A mother takes her kids to the Creation Museum, a museum based solely on the Bible. There are animatronic dinosaurs drinking water from a creek, and next to the dinosaur is a little girl. Yes, I’m serious. Apparently, it’s posited by these folks that if you believe in this scenario, it will put an end to school violence.
Over the weekend, I watched What’s the Matter with Kansas. The documentary looks at the history of Kansas, from its socialist newspaper and populist politics all the way up to Operation Rescue and fundamentalist Christianity. The mother and the kids were in the documentary, learning about how people walked with dinosaurs.
Working with the Creation Museum at the time of the making of What’s the Matter with Kansas was a PhD in astrophysics named Jason Lisle. Jason received his degree from a secular university, but never really believed in the science of, well, science. He came back to Kansas and began working at the Creation Museum so he could teach people about the true origin of the universe.
Dr. Lisle has an interesting theory about teaching children evolution — it leads to school violence. Now this is something I had never heard before, and I wanted to learn more. I agree that as a society, we are devolving, if you will, back to our more violent nature, but I was pretty sure Dr. Lisle was not musing about actual evolution, since he doesn’t believe in it.
I went on an information hunt, and I lucked into Answers in Genesis.org. I thought about how best to translate religious psycho babble into rational English, and I came up with “copy+paste=less headache for me”. I read the whole article on how teaching evolution creates murderous sociopaths, but I won’t make you do that. Here are a few snippets:
Now, don’t get me wrong. Evolution is NOT the cause of school violence. Sin is of course the root cause. But there is a connection between evolution and school violence. It’s not that “Johnny” wakes up one morning and thinks “Oh-I’m the result of evolution. There’s no God. Everything has evolved by natural causes. Death, bloodshed, violence, and suffering brought me into existence. The struggle for life continues on. Right and wrong is whatever I want to make it if I can get away with it. I think I’ll go and shoot someone today.” No-it doesn’t happen like this. What has occurred is more subtle-much more insidious.
As generation after generation of school students are taken through an education system that today is largely devoid of the knowledge of God, there are consequences that follow.
The more our culture has been told that “science” has shown that the historical basis of the Gospel, the opening chapters of the Bible, are not to be trusted, consequences follow. We have seen the government largely throw out creation, prayer, and Bible readings from public schools. In recent times, students have seen many courts dictate that the Ten Commandments also be thrown out. At the same time, generations of students are being indoctrinated daily to believe that everything in the universe arose by natural processes-nothing supernatural was involved. They are led to believe they are animals in this struggle for survival involving millions of years of death, suffering, and violence.
Okay-got it? Being a secular society and nation, as our Founding Fathers intended, has murdered little Johnny’s soul. Wait! There’s more:
As these new generations of young people are trained in a culture that has lost much of its Christian heritage, and most of the Christian worldview has been removed from the education system-Johnny has no basis but his own instincts, sinful as they are, to determine what he should do in life. With such a meaningless and purposeless outlook on life-no wonder Johnny, given certain background inclinations and pressures, sometimes sees nothing wrong in deciding to shoot his fellow students.
Any child not raised as a Bible thumping, evangelical Christian who believes people rode dinosaurs to work will end up killing people. But, the author writes about certain background inclinations and pressures. I wonder what those could be? I’ve written about religious zealots in the past and I listen to the current crop of Tea…err…Republican candidates, and I bet I can throw out a few “background inclinations” — homosexuality, poverty, liberalism. Easy.
We are raising a young adult who is kind, honest, smart, funny, empathetic and does not cling to hate or violence. He is not a bully, he looks out for his friends and he is an extraordinary young man. Oh. We don’t attend church, we don’t read the Bible religiously (HA!) and we don’t teach him that science is stupid and a big white haired man who lives in the sky created everything in 6 days, then took Saturday off. We’re teaching him to be a good person, and you don’t need the Bible to do that. You need a conscience, a moral compass and common sense. And given the “background inclinations” of quite a few evangelical Christians, I’d say we’re doing a better job than THEIR parents did.
Let’s close with this:
When people say that students need to be taught right and wrong, what they really mean is that these students need to be taught Christian morality. But Christian morality is based on the Christian worldview. And the Christian worldview is based on the Bible being true. The Bible’s truths concerning morality and salvation are dependent on Genesis being literal history. Uh oh! Hasn’t science proved Genesis to be a myth? Doesn’t evolution disprove Genesis? And if the history in Genesis is not true, then there is no basis for any Christian doctrine-no basis for morality-no basis for right and wrong! So much for trying to stop school violence!
I refuse to teach my son what evangelicals call “Christian Morality”. Their version seems drenched in hate and bigotry, ignorance and violence. I have no idea what New Testament they’re reading, but it sure as hell does not resemble anything I’ve ever read.
Want to end school violence? Change the laws that affect certain types of bullying. Make bullying based on bias a hate crime, just as it is in the adult world. Create safe places in schools where kids can go who are either feeling threatened or are doing the threatening. And parents? Yeah YOU. Stop telling your kids the best way to deal with a bully is to beat the crap out of him. Check your kid’s room, look under his or her bed. Talk to them. If your son has 14 semi automatic weapons stockpiled in his closet, it’s not a phase. He’s in desperate trouble. If your son or daughter is giving things away and spending a lot of time shut up in their room, it’s not a phase. Your child is in desperate trouble.
You don’t need to be an evangelical Christian to raise a good kid. In fact, I would bet that it helps not to be.