There's a new religion in the world, and it's growing among young, old, men, women, black, white, red, yellow and pink, and the rituals of the faith are fun, fun, fun.
America-bashing, writes John Parker in the Asia Times, "has ascended from its former status as the preoccupation of a relative handful of Jurassic Marxists, professional victims, Third World whiners, and Islamo-fascist troglodytes to the level of a major new global religion."
America-bashing is addictive, born of power envy and nurtured by power lust among the weak, the cowardly and craven. That's bad enough, but the consequences are even worse. We're raising generations of "educated" men and women who have never learned that we're envied by the weak, the cowardly and the craven simply because we're Americans.
America-bashing coincides with the proliferation of dumbed-down world history textbooks used in grades six through 12 in our public schools. The material our schoolchildren study is either diluted to emphasize trivia or edited with an eye to the politically correct, designed never to offend the lowest common sensitivity.
"In subjects from Africa to terrorism, the nation's leading world history textbooks provide unreliable, often scanty information and provide poorly constructed activities," writes Gilbert Sewall, author of a new report of the American Textbook Council, an independent national research organization which acts as a watchdog on educational issues (www.historytextbooks.org). These textbooks cut, shave and reduce content to pass the litmus tests of advocacy groups organized specifically to search for offenses.
In California, for example, an Islamic council has oversight to the degree that it exerts a censor-like force as editors gloss over facts crucial to understanding the Muslim culture: jihad, holy law, slavery and the abuse of women.
When discussed at all, these matters are discussed at such a distance from reality that all meaning is lost. Muslims aren't the only group demanding immunity from examination. Editors similarly pander to Indians, blacks, Hispanics, feminists, Christians, Jews and Islamists. The squawkers get attention and textbook editors cower.
The largest publishing conglomerates, which have made themselves the most susceptible to intimidation, have absorbed dozens of independent publishing houses, making it difficult for a small company with a conscience to enter the competitive fray.