Friday, January 12, 2007


Loyola Americans

There is this report from the bowels of something called WDC Media, a Christian media firm with a motto of "PR with a higher purpose," reporting the wisdom, such as it is, of Bill Wilson, from whatever the Daily Jot News And Commentary might be. Complaining about the recent decision by the Howell Michigan Public School Board of Education not to approve an elective class on the Bible as literature, Mr. Wilson states:

When secular humanists, agnostics, nontheists, and atheists reject God and yet claim to be moral and ethical, they are first lying to themselves. If they reject the origin of truth, morality and ethics, their version of truth and morality can only be a subjective counterfeit. Trouble is, this brand of moral relativism is being taught wholesale throughout the country. And the atheists are organizing to get more of it. Proverbs 22:6 says, "Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it." All the more reason the Bible should be used as a textbook in every school.
Never mind that the proponent of the class said it wasn't intended to teach truth and morality:

Tim Thatcher, a parent who first proposed the Bible curriculum in December, said the stories in the Bible could inspire students. He recounted part of the biblical story of Joseph as an example, and said that the class does not promote any particular doctrine or religious outlook.
Mr. Wilson seems to think that the proponents of this class are lying to themselves ... or someone, at least.

But whose truth and morality is it that we should teach in the public schools? It seems that the plurality religion of Michigan is Catholicism. I'm sure that, if the school district asked nicely, the Vatican would be happy to send out a few dozen Jesuits to "train up" all the children of Howell at public expense.
Mr. Wilson should be pleased.

My gosh! You can't get a Bible class into a school in *Howell*!! IIRC, Howell is the national home for the John Birch Society. Maybe they are real Conservatives and the last thing they want is some new govmint program taking over some task better served by a free-market economy.

Ferrous Patella
I've often wondered why people who won't trust government bureaucrats to take care of old people or provide medical treatment or teach kids about birth control would want those same people teaching children religion.

Seems like the surest way to turn 'em atheist. (Sorta like what happened in the U.K.)
If this is the wisdom brought by The Enlightenment I'm glad I'm done with it. Why are you considering Christians of whatever denomination your enemies? I come from a liberal family, but I've been taught to respect a person's faith (unspecified) and that the Bible, certainly the New Testament, contains only positive things. I'm sorry, but this war on religion is a huge mistake and will bring no one any good.
Athens, Greece
I'm very sorry to hear that you have abandoned the committment to reason that has been such a part of Christian thought since Augustine and before.

And why do you think I consider Christians my enemies? I know it is a cliche, but it is true nonetheless, that my best friend is a Presbyterian minister. He too would be upset at the idea that someone would use his tax money to teach religion in public schools, even if it happened to be Presbyterianism. He understands that next week or in the next town it might be Catholicism or Buddhism or some Jim Jones cult. Our separation of church and state was intended to protect religion, not secularism, and it may well be that this separation is the reason the U.S. is far more religious than the rest of the developed nations.

I was not making fun of Mr. Wilson (well, not much) or his religion. I was making fun of his arguments ... which fully deserved it.
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