Taxpayers Fund Creationist Textbooks for Religious Schools in New Jersey

By David G. McAfee

As public schools in New Jersey are struggling for funding, the state’s citizens are footing the bill for Creationist “textbooks” used in private religious institutions.

State funds were used to buy dozens of copies of a “textbook” with a clear bias in favor of religion, according to the Asbury Park Press.

Books for religious teaching are not supposed to be purchased with state grant money, but one of the private school texts, titled “Fundamentals of Life Science,” promotes a “greater appreciation of the greatness of Hashem and His magnificent creations,” according to the book’s cover posted on Amazon.com. Hashem, a transliteration of Hebrew, is a word used in place of God.

About 60 copies of the 198-page book written by Rabbi Yaakov Lubin were purchased last year through the state grant program.

The Press asked the New Jersey Department of Education, which administers the textbook grant program, about foreign language texts and the books with religious themes — and whether they were allowed under state rules. In response, a department spokesman said state staff were reviewing how textbook grant funds were spent in Lakewood.

“I can tell you that we are looking into it,” education department spokesman Michael Yaple said, adding he could not provide further information about the review.

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