random samples of adults, age 18 and older. These surveys were conducted from January 2005 through January 2007. In total, those studies included 1055 adults who identified themselves as atheists or agnostics. The maximum margin of sampling error associated with the aggregate sample of atheists and agnostics is ±3.2 percentage points at the 95% confidence level. The cumulative sample of active-faith adults was 3011 interviews, accurate to within +1.8 percentage points. The minimum number of active-faith adults interviewed in each study was 250 individuals (+6.5 percentage points), while each study included a minimum of 100 atheists and agnostics (+10.0 percentage points). Statistical weighting was used to calibrate the sample to known population percentages in relation to demographic variables.

The Barna Group, Ltd. (which includes its research division, The Barna Research Group) conducts primary research, produces media resources pertaining to spiritual development, and facilitates the healthy spiritual growth of leaders, children, families and Christian ministries. Located in Ventura, California, Barna has been conducting and analyzing primary research to understand cultural trends related to values, beliefs, attitudes and behaviors since 1984. If you would like to receive free e-mail notification of the release of each new, bi-monthly update on the latest research findings from The Barna Group, you may subscribe to this free service at the Barna website www.barna.org.

© The Barna Group, Ltd, 2007.

Posted in atheists, blasphemy, books, Christianity, culture, current events, daily life, demons, faith, family, God, inspiration, Life, prayers, Religion, research, testimony | 4 Comments »