Thursday, August 04, 2005

Okay, Folks, Let's Just Calm Down...

It's a funky backward universe we live in when the right to access pornography is supported by public institutions as a first amendment issue, but the teaching of the Bible is treated as sanctionable.

Folks, learning arises from culture as does art. For best or for worse, Christianity is the religion of the west. Therefore, if you are trying to teach students about a culture that is based and grows from the Christian soil in which it was planted, and if said students are effectively pagans because the family is no longer the locus of Christian formation, then a teacher can never effectively communicate the content of the vast majority of Western Culture, Science, Literature, and History.

Take, for example, T.S. Eliot's brilliant poem The Waste Land. Do you know why most people miss what is happening in this poem? They miss the point because they don't know Dante. In not knowing Dante, they don't know Christian eschatology. So, if you want your students to actually, I don't know, appreciate what this poem (and many others) are getting at, you are going to have to walk them through some basic Christian theology.

I will add this one caveat. The Bible popped out of context with the Church is problematic. I am concerned that the Bible is not being fleshed out in the fullest way possible, but that is easily correctable. It is far easier to correct an absence of context than to try to teach as though that absence of context didn't exist and didn't matter.

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