CFI Issues Critique of Civics Textbook

April 6, 2008

The Center for Inquiry recently learned that a civics textbook used in many secondary schools around the country contains inaccurate and misleading statements, in particular in its analysis of certain constitutional law issues, including school prayer, and global warming. CFI has analyzed the textbook, American Government Institutions and Policies (10th edition), and prepared a critique that sets forth recommended changes to the textbook.

CFI’s critique focuses on six areas: the science of global warming; the legality of school prayer; the significance of the Supreme Court’s decision in Lawrence v. Texas; the alleged influence of the religious concept of “original sin” on the structure of the Constitution; the meaning of the Establishment Clause; and the significance of the Supreme Court’s decision not to hear a case (what lawyers refer to as the denial of a writ of certiorari). CFI maintains that it it is very important for civics students to obtain accurate information about these matters, and that instructional material should be objective and free of ideological bias.


The textbook critique was researched and written by: Derek Araujo, J.D., the Executive Director of CFI’s New York office; Ronald A. Lindsay. J.D., Ph.D., Vice President and General Counsel for CFI; and Stuart D. Jordan, Ph.D., a scientist and volunteer for CFI.

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The Center for Inquiry (CFI) is a nonprofit educational, advocacy, and research organization headquartered in Amherst, New York, with executive offices in Washington, D.C. It is also home to the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason & Science, the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry, and the Council for Secular Humanism. The Center for Inquiry strives to foster a secular society based on reason, science, freedom of inquiry, and humanist values. Visit CFI on the web at