A school textbook authored by conservative academics James Wilson and John Dilulio is under fire from students, scientists and legal scholars for its biased presentation of issues like school prayer, gay marriage, and climate change. The Associated Press has details:
[Critics] say "American Government" by conservatives James Wilson and John Dilulio presents a skewed view of topics from global warming to separation of church and state. The publisher now says it will review the book, as will the College Board, which oversees college-level Advanced Placement courses used in high schools.
The Wilson and Dilulio text on global warming:
The edition of the textbook published in 2005, which is in high school classrooms now, states that "science doesn't know whether we are experiencing a dangerous level of global warming or how bad the greenhouse effect is, if it exists at all."
A newer edition published late last year was changed to say, "Science doesn't know how bad the greenhouse effect is."
On the Texas Supreme court decision that overturned a ban on sodomy:
The authors wrote that the Supreme Court decision had a "benefit" and a "cost." The benefit, it said, was to strike down a rarely enforced law that could probably not be passed today, while the cost was to "create the possibility that the court, and not Congress or state legislatures, might decide whether same-sex marriages were legal."
And on school prayer:
LaClair also was concerned about the textbook's treatment of U.S. Supreme Court decisions regarding prayer in school. The book shows a picture of kids praying in front of a Virginia high school and states, "The Supreme Court will not let this happen inside a public school." Blake said the photo was cut out of the most recent edition.
The textbook goes on to state that the court has ruled as "unconstitutional every effort to have any form of prayer in public schools, even if it is nonsectarian, voluntary or limited to reading a passage of the Bible."
Those examples are not correct, says Charles Haynes, a religious liberties expert at the First Amendment Center in Washington.
"Students can pray inside a public school in many different ways," Haynes said, adding they can pray alone or in groups before lunch or in religious clubs, for example.