Monday, September 03, 2007

The Best Laid Plans of Mice and Men....

The secularists in America have been trying to rid poor Americans of a "mind virus" known as "the God delusion" for quite some time now. The adults have already been infected; not much help for them. But the youth(!), yes, the youth can be saved. The plan was to "get religion - especially that nasty one called Christianity - out of the classrooms." Yes, that ought to do it.

[decades later....]

Religion is still around. America is an embarrassment to the secularist's cause. Look at all those other proper and civilized and scientific countries - like England, Spain, and many other European bastions of rationality. What are we doing wrong! Chaps like Dawkins and Hitchens laugh at us.

Perhaps Stephen Prothero (chair of the religious department at Boston University) knows? He begins his book, Religious Literacy: What Every American Needs to Know - And Doesn't, this way:

"A few years ago I was standing around the photocopier in Boston University's Department of Religion when a visiting professor from Austria offered a passing observation about American Undergraduates. They are very religious, he told me, but they know next to nothing about religion. Thanks to compulsory religious education (which in Austria begins in elementary schools), European students can name the twelve apostles and the Seven Deadly Sins, but they wouldn't be caught dead going to church or synagogue themselves. American students are just the opposite." (Prothero, Religious Literacy, 2007, p.1)

And so lo and behold the diabolical plans of the secular humanist has backfired. It appears that his goal to root out religion in America, by first removing it from the public institutions were the young and impressionable attend, has had the opposite effect. And so we can thank, in an ironic twist, the secular humanist, the atheist, and the anti-religionist for the failure to demolish the meme known as "The God Delusion" from the minds of the impressionable. It may well turn out, then, that the anti-God squad has actually been one of the main causes for continued belief in God. As they say, the best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry.

But there's a catch 22. The secularist also doesn't want the children to think. If reasoning about religion is allowed, then the enemy gets to fight too (in fact, some has observed that this is where the enemy is at home. Like a fish in water so goes a Christian apologist or philosopher in the reason-giving game). This was, of course, pointed out to young Wormwood. Says Screwtape,

By the very act of arguing, you awaken the patients reason; and once it is awake, who can foresee the result? Even if a particular train of thought can be twisted so as to end in our favour, you will find that you have been strengthening in your patient the fatal habit of attending to universal issues and withdrawing his attention from the stream of immediate sense experiences. Your business is to fix his attention on the stream. Teach him to call it "real life" and don't let him ask what he means by "real." (C.S. Lewis, the Screwtape Letters, 1961, p.8)

Not only have the secularists undermined their own mission by their own plan, they pay us a back-handed compliment by not wanting religious doctrine, history, or answers to ultimate questions, taught in public school. So, what's next on the agenda? Just how will they end religious belief? Send us all away perhaps?