Public and Religious Education: L’État, C’est Tout

The second response is more sinister. My student at Providence College was old enough to make up his own mind about religious faith. But the boys at San Miguel are still impressionable children. In other words, a convert here or there at Providence College won’t matter much, but if schools like San Miguel should proliferate, we’d have a problem. But what problem, exactly? Here we see revealed an animus against religious faith. It is all right, in the public schools, to try to form the minds of young people, giving them moral lessons in whatever happens to be the crusade of the day, while bullets fly and drugs are downed and eyes glass over with pornographic images. But it is not all right to spend a dime for San Miguel, if a tenth of a penny will be devoted to reading Scripture.

This animus is irrational. It wasn’t Scripture that fertilized the fields of the Ukraine with the corpses of millions of peasants. Those weren’t Mennonites under Mao who murdered fifty million of their countrymen and called it a Cultural Revolution. Hitler wasn’t obeying the Ten Commandments or the Beatitudes, much less the exhortations of an Italian prelate, when he sent six million Jews to their deaths in the concentration camps, and millions of others with them. We did not fight in Korea or Vietnam over the presence of Christ in the Eucharist. Kaiser Wilhelm did not unleash his bitter and utterly pointless war so that Ein Feste Burg would be sung in Notre Dame de Paris. The tremendous evils of our time have not been watered at Jacob’s well. Islam is the outlier—but the animus has long preceded the emergence of Islam as a threat to the modern west.

via Public and Religious Education: L’État, C’est Tout | Public Discourse.


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