On his radio show on Tuesday, Glenn Beck lamented the actions of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, a non-profit that has accused one of Arizona's high-performing charter schools of illegally teaching religion based on certain required books in its curriculum.
Americans United lodged its complaint in connection with two required titles in one of the Heritage Academy's advanced history classes. Students in the 12th grade class are required to read two books penned by the late constitutionalist and anti-Communist Cleon Skousen, one of which, "The 5000 Year Leap," is one of Beck's favorite titles.
In the book, Skousen explores the connection between Judeo-Christian principles and the founding of the United States,
and argues that the Founders were inspired by God and the Bible in penning documents such as the Declaration of Independence and U.S. Constitution.
Earl Taylor, founder and principal of Heritage, one of Arizona's oldest charter schools, told The Arizona Republic that "our purpose is not to convert students to different religious views. It is to show them that religion influenced what the Founders did." He emphasized the school's aim to give students a deep understanding of history, consistent with its mission to provide a classical education.
Meanwhile, Americans United associate legal director Alex Luchenitser claimed that "these books [Skousen's "The 5000 Year Leap" along with his "The Making of America"] push "Christian nation" propaganda and other religious teachings on impressionable, young students."
State officials had already once told Americans United that Heritage is not breaking any laws by teaching these books, but the non-profit reissued its complaint last month.
According to DeAnna Rowe, executive director of the Arizona State Board for Charter Schools, religious books can be used in public schools as long as they are part of an academic lesson and not a religious lesson.
On his radio program, Glenn Beck expressed his high regard for "The 5000 Year Leap," noting its profound formative influence on his views on American history:
"That book...changed my understanding of the United States government and our founder[s]. It is the clearest, simplest, most direct way to teach what happened and why we were founded the way we were."
He encouraged everyone to purchase the book, stressing its importance in particular for children:
"Teach it to your children. Read it to them at night. Bring it to the dinner table…It will be the only chance they have to actually learn American history."
Beck's comments followed a discussion on the new curriculum being implemented in AP U.S. History classes nationally -- promulgated by one of the architects of Common Core -- which excludes pivotal events and figures and provides an alternative, and often negative perspective on crucial eras of American history.
You can find the full clip below:
Note: The link to the books in this post will give you an option to elect to donate a percentage of the proceeds from the sale to a charity of your choice. Mercury One, the charity founded by TheBlaze’s Glenn Beck, is one of the options. Any donations to Mercury One are fully tax-deductible and go towards efforts such as tornado relief, preparedness training, and veterans support.