Wednesday, May 18, 2022

The Champions of Tolerance Go Medieval on a Louisville School

Over the last two or three days, the Tolerance Police have surrounded Christian Academy of Louisville, demanding that they give up their religious beliefs and come out peacefully.

The latest development in this tolerance-induced hostage crisis was a news story in today's Louisville Courier-Journal (in which I am quoted) that quotes several people who charge that a Christian school is engaged in teaching its religious beliefs to its students.

This is apparently a problem for a few people who have, it seems, only recently discovered that religious organizations actually teach the beliefs of their religion to their children.
This outrage has attracted the condemnation of a number of people only some of whom have even the most tenuous relationship to the school. In an opinion column today, another person who has no children at the school and is not related to it in any other apparent way weighed in on the crisis.

"Indoctrination and critical thinking can’t coexist," says Willie Carver, "since indoctrination is, by definition, 'the act or process of forcing somebody to accept a particular belief or set of beliefs and not allowing them to consider any others.' There is no room for criticism, for objection, for individuality of thought with indoctrination."

I don't know what dictionary Mr. Carver is using, but he needs a better one. Perhaps he should try Mirriam Webster, which defines indoctrination this way: "to imbue with a usually partisan or sectarian opinion, point of view, or principle."

In other words, indoctrination is the teaching of a doctrine. Now Mr. Carver may be ignorant of this, but the job of religious schools is to do precisely this. They are sectarian by definition. They have their own religious point of view, and they teach it to their students.

Is this indoctrination? Of course it's indoctrination. Religions have doctrines and they teach them. They also (and Mr. Carver might need some smelling salts near at hand before he reads this) have dogmas, which are authoritative doctrines. They do this on a daily basis and have done it from time immemorial.

Mr. Carver is apparently unaware that indoctrination is actually what religions do. They have them and they teach them to their adherents. That's what religions are for.

Someone in one of the stories charged that the religious conservatives who are now indoctrinating students are the very same people who have charged public schools with indoctrination, and implied that this is somehow inconsistent.

Is it? While the whole point of religious schools is to indoctrinate (precisely because they're religious), public schools are not supposed to be religious, and therefore they should be indoctrinating--not, at least, unless they want to admit that they have doctrines that should be, as Christian doctrines have for over 2,000 years, carefully examined.

And by the way, to say that indoctrination and critical thinking "can't coexist" is quite frankly boneheaded. Doctrines are themselves the product of long and serious philosophical consideration. Go read Augustine. Go read Aquinas.

Christians have views on sexuality (and other areas) that are constantly being discussed, inside and outside of the Christian community itself. They're put to the test of evidence and reason. But one of the chief characteristics of the sexual views of Woke religion is precisely its dogmatism, a virulent kind of dogmatism. The assignment at CAL emphasized the importance of charity in advocating Christian sexual ethics. You will be hard pressed to find that sentiment emphasized among the Woke scolds who seem to think that anyone who disagrees with them is not only wrong, but evil.

It's interesting to watch what happens when the champions of tolerance are confronted with disagreement. All of a sudden, their tolerance evaporates and they begin lecturing you on the evils of not agreeing with them.

It kind of defeats the purpose of being tolerant, doesn't it?