Thursday, December 09, 2004

Onward, Christian Slavers

Atrios has a great story about the bigots at Cary Christian School in Cary, North Carolina, where ninth graders were taught that slavery in the American South was biblically sanctioned. As soon as the News and Observer exposed the school's bigoted curriculum, the school went into full false witness mode, publishing this pack of lies on its website:

As you may be aware, today the News and Observer published a rather negative article about Cary Christian School and our use of a small booklet supplement entitled, "Southern Slavery, As It Was". Within the article it stated, "the booklet has received criticism from a number of historians and that it has been pulled from publication because of faulty footnotes and citation errors."

We were unaware of these findings and as a result have already pulled this booklet from our curriculum. Let us reiterate that it is always our goal in the secondary grades to present two sides of an argument. At no time has slavery ever been condoned in our curriculum. As Mr. Stephenson stated within the article, "Slavery is wrong, that's not debatable. The South was wrong about the slave trade."

We apologize for this oversight and covet your prayers for our school.
Interesting choice of weasel words: We were unaware of the faulty footnotes and citation errors. We pulled the booklet because of those errors. So, between the time the article was published and the time the press release was drafted, the school confirmed the "faulty footnotes and citation errors." Right. Pull the other one. I guess that means they were okay with the main text, only the footnotes and cites were problematic.

The problem with the school's denial is that it contradicts what Principal Stephenson said earlier.

In the News and Observer piece, Stephenson "said the school is only exposing students to different ideas, such as how the South justified slavery. He said the booklet is used because it is hard to find writings that are both sympathetic to the South and explore what the Bible says about slavery." But the booklet says the Bible "allows" the ownership of slaves. So if Stephenson believes slavery is wrong, how can he say the booklet "explore(s) what the Bible says about slavery?" Surely he's not having a Huck Finn moment, renouncing the Scriptures and condemning himself to hell.

And if Stephenson was previously of the opinion that slavery is wrong, why is he only withdrawing the book for "faulty footnotes" he was allegedly ignorant of until today?

The article also notes that Stephenson is as thick as thieves with one of the authors of the racist booklet, being affiliated with the bigot's church and "accredited" by the bigot's organization, and having invited the bigot to speak at the school's graduation. Are Stephenson and the school going to cut those ties and rescind the invitation?

There's only one word for the school's press release: dishonest.

Oh, and see if you can find an African-American pictured anywhere on the Cary Christian School website. I couldn't.

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