WALSH: An Education Without The Bible Is Not A Real Education

NPR published an article about the Pope this past weekend. This is how the article described Christianity’s highest holiday: "Easter — the day celebrating the idea that Jesus did not die and go to hell or purgatory or anywhere at all, but rather arose into heaven — is on Sunday."

Remember, that sentence had to not only be written but then approved by at least one editor. So we know that there are at least two people at one of the country’s most "reputable" news outlets who do not know what happened on Easter.

Meanwhile, Chuck Todd, another highly-educated and respected journalist, tweeted this on Good Friday:

"I'm a bit hokey when it comes to 'Good Friday.' I don’t mean disrespect to the religious aspect of the day, but I love the idea of reminding folks that any day can become 'good,' all it takes is a little selflessness on our own part. Works EVERY time."

Hokey is not the term I would use here, Chuck. I think "fantastically ill-informed" may come closer to the mark. It seems exceedingly clear that Chuck Todd does not know why Christians call Good Friday "good." That makes two mainstream reporters who, somehow, have made it through their whole lives and their whole careers without ever even passively absorbing enough information about the world's largest religion to pass a children's Sunday school exam.

You don't need to be a Christian to know these things. If you want to be a well-rounded, educated person, you must possess at least a rudimentary grasp of the force that has moved the world for 2,000 years. A literate person, whether or not he believes in the faith’s teachings or accepts Christ as his savior, still desires to understand the thing that formed his own civilization.

This is why they used to teach the Bible in school. How could they not teach it? It is the most influential piece of literature ever written, bar none. It is the foundational text of Christianity, and it includes the foundational text of another great world religion, Judaism. Even Islam, the second largest religion in the world, incorporates the Bible. Excluding the Bible from education is like excluding Mount Everest from a study of geological formations.

After all, how can a child come to understand the works of Da Vinci and Michelangelo if he does not understand the images they depict and the faith that inspired them?

How can he fathom our country’s most important social reforms if he does not fathom the religion that inspired men like Reverend Martin Luther King to fight for those reforms?

How can he understand the formation of the United States if he does not understand the theory of divinely endowed human rights that was the very purpose of its formation?

How can he appreciate the achievements of men like Copernicus and Galileo if he does not appreciate the devout faith that moved them to reach for the stars?

How can he understand explorers and conquerors like Columbus, Magellan, Cortes, and Armstrong if he does not understand the religious convictions that motivated them?

How can he comprehend anything at all about the works of Shakespeare, Dostoevsky, Tolkien, Dickens, Faulkner, Tolstoy, Chesterton, Lewis, etc., if he does not comprehend the Biblical themes that animate their writings? How can he interpret "Crime and Punishment" or "The Chronicles of Narnia" or "The Lord of the Rings" or "Hamlet" or "Anna Karenina" if he cannot recognize the religious allusions and allegories and concepts that drip from every page of those great works?

He simply cannot, on all counts.

An education that ignores the Bible is an education that skims the surface of our civilization’s history, merely glances at most of its greatest art, bypasses its greatest literature, and ignores the ideas and philosophies that lie at the foundation of it all. But our PC society has decided that it’s too triggering for little atheist children to be exposed to the writing that shaped the world, so they throw the Bible aside and read Hunger Games instead, and our kids end up dumber because of it. Many children receive a laughably shallow education because it is an education concerned with creating atheists. As CS Lewis said, an atheist can never be too careful in his reading. And that is a very bad way to educate someone.


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