General News

Center for Inquiry Raises Concerns over Civics Textbook

By the web  Posted by Joan Brunwasser (about the submitter)     Permalink       (Page 1 of 1 pages)
Related Topic(s): ; ; ; ; , Add Tags Add to My Group(s)

View Ratings | Rate It

For Immediate Release April 07, 2008
Contact: Nathan Bupp Phone: (716) 636-4869 x. 218 E-mail:
Center for Inquiry Raises Concerns over Civics Textbook
(Amherst, New York) The Center for Inquiry (CFI), an international think tank promoting science and secularism, released a 25-page report today detailing what it calls "egregious errors" sufficient enough to warrant "immediate correction," in a widely used civics textbook found in many secondary schools around the country, including advanced placement courses. CFI believes that the textbook American Government: Institutions and Policies, 10th edition, (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2006) contains inaccurate and misleading statements, in particular in its analysis of global warming and certain constitutional law issues. In response, CFI's legal experts have analyzed the textbook and prepared a critique that sets forth recommended changes.

Derek Araujo, a lawyer and executive director for CFI's New York office, spearheaded the textbook review project. Araujo stated that he was "surprised and dismayed that a textbook used in advanced placement courses would contain clearly erroneous statements about significant issues, such as global warming and school prayer." Araujo recruited leading scientists, including Stuart D. Jordan from NASA, to provide their assessment of the book's treatment of global warming.

CFI's critique focuses on six areas: the science of global warming; the legality of school prayer; the significance of the Supreme Court's decision in Lawrence v. Texas; the alleged influence of the religious concept of "original sin" on the structure of the Constitution; the meaning of the Establishment Clause; and the significance of the Supreme Court's decision not to hear a case (what lawyers refer to as the denial of a writ of certiorari).

Ronald A. Lindsay, CFI's general counsel, characterized the errors as "significant and inexcusable. For a civics textbook to state-as this book does-that the Supreme Court will not allow students to pray in schools betrays either a serious misunderstanding of the law or a willingness to have the textbook serve as a propaganda vehicle for the Religious Right."

CFI maintains that it is very important for civics students to obtain accurate information about our Constitution, our legal system and public policy issues, and that instructional material should be objective and free of ideological bias.

The textbook critique was researched and written by Araujo, Lindsay, and Jordan. A downloadable PDF copy of the full report is available online at

The Center for Inquiry is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit educational organization, comprising the Council for Secular Humanism, the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry (CSI), and the Committee for the Scientific Examination of Religion (CSER). Headquartered in Amherst, New York, the Center for Inquiry strives to promote rational thinking in all aspects of life. The organization's Web site can be found at .


The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Follow Me on Twitter

Contact Editor
Related Topic(s): ; ; ; ; , Add Tags

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Interview with Dr. Margaret Flowers, Arrested Tuesday at Senate Roundtable on Health Care

Renowned Stanford Psychologist Carol Dweck on "Mindset: The New Psychology of Success"

Howard Zinn on "The People Speak," the Supreme Court and Haiti

Snopes confirms danger of Straight Ticket Voting (STV)

Fed Up With Corporate Tax Dodgers? Check Out!

Literary Agent Shares Trade Secrets With New Writers


The time limit for entering new comments on this article has expired.

This limit can be removed. Our paid membership program is designed to give you many benefits, such as removing this time limit. To learn more, please click here.

Comments: Expand   Shrink   Hide  
2 people are discussing this page, with 4 comments
To view all comments:
Expand Comments
(Or you can set your preferences to show all comments, always)
 Thanks for posting this, Joan.  Earlier... by Rady Ananda on Monday, Apr 7, 2008 at 9:13:00 PM
Historically, one of the primary purposes of trial... by WML on Monday, Apr 7, 2008 at 9:53:06 PM
especially the drug laws - can we say, hey, here&#... by Rady Ananda on Monday, Apr 7, 2008 at 10:56:27 PM
May I add that juries once were also charged on th... by WML on Tuesday, Apr 8, 2008 at 12:04:12 AM