Here's some great news – a victory for education! The United States Supreme Court ruled against an association of Christian schools that were trying to force the University of California to dilute its entrance requirements to accommodate creationist views and historical revisionism.
The University of California didn't think that creationism is science. Imagine that. UC also rejected the Christian "literature" program, which was apparently designed to shield the students from anything that might cause them to think. And I'm guessing that their "history" program was equally biased by the typical evangelical "Christian nation" theory.
The Ignorance-Is-Bliss meme, something I wrote about extensively in The Religion Virus, is one of the most dangerous memes of all. It's the idea that knowledge is dangerous, that the Bible is the source of all truth, and that by shielding yourself from learning you'll avoid temptation and sin. When combined with the Anti-Rationalism meme ("Faith, not reason, is the source of truth"), we end up with a society where rational thought is despised and knee-jerk obedience and ignorance are praised.
Many argue that other Christian memes such as the Monotheism meme ("Your god is fiction") and the Intolerance meme ("It's OK to kill nonbelievers") are the most dangerous. I disagree.
It's certainly true that the Monotheism and Intolerance memes are directly responsible for a lot of the wars and terrorist acts that we see in the world today. But the Ignorance-is-Bliss and Anti-Rationalism memes are much more insidious and dangerous because they attack the very thing that makes us humans: our minds. These memes evolved as a way to shield religion from criticism, to maintain the status quo, and to halt progress. Education and critical thinking skills are the enemy of religion, and religion has evolved these memes to fight back.
Education and progress are the key to our future. We have to be sure that our universities aren't crippled by the religious right. By educating our youth, teaching them critical thinking, and exposing them to all of the wonderful diversity that the world has to offer, we can keep a glimmer of hope alive that we'll get out of this mess without destroying ourselves.
So score one small victory for common sense and for the future of California, and for these wonderful United States. The kids who graduate from my alma mater will actually have to be educated! They'll have to learn critical thinking skills. And if Christians schools want their students to be qualified for UC, they'll have to actually educate them.
My hat is off to the University of California for pursuing this case, and to the justices of the Supreme Court who saw through the religious agenda of the Christian right and upheld our Constitution.