• Foundations of Truth

Erasing History Erases the Present

Updated: Mar 26




In yet another example of the shocking levels of censorship that have been implemented across the education system, the Virginia school system has decided that it will no longer celebrate the birthday of children’s author Dr. Seuss on March 2nd. [1] Dr. Seuss’s birthday may be better known to parents as Read Across America Day and has been synonymous with the push to increase nationwide literacy. [2]


Dr. Seuss is being pulled from the curriculum at Virginia schools because the sketches in his children’s books (which typically depicted nonhuman characters of an indeterminate race) were accused of being implicitly racist. The leftist group, Learning for Justice, led the charge to have Dr. Seuss removed from the curriculum, citing a study that alleged his work was rife with “orientalism, anti-blackness, and white supremacy.” [3]


The same attitude was displayed when Stanford University literally cancelled the performance of the musical “Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson!” due to concerns that it made Native American characters a backdrop for telling the story of an American president who butchered them. [4]


The trend toward attempting to erase “sinful” figures from history is a dangerous one. Even “problematic” figures provide context and it is crucial to understand them as human beings, not just as grotesque monsters.


As Christians, we know that the Old Testament emphasizes the depravity of mankind in great detail and in the New Testament see the fulfillment of God’s promise to send a savior.


In Romans 6:14, Christians are reminded that “sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace.” The law to which the author of Romans referred was the Torah contained in the Old Testament. Christians are taught that, under the New Testament, there is a new paradigm, a new era dawning! We are reminded of this in 2 Corinthians 5:17, which says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!”


In spite of the focus New Testament writers place on the new message of Jesus Christ’s death and our salvation, they do not tell Christians to erase the Old Testament from their memory. Of course, they don’t! To do that would remove a critical source of information for understanding the Gospel!


Dr. Jason S. DeRouchie cites Paul’s statement in Romans 15:4, which says, “For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope.” In DeRouchie’s words, “the [Old Testament], while not written to Christians, was still written for us.” [5]


If we apply these same principles to the authors, literature, and stories from American history, we can see that knowing about these figures of history provides a deeper understanding of how we got to where we are today. One cannot truly appreciate the value of freedom and equality before the law without recognizing that a world existed where those things were neither prized nor protected.


We should not teach our children, either in grade school or college, that they need to run from the past. Although the allegations against Dr. Seuss are shaky at best, even if they are presumed to be true, there is still value in recognizing Dr. Seuss’s role in American literature and confronting his “problematic-ness” head-on.


Without the Old Testament, the New Testament does not make sense. Without our history, we cannot make sense of our present.


Foundations of Truth hereby waives all claim of copyright (economic and moral) in this work and immediately places it in the public domain; it may be used, published, edited, and distributed in any manner whatsoever without any attribution or notice to Foundations of Truth.


[1] Jason S. DeRouchie, “10 Reasons the Old Testament Is Important for Christians,” The Gospel Coalition (November 7, 2018), https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/old-testament-important/

[2] “National Read Across America Day (Dr. Seuss Day) – March 2,” National Day Calendar (n.d.), https://nationaldaycalendar.com/national-read-across-america-day-dr-seuss-day-march-2-unless-weekend/

[3] Houston Keene, “Virginia school system cancels Dr. Seuss, citing racial 'undertones' in writings: report,” FoxNews (February 26, 2021), https://www.foxnews.com/us/loudoun-county-public-schools-dr-seuss-racial-undertones

[4] Katie Ishizuka and Ramón Stephens, “The Cat is Out of the Bag: Orientalism, Anti-Blackness, and White Supremacy in Dr. Seuss's Children's Books,” St. Catherine University (2019), https://sophia.stkate.edu/rdyl/vol1/iss2/4/

[5] Katie Zingheim, “‘Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson’ canceled after concerns by Native American community,” Stanford Daily (November 21, 2014), https://www.stanforddaily.com/2014/11/21/bloody-bloody-andrew-jackson-canceled-over-concerns-by-native-community/

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Foundations of Truth hereby waive all claim of copyright (economic and moral) in this work and immediately places it in the public domain; it may be used, published, edited, and distributed in any manner whatsoever without any attribution or notice to Foundations of Truth.