The History Wars Continue, Part IV


4. “All of the world geography textbooks inaccurately downplay the role that conquest played in the spread of Christianity.”

See what’s happening here? According to the Texas Freedom Network, textbooks aren’t allowed to say that Islam has been spread primarily through conquest, even though that’s true. They are required to say that Christianity has been spread primarily by conquest, even though that’s false. The narrative is supposed to be that Islam is good and Christianity is bad. Anything that deviates from that line should be kept out of the books that children will be assigned to read.

Here’s the kind of thing the offending texts say:

When Europeans arrived, they brought Christianity with them and spread it among the indigenous people. Over time, Christianity became the main religion in Latin America.

Priests came to Mexico to convert Native Americans to the Roman Catholic religion. The Church became an important part of life in the new colony. Churches were built in the centers of towns and cities, and church officials became leaders in the colony.

The Spanish brought their language and Catholic religion, both of which dominate modern Mexico.

These claims are entirely true. So, what’s the problem? The Network explains:

The Christianization of the indigenous peoples of the Americas was most decidedly not benign. These descriptions provide a distorted picture of the spread of Christianity. An accurate account must include information about the forced conversion of native peoples and the often-systematic destruction of indigenous religious institutions and practices.

This might be reasonable, if the texts gave a detailed account of the Christianization of Latin America that omitted any mention of violence. But they don’t give a detailed account. It’s hard to see why they would have to, unless it’s to support the “Western Civilization is evil” position of the Network.

Recall that these are geography books, not history books, and not histories of Latin America. The complaint is bogus.

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