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Friday, December 14, 2012

A Hard Thing To Bury

Does it take faith to believe that "Nature" is all that is, or was, or ever shall be? Does it take faith to believe morality is determined by human beings alone, with no regard for any higher moral order than ourselves? Does it take faith to believe all "truth" is equally "true," and all cultures are equally "good?" Does it rain in Seattle?

As mentioned last week, secularism is a faith. A powerful faith. And, as John Dewey argued, a religious faith. It is a faith with its own dogmas, held resolutely in the minds of everyday folk you walk past in the grocery store, who don't even know they are religious. Such as the dogma that one person’s concept of “truth” is just as valid as another person’s concept of “truth;” the dogma that says “tolerance” is the highest virtue a person can possess (tolerance of any view except an intolerant one, that is); and the dogma of radical whateverism which declares there is no such thing as “bad” culture, just “different” culture.  

As mentioned last week, Dewey's book, A Common Faith, written in 1934, ends with a call to action: "It remains to make it explicit and militant." Looking back over seventy-nine years since, and having lived in Seattle for sixty-three of them, it is clear to me that Dewey's task no longer "remains." 

You see, along the way, some people took Dewey seriously. Such as John J. Dunphy, who wrote in The Humanist magazine back in January, 1983: “The battle for humankind’s future must be waged and won in the public school classroom by teachers who correctly perceive their role as the proselytizers of a new faith…These teachers must embody the same selfless dedication as the most rabid fundamentalist preachers, for they will be ministers of another sort, utilizing a classroom instead of a pulpit to convey humanist values in whatever subject they teach, regardless of the educational level—preschool day care or large state university. The classroom must and will become an arena of conflict between the old and the new—the rotting corpse of Christianity, together with all its adjacent evils and misery, and the new faith of humanism.”  

Militant enough?

This hardly seems like Christmas season stuff. For welcomed relief, and a powerful reminder that the so-called "rotting corpse of Christianity" is a hard thing to bury, watch this inspiring clip: http://youtu.be/SXh7JR9oKVE.

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