Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Highbrow or Lowbrow, stupid is as stupid does

I was all set to emote about a UK opinion piece, which advocates establishing a state agency to monitor religious teaching of children:

"The proposal that I would like to make thus falls far short of this. I believe a public commission should be established that issues non-legally binding guidelines on the forms of doctrines that it is desirable that children are taught. The preaching of hellfire or of divine faith healings to children could form part of such guidelines. Non-compliers could be 'named and shamed' by such a commission."

(h/t Bably Blue)

His premise is that children retain stuff they hear from adults. Certain things they might hear, he's decided, need to be monitored.

But why stop with "religious doctrines"? How about fairy tales - plenty of feminist writers have pointed out damaging ideas that young girls take in via those. Or violent moral tales like "The Little Boy Who Cried Wolf"? Certainly must cause it's share of neuroses, what with people growing up expecting to be eaten alive for excessive fibbing.

But then Fr. Ryan Hall of Brookings, that troubler of the internet, posted a Facebook note linking to a revolting "Christian" tract. It basically argues that the Communion wafer used in many (cough*Roman Catholic*cough) churches is full of Satanic power to deceive people away from "true" (cough*cracker*cough) Christianity.

My favorite error (cough*lie*cough) in the tract is the assertion that the letters "IHS," commonly appearing in the texture of Communion wafers, are the initials of Egyptian deities Isis, Horus and Seth (Ra got jobbed).

IHS are, in fact, the consonants for the name of Jesus in Latin. So the tract, claiming to contend for the ever elusive "true Christianity," blunders into blasphemy.

You can write opinion for a veddy British periodical, rant on a blog or hand out cheesy tracts - there's always abundant opportunity to circulate stupid ideas.

Which of course means we all - me included - need a big dose of humility as we navigate life's big questions and provisional answers.


Lisa Biggs Crum said...

You mean, we're all human? lol I shared your link and posted comments about the British columnist on my FB wall. I found it interesting that the journalist commented on the average age of "conversion" as if every human being is born with all the knowledge they need and as long as some religious freak doesn't come along and mess it up there is no reason to question their "un-converted" beliefs. Where does he think his beliefs came from? My motto: question everything including what I think I know to be true. Joe Boyd in "Between Two Kingdoms" expanded my motto and I still need to work on the second part: "question everything, argue nothing."

The Archer of the Forest said...

Troubler of the Internet...I like that.