Part 5: England Narrowly Escapes the Age of Reason

Sundays With The Christianists: A ‘World History’ Textbook To Haunt Your Home-Schooled Dreams

Jesus was totally a BronyCharge up your Flux Capacitors, folks! It’s time for our weekly foray into the past — or at least, the past as it happened in the fevered imaginations of fundamentalist Christians. Our text is again World History and Cultures In Christian Perspective (A Beka Book, 1997). This book does, in its tendentious way, present mostly-factual history. You actually could learn a lot about world history from World History, even if you dismiss the Creationist nonsense, the relentless anti-Catholicism, and the obsession with connecting historical events to the ideological hobby-horses of the modern American religious right. We only focus on the craziest stuff here in our Sunday series.

On the other hand, there’s also been enough crazy for five posts so far, and we’re only up to the 18th century.

So last week, we learned how godless Enlightenment humanism led to the madness of the French Revolution. This week, we’ll see how England and America managed to avoid anarchy. Do you suppose that being Bible-believing Christians had something to do with it?

With well-crafted narrative tension, we are first told how dangerously close England came to suffering the fate of France. What’s worse, this decadence was not due to Romish meddling, but to the English people’s own turning away from the Bible!

By the turn of the 18th century the English people had more freedom than they had known at any time before in their history but they had left the teachings of the Bible and had become slaves to their own passions. Gambling was the favorite indoor sport, while gin and beer were the favorite drinks (p. 330).

Needless to say, moral depravity is the only possible reason for all that gin and beer; any other explanations, such as rapid urbanization, social upheaval, the huge profits to be made by distilleries, or widespread poverty are just making excuses for morally-weak poor people who turned away from God. And you know what happens to debauched people who drink? They read humanistic philosophers, of course!

As England’s morals continued to slip, she became susceptible to the ideas of the Enlightenment. The late 17th and early 18th centuries in England were known as the Age of Reason because several English philosophers and writers adopted forms of rationalism, deism, and other humanistic philosophies. One of the most influential philosophers of this age was John Locke (1632-1704). Although Locke claimed to be a Christian and promoted Christian morals, he often supplanted the authority of the Bible with humanistic rationalism and empiricism, the belief that experience is the only source of knowledge. Locke wrote: “The last resort a man has recourse to in the conduct of himself is his understanding” This declaration leaves out the supreme authority of the Word of God, which truly has the last word on how we should conduct our lives.

So, remember what we said about this book being mostly factual? This paragraph is a lovely example — it’s not exactly lying about Locke, and yet it unmistakably paints him as a dangerous bad guy, and as usual, his ideological impurity even negates his own “claim” to faith. Once again, World History seriously sins by omission: This is its sole mention of Locke, so a homeschooled child might live unpolluted by any sense that Locke influenced America’s Founders.* Still, at least he’s mentioned — Thomas Hobbes is nowhere to be found. But let’s learn more about those awful English humanists!

Another philosopher of the Age of Reason was David Hume (1711-1776). Hume promoted the philosophy of skepticism — the idea that to know truth is impossible, and that knowledge is uncertain. Hume’s skepticism rejected Christianity’s stand on the absolute truths of the Bible, as well as anything that was supernatural (i.e. — God, miracles, etc.).

Insisting on evidence is just plain crazy, after all. There’s already a book written by God that says that miracles are real, and as the bumper sticker says, that settles it.

Just when we’re good and worried that, with “no spiritual restraints to preserve order and peace, England was ripe for the same crisis that ravaged France during the Revolution,” a hero comes riding over the horizon, and he’s literally on a mission from God!

But because of God’s providence, England would be spared from judgment. The ministry of ]ohn Wesley led the British nation to spiritual revival and reconciliation with God…

Thousands of British citizens responded to the message of salvation by faith alone, and in the power of Christ their lives were transformed… The results were such, as ]ohn Wesley put it, that no “reasonable man can deny . . . that God is now visiting this nation, in a far other manner than we had cause to expect. Instead of pouring out his fierce displeasure upon us, he hath made us yet another tender of mercy: so that even when sin did abound, grace hath much more abounded.” England became a changed country (p. 331).

Whew! That was so close! This 1997 edition of World History quotes a lengthy passage by Woodrow Wilson to the effect that the Wesleyan Revival saved England from chaos and bloody revolution, an irony that might be lost on Glenn Beck fans who think of Wilson solely as the father of the “cancer” of progressivism; we really need to get the 2010 edition to see if that flaw has been expunged.

And now that the dangers of Human Reason have been, for now, successfully avoided, we’re ready for the American Revolution. Surprisingly, the texbook presents an objectively factual narrative of the events leading up to America’s founding, sympathetic to the colonists, of course, but without a word about divine inspiration or Providence. It does pause for a bit of jingoism:

On ]uly 4, 1776, the Second Continental Congress unanimously adopted the Declaration of Independence, the most important human statement of political principles in the history of the world (p. 338).**

But on the whole the main text’s handling of the War for Independence, the Articles of Confederation, and the Constitutional Convention are much like what you’d find in a secular history text. There is ideology, of course, but it’s segregated in a couple of “boxes” separate from the main text. In one, which we touched on last week, we learn why the American and French revolutions were so different:

The most important difference was the spiritual condition of the two nations at the time of their struggles. France, under the influence of the Enlightenment, had largely rejected Christianity and turned to humanistic philosophies. America, however, had a strong Christian heritage revived by the Great Awakening, which gave her stability and unity — things France sadly lacked. In a word, America had the benefit of righteousness, a characteristic that always brings God’s blessing.

The other differences between the two nations stem from this fundamental contrast. For example, America’s Christian heritage produced a people of high moral character and integrity who were well-prepared for the responsibilities of political liberty. Biblical values guided the English colonists in their attempt at reconciliation, their decision to take a stand for individual liberty, and their eventual fight for independence. The people of France, on the other hand, had abandoned Christian morality and had lost their integrity; their sinful passions — greed, envy, bitterness, lust — controlled them, leading the nation from a bloody rebellion to tyranny (p. 339).

Proto-teabaggersMan, those lustful, greedy, bitter French! They were awful, weren’t they? Happily, no American Founders were ever lustful, which will certainly leave the real Benjamin Franklin sorely disappointed. And American colonists of course never even imagined letting their sinful passions run wild, which may be why this textbook does not include that staple of high-school history books, the British engraving “The Bostonians Paying the Excise-man,” which depicts a Crown tax man, tarred and feathered, having scalding tea poured down his throat. Good times!

The chapter closes with another short boxed-off essay about the U.S. Constitution; even this focuses on the liberty and justice for all stuff, and only drags God into the closing paragraph:

To the Americans of the late 18th century the hand of God was clearly visible in the framing of the Constitution. They realized, however, that, even with such a remarkable Constitution, a great nation could be built only upon the continued blessing of God, which comes from the righteousness which “exalteth a nation” (Prov. 14:34).

Compared to David Barton’s nutty claims, earlier this year, that the Constitution incorporates “verbatim” passages from the Bible, this is an almost timid claim for God’s influence on the founding of the United States. We wouldn’t be surprised if this section of World History has been criticized for insufficient emphasis on God’s direct involvement in the drafting of the Constitution. Hey… are these guys even really Christian?

——————————–
*Locke doesn’t even show up in the index of a couple of Christianist U.S. History textbooks that we’ll look at later in this series.

** The italicized text is repeated, word for word, in he publisher’s 8th-grade US History text, America: Land I Love.

NEXT WEEK: The Industrian Revolution, the British Empire, and the roots of — ladies, please try not to faint — Darwinism.

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About the author

Doktor Zoom Is the pseudonym of Marty Kelley, who lives in Boise, Idaho. He acquired his nym from a fan of Silver-Age comics after being differently punctual to too many meetings. He is not a medical doctor, although he has a real PhD (in Rhetoric and Composition).

View all articles by Doktor Zoom

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279 comments

  1. ThundercatHo

    Whoo hoo! TDIF! We are gonna get wasted this weekend! Martinis and a keg and reading humanistic philosophy! Par-tay!

        1. Doktor Zoom

          By golly, I think I should do a post somewhere down the line in which I simply go through the Bruces' Philosophers Song and see what this dumb textbook sez about each!

          Mill, by the way, is mentioned once, in a section headed "The Beginning of Britain's Decline," because utilitarianism is socialist of course.

    1. LionHeartSoyDog

      i would gladly slurp Bloody Mary, but it will take more than that to actually liberate Women from the Repug pigs.
      Let's work towards that, by any means necessary.

  2. memzilla

    …the English people had more freedom than they had known… but they had left the teachings of the Bible and had become slaves to their own passions.

    So, by extension and analogy to the current crowd of Teabagganist Obama-haters, any Bible-wielding proselytizer in 18th Century England, railing against gambling and booze, should have justifiably been hooted down by choruses of "Takin' 'Way Our Freedom! God = Socialist Commie Muslin!"

    1. Boojum

      Perhaps they have reversed these, in the order of cause and effect. That is, if you believe in that causality stuff.

    2. miss_grundy

      Why do I get the feeling that the Teabagganist pay too much attention to the fire and brimstone of the Old Testament but they really don't pay attention to anything that Jesus says in the New Testament? Perhaps they need a new bible, one that highlights all those words that are attributed to Jesus? Perhaps, that wouldn't be a good idea, 'cause their heads might explode!

      1. Doktor Zoom

        Hey, they've read the Parable of the Talents, in which Jesus endorses investing. Is there anything else of significance in there?

  3. no_gravity

    Biblical values guided the English colonists in their attempt at reconciliation, their decision to take a stand for individual liberty, and their eventual fight for independence.

    I think they're confusing the Magna Carta for the bible. But, one old document is the same as any other.

  4. AlterNewt

    "The people of France, on the other hand, had abandoned Christian morality and had lost their integrity…"

    America, on the other, other hand…

    1. WhatTheHeck

      God so loved the English during and after their Age of Reasom that he sent many an Englishman/woman to Australia as convicts to establish Truth, Justice and the American way down under.

    1. Willardbot9000_V2.5

      Oh they've done plenty of that already…as Doc says ommitting the whole ya know, indentured servitude and the short led insurrection and of course, slavery. They also omit the slaughter of native Americans from which all of these items USED to be argued by Christian douchebags as evidence for a great American moral compass because ya know, superiority of white men an shit. Also, those damned evil French created dens of iniquity by not owning slaves and occassionally having SEX (gasp!) and living together with natives. Hilariously enough of course many Great Awakening idiots like Jonathan Edwards called attention to the moral wrong of sleeping with Injuns…so these guys are just omitting the usual evidence in writings of the time of American moral superiority over the French…

    2. Willardbot9000_V2.5

      Of course most of this bullshit comes from Edmund Burke about how the US revolution was led by Christianity and the French was led by humanism. The reality fo both is of course, complicated. The US established the free exercise and establishment clauses to keep free of a state church like the church of England and the French were pissed about the Divine Right of the monarchy leading to their severing of religion from state. But of course even though both created secular governments morons like to argue against all evidence from the times that US was religious in nature.

  5. sbj1964

    Right wing Fundies have become a parody stereo type of the worst world view of an American.I travel extensively overseas,and find myself apologizing for these Christard lunatics that especially in Europe they see as no better than the Taliban.I can't tell you how many times people have asked me"What is wrong with you Americans?"Face palm.

    1. DemmeFatale

      They also don't understand why our asses are so fat!
      When my hubby and his sister, (both weighed about 125 lbs. more than they should have), walked down the street in France, they were constantly gawked at like circus freaks. (Here, no one would have even noticed!)

      And yeah, I miss the Clinton days, (I lived in England), when some thought he was a Saint that helped end the troubles in Northern Ireland.

    2. Isyaignert

      At least now when I go to Europe I don't have to pretend to be Canadian, like I did during GeeDumb's Reign of Terror.

  6. el_donaldo

    I don't think gin and beer necessarily lead to humanistic philosophy. Then again, people who read a lot of humanistic and worse philosophy (Nietzsche anyone?) do seem to drink a lot of gin and beer, so maybe that's the connection.

      1. el_donaldo

        One of my favorites. Worse in the sense that if Christianists are troubled by humanistic philosophy, anti-humanistic philosophy must really terrify them.

    1. An_Outhouse

      nietzsche was such a crabby downer. i don't think he is a good example of the typical jolly drunk philosopher.

  7. sbj1964

    God,Jesus,Casper,Satan,demons,angels,saints,and martyrs the christian pantheon of faith.The ancient Greeks,Romans,Egyptians have nothing on the cast of silly characters of the people of faith today.

        1. LibertyLover

          Isn't fizzics what you get when you drop mentos into a 2 Liter (yipes- metric system) bottle of Coke?

      1. OkieDokieDog

        That National Lampoon Xmas sermon is the best one I've ever read… I've never actually heard one in teh church since I was 12 years old.

  8. gullywompr

    Sunday is my favorite day of the week to be an atheist. Am I damned to repeat this history because I don't study it? Well, maybe the indoor sports of gambling and gin…

    1. Doktor Zoom

      Again, for space reasons I had to cut how William Wilberforce, inspired by Wesley, reformed English society and eventually got the slave trade ended.

      Strange, though, no mention of Christian justifications for slavery. Obviously not true Scotsmen.

  9. LibertyLover

    … greed, envy, bitterness, lust — controlled them…

    Let's see: Occupy Wall Street — envy — check
    Wall Street — greed—- check
    Liberal Blogs——Bitterness—-check
    Internet Porn——Lust—Check

    I'm convinced. I'm going to quit reading this stuff on Sunday morning and go get me some Good ol' time Religion.

  10. PubOption

    The teabaggers should like the "Paying the Excise Man" engraving. The tree of liberty is prominent, and, judging by the noose, it is about to get watered by the blood of someone vaguely resembling a tyrant.

  11. chascates

    Then the Q.E.Duh here is that we lost that ole' time religion and that's why a loving God has plagued us with humanists, atheists, feminazis, black Presidents, and reality teevee.

    Only by returning to our Christianist roots can we escape the debt, the brownz, the muslims, and pornography. The Deatheaters just need to brainwash our children, capture the entire media, takeover all politics, and bingo–America As It Supposed To Be until Rapture time.

  12. ThankYouJeebus

    I dismiss this entire argument on its face.

    How can the year 1776 be in the Eighteenth century? Hennngh? The number 17 is right there!

    1. kittensdontlie

      Number Professor Ryan(R-Village Idiot) used similar math hijinks to cut one hour off his marathon time.

    2. Guppy

      There's no zero in the Bible.

      After all, the Gospels keep saying that Easter Sunday is "three days" after Good Friday.

  13. Schmegeg

    Without knowing anything about nineteenth century English history, I can say beyond any doubt that gambling was no better than the second favorite indoor sport.

    1. sewollef

      English history, I can say beyond any doubt that gambling was no better than the second favorite indoor sport.

      Not sure it was restricted to indoors…. which I'm assuming you're alluding to sexual shenanigans.

  14. ManchuCandidate

    I'd rather gamble playing poker, sinning with loose women and drink than live in the hypocritical stupid world of Jeebus masturbating close minded dominionist moran (sic) motherfuckers.

    Without the philosophical groundwork they can't deal with, there would not have been as widespread adoption of the technological and scientific discoveries of the 19th century.

  15. sbj1964

    When asked what I believe in I tell people"I believe in Crystal Light,because Crystal light believes in me." Or"I believe I'll have another beer."The best part of being non religious is you get to sleep in on Sundays.

  16. Doktor Zoom

    And as usual, because the piece is too long already, I still had to cut this bit:

    The literature during the Age of Reason was characterized by cynicism and satire regarding England’s worsening conditions. Writers ridiculed the pretentiousness and superficiality of the time, often leading others to form a cynical outlook on life. Prominent literary leaders such as Alexander Pope (1688-1744) and ]onathan Swift (1667-1745) derided the hypocrisy and corruption that had become so rampant in England.

    We are happy to report that the editors somehow refrain from condemning Swift for his radical humanist pro-baby-eating agenda.

      1. Doktor Zoom

        He used… sarcasm. He knew all the tricks: dramatic irony, metaphor, bathos, puns, parody, litotes and… satire. He was vicious.

          1. Doktor Zoom

            Hah! Totally missed that! It's a quirk of the OCR software that I use to scan the book. I save it to Word, so spellcheck usually catches the odd little punctuation marks, or "rn" instead of "m." But sometimes I am just bloody lazy.

    1. Freewayblogger

      Fundamentalists have an odd attitude about baby-killing. Approximately 100 million Americans claim to believe that abortion is the murder of an innocent child. This is why every abortion clinic in the country is surrounded 24/7 by tens of thousands of non-violent protesters.

    2. Negropolis

      So, what must they believe about our current time? I mean we have Snooki and Lindsay Lohan and Honey Boo Boo on television. Truly, we are living in the end times, right?

      1. Doktor Zoom

        Hey, they're betting clean air and water as well as a quickly-declining world oil supply that the Lord will be back before we've fouled our nest completely.

  17. WhatTheHeck

    For example, America’s Christian heritage produced a people of high moral character and integrity

    That's why there were thriving brothels wherever towns were established in the new world.

    1. LibertyLover

      Hey, Hey, Hey… Priorities are important…There are many instances of urban development on the *ahem* backs of the working girl. You could consider it "stimulating" the economy.

  18. James Michael Curley

    These guys have given up trying to win the election in November.

    "President Barack Obama and Democrats have hammered Romney and Ryan for refusing to say until after the election which tax loopholes they would close.

    Ryan told "Fox News Sunday" that "it would take me too long to go through all the math."

    1. kittensdontlie

      "it would take me too long to go through all the math"

      He is referring to a true marathon session of number crunching.

    2. Not_Mother

      "Look, Stench ain't giving away his tax evasion secrets to nobody, man. He's rich, he's white and he ain't Obama. That's all you need to know (looks at watch.) Now, I have a tee off time to make."

      1. James Michael Curley

        Bush is known for “Math is hard!”Ryan will be known for “Math is too complicated for you 47% scum.”

  19. Hera Sent Me

    All we have to do now
    Is take these lies
    And make them true
    Somehow

    Who'd have guessed Christianists and George Michael think the same way?

  20. Lucidamente1

    This sounds like what you would learn about eighteenth-century England if you were high all the time and watched nothing but Blackadder the Third and Barry Lyndon.

  21. ChessieNefercat

    Their revolutions were different because we had "stability and unity during ours?!

    That's an interesting interpretation of the word revolution.

  22. SorosBot

    Hey now, my girlfriend is already making me watch that little pony show; I don't need it from you too Dok!

      1. 102415

        Thank you for asking so didn't have to. Every time I see a little pony I worry about Petey. Maybe a big old box of porcelain carrots would get him back for a Cocktober visit to the old homestead.

        1. Doktor Zoom

          IMMEDIATELY.

          Sheesh, I may have to go back and retcon Friday's post about her…

          Nah, she'll say something else stupid soon enough.

    1. MissTaken

      Liar, you like it! You even have Pinkie Pie's song about Zecora as your ringtone!

      She's an evil enchantress
      And she does evil dances
      And if you look deep in her eyes
      She'll put you in trances

    2. waffle911

      Jesus would totally have been a brony. Just sayin.' Might've even just gone up to his dad and said, "You know what? Forget about vicariously writing that Holy Scripture through the the dreams and visions of random humans thing, I think they've pretty much covered the important points right here."

      That's my argument to haters who happen to be religious. Anyone who hates ponies hates the good teachings of Jesus himself. It's like non-denominational Veggie Tales, but with better animation, voice acting, and writing.

      "I think New Testament is a pretty cool guy. Eh dies for our sins and doesn't afraid of anything!"

  23. cheetojeebus

    If you had two copies of this book you could poop on one and cover it up with the 2nd copy. see, neat and tidy.

    1. Guppy

      Ehh… Doc Brown figured out time travel without having to violently vacillate between being Too Fucking British and American penis envy (though perhaps the two are the same?). I'll put up with the two-seater DeLorean with the screechy teenager.

  24. eggsacklywright

    Bet they'd take Anatole France literally.

    "War without fire is an insipid thing, like tripe without mustard."

    1. anniegetyerfun

      Well, that has triggered another unusual craving, thanks. I thought my pregnancy-induced chocolate chip cookies + cream cheese craving might have been the limit.

  25. bikerlaureate

    In a word, America had the benefit of righteousness, a characteristic that always brings God’s blessing.

    Foxe might disagree.
    Or, God's blessing sometimes follows a torturous death…

    1. PsycWench

      Maybe this information could get me to interest more freshmen in taking philosophy classes, seeing as how they're usually the last to fill up.

  26. Dashboard Buddha

    Gambling was the favorite indoor sport, while gin and beer were the favorite drinks (p. 330).

    What…no buggery?

  27. sufferinsuccotash

    So how do you explain the 40 year interval between the Great Awakening and the American Revolution?
    Of course if you demonize John Locke you also "discredit" an argument in favor of religious toleration.
    I can hardly wait until the godless immoral French bail our God-fearing asses out during the American Revolution.

    1. Doktor Zoom

      This being a world history text, not specifically an American history text, the editors feel free to gloss over that little detail. The A Beka 8th-grade US history text mentioned in the footnote, Amercia: Land I Love, relegates Lafayette to a single paragraph about "gallant European military leaders" who helped out during the war for independence; there's also a brief mention of the "heavy debt" France ran up in helping the American cause, but no details about the extent of that help.

  28. owhatever

    That shit was boring when I tried to read it in high school, was boring when I read it in college, and is still boring today. Needs less God and more sex, gin and cowbells.

    Such as: John Locke was born nine months after a man and woman tangled in a sweaty screwing session, with his mother screaming so loud that she woke the people next door. When he was born, he had a penis, which he would often fondle into stiffness as he grew older, while having sex fantasies about the milkmaid and the goat. He concluded this was all natural, and thus grew the Age of Reason.

  29. poorgradstudent

    I'm sure the book doesn't mention how France was experiencing devastating famines at the same time the government was experimenting with radical economic liberalization policies (haven't you learned what happens when you pursue austerity measures in bad times, Europe?!). That helped Britain a bit.

    Also I like the implication that God punished France for its immorality and godlessness by…allowing a Revolution to take place that ultimately made France more of a secular, pluralistic country. Oops.

    1. Doktor Zoom

      See how badly that turned out? They're STILL a godforsaken socialist hellhole where people lack the precious individual freedom to go bankrupt if they or a family member gets seriously ill. USA! USA! USA!

        1. LibertyLover

          Well he did have to suffer the slings and arrows of protests against the war all while living in a castle.

  30. sbj1964

    Science,Logic,and Common sense. vs Ignorance,Superstition,and Fear.Time for Mankind to choose the world we want to live in.Stand ready this is our time.

  31. Chet Kincaid_

    So there is no mention of Locke's faith in the Island, and how his death led to a Loophole which offered the Man In Black escape?! Or the significance of Penny as a Constant in Hume's disorienting perceptions of Time?! All I know is, the final chapter better be fuckin' good after they've strung us along!!

    1. Doktor Zoom

      I will give the editors of World History and Cultures In Christian Perspective this much: They have constructed a far more coherent narrative than J.J. Abrams did.

      Mind you, no more realistic, but definitely more coherent.

    2. Negropolis

      And, what of the wheel? How could A Beka Books leave out the fuckin' wheel?! Really, you guys? And, nothing of Jacob, blessed be his name? Fie!

  32. BlueStateLibel

    I'm sure glad there's no gambling in the USA! Speaking of which, Hopey is up to 77% for re-election on intrade.com.

    1. Chichikovovich

      Yes, I'm constantly doing that myself. I'll send the most ingenious theorems to Mathematische Annalen or Journal of Symbolic Logic, and when they ask for proofs I tell them "I'm not going to go through all the math".

      They never buy it. I should have gone into the Vice Presidentin' trade instead.

          1. Doktor Zoom

            The interwebs doesn't seem to have my favorite Harris cartoon: A scientist in a lab coat is standing up in the middle of a theater showing a star-wars-y spaceship laser battle movie, waving his arms and shouting, "Space is a vacuum! It wouldn't go "Kaboom"!"

    2. BlueStateLibel

      Also works well with the spouse when you come home tipsy at 3 am. "It would take me too long to explain…"

  33. Maman

    "while gin and beer were the favorite drinks"

    Does it really need to be re-iterated that at this time in history Water = DEATH? Really, Xtians. You should have been so lucky for a little Blue Ruin.

    1. sewollef

      'sackly!

      I remember back in the 15th century, my great, great, great, great, great, [...how many's that....] grandfather telling me they only drank mead or something in my village of Barton-upon-Irwell, in the county of the White Rose [Lancashire] during the ascendancy of the Tudor dynasty, etc, etc. It was because they used to throw their dead stuff and poo into the water 'supply' [when they weren't throwing it out the window into the street]. And then they died from drinking it.

      Then were smart back then and eventually realised water was bad and evil, so they drank beer and mead. Oh, and hardly ever washed in bad and evil water, because it was bad and evil.

      Sex must have been fun, if a little smelly.

  34. azeyote

    where do i sign up – man i've smoked so much that this stuff is soundin out there – kinda a bummer though

  35. CthuNHu

    "…righteousness, a characteristic that always brings God’s blessing."

    Huh. I guess we all owe Hitler an apology. Apparently all six million of those Jews had it coming.

    Our bad.

  36. proudgrampa

    So if God wrote the Constitution, can anyone explain how He came up with something as stupid as the Electoral College?

    1. M. Bouffant

      Sure. It was designed to give the stupids who live in states that are mostly prairie & mostly populated by cattle & sheep a fair shake at reducing the national intelligence.

  37. Chichikovovich

    Since Hume is mentioned, I'd like to share with you my personal dream, which I will put into action as soon as I become Romney-rich by forming an investment firm and draining some pension funds while steering a few dozen companies into bankruptcy.

    In every hotel room in the world, next to the copy of the Gideon Society Bible, there will be a copy of the Chichikovovich Society Hume's Essay On Miracles.

    That's all. Thanks for letting me share my dream with you.

  38. mormos

    “The last resort a man has recourse to in the conduct of himself is his understanding”

    i'm getting this tattooed on my arm.
    also to the doktor: welcome to the herd and brohoof!

  39. cheetojeebus

    OT So, the dude who allegedly assaulted Lindsay Lohan is an aid to Shimkus and was recently photographed with Ryan.

  40. JCE1985

    I still can't get over how much of the would-be villainous stuff in this textbook actually resonates with me.

    Aside from all the murderous actions of war and whatnot. But whatever, they can't really spin that. Oh wait, they can? Shiiit.

  41. gingerland62

    They are just mad because Catholicism is the ONE true religion of Jesus. I know it's true because Sister Annuciata told me. Just ask Pope Adolph.

  42. anniegetyerfun

    By the turn of the 18th century the English people had more freedom than they had known at any time before in their history but because they had left the teachings of the Bible and had become slaves to their own passions.

  43. mille derps

    I have one leetle question about these books… Assuming they are actually being used in classrooms & for homeschooling- HOW MANY children are actually larnin' about the world from these texts?

  44. Negropolis

    You actually could learn a lot about world history from World History, even if you dismiss the Creationist nonsense, the relentless anti-Catholicism, and the obsession with connecting historical events to the ideological hobby-horses of the modern American religious right.

    Yeah, and besides that, Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play?

    They really don't deserve any kind of deference. The bullshit is inextricably linked to the factual history. It's not worth the time or money to pull it out. I mean, I guess it's technically possible to get red wine stains out of a white cloth couch, too.

  45. ttommyunger

    Such a cop-out to worship the Bible, or any other book. Bible-Thumpers are the fucking worst kind of boor imaginable. I've known several who insisted that God could not do anything contrary to the "Word of God". I pressed them on the point stating that in that case, God is not, in fact, omnipotent. Crickets….Mental weaklings.

    1. Negropolis

      Oh, the whole "Could God make a rock so heavy that even he couldn't lift it" type dealy? There's an app for that.

      But, really, only God knows. Oh, and The Shadow. Yeah, only The Shadow knows. Too. Also.

      1. ttommyunger

        Such lead-ins are great in you're into group masturbation. I run like the fucking wind when I hear that shit coming down the pike.

      2. BloviateMe

        Back in my Mary Jane days, I got stuck on the whole "if God created us from nothing, what IS nothing?"

        I still don't have an answer.

        Trippy.

        1. Negropolis

          The way I was always heard it from believers was that God was the catalyst for the Big Bang kind of punching his way through, which opens the door to all kinds of crazy multi-verses.

          They have an answer for just about everything, needless to say.

          1. BloviateMe

            …but that's the thing, if there was a god to punch through, then there never really was a nothing…if anything, just a pocket of nothing he/she punched into…which means nothing in a nothing argument. There's either nothing, or not nothing.

            Like, fuck…you're freaking me out. Stop man, just order the god damned pizza.

          2. Negropolis

            I guess it depends on the Christian you're talking to. I've known folks that take "nothing" to literally mean no thing, in which their opinion totally doens't make any kind of scientific or even just basic physical sense. And then others that simply believe that "nothing" to mean the unformed universe/cosmic egg with the catalyst being the supernatural.

            I've actually known more of the latter where how the universe was started and the other starting stuff in the Bible is not literal, rather an allegory, and don't really mean anything in the grand scheme of things. These types are far less concerned with the "how" and far more concerned with the destination. I'm not a Christian, myself, but growing up with the less literal types where I live, I have a more nuanced view of them than their most vocal (read: crazy) brethern who seem to suck up all of the oxygen.

            Some them simply don't care much about the mental masturbation concerning the beginnings of the universe or the history of man. I'm still trying to gather whethere this lack of curiosity is a bad thing or a good thing, but I'd guess in the context of religion it makes them a lot more bearable to non-religious people like myself.

    2. bobbert

      Well done, although probably fruitless. They'll likely just blank.

      If you get another shot, point out to them that saying God cannot do anything "contrary to the Word of God" is fucking blasphemy, because who are they to tell God what the "Word of God" is?

    1. Doktor Zoom

      Danny Bonaduce is like a human version of that one retail location where no business ever makes a go of it. One wonders if somehow the Brady Bunch's Tiki Curse somehow missed that show's cast members and attached itself to him instead.

      1. BaldarTFlagass

        There's a few of those accursed-business places around here. I reckon they must be built on old Indian burial grounds.

    2. Chichikovovich

      The few remaining survivors will look back on this as the beginning of the Zombie Apocalypse.

      It was the day we learned that biting Danny Bonaduce turns you into a zombie.

  46. iburl

    It makes it kind of obvious why there is a war on teachers when the very concept of "Enlightenment" itself is the greatest enemy to humans throughout history.

    I'm sure the first cavemen to discover fire were beaten to death by the fundamentalists in their troop.

    I should write a history book.

  47. VinnyThePooh

    By the turn of the 18th century the English people had more freedom than they had known at any time before in their history but they had left the teachings of the Bible and had become slaves to their own passions.

    The blame is squarely on those heathen capitalists of the Dutch East India Company. Does anybody think the Brits were going to sit and be obedient Christians while fluyt after fluyt was passing through the Channel, filling the warehouses of Amsterdam with all those goodies acquired from afar?

  48. valthemus

    Bottom line: you can probably learn more about history from watching Mr. Peabody and Sherman with their Wayback Machine than you can by reading a Christianist history textbook.

  49. James Michael Curley

    Doktor you are fortunate in that after reading this crap for us you can prescribe and administer your own mental high colonic purge.

  50. menopausemafia

    And it is the fault of white men….not just white men but old white men….wait, wait, not just old white men, but old white heterosexual men. There, now you don't have to read any more Wonkette stuff.

  51. BaldarTFlagass

    "moral depravity is the only possible reason for all that gin and beer; any other explanations, such as rapid urbanization, social upheaval, the huge profits to be made by distilleries, or widespread poverty"

    Also, the water available for drinking was pretty horribly contaminated due to lack of knowledge about sanitation (i.e. cesspits in close proximity to water wells).

    1. sullivanst

      I believe it was Jeremy Clarkson who once observed that without beer, civilization would have been impossible, at least the modern, urban form of civilization. Probably not an original thought of his, but he's the first person I'd heard express it in such simple terms.

  52. sullivanst

    So the British avoided bloody revolution? That'll probably come as a surprise to Zombie Charles I. I suppose we're not supposed to mention that because Cromwell was a devout puritan but this didn't stop him from descending into extreme brutality (pro tip: don't say anything nice about Cromwell in an Irish pub, it's unlikely to end well, although that may not matter much to the A Beka people, what with those Irish being heathen Papists and all).

    1. delaney_blom

      Yeah, I was looking forward to a passage about how Cromwell nearly saved the English from all that "reason" and "enlightenment"

  53. GeorgiaMike

    Boy howdy, I can hardly wait till they come out with their biology book, telling us all about the nasty lady parts Jeebus wants us to avoid. And economics, with the secrets of how Gawd wants us to be rich and keep it all away from the poorz.

  54. carlgt1

    "Gambling was the favorite indoor sport, while gin and beer were the favorite drinks"

    So basically this history was written by glancing at William Hogarth prints?

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