Friday, June 10, 2005

Religion, Intellectuals and Border Security

The Christian Progressive

The Christian Progressive 2

Christian Progressives 3: The Jacksonville Declaration

A little Creationism in the Classroom:

Boy, would it be too much for us to act like really real grown ups, and get some English, Science, Religion and History teachers together for a class somewhere in High School called Creation Mythologies? You could teach the whole history of where the world comes from as believed by different societies (Norse, Greek, Roman, Japanese, Judeo-Christian-Islam, Native American et al), demonstrate the very literary elements of all of them, a little history about the societies and when they were, and then touch on the enlightenment, why Darwinism and Evolution came about and why about 99% of science believes this to be true today. That way, we can compare and contrast all of them and demonstrate the why of thinking rather than absolutism. Link

A little about why intellectuals (or those who think they are) might be seen in a less than favorable light. It just has something to do with the idea, one that I subscribe to, that a place is sacred for a reason and should thus remain true to that reason. This is in fact, exactly like putting up a museum of tolerance over the USS Arizona. Tolerance is a very good thing, but people don’t go visit the USS Arizona for that reason. A grave site is not a place to scold people. A grave is not a place for “I told you so’s.” It is not a neighborly thing to do to inject ideology and universalism in a place known for a specific reason. This rationale is something I find patronizing and counterproductive. The place for that kind of universalism is in a university.

And for a little fun,

And here’s a university that takes all the fun out of college. As a Southern Hellraiser I must protest on many levels, the first being that class can never, ever be codified. Also, a cultural intolerance to the likes of Skynrd, Elvis, the Black Crowes, Led Zepplin and Metallica is just unacceptable. I’m not even going to get into how offensive the acronym for Bob Jones University can be either. However, I do support their right to not have fun, if that is their choice. More fun for me!

And here's something I noticed. MSNBC is moving to blog format in their regular news articles. That is, linking specific in text words to their source websites through HTML code. I find that a very interesting development, as far as Main Stream Media (or MSM) is concerned. Because of this useful tool, I came across a very interesting website. The Minutemen of Southwestern fame. Kinda neat and scary at the same time. Enjoy!


patsbrother said...

I must register my dismay at your inclusion of the subject of evolution in your proposed Creation Mythologies class, as evolution is not a Creation Mythology. Creation Mythologies deal exclusively with the dawn of time (life); evolution deals exclusively with what came after, as it requires extant and replicating genetic material to mutate before it can occur.

Hence my biggest frustration on the subject: evolution, which is a contemporary, observable phenomenon with empirical support, does not preclude anyone's asinine belief in Adam and Eve: that honor falls to archaeology.

("I'm not going to tell you that Christianity is a myth, but that it could be, and is." - Kelly, Christian and public-school English teacher, to all three of her classes.)

("Dammit, Kevin, everyone knows Adam and Eve is just a parable." - Edward, Catholic, when pressed on the subject.)

Patrick Armstrong said...

Your dismay is noted, young grasshopper. I just have never understood why absolutists like yourself, whether religious or scientific, feel they have a monopoly on the truth. You weren't there, neither was anyone else: thus the debate.

All evolution or all creationism? As if the mere mention of the others' set of beliefs may shake your mind from the faith it holds.

Is it so bad that, when teaching a subject, one mentions the fact that there are folks out there that disagree? Why must we not examine belief systems that think evolution a fools game, and have those individuals of that belief system examine why so many consider evolution fact? Does that not solve the problem on all sides? Instead of cultivating a contempt for other ideas (and using words like "asinine" might surely fall into this category) might the examination of all sides of this contemporary coin in fact foster respect and understanding?

In the least, students who believe in the Creation will be versed in the tenets of different belief systems, as well as have a basic understanding of why 99% of science currently believes evolution to be the explaining factor of how we got here. Evolution absolutists like yourself, on the other hand, will be exposed to ideas different from your own concerning the fine arts of storytelling, faith and mythology; especially the idea that provable fact means little unless people take the words of fact makers on faith.

I think it was John Stuart Mill or Alexis De'Tocqueville who said that every idea must be constantly challenged for validity, otherwise we will never know if those ideas are good ones.

patsbrother said...

I must further register dismay that my brother, Patrick "fight, fight, fight the Republicans, even when they're right" Armstrong, could come up with such a needlessly faux-judicious compromise of a position, especially since it is just flat wrong. Finally, bed-wetting, rollover liberalism at its finest.

Once again: evolution is something we see at work around us today. A high school class can and perhaps should teach the evolutionary process without mention of the ever-dreaded hypothesis that man decended from apes.

Once again: evolution is not a Creation Story. It does not address the creation of life on earth or the origin of the universe, hence it is inapplicable to the subject matter of your proposed class.

"All evolution or all creationism? As if the mere mention of the others' set of beliefs may shake your mind from the faith it holds."

That's right, Yoda: your bid for inclusiveness and your eagerness to sound preternaturally wise and poetic have left you with little more than catchy aphorisms that hold little weight with me and, I suspect, anyone else.

"Why must we not examine belief systems that think evolution a fools game, and have those individuals of that belief system examine why so many consider evolution fact?"

Because, such a class would be little more than a waste of class time and nothing more than bureaucratic chafe. I for one cannot condone the academic disctraction that raids ancient cultures for superfluous mythologies in a thin-veiled attempt to appease one very vocal segment of the population that has somehow yet to recognize it already has the legal right to pray in schools.

Further, I respect individuals, not necessarily their beliefs. I reserve the right to hold as asinine the dogmatic adherence to anything that is obviously fictitious. I'm sorry if that appears mean in your worldview.