Editor's Update (February 2000): Since the original article was written in 1993, Etan Boritzer has since become a best selling author, with numerous reprints. In addition other related titles have been published, including: What is Love? and What is Death? A quick search of the web shows that many New Age organizations and Wiccans (witches) now directly promote this book. The same truths are still at stake, and this article remains unchanged. At the conclusion, we have added publisher contact information that has often been requested.
Moyers, who call themselves "The Teachers' Store" where "Kids Are Worth It!", is distributing an "educational" book entitled "What is God?" We thought you should know that this book doesn't just ask the question, it also answers it. Under the guise of pluralism, this illustrated book pretends to evaluate all the religious perspectives and answers to the question "What is God?" Opening statements include:
continuing a few lines later the reader is assured:
The next page speculates:
The following pages have the author taking you through a number of religious concepts of God, from Sun worship to the old man in the sky concept, before leading into a discussion on "religious teachers":
Continuing on the next page:
Following a few paragraphs discussing the formation of religions and the generational transmission of oral traditions, we are given a brief overview of some major religions:
After talking about the Buddhist religion, the book suggests that reading various "Holy Books" is a good way to begin to "understand God." Books recommended include (in equality): the Bible, Koran, Torah, Sutras, and the Vedas. Now that the different books have been discussed, we are told that it's people who "start fights" over religion:
Not surprisingly, the next page states that all these religions just teach moral goodness. Taking a big leap in thought, the book then speaks of praying as "a way to try to talk to God."
Shortly after this brush with New Age pantheism, this children's book goes for the big one. Sample the next progression:
Read it again. Logic like this could associate Hitler with Paul the Apostle -- yet the writer knows that children will buy this. Have you followed the overall picture so far. First there was pluralism (all religions are equal and ultimately the same), then pantheism (many Gods), and then Monism (all is God). Now in case any of the children missed the ultimate New Age implication of "everything is God", the bottom line is later spelled out clearly:
And now that the children have been assured that they are God, they are instructed in how to pray to themselves:
Since New Agers are generally more interested in feelings and experiences, you will have noticed much emphasis on these. A later paragraph continues on to tell the children how to "listen to your breath go slowly in and out," while praying (or should they say "New Age meditation"). Is this what we want our children to be reading and believing? Is this book in your school library, classroom, or teachers program? For the sake of our children, it's time we started to find out and speak out -- and remember to pray. We need more "soldiers of the cross" in this spiritual battle; where souls are at stake.
Excerpts from What Is God? by Etan Boritzer (c) 1990, 2nd reprint 1992, Canadian edition.
For those trying to contact the author, I would try going through the publisher. This was the contact information on the book that I have...
Firefly Books Ltd., 250 Sparks Avenue, Willowdale, ON, Canada M2H 2S4
Their release information about it...
Format: Paperback, 32pp.
A 2000 search on the web showed this address, it may be more up to date than the one above.
CONTACT ORDER DEPARTMENT
I expect that it was released by their American publisher as well, you might try...
Firefly Books Ltd
Regarding any school that would use this book: the very argument that many are using to keep Christianity out of the classroom ("you can't teach religion") should keep this book from it as well. Though under the guise of supposedly teaching about many different religions, this book IS teaching a specific religion: Pantheism!