Anti-Catholic Schoolwork question

Dear Catholics,

Hello, I need some advice on what to do about some public school work.
I have to read a book over the summer that is biased towards Catholics in the Americas, and I see that Catholic Answers has a good rebuttal. However, we must hand a part of this assignment, and only use the book for help answering some questions.

Is it considered academic dishonesty to read the Catholic response, if it may “influence” \ my answer?

You shouldn’t have to read a book and report on it if it violates your faith. The teacher probably doesn’t understand that the book is biased, since many non-Catholics simply accept such information as plainly factual–if the teacher is non-Catholic, that is.

You can do a couple of things here. You can read the book and point out in your report how it is biased. Or you can tell the teacher that it would violate your conscience to read it, so you’d like another book to read and report on instead.

If the teacher won’t budge regarding what book you are to read, again you have some options. You can read it under protest or you can complain to the appropriate school authorities. But let’s hope it doesn’t come to that.

As for academic dishonesty for getting replies on CAF, no, that’s not academically dishonest. It’s called research. If you do decide to read the book, etc., you can mention that you did independent research on those things that are biased in the book, if asked, but you do not need to volunteer your sources. Especially if the teacher is so biased s/he’d demote your grade for researching your own fellow believers’ knowledge.

Thank you for the response.
It’s not easy to take it up with school authorities, because I’d have to do this almost all the time. This resulted in my grades tanking…

Have many Catholics have gone through this? And have your grades also dropped because of the immoral schoolwork?

Very interesting history, and using Papal Encyclicals to prepare for september :smiley:

Do what I did with my college history class. Write something correcting the teacher and the book, and explain what is right about it and what is not right about out. I had a history book that referred to the Catholic beliefs in the Sacraments as “technologically magic” to say I was offended is an understatement.

Do you mean biased **against **Catholics in the Americas? To what book are you referring?

I attended a secular college prior to going to Steubenville - what I did was I answered the questions on the test saying “The answer your looking for is XYZ” however I then noted in the margins notes as to the authentic answer to the question. So gave them the answer they were looking for - so they knew that I knew what was taught in class or the text - and then gave them more…not sure what to advise you here - but I note this for interest. You may want to talk say with your Priest/confessor for advice etc. Do not do anything “rash” but seek good advice.

What’s the book?

I would go with pointing out how biased the book is. I’d say that’s the safest route to go. Saying something along the lines of, “This text fails to give the Catholic perspective” would probably suffice and wouldn’t likely get you in any sort of trouble.

Most of the social studies and literature classes I took in high school were instructed with the understanding that much of history is up for interpretation. I can’t imagine a teacher deducting from your grade for studying outside of the class materials and being able to explain your conclusion, citing your sources. Isn’t this what they are supposed to be teaching you to do?

It’s funny that you’d say that. I always thought the same thing. I had an English teacher my senior year that was suspended a few years after I graduated. He had an argument with the principal around his teaching style. During the confrontation my former teacher said he presented things to make kids learn; to encourage them to think. The principal said that wasn’t his job, it was to teach kids the right anwers. This came up during his school board hearing where 100s of former students came to speak about how he taught us critical thinking skills.

I guess it really depends on what the teacher thinks their job is; regurgitate the book or critical analysis of the question. I’ve had both types.

Boy, education has really changed…! It may be all the teaching to the tests that teachers have to do now… Isn’t it called "Dumb-ing down America?

Do you mean biased against Catholics in the Americas? To what book are you referring?

What’s the book?

I apologize, I meant that it’s biased against catholics. If it were biased for Catholics, I wouldn’t be in public school :sad_yes:
It’s name is *Colonial America A Very Short Introduction * by Alan Taylor.

Why, specifically, do you believe it to be anti-Catholic?

It criticizes Catholic missionaries, to be general

Catholic missionaries in general worldwide or more specific missionaries? I mean I’m quite familiar with works critical of the Catholic missionaries in California. As taught in California schools the missions’ legacy is very mixed. And rightly so, it was a mixed legacy at best. Pointing it out isn’t anti-Catholic.

Both Protestant & Catholic missionaries who worked with the Indians here in Washington had problems. Pointing out their failings is not being anti anything. However, the author may be one-sided (only pointing out Catholic errors), or making conclusions about the religion being good or bad based on the behavior of a few missionaries.

You’d have to read to the book to find out.

Thanks for the responses so far. I do understand that pointing out wrongdoing with some people within the Church isn’t immoral. Tim Staples does a great short talk about corruption in past times of the Church here:
[](“ popes”)

But for the topic I am reading about in school, Catholic Answers defends the Church from these things here:

And that Papal Encyclical I posted earlier also helped a lot

Ok so you’re reading something which is somewhat critical of Christian missionaries to the Native Americans I take it. Academically there is nothing wrong with being taught that. Catholic Answers may try and defend what was done but that’s not the only valid opinion on the matter. Fact is while it was a good thing from a Catholic perspective, it was not always so from the Native American’s POV, no from an objective POV. There were many abuses by the missionaries and their compatriots of the Native populations. And pointing those out is not “anti-Catholic”, it’s simply the darker side of the missionary activity in the Americas. It was not always a good or helpful endeavor for those being converted. Sometimes it was downright evil and barbaric.

I think you can you the CA rebuttal information you found. Just cite it in your opinion. I think you will earn a few divine points for standing up for your faith. :slight_smile:

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit