Dinesh D Souza, The Greatness of Christianity: Table of Contents

Cf. Dinesh D’souza, What’s So Great About Christianity, at Amazon

“Isn’t it always a form of child abuse to label children as possessors of beliefs that they are too young to have thought about?” —Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion

IT SEEMS THAT ATHEISTS are not content with committing cultural suicide—they want to take your children with them. The atheist strategy can be described in this way: let the religious people breed them, and we will educate them to despise their parents’ beliefs. So the secularization of the minds of our young people is not, as many think, the inevitable consequence of learning and maturing. Rather, it is to a large degree orchestrated by teachers and professors to promote anti- religious agendas.

Consider a timely example of how this works. In recent years some parents and school boards have asked that public schools teach alternatives to Darwinian evolution. These efforts sparked a powerful outcry from the scientific and non-believing community. Defenders of evolution accuse the offending parents and school boards of retarding the acquisition of scientific knowledge in the name of religion. The Economist editorialized that “Darwinism has enemies mostly because it is not compatible with a literal interpretation of the book of Genesis.” This may be so, but doesn’t Darwinism have friends and supporters mostly for the same reason? Consider the alternative: the Darwinists are merely standing up for science. But surveys show that the vast majority of young people in America today are scientifically illiterate, widely ignorant of all aspects of science.3 How many high school graduates could tell you the meaning of Einstein’s famous equation? Lots of young people don’t have a clue about photosynthesis or Boyle’s Law. So why isn’t there a political movement to fight for the teaching of photosynthesis? Why isn’t the ACLU filing lawsuits on behalf of Boyle’s Law?

The answer is clear. For the defenders of Darwinism, no less than for its critics, religion is the issue. Just as some people oppose the theory of evolution because they believe it to be anti-religious, many others support it for the very same reason. This is why we have Darwinism but not Keplerism; we encounter Darwinists but no one describes himself as an Einsteinian. Darwinism has become an ideology.

The well-organized movement to promote Darwinism and exclude alternatives is part of a larger educational project in today’s public schools. I’ll let the champions of this projectdescribe it in their own words. “Faith is one of the world’s great evils, comparable to the smallpox virus but harder to eradicate,” writes Richard Dawkins. “Religion is capable of driving people to such dangerous folly that faith seems to me to qualify as a kind of mental illness.” While Dawkins recognizes that many people believe that God is speaking to them or that He answers prayers, he points out that “many inhabitants of lunatic asylums have an unshakeable inner faith that they are Napoleon… but this is no reason for the rest of us to believe them.”

Columnist Christopher Hitchens, an ardent Darwinist, writes, “How can we ever know how many children had their psychological and physical lives irreparably maimed by the compulsory inculcation of faith?” Religion, he charges, has “always hoped to practice upon the unformed and undefended minds of the young.” He wistfully concludes, “If religious instruction were not allowed until the child had attained the age of reason, we would be living in a quite different world.”