Alan Elsner of the San Diego Union-Tribune misses at least one culture-warring beat in his report on The Bible and Its Influence: a new, 387-page glossy edition of the King James Old and New Testaments that aims to reestablish the Bible as an academic text for public schools, to be used in a “nonsectarian, nonreligious way as a central document of Western civilization with a vast influence on its literature, art, culture and politics.” We’ve no quarrel there — like it or not, the Bible is foundational for understanding much of Western culture — but Elsner fails to follow through on both the controversies he touches on — whether the book is fundamentally Protestant, or glosses over some of the ugly bits of the history of religion — and the people he introduces, such as book co-author Chuck Stetson, a New York investment banker who bankrolled the new textbook, as he has other Bible study projects. More importantly though, is Elsner’s misidentification of one of the project’s most vocal advocates, Charles Hayes of the Freedom Forum’s First Amendment Center — an organization that should touch off alarm bells for anyone who has been following the rallying cries of conservative Christianity, from the Christmas wars to the accreditation of Christian courses at state universities, but which Elsner credulously takes at face value as “a nonpartisan foundation that monitors free speech.” More accurately, the First Amendment Center “monitors” (read, publicizes) local issues that can be used to further the impression of a war on Christianity, and of their own position as a neutral middle-man in the debate. Their positioning themselves in this debate should make any alert reporter take a second look at the issue at hand.