Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Science Victory: Supreme Court Rules Against Christian School

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.


  1. i dont believe in creationism, so whatever. i just love how you put every religious person in the same boat. that we are somehow less human then the likes of you. and you accuse us of being ignorant. man, this is almost as painful to read as the westboro baptist church's site. and i hope you can at least understand that we are all not the same gay hating, creationist BS your feeding everyone. not that it matters, any atheist reader will believe you with blind faith, while any religious person who knows there faith will know whats incorrect. any blog about creationism being stopped in the public i can get on board with, but naturally you have to turn it into an attack on religion as a whole. i would say i will pray for you, but atheist always take that as in insult.

  2. Isaac -- where in my post do you see anything grouping "all religious people into the same boat." I was very clear that I was criticizing a specific group of Christian churches that were trying to dilute the entrance requirements of the University of California. My comments about ignorance and intolerance were directed at anyone who is ignorant or intolerant. I suspect from the way you write that you object to ignorance and intolerance too.

    I'm sorry if you feel I've grouped you in with the people I was criticizing. You read something into my blog that wasn't there.

    Many of my friends and family members are religious. But they're liberal and tolerant, and they don't try to force their beliefs on others. If you share these traits, then I hope you'll see that I don't group you in with all religious people. The word "Christian" encompasses a huge variety of people. Whenever I write, I'm careful to be specific about exactly which Christians (or Jews, Muslims or anything else) I'm criticizing.

  3. ok, i guess when i read this it seemed implied. but i guess that its just me. and im just curious because i never got an answer to this before. if i say to an atheist "i will pray for you" does that come off as to insulting?

  4. Isaac -- Think of it this way. How would you feel if you found the Mormon church had baptized you into their faith? Or if a witch had cast a favorable spell to help you? Or if a witch doctor had done a magic dance and thrown some herbs in the fire to bring you good luck?

    You'd feel kind of embarrassed. On the one hand, these people are trying to be nice. On the other hand, it's sort of silly. You know that these incantations and spells are worthless.

    That's how an atheist feels about Christian prayers. It's kind of embarrassing. I can't see any difference between your prayers and the various spells and incantations of witch doctors, witches and the various other superstitions. From my point of view it's just a waste of time.

    It also shows a disrespect for my position. You're essentially saying, "I know you don't believe, but you are mistaken, so I have to do it for you."


Dear readers -- I am no longer blogging and after leaving these blogs open for two years have finally stopped accepting comments due to spammers. Thanks for your interest. If you'd like to write to me, click on the "Contact" link at the top. Thanks! -- CJ.

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.