In an article by the Washington Post's Sarah Pulliam Bailey, a conservative Christian tour of Washington D.C. gets covered. The tour is even worse than I thought it would be.
Bailey's article follows a tour that she sat in on that included 46 Mississippi sixth-graders, plus their parents. The students were all from a private Christian school. Given what Bailey witnessed, it is not surprising that Mississippi is the most religious state in the U.S. (Alabama and Mississippi tied for the distinction) and Mississippi also happens to be the least educated state.
The tour was led by Stephen McDowell, who is one of the co-founders of the Providence Foundation. The Providence Foundation is a Christian "educational" organization that sponsors these "In God We Trust" tours of the nation's capital.
Bailey's first quote from McDowell sets the tone for much of the history warping captured elsewhere. "We are a nation founded by people who put their trust in God," McDowell told the tour group. If he is talking about the Founding Fathers, then that is a lie. It is true that some of the men responsible for the founding of the United States were devout Christians, like Patrick Henry, but many of the other founders were at best deists, if not atheists. Thomas Jefferson, for example, was a deist.
"What happened in 1492?" McDowell asked the group. "Columbus sailed the ocean blue!" the students shouted back. McDowell then explained to them about a Christian book that Columbus wrote called The Book of Prophecies. He conveniently left out the brutality of Columbus's exploration. But hey, who cares if he massacred and enslaved natives, and decimated whole populations, he wrote about Jesus!
Bailey included commentary from a professor of American history, John Fea, who said, "People like McDowell get some facts wrong, but my real issue with them is the way they try to spin the past to promote their present-day political agenda."
This was on full, frightening display when Bailey captured one student's commentary about one part of the trip. The students were able to see Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, a Democrat from New York, speak in the Senate chambers. A 12 year-old girl in the group said, "He sounded like he was from somewhere in the North. I wish a Republican had been talking when we went through."
That is the comment of a child who has been brainwashed by parents and teachers. If you need proof of that, the mother of that same girl is also quoted in the article. She said, "The Bible should shape policy, because that’s how America was founded."
The father of another student said, "A lot of people are trying to rewrite history," in a blindingly ironic piece of commentary.
Yes, people are trying to rewrite history: THEY ARE CALLED CHRISTIANS!
But the facts are not important, just as ask McDowell himself. He admits that historical truth is not the point. "Churches have become less influential. Schools have become influenced by secular humanism,” he said. “The bigger purpose is to show people that biblical ideas are necessary for us to live free."
That is the point, folks. Truth does not matter, just brainwash the kids so that they will praise Jesus. Rinse and repeat.