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School’s ‘Tea Party’ History Book Teaches Kids That Whites Envied the ‘Freedom of Slaves’

Americans United for Separation of Church and State are slamming one of Arizona’s oldest public charter schools for using textbooks that “actively promote religious interpretations of American history.”

The group claims that Heritage Academy uses two books by controversial author Cleon Skousen, The 5,000 Year Leap and The Making of America, which “push ‘Christian nation’ propaganda and other religious teachings on impressionable, young students.”

Glenn Beck has touted The 5,000 Year Leap as a “divinely inspired” take on early American history and the book has since become a common feature at Tea Party rallies

Even National Tea Party Federation spokeswoman Christina Botteri says the book is “a handbook of tea-party ideals… Early on in the movement, people would carry it around and talk about it.”

But the school’s principal, Earl Taylor, defends the books’ use, saying, “Our purpose is not to convert students to different religious views. It is to show them that religion influenced what the Founders did.”

Legal scholar Garrett Epps disagrees, arguing that “Skousen’s account of the growth and meaning of the Constitution is quite inaccurate.”

“Parts of his major textbook, The Making of America, present a systematically racist view of the Civil War,” Epps said. A “long description of slavery in the book claims that the state [of slavery] was beneficial to African Americans and that Southern racism was caused by the ‘intrusion’ of northern abolitionists and advocates of equality for freed slaves.”

The book includes an essay by Fred Albert Shannon who argues that “if [black children] ran naked it was generally from choice, and when the white boys had to put on shoes and go away to school they were likely to envy the freedom of their colored playmates.”

About the author

Igor Derysh is the Managing Editor of Latest. com and a syndicated columnist whose work has appeared in The Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Boston Herald, Baltimore Sun, and Orlando Sun Sentinel, and AOL News. His work has been criticized in even more publications. Follow him on Twitter @IgorDerysh