Vision Forum and “Historical Revisionism”

American history today isn’t what it once was. There was a time when American history privileged the white, the wealthy, and the Christian, and ignored the stories of marginalized, the complexities of events like the American Revolution, and the genocide of the Native American population. This has changed, and universities today tell the stories of the marginalized and challenge traditional black and white patriotic narratives. Not everyone is happy with this, however.

Are you and your children equipped to defend America’s godly heritage against today’s fierce onslaught of historical revisionism? To help address this need, Vision Forum Ministries is pleased to announce the History of America Mega-Conference, an exciting five-day event to be held in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Join a faculty of distinguished scholars and thinkers delivering more than fifty stirring lectures on a host of topics concerning America’s past—all from a distinctively Christian worldview.

What all will the conference cover?

This conference will offer the most comprehensive overview of our nation’s history that we’ve ever given to date. Over five days, you’ll receive a thorough and biblically-sound examination of America’s past that you’ll search in vain to find in today’s college classroom. The academically-potent lectures will span four centuries — it’s an American history crash-course you won’t find anywhere else.

Antagonists to the Christian faith are stealing our history, and it’s time we take it back. The engaging messages given at this conference will arm your family with the truth to combat the lies of the Left — to have a sure foundation for the 21st century.

Were our Founding Fathers Deists? How should we view our government’s treatment of American Indians? What are we to make of the War Between the States? These and other raging controversies will be answered.

Here’s the video promo, complete with lots of shots in costume:

There are more videos here, most of which I have not yet watched.

Did I mention that Vision Forum only sells a grey civil war cap, and not a blue one? Or that their description of a Civil War history tour is a bit, well, one-sided? And then of course there’s this picture of Doug Phillips son posing in front of a monument to the founder of the KKK and the racist blackface knickknack in the Phillips’ home. The most blatant, of course, is the fact that Vision Forum sells books by Robert Lewis Dabney, describing the nineteenth century southern theologian known for his racism and his influence in the post—Civil War South in glowing terms. In an anthropological sense I think it would be fascinating to be a fly on the wall at Vision Forum’s upcoming History Mythology of America Mega-Conference, but at the same time when I think about what it is they’re teaching, and to a willing audience, I’m absolutely appalled.

About Libby Anne

Libby Anne grew up in a large evangelical homeschool family highly involved in the Christian Right. College turned her world upside down, and she is today an atheist, a feminist, and a progressive. She blogs about leaving religion, her experience with the Christian Patriarchy and Quiverfull movements, the detrimental effects of the "purity culture," the contradictions of conservative politics, and the importance of feminism.

  • AndersH

    I guess the schedule shouldn’t really come as a surprise. The 19th Century lectures are the following:
    The Meaning of the 19th Century: A Providential and Theological Overview
    Jefferson and Adams: The Story of the Friendship and Battles of Two of the Most Significant Founders
    The Great Journey: The Lewis and Clark Expedition
    Land of Promise and Danger
    The Jacksonian era: From the War of 1812 to the Great Battles Over Monetary Policy
    The Two Men Who Made Texas: A Powerful Legacy of Personal Discipleship
    The Industrial Revolution
    Why 19th Century American Literature Was At War With God
    A History of American Immigration and Emigration

    And of course the Civil War topics:
    The Causes of the War Between the States
    The War Between the States
    Gettysburg
    Reconstruction and the Legacy of America’s Uncivil War
    The Revival in the Southern Armies
    Lee and Jackson
    John Brown and the Secret Six

    Certainly seems to put a lot of focus on slavery and the genocide of the Native American nations! Do check out the Topics by Century PDF, so laden with weasel words and selective silences.

    • Lola

      Yay, a list! I bet they have a really interesting (read wtf-y) explanation for calling it the War Between the States rather than the Civil War like the rest of the country. I can just picture how that causes of the war lecture will go- “Civil war wasn’t fought over slavery, it was fought over states’ rights!” Yes, the states’ rights to own slaves…

      I’m curious about the history of immigration lecture. Are they going to ignore or spin something like the Chinese Exclusion Act? And if they put immigration in with the 19th century, are they ignoring the major amounts of immigration that happened in the early 20th century? Are they going to ignore the 20th century immigration because it’s a whole lot of non-Christian or at least not Protestant immigrants? I want to know!

      Some sick part of me wants to drop in on the lectures and hear what kind of shit gets spewed…

      • Seeker

        I have some otherwise-sane friends who simply *lose their minds* when it comes to the Civil War (comes from living in the south, I guess). Did you know that the South was a utopia, a perfectly wonderful and amazing place to live, until the nasty, brutish, aggressive Northerners swooped down and slaughtered the peaceful, happy Southerners FOR NO REASON WHATSOEVER? Yeah, ignore the fact that the south fired first, or that the south was fighting to keep human slaves…that’s just pesky reality getting in the way of a romantic story.

      • Lola

        Truth! I’m from Ohio and one of those areas that produced a boat load of abolitionists, a solid number of union generals, and some major Civil War Republican politicians and still heard about the Southern utopia from people from my home town. My mom grew up in the south, so every time we go to visit my grandparents we hit up a few battlefields and old houses. I actually went to one once were the tour pointed out the slave quarters and said that at least they were nice slave quarters (made of brick and everything!) WTF?

      • http://lanahobbs.wordpress.com/ lana hobbs

        I believed that after listening to rushdoony for my high school history.

      • http://kagerato.net/ kagerato

        In the interest of at least maintaining the pretense of fairness, the North did literally burn parts of the South to the ground well after there was any chance of meaningful resistance in the area. Read up on William Sherman’s “march to the sea” and the “scorched earth” policies employed. It was by no means something Sherman enforced all on his own; the idea was endorsed both by his superior Grant and President Lincoln himself.

        All of the information below can be found on Wikipedia or sources linked directly from Wikipedia. So have a look if you’d like to verify.

        Part of the orders issued read as follows:

        “To army corps commanders alone is entrusted the power to destroy mills, houses, cotton-gins, &c., and for them this general principle is laid down: In districts and neighborhoods where the army is unmolested no destruction of such property should be permitted; but should guerrillas or bushwhackers molest our march, or should the inhabitants burn bridges, obstruct roads, or otherwise manifest local hostility, then army commanders should order and enforce a devastation more or less relentless according to the measure of such hostility.”

        In essence, respond to any sign of hostility with extreme prejudice and destruction. You can imagine what happens when you tell soldiers to do this. It was also completely known at this point that the local population would resist; there was not the slightest room for doubt after three years of war.

        One element of interest is that the burning of Atlanta itself was partially caused by Hood, the confederate general, trying to prevent military supplies and installations from being used by the Union. Sherman himself issued an order indicating that all military and government buildings in Atlanta should be destroyed. The combination of two separate but similar policies of arson in a city made mostly of wood led to nearly everything being reduced to ash.

        On the damage caused by the union total war campaign, Sherman made some estimates. $100 million worth of destruction (well over a billion dollars after accounting for inflation), only one fifth of which “inured to [Union] advantage”. The “remainder is simple waste and destruction”. Yeah, the Union general most directly responsible actually wrote that fourth-fifths of the damage his soldiers caused had no direct purpose and was mere wanton destruction.

        Some of the things ruined and confiscated (or “purchased” for pennies on the dollar)?

        * 300 miles (480 km) of railroad
        * numerous bridges and miles of telegraph lines
        * 5,000 horses
        * 4,000 mules
        * 13,000 head of cattle
        * 9.5 million pounds of corn
        * 10.5 million pounds of fodder
        * uncounted cotton gins and mills (yeah, they didn’t even bother to keep track)

        This was just a list of things destroyed on the march from Atlanta to Savannah. After the conquest of Savannah, Sherman’s units moved north-north-east to Columbia, with the same attitude and policies in place. By several accounts, the destruction in South Carolina was substantially _worse_, which makes sense if you consider that South Carolina was greatly resented by many Union soldiers as being principally responsible for the outbreak of war.

        Columbia was also burnt to the ground, much the same as Atlanta. Sherman denied any involvement. However, Gen. O. O. Howard, who lead Sherman’s 15th Corps, is believed to have said that “It is useless to deny that our troops burnt Columbia, for I saw them in the act.” Who to trust? It’s entirely possible that there were many independent acts of arson on both sides — exactly what happened in Atlanta — and completely predictable based on the absolutist sense of justice being wielded by the Union and the Confederacy.

        It’s rare to hear anyone outside of historians themselves talk about the total war policy during the Civil War. It’s not just some mere historical oddity, either. This was the first time that an American army engaged in widespread destruction of civilian property and livelihood supported directly by government policy going all the way to the top. It would become a precedent to guide the behavior of the United States in all future wars.

        Now, none of this is to imply the South necessarily had any moral high ground to stand on. I strongly suspect, given many of the accounts of Southern generals and soldiers we have, that in the unlikely world where the South had won the Civil War we would have seen a very similar policy. It would have simply been Washington and Philadelphia burning instead.

        However, atrocities are atrocities, and we must not forget them. The ends do not justify the means here.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001411188910 Lucreza Borgia

        ” This was the first time that an American army engaged in widespread
        destruction of civilian property and livelihood supported directly by
        government policy going all the way to the top.”

        US Generals and such were using these tactics on Native Americans for years way before the Civil War

      • http://kagerato.net/ kagerato

        That’s true, though I doubt the strength to which it could be attributed as a direct and explicit policy of the federal government. It was more a consequence of seeing native Americans as essentially less than human savages and thinking the entire continent belonged to the colonizers by birth right. Put those two beliefs together and you will get brutality and widespread destruction without ever having to actually issue the orders. It’s all the more insidious for that, though.

        What changed in the Civil War is that these policies, which had been reserved for non-citizen, “barbaric” outsiders would now be used on citizens whose humanity was never questioned. That’s significant, even though it does nothing to excuse the atrocities committed against native peoples.

      • AndersH

        Here’s the description of that lecture:

        “In this message, Geoff Botkin tells the story of the American immigrant, from the spiritual and familistic vision of the colonial immigrants from England, Scotland, and Ireland to the great exodus of Europeans in the 19th century seeking a better lifestyle and escaping want and hardship, from the early 20th century influx of Eastern Europeans to the Central and South American immigrants of the post 1965 world.

        Understand who came, who left and why, as well as the manner in which immigration continues to shape our nation.”

        So it seems like they’re focusing on Christian (of all denominations) immigrants. Probably fits their selective “first the US was white of British roots, then diversity happened through other Europeans, and now we face the challenge of Latin American immigration” reading of history.

      • NeaDods

        What’s the description for the one on why literature is at war with God? I’m trying to figure out how, say, Laura Ingalls Wilder (and Elsie Dinmore!) was a temptress or whatever.

      • AndersH

        “How does a Christian nation lose its moorings and wander from its roots? Author of the new book, Apostate, Kevin Swanson chronicles the national apostasy of the 19th century as evidenced in the literature of such luminaries as Nathaniel Hawthorne, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Mark Twain, and John Dewey. The influential work of these powerful men changed the direction of a nation, a culture, and a civilization. It was more of a cultural revolution than a political revolution, but what was the damage? Swanson answers this question in this highly informative lecture.”

      • NeaDods

        Thank you! Yes, Twain would be problematic, between “All right, I’ll go to hell! I’ll steal Jim back out of slavery” and the one that started me on the road to atheism, Letters From the Earth.

        Still, by condemning all 19th century lit, they’re kinda calling Laura Ingalls a ho-bag, and that, along with the Prairie Muffins calling her “too feminist” makes my brain go *ping.*

      • Joykins

        Maybe this was about REAL literature like Whitman and Thoreau and they don’t like that so much as mawkish sentimental pro-Confederacy crap?

      • Alice

        Kate Chopin and a couple other writers of the time were feminists. Walt Whitman was gay. I don’t know if the conference counts non-fiction as literature, but there were several important African-American authors (listed in my comment below). Much of Mark Twain’s writing is anti-racism, pokes fun at religion, and stars rebellious children. :) Plus Darwin influenced quite a few writers.

        Transcendentalism, naturalism, and modernism were some of the popular movements (the last two extending into the 20th century), and the reasons they give fundies heart attacks is pretty self-explanatory.

        Fundies are so picky that 97% of literature bothers them. Hell, they might even hate the preachy Christian novel “In His Steps”! It’s been a long time since I read it, but I remember it strongly emphasized that Christians should not tell each other what to do, but let each individual be solely guided by their conscience (and presumably the Bible.) Oh the horror!!
        Also, most of the female characters cared more about helping the poor and singing at revivals than getting married and keeping house (most of them do marry, but their priorities never change) Finally, one of the “bad” women ends up in a loveless marriage to an older man, and this is portrayed as a punishment!

      • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

        Neglecting, of course, how badly the Irish were treated (non-British Catholic? NINA), then how badly the Jewish Eastern European immigrants were treated (they talk not-English, and they don’t even believe in Jesus, and they have olive skin instead of lily-white or pink). “White” in this country has expanded as groups assimilate. When looking at the census, you can see who is and isn’t considered “white” over time.

      • Hilary

        Um . . . NINA? What’s that?

      • Gillianren

        “No Irish Need Apply.” No period “NINA” sign has ever been found, but the attitude still existed.

      • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

        After 1860 many Irish sang songs about signs reading “HELP WANTED – NO IRISH NEED APPLY”; these signs came to be known as “NINA signs.” (This is sometimes written as “IRISH NEED NOT APPLY” and referred to as “INNA signs”). The 1862 song, “No Irish Need Apply”, was inspired by NINA signs in London. Later Irish Americans adapted the lyrics, and the songs perpetuated the belief among Irish Americans that they were discriminated against.

        Historians have hotly debated the issue of anti-Irish job discrimination in the United States. Some insist that the “No Irish need apply” signs were common, but one scholar, Richard Jensen, argues that anti-Irish job discrimination was not a significant factor in the United States, these signs and print advertisements being most commonly posted by the limited number of early 19th-century English immigrants to the United States who shared the prejudices of their homeland.
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/No_Irish_Need_Apply

        Looks like the signs/advertisements existed but were not widespread in the US.

      • Hilary

        Thanks. As in “We’ll take the niggers and chinks, but we don’t want the Irish.”

      • Yoav

        Yay, a list! I bet they have a really interesting (read wtf-y)
        explanation for calling it the War Between the States rather than the
        Civil War like the rest of the country.

        I’m actually surprised they decided not to use “the war of northern aggression”.

    • The_L1985

      And the whole “Trail of Tears” thing? Totally less important than Jackson’s battle over the BUS.

    • Alice

      Ha-ha, of course they hate 19th century literature’s guts. Just off the top of my head, I remember studying (in no particular order), Walt Whitman, Kate Chopin, Frederick Douglas, Booker T. Washington, W.E.B. DeBois, Mark Twain, Harold Frederic, and Ambrose Bierce.

  • oywiththepoodles

    I wonder how pissed the historians in Gettysburg are going to be when they realize what this conference is trying to pass off as “historical fact.” And how can one make a “biblically-sound examination” of historical periods that have no relation to Biblical texts? Of COURSE this would be held in Harrisburg… and I’m certain my extended family will be in attendance.

    • NeaDods

      If Gettysburg is like Williamsburg, the historians will politely and firmly hand the revisionists their ass. The historian’s first loyalty is to history.

      • persephone

        And the fundagelicals will call them, horrors!, secular humanists and revisionists, and use them as an example of why you can’t trust anything or anyone outside their anointed circle.

    • http://lanahobbs.wordpress.com/ lana hobbs

      Biblical is a lovely adjective you use to limit questions and increase income.

    • persephone

      Pennsylvania: Pittsburgh on one end, Philadelphia on the other, and Alabama in between.

      Sorry, but it’s such an awesome description.

      • ZebulaNebula

        No insult taken, at least from me … I grew up there, myself and saw more Rebel flags per capita there than in Virginia.

  • NeaDods

    Just calling it “The War Between the States” was a huge clue. I guess “The War of Northern Aggression” doesn’t play well in Peoria?

    • Katherine Hompes

      Oh please, let us not descend into vulgarity. It should be referred to as “The Late Unpleasantness” as you well know…

  • NeaDods

    Also, I hear at historical revisionists are flooding Colonial Williamsburg… only to find that the historical interpreters stick to the real facts, not the fanciful dreams of the revisionists. They’ve added a “what slavery was really like” component to their storytelling too; there have been newspaper stories of people forgetting the interpreters are actors and attacking slave owners.

  • Saraquill

    I’m guessing those with dark skin and/or degrees in American history aren’t welcome?

    • Gillianren

      Heck, I have what is essentially a minor in US history, and I could hand them their tails in any reasoned discussion. Not that they’d listen to me. I’m Pagan and a woman.

      • D.L F

        They would tell you to convert to Christianity and start kicking out the babies, Gillianren. The people at Vision Forum aren’t just historical revisionists. Some of their members(I think Scott Brown) believe in militant fecundity. So, you’d be told to tend to the babies and let the men talk

      • Gillianren

        Despite the fact that I’d then be expected to teach those babies while knowing as little as possible, yeah. And they wonder why so many of us have such a serious problem with their version of homeschooling.

    • Alice

      The degree-holders would get kicked out in 20 minutes tops for their bouts of uncontrollable laughter.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001411188910 Lucreza Borgia

      Only if they get on their knees and thank god for the arrival of Christian Westerners. /sarcasm

  • busterggi

    “biblically-sound examination of America’s past ”

    I’d like these folks to just show me where America or democracy are even mentioned the the bible.

    • VorJack

      Since the founding many Christians have argued that every time God makes a prophecy involving Israel it should also be read as applying to the US. The US is the redeemer nation, the city on the hill, the last best hope of earth, etc.

      Oddly though, I’m not sure if this is what they mean. This kind of historification of the apocalyptic message has fallen out of favor. The apocalypse is no long being worked out through history, it is now coming like a thief in the night. We’ve replaced the “Battle Hymn of the Republic” with “I wish we’d all been ready …”

      • Sally

        “I wish we’d all been ready …”

        Ah, Randy Stonehill! Now I have that song running in my head.
        I think you have a good assessment of how people think of the

      • Sally

        …apocalypse these days.

      • brightie

        Stonehill? I knew Larry Norman had done that one, and dctalk had a take on it, but I didn’t know Stonehill got in on the action. :p

      • Sally

        Oh, you’re right. It was Larry Norman.

      • Hilary

        “Since the founding many Christians have argued that every time God makes a prophecy involving Israel it should also be read as applying to the US.”

        That type of attitude makes me want to take my modern URJ Reform Torah Commentary and whack them upside the head with it until they realize that it is our (Jewish) tribal journals from a couple thousand years ago, nothing more and nothing less. Fascinating, interesting, relevant to my life as a Jew and now I can’t start my weekend without an hour of Saturday morning Torah study (Because I choose it for myself, nothing I’d enforce on anybody else. If you’d rather sleep in, that’s fine with me) but it’s nothing magical, mystical, or some secret code for a country ~2 – 3 thousand years in the future on the other side of the world. I mean, really! (insert eyeball rolling emo-icon here)

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001411188910 Lucreza Borgia

        Toss in some ancient Egyptian pagan lore and the rabbit hole goes deeper.

    • Mishellie

      Well… If you count Mormons…

      • Yoav

        If they’re all as exciting as Mittens it would be much more effective then counting sheep.

  • http://lanahobbs.wordpress.com/ lana hobbs

    Part of the thing with history is that, for reasons I don’t understand, America being founded by Christians and our heritage being ‘Christian’ is vitally important to many conservatives. Really as important as Creationism or innerancy of scripture (and about as well supported by facts :/).
    Perhaps because American evangelicalism is much more imperialist and political than they want to admit, and therefore they claim the founding fathers as theirs and as nearly perfect, to give credence to their positions? And anything that makes America look worse than they want to admit (genocide, slavery actually being horrible) shakes up that foundation?

    • “Rebecca”

      I’ve noticed that Constitution-inerrancy is basically as important to some of the Religious Right as Biblical inerrancy is. The Founding Fathers (or at least the idea of them they have in their head) have the status of saints.

      • http://lanahobbs.wordpress.com/ lana hobbs

        That’s true, about inneran I and saints. I remember books coming out about different ff’s hidden transgressions and everyone getting mad about the de-heroing of heroes, as though it were some evil post modern thing to recognize that even George Washington was still just a man. Or they want to gloss over Thomas Jefferson’s baggage because well he was just a man in that time but he was still great and that’s that. Like David in the bible… but they NEED him to be a saint because they’ve claimed him as one, and now they can’t accept truth about him. As though if we recognize those men weren’t saints, the status quo will collapse. Maybe for them, it will.

      • http://kagerato.net/ kagerato

        Many of the founding fathers would have been disgusted with the thought of being revered as saints.

      • NeaDods

        Or that they would be counted among them. John Adams really did write something along the lines of the 1776 movie quote “Franklin did this, Franklin did that, Franklin did some other damn thing. Franklin smote the ground and out sprang George Washington — fully grown and on his horse. Franklin then electrified them with his miraculous lightening rod and the three of them – Franklin, Washington, *and the horse* successfully gained American independence.”

        It was just a little more restrained and didn’t mention the horse: “The history of our Revolution will be one continued lie from one end to
        the other. The essence of the whole will be that Dr. Franklin’s
        electrical rod smote the earth and out sprang General Washington. That
        Franklin electrified him with his rod – and thenceforward these two
        conducted all the policies, negotiations, legislatures, and war.”

        Adams was a smart, smart man.

      • The_L1985

        The idea of the founding fathers as saintlike or godlike entities is actually the first thing about Columbia in Bioshock Infinite that made me feel very unpleasant. You walk through a giant baptismal pool…and on the other end are giant robed statues of Washington, Franklin, and Jefferson.

        Infinite may not have the dark, damp atmosphere of its predecessors, but it is still a very scary game. And just like in the first Bioshock, the monsters are human, with disturbingly familiar and understandable motivations that made them become those monsters.

    • Alice

      My theory is that they have to believe America was once a Christian paradise because it is the foundation of other “arguments” such as:

      A. “My dream of controlling America isn’t silly and completely unrealistic because see, my spiritual forefathers were living the dream. Against all odds, there is hope, and God is on my side.”

      B. “God brought America into this world, and he can take it out!! I CANNOT just leave gay people/abortionists/feminists/liberals alone because they will bring God’s judgment down on this nation, and I don’t want to lose all my nice stuff in the mayhem.”

      C. “We’re scared of suffering the way that many countries in the world suffer, so we have to believe that God has given our nation a special restraining order to protect us from…um…himself…as long as we don’t provoke him.”

    • Ahab

      I always interpreted the America-is-a-Christian-nation rhetoric as a way of justifying their interference with politics. Trying to pass fundamentalist-inspired policy and legislation is justified in a supposedly Christian nation, in their eyes. To boot, it allows them to dismiss efforts to keep the state secular (in their own minds, at least).

  • Jackie C.

    I don’t suppose there are any female “historians” presenting? Probably not since women had no part in shaping America, at least according to this trailer.

    • NeaDods

      “They Fought Like Demons” about women cross dressing and fighting in the Civil War is presumably off the menu.

      • http://ripeningreason.com/ Rachel Marcy (Bix)

        Ooh, “They Fought Like Demons” is a good one.

    • Alice

      Nope, because good women don’t make history. :)

      • Jackie C.

        You think they’d at least give women credit for their role in Prohibition!

  • pibaba

    On the list of speakers, only one of them has any formal background in history. His bio lists him as mysteriously being a “top Ph.D. candidate in history at the College of William and Mary” –whatever that means!

    Regardless, being a hobby “historian” (or being an “avid bibliophile”) doesn’t count as credentials for lecturing on history.

    As a former homeschooler who sat through many a lecture like this at homeschool conferences growing up AND as one who is currently pursing an MA in history at an accredited university, the thought of such people presenting their perspectives on history is simply terrifying… and revolting.

    • NeaDods

      It means he’s earning the degree, not that he has it. Possibly merely that he’s applied to earn it.

      • Callie

        I think the question is what does it mean to be a “top” PhD candidate vs. I don’t know, a bottom, or a middle of the road PhD candidate.

      • Seeker

        The right-wing and fundagelical mindset is obsessed with “top”; when they spread lies about liberals, it’s always a “top scientist” or “top professor” or “top leader” that they’re maligning.

      • http://kagerato.net/ kagerato

        Only a limited number of PhD applicants are actually accepted, and he’s assuming he has better chances than the others.

      • NeaDods

        Because “top” sounds so macho. Even though it actually means “elite” and we know what they think about elitists…

  • Jolie

    I don’t get the concept of “biblically-sound examination of America’s past”; how can am examination of a nation constituted in the Enlightenment era, in the North and correspond to a collection of documents written in the ancient Middle East?

    • Judy L.

      The bible isn’t a collection of documents written in the ancient Middle East. It’s a collection of stories that were pulled together in the 4th Century from translations of translations of translations, fragments and bits and pieces from all over the ancient world. Many of those stories and legends and questionable histories never made it into the official versions, and those versions continued to undergo translation and changes and deletions and additions and copying mistakes for the next thousand years. The inconsistencies and contradictions of the bible, along with its general incoherence, is testament to its multiple authors and editors. Margin notes from one copier would make their way into the main text when copied and translated by another, stories and characters would get intentionally or accidentally moved from one section to another, be condensed, combined, renamed, etc.

      But your comment still hits the mark. The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution and democracy are not biblically-based. The only real influence the Christian bible (the King James specifically) had on the creation of America the country was as a teaching tool used to standardize the teaching of English vocabulary and spelling. (And the Puritans didn’t come to America to establish a land of religious freedom – they came to impose their religion on the existing colonists and native populations.)

      • Alice

        I understand your overall point, but I thought that Genesis through Malachi (in a different order of course) was canonized centuries earlier by the Jews?

      • VorJack

        The canon of the Hebrew Testament was closed around 200 AD. It was probably in development for some time before that, perhaps for centuries. The idea of having a closed list of texts to which none could be added or subtracted was not an obvious one, so there may have been a loose “unofficial” canon for some time.

      • The_L1985

        And Christianity’s canon wasn’t defined until the Reformation (independently by Luther and the Council of Trent), which is why Catholics and Protestants have a slightly different canon.

  • Nate Frein

    It appears they’ve taken down the “Blackface knickknack” picture.

  • Lisa

    And that, my friends, is why I still suffer from an utter lack of history knowledge when it comes to America. And it is also the reason why I took extreme interest in history of the slaves and native american history. But the belief that America was founded on “christian” values is much easier to maintain when you do everything to discuss away that the christian settlers were actually stealing land from pretty hospitable people and forced other people to work for them – all under the covers that they are “heathens” who are “better off this way”. Ah well. Got to love Doug.

    • NeaDods

      Oh, run to the library and borrow every DVD with the name Ken Burns on it and every book by David McCullough. I have a university history BA and I learned more from those two men than I did in college.

      • Miss_Beara

        I am reading 1776 by McCullough right now. :) I have a hard time watching Ken Burns’ docs because I tend to fall asleep, not because they are boring but because they are so relaxing. The narration, the music, the pictures… zzzzzzz….

      • NeaDods

        I just watched The Dustbowl and was so horrified that I could barely sleep after!

      • Lucreza Borgia

        While you are there, pick up “Russia’s War: Blood Upon the Snow”

    • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

      There’s a Crash Course US History on Youtube. It’s short, only ~10 min per video, but there’s a lot of really good information packed into each video. It covers US history fairly evenly, if briefly, and focuses on marginalized groups as much as dominant ones.

      It gives a great overview and place to start, but it’s definitely not as thorough as NeaDods’s suggestion.

      • http://abasketcase.blogspot.com/ Basketcase

        Ohhh… sounds interesting. I might have to go and look at that one (not an American, so never taught American history, but I think its quite interesting)

      • The_L1985

        The Crash Course world history segment is also a fun way of learning history.

    • Gillianren

      Try Don’t Know Much About History, by Kenneth C. Davis, for the basics. He also did a good one about the Civil War.

      • The_L1985

        Seconding this. It’s an awesome book. My APUSH teacher (hi Mrs. Miller!) had a copy of this, along with a book called Lies My Teacher Told Me. I spent a shameful amount of class time reading them.

      • Gillianren

        I wasn’t fond of Lies My Teacher Told Me. A book calling itself that should work harder on its accuracy. (I don’t remember much in the way of specifics, since I read it something like ten years ago, but among other things, I recall that his treatment of the Mountain Meadows Massacre wasn’t very good.)

      • The_L1985

        Ah. I didn’t notice, mainly because I’d been subjected to A Beka revisionism in elementary school and was surprised to learn how much my history books got terribly wrong. At that much, at least, it was successful–and of course, it got me to want to read Don’t Know Much About History, which is just plain awesome.

      • Gillianren

        It is. I actually got started on the series with Don’t Know Much About the Civil War while I was taking a college-level class about the South. I got it because the idea appealed to me and have suggested it to everyone I know who’s interested in a refresher course. It wouldn’t be a bad idea for a lot of people to read Don’t Know Much About the Bible, come to that.

    • Miss_Beara

      I am terrible when it comes to US history. Really really bad. If I watch Jeopardy and there is a Presidents category, 98% of the time I will not get it. History is such an interesting subject but when it is taught in school it is so boring but the teachers don’t get much material to work with. The textbooks are a joke.

      • The_L1985

        Oh, I know! I adore history, but utterly despise the bland, context-free jumble of names and dates that the typical history book tends to reduce it to. All the drama and humanity is totally removed before it’s considered fit for student consumption–and what’s left over is drier than Durant and has less information about actual history than Schoolhouse Rock’s “Conjunction Junction” song.

  • onamission5

    Oh, that’s clever*. Revisionists write history in their own favor, and then call it revisionism when historians try to change it back to a history more reflective of reality.
    * for values of clever that equal gross and manipulative

    • Sally

      I think I see it a little differently.

      I think these people don’t (want to) understand that history is always being revised to be more accurate as new information is discovered. I think they think the hisory books written in the past are more accurate because they were written at a time closer to the events they’re about. They don’t seem to understand that more objective research done later, including information not discovered or otherwise included in the earlier histories, is *better* because it’s more accurate. So they call it “revisionist” because, yes, it’s been revised. But it’s been revised to include so-and-so’s diary that was newly discovered, or such-and-such court documents that weren’t considered earlier. And they don’t like what the revisions show … a more balanced and uncomfortable history. So let’s call them “revisionists” as if revising with better information were in and of itself a bias, and therefore dismiss the more accurate information.
      Now that we’ve labeled the more accurate updated history “revisionist history” as if that’s a dirty word, we’ll revise the revisions to look more like older histories because we liked those better. We’ll throw in words like “biblical worldview” to make this appeal to the right people and imply an automatic authority and even accuracy. Now *that’s* revisionist history in my book!

      • persephone

        I think you’re giving them credit that they absolutely do not deserve.

      • http://kagerato.net/ kagerato

        They have the same problem with science. Newer theories and models sometimes replace older ones because they’re more accurate. Newtonian mechanics wasn’t wrong, exactly, but it was incomplete.

      • The_L1985

        “But science CHANGED, and that means that science is WRONG! Only things that never, ever change, like my 20th century printing of a Bible translation from 1611, which was based on the Vulgate translation, which was in turn based on Hebrew and Greek sources, can be trusted!”

    • Gail

      This is a common tactic when you have no real support for your argument. Conservatives do it when they claim that the mainstream media has a liberal bias. Anti-vaxers do it when they claim that the medical profession isn’t telling you the truth about vaccines. Basically, they have no proof for their side, so they deflect the argument by claiming that you can’t trust the other side and that the other side’s criticism of them is all a conspiracy. Much like the way my grandmother claims that I don’t like Glenn Beck because I just can’t handle the truth.

      Unfortunately, that’s not how it works. The giant network of actual qualified historians out there are not running some conspiracy to not let the real truth make it past peer review. I used to work at a history department, and I can tell you that historians are just not organized enough for a conspiracy that large. Many of them can barely use computers. A surprisingly large amount of them can’t even use a photocopier.

      • http://kagerato.net/ kagerato

        One of the quips published in Ben Franklin’s “Poor Richard’s Almanac” was “Three can keep a secret, if two of them are dead.”

      • Gail

        Not to mention that if the historians were all colluding together, you’d think they’d present a more united front. But they are happy to listen to those that disagree with them. As long as the disagreement is more like “I find so-and-so’s interpretation of this document too simple and it contradicts what I found in this file at this archive…” than “you historians are all just part of the university conspiracy to brainwash students into liberals…” I personally kind of love when historians make catty little references about each other in articles, because it’s proof that peer review usually works. You’re allowed to criticize if you back it up with actual proof.

      • Alice

        My fundie family says the same thing about scientists.

    • VorJack

      David Blight tells a great story about the historian Eric Foner, who went toe-to-toe with Lynne Cheney and got labeled a revisionist:

      “And Eric says the next morning he got a phone call from a reporter at Newsweek and she said, “Professor Foner, when did all this revisionism begin?” And Foner said, “Probably with Herodotus.” And the Newsweek reporter said, “Do you have his phone number?””

  • Sally

    I think the one subject we just do a terrible job of teaching in public school is history, and if we don’t start doing a better job, look who’s going to do it for us!

    When I say we do a terrible job, what I mean is we used deadly boring textbooks. There are very exciting “living” books (think novels such as biographies, historical fiction, and well-done non-fiction trade books). History can be done in a spell-binding way, but we just don’t. Look at how this conference is going about it. I’m guessing the lectures will be well presented, fascinating even. The guests are invited to come in costume! They’re going to have reenactments. If this weren’t such a bias conference, I’d want to go!

    We’re so worried about math and science in our country (because we need to compete globally), but we just barely care at all about history. It’s embarrassing how little the average American knows about history and geography. I’m not one to think in terms of conspiracies, and I’m a former public school teacher, so it’s not like I wasn’t part of the problem too, but it’s almost as if we intentionally let this subject slip to the margins so the masses don’t know enough about politics, government, geography, and history to get in the way of those who do. Maybe it’s not a conspiracy, but it might as well be.

    And like I said, look who gets to educated these masses now!

    I didn’t understand this issue until I discovered a homeschooling curriculum that does history “right” (makes it very interesting). So while we’ve talked about many problems with homeschooling, I do know this is one area that some homeschoolers are doing well.

    • http://kagerato.net/ kagerato

      Think about how few scientists are really good at explaining their work to the public in a way that is simultaneously intelligible, accurate, and entertaining. Now consider that there are far fewer historians. We have a supply problem here.

      • Arresi

        The boards of education buy textbooks from the publishers, who are competing nationally. The boards that buy the most textbooks end up with an undue influence on the final publication. Which would be bad enough, but two states buy textbooks as a whole – Texas and California. And California is broke. So the Texas BoE is influential all out of proportion, since every publisher wants that market.

        Then throw in a lack of real incentives to writing grade school textbooks (I doubt it pays that well, and it doesn’t earn tenure).

        And then the whole things gets written by committee, because historians don’t study “American history,” they study “women in the antebellum south” or “US economic policy in the interwar years.” Alternatively, the BoE has to pick a set of books to replace the single textbook, which means that they have to understand the subject well enough to figure out which combination (as few as possible, since they have to buy these books) covers the areas they’ve deemed critical, while still offering a decent overview, and being age-appropriate.

      • Gillianren

        My high school California history teacher basically didn’t even use a textbook, because ours was so old it didn’t know how the Korean War ended or that the Vietnam War existed. She was also the best teacher I’ve ever had.

      • Arresi

        I figure under those circumstances, there’s only two things a teacher can do – be so awesome the lack of resources can’t drag the class down, or fail miserably. Good luck getting one of the awesome ones!

      • http://kagerato.net/ kagerato

        Those are all real problems, just not ones I was talking about.

      • Sally

        I’m not sure what you’re saying here. Are you saying there aren’t enough trade books written to cover all that textbooks cover? I’m saying there are and so much better. I know, I’ve taught K-8 history with only trade books (and other non-textbook resources) as a homeschooler (as compared to American History to 5th graders in public school with a textbook). My daughter just finished a world history class in public high school that was taught college style. There was a textbook as a base, but they did a ton of reading from other sources. It was an absolutely fabulous class.

        We need to throw out the textbooks, especially for the younger kids (I’m going to say through 8th grade) and use real books. They’re out there, and they’re very rich (when chosen well).

      • Sally

        I’m not sure what you’re saying here. Are you saying there aren’t enough trade books written to cover all that textbooks cover? I’m saying there are and so much better. I know, I’ve taught K-8 history with only trade books (and other non-textbook resources) as a homeschooler (as compared to American History to 5th graders in public school with a textbook). My daughter just finished a world history class in public high school that was taught college style. There was a textbook as a base, but they did a ton of reading from other sources. It was an absolutely fabulous class.

        We need to throw out the textbooks, especially for the younger kids (I’m going to say through 8th grade) and use real books. They’re out there, and they’re very rich (when chosen well).

      • http://kagerato.net/ kagerato

        No, I’m saying there’s not enough educators. Particularly great educators.

        If everyone was able to select and self-study everything they needed to know from the available written materials, we wouldn’t have any issue. I know there’s no lack of resources in that department.

      • Gillianren

        Oh, we’d still have problems. We’d have the problem that the average person isn’t even educated enough to know what’s good history until they’ve done the research, and if all you read are books that support your bias, well. I’m not saying textbooks are ideal–and they definitely need to be improved, for starters by not letting Texas run the show–but they’re better than letting people decide for themselves what history was like.

      • Alice

        What my history professor did for one of our major assignments was he gave us a list of complex questions to answer in essay format, and we had to cite multiple primary sources for each question instead of depending on the textbook. That was an eye-opening experience.

        Also, when I was home-schooled, I went through a book called “Around the World in 180 Days.” The whole book is only questions, and you have to do research to get the answers. That was revolutionary to me because 92% of my home-schooling was textbooks and fill-in-the-blank. The book also had great literature suggestions.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001411188910 Lucreza Borgia

        Historiography should be a required subject :D

      • Sally

        I’m not
        explaining this very well. A curriculum company would put together the
        curriculum. But rather than writing a textbook, they write a teacher’s guide
        telling which books to read when and then sell the district the books and the
        teacher’s guide. Using the information in the teacher’s guide and the books
        themselves, your standard elementary teacher can lead a very interesting
        history class. This would involve no more work or knowledge than is needed to
        use the social studies textbooks provided now.

        This isn’t my idea. It’s already been done for the homeschooling world. I used
        just such a curriculum for 8 years.

        What made our experience great was that we were using great books. No, there
        will never be enough great history teachers, but they can all become much
        better with the right materials, imo. If you hand a so-so teacher a standard
        social studies textbook, you’re going to get a very ho-hum history experience.
        If you hand a so-so teacher a literature rich history curriculum, I’m saying
        history will come alive for both the students and the teacher.

        PS
        Sorry about the double post earlier.

      • Sally

        Kagerato, my reply to you has disappeared.
        Libby Anne, do you know why? (It was just a post about needing good trade books, not necessarily any better teachers.) I ended up double posting yesterday because one of my other posts disappeared and then reappeared.

    • VorJack

      Maybe it’s not a conspiracy, but it might as well be.

      Less of a conspiracy and more of an ideology. Remember Lynn Cheney and her campaign to restore patriotism to the history curriculum. Remember the Enola Gay at the Smithsonian.

      Conservatives want history to be commemorative, and they take exception when you try to teach the uglier aspects of our past. Liberals want history to be socially meaningful and advance the ideals of diversity, tolerance and equality. Textbooks makers are caught between the two, and respond by being dry to avoid offending either side.

      • Scott_In_OH

        Conservatives want history to be commemorative

        Oooh, I like that phrasing a lot.

      • alwr

        They want history to make kids patriots and nothing more. I clashed with students and parents often over teaching them the truth about the foibles of our founders, the abhorrent way we treated the native population of our country, and letting them question decisions and policies of the past. I was frequently told that the kids would not love their country if they learned such things. My answer was always that we love our partners, family, friends, etc…in spite of their not being perfect; we don’t need a perfect country in order to love it. I also told them that the imperfections of the founders made them greater. If deeply flawed men could create what they created, there is hope for all of us to change the world. We don’t have to be perfect to do things.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001411188910 Lucreza Borgia

      IMO, we need to teach younger children how to be creative thinkers who question what they read instead of accepting it (and being taught) as fact. I don’t think elementary school children have the capacity to understand that history is not a black and white subject. It’s not merely made up of facts. I recall way too many history/sociology books from back in the day that didn’t really impart knowledge on me.

      Then again, I read Michener’s Alaska in 5th grade and thought it was the best thing ever.

      • Sally

        Well, I agree, generally. But you do have
        to present material at the level children can handle. What I’m suggesting,
        though, is not so much worrying about critical thinking at the youngest ages.
        What I’m saying is tell great stories really well so that the kids’ appetites
        are whet for history. Then as they get older, worry about facts and critical
        thinking and all.

        There’s a wonderful episode of the Andy Griffith show where Andy has put down
        studying history and now the teacher is mad at him. So he makes up for it by
        getting Opie and his friends interested in history again by telling them a
        version of the ride of Paul Revere. Andy’s version probably wouldn’t hold up
        under the most strict fact-checking, but the boys (and I as the viewer) are enthralled
        by the story none-the-less.

        You have to tell wonderful stories well (I’m saying through literature; it
        doesn’t have to be through oral story-telling, although you can have that too)
        to get people interested. Then after years of loving the stories of history you
        can get more into facts and dates and critiquing your sources and so on. But at
        that point you really love history (or at least don’t hate it!) and now you’re
        ready for a more mature study.

      • alwr

        I taught high school history for 14 years. Some curricula is doing that. But the problem is that when they get to high school, you can’t undo the false parts of the story. I used to joke that elementary teachers must hypnotize children with the embroidered school buses on their tacky denim jumpers (a whole catalog of that vile attire exists, btw) into believing they can never utter a false word. I was only half joking. We can tell the story of history without falsehoods and engage kids. But too many history teachers are too lazy to find the real story. One problem is sports–almost every colleague I taught with in social studies departments had gone into teaching in order to coach and picked social sciences because they perceived it as an easy area. They had no passion for the subject. It is hard work to get beyond the truly hideous, oversimplified and boring history textbooks and bring in primary sources and engage kids in real analysis. Too many teachers choose not to do it. The second problem is the constraints of curriculum that is too often designed to impart patriotism rather than challenge students to understand their world.

      • Sally

        All well said. To highlight one of your points:

        “We can tell the story of history without falsehoods and engage kids.”

        Exactly! This is what great literature can do with well written teacher’s guides. The teacher may not be great, but the literature can be.

        I mentioned that I taught 5th grade social studies in public school with a textbook. It wasn’t too good. But one day I brought in a trade book about pirates and read it to them aloud with a pirate voice (just to be a little ridiculous), and we got into some great discussions that day. At the end, several kids said, this was the best day in social studies ever! Why didn’t I catch on and run with that? Well, I was too overwhelmed. But that’s largely why I was attracted to this method as a homeschooler.

    • Christine

      Interestingly enough, a former teacher of mine recently wrote on similar subjects, but was a lot more cynical about why it happened. http://theelegantbastard.com/2013/06/15/of-boy-scouts-and-baptists-part-one/

    • The_L1985

      I’m also deeply disturbed by how few schools are teaching civics nowadays. A whole generation is not being taught what taxes are for, or how the government works, or why local elections matter.

      • Sally

        I agree. If it is taught, it’s too often terribly boring. But this is so closely connected to history (think “social studies,” but not social studies textbooks!), that if you have kids who LOVE history because they love the stories and the civics lessons in some great children’s literature, you could build off that.

        Again, I feel like it’s not a conspiracy that this is so poorly done, but gee, who in power is motivated to improve the average person’s civic awareness? They got there with the way things are now.

      • The_L1985

        Yeah, I wouldn’t be surprised if there were a conspiracy regarding civics education, but incompetence of boards of education is a more-than-adequate explanation.

    • Lorelei

      I had an amazing US History teacher in HS. He was a 1st gen immigrant who earned his citizenship through military service, and went on to major in History. His class could be riveting.

      First day, he held up the textbook and said, “This is full of lies. I use it because I have to, but we’ll also be using other material.”

      I learned a lot. It did not make the A Beka books I’d used before look good at *all*.

  • Sarah Fertig

    Every time Libby posts about these topics, I just can’t help but wonder what Christianity is like outside the US. Are there fundie revisionist historians in Australia or Canada who also think their country is Jesus’ personal favorite?

    • Kit

      As a Canadian, I actually have no idea but think “probably not.” Canadian national identity is so intertwined with tolerance and multiculturalism – I remember lectures in high school about how Canadian multiculturalism was better than American multiculturalism because they enforced assimilation and we did not (I have no comment as to whether this statement is actually true or not, because America seem to have just as many Chinatowns and Little Tokyos and Greektowns and so on as we do). As a national identity, we see ourselves as “peacekeepers” and nationally there is far less emphasis on any sort of “American exceptionalism.” That’s not to say we aren’t very proud of our nation, but I think it’s patently obvious to Canadians that we aren’t really a world power – we don’t enjoy a seat on the UN Security Council, for example, and militarily we’re nowhere near as strong as the Americans. Faced with this reality, I think the sense of exceptionalism required to believe that your nation is Jesus’ special friend is harder to foster.

      By contrast, I think that this sort of fundamentalist revisionism is partially possible because American national identity so heavily emphasizes American exceptionalism.

      • Hilary

        Thanks for the insight and comparison.

      • Arresi

        Actually, I’m pretty sure the belief in American exceptionalism came before the world power status. Which, thinking about it, seems pretty common (fairly certain Britain and the USSR were similar, among others), and makes a certain amount of sense. A) People with that attitude rarely seem to care about reality in the first place, and B) It takes a certain arrogance to decide that you should be actively intervening in other people’s countries.

    • Christine

      We don’t have that sort of “Jesus loves Canada the most”, but we have it in a larger sense – Canada tends to get lumped in with the US, so there’s a fair bit of “Jesus loves us the most”. We currently have an authoritarian, right-wing government with ties to some of the crazier Evangelical churches, and there is some concern about their recent interest in history, and historians are worried about what they’re going to do with this.

    • Katherine Hompes

      We do have some in Australia, but they are generally laughed at by the majority of us.

  • Conuly

    Putting aside the obvious problems, it’s a little sad that the point of this all seems to be to spoon feed the attendees The Answers. No questions! No controversies! A chicken in every pot and an answer for every question!

    But history doesn’t work like that. We are constantly looking at new information and facts that were previously unknown. We never will get THE answer, because there is no such thing.

    • NeaDods

      Blasphemer! We all know the answer is “God said so, it’s in the Bible” no matter what the question is.

      I wish I could put a sarcasm tag on that, but I can’t…

  • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

    That is incredibly disturbing. I’m sorry for them that real history is full of complexities, nuances, and non black-and-white moral scenarios, but that’s the way the world works. Whitewashing history is … unconscionable. To paraphrase, those who do not know history are doomed to repeat it.

    Well, they’re ensuring people don’t know their own history. And from what we’ve seen, people who fail at history do in fact make the same mistakes over and over and over again. Americans pay for those mistakes, but not as badly as whatever group of people we decided to invade this time.

  • Hilary

    Not much to say but, Oy vey ist mer.

    If anybody likes good historical fiction of the pre-Civil War American South, check this out:

    http://www.litlovers.com/reading-guides/13-fiction/7936-free-man-of-color-hambly

    http://www.amazon.com/Free-Color-Benjamin-January-Book/dp/0553575260

    Of course, Vision Forum would probably use it for kindling. Even the song and dance piece 1776 The Musical didn’t gloss over the unresolvable problem of slavery. Great musical, nonetheless.

    • Gillianren

      Did you know Nixon got them to take the song “Cool, Cool, Considerate Men” out of the movie?

      • NeaDods

        If she didn’t, I did. I LOVE that movie. Had a friend who had the laser disc with all the removed bits back in – even more than the director’s cut had!

      • Hilary

        No, I wondered why the song was in the stage play but not in the movie or sound tract. I’m not surprised, though – I thought when I watched it live on stage that it was a little too close to modern politics.

      • Gillianren

        Nixon knew Jack Warner personally, is my understanding, and requested that it be removed. They’ve restored it to the DVD, though.

  • AndersH

    Wow, I missed this before in the list of topics, I am really curious what their ideas will be:
    “Doug Phillips and Panelists: Building the 21st Century Man
    How do we prepare our men to face the thorny challenges that lie ahead in our nation? Doug Phillips offer remarks and chairs a panel with Erik Weir, Marshall Foster, Kevin Swanson, Scott Brown, Joe Morecraft to discuss this critical question.”

  • Ahab

    Harrisburg? HARRISBURG? That’s practically in my backyard! I’ll need to check my calendar, but I sense an upcoming infiltration opportunity for my blog! I feel both curiosity and dread at how Vision Forum is going to mangle history.

    • Kristen

      Please do it! And report back! What is your blog?

      • http://patheos.com/blogs/lovejoyfeminism Libby Anne
      • Ahab

        Thanks Libby Anne!

        The price isn’t that bad (<$100), so all I need to do is check my calendar and take some time off work.

      • SinginDiva721

        Looking forward to your report. I am also from PA (Philly Suburbs). I give you credit because I’m not sure I could sit there and listen to that dribble and not stand up and say something. If I kept my mouth shut I’d probably get myself so worked up I’d have a heart attack.
        I wish you luck! :-)

    • Saraquill

      You are brave.

      • Ahab

        Naaaaah …

    • Alice

      I would love to read about your adventures in the jungle. Don’t forget your emergency kit: booze, aspirin, and earplugs.

      • Ahab

        If I go, I’ll definitely need a glass of porter after sitting through fundamentalist-workshops-with-an-agenda. I’ll also remember to pack a bandana, which I can hold over my face to stifle laughter. ;)

      • Holly

        I thought you wrote banana, not bandana. I was picturing how someone was going to hide their mirth with a banana.

      • Alix

        That’s not hiding the mirth, that’s spreading it around.

  • Kristen

    “biblically-sound examination of America’s past” This made me laugh. I don’t think the Bible was originally written to be used as an American history book.

    • Scott_In_OH

      i laughed when I saw that, too. Libby Anne or others may be able to interpret, but I thought it meant something like, “American history that shows the Bible is true” + “a reading of the Bible that shows America is God’s chosen country.”

    • Christine

      You didn’t know that? How about the fact that it was originally written to be written as a science text book. Isn’t amazing how many subjects it can remove the need for?

      • The_L1985

        My favorite comment about that was always the “weight of the winds” one. Here’s a link: http://learningthrougherror.tumblr.com/post/47688687215/the-context-of-this-post-is-brought-to-you-by-job

        The whole blog is actually a bit awkward for me to read through, because I was taught through A Beka from K-8, and it’s surreal to look back and realize how warped my education really was.

      • Christine

        Dammit, Poe’s law strikes again.

        I suppose that 2 Esdras answers why people like this would be against education in the first place – there’s no point in trying, because we can’t understand anything anyhow.

        And yes, I am aware that most of them would not consider Esdras to be scripture. Although I’m under the impression that Protestants who accept the Apocryhpa generally take the whole lot, so the fact that it’s not even considered canon by Catholics is irrelevant. (There aren’t a lot of English-speaking Orthodox Christians, so they wouldn’t have a huge influence.)

      • The_L1985

        I assure you, every single screenshot (from ABB, at least) in Learning Through Error is 100% accurate. I remember reading this stuff.

  • Joykins

    ” biblically-sound examination of America’s past ” I am surprised to discover that the Bible says anything at all about America’s past. Perhaps they are thinking of the Book of Mormon?

  • Lucreza Borgia

    Just made this especially for you…

  • D.L F

    The Turleys are a family that is active in the Vision Forum community and are sometimes shown on the blog’s photos. One of the sons, Samuel B has a google profile that lists his location as in C.S.A(Confederate States Of America) Sam and Joshua T Phillips have been in some photos together. I hate to besmirch someone through a causal association but it does appear that the group has Confederate sympathies which means that they have a racist base


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