Looking For a Secular Florida Umbrella School?

Thursday, June 02, 2005


Omnibus I: Biblical and Classical Civilizations, Veritas Press’s new student text, is a thought provoking course with interesting topic introductions, great follow up comprehension questions and discussion prompts, if, and it’s a big ‘if’, you share the specific brand of Christianity that the authors espouse.

I was brought up Catholic, so have some familiarity with various Christian teachings, although Catholics are sometimes seen as having their own misguided beliefs by other followers of Christ, and have had past success incorporating materials from other Christian publishers, most notably Tapestry of Grace. The providential thinking underlying TOG’s materials mirrored the beliefs of many of the founding fathers in the era we were studying. Did I agree with it all? No, of course not, but we worked around it, using it secularly, and many deep conversations ensued regarding varying points of view. Tearing into my copy of Omnibus, I was hopeful, in the beginning, that I could adapt most of the information, minimally editing to reflect morals and virtues rather than exact beliefs.

So, can Omnibus be used secularly? Not no, but H-E-double-hockey-sticks no, at least for this girl. The Bible, in a literal interpretation, is the ultimate authority here. Everything is clearly black and white, and every topic or character trait is evaluated through numerous scripture readings. While there are a few questions or discussions in each chapter that could suit my needs, for me, it does not justify owning the book.

Which leads me to wonder how or why one should even have such discussions or bother joining the Great Conversation when one already has all the answers? It’s indoctrination, pure and simple. A true classical education and this type of Christianity, or any other religious affiliation with such heavy blinders on, are mutually exclusive.

Omnibus left me with mixed feelings: It is a beautiful, hefty, hardcover textbook, filled with rich illustrations of magnificent artworks and in-depth analysis of subjects written to the student. It is just what I would have hoped to find for my own use, had it not been filled with such slanted convictions. I cannot think of another book that left me feeling so insulted for holding my particular viewpoints.

Clearly, I am going straight to Hades.

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