In the same manner that you were once told, “You are what you eat,” you are what you experience.

I wonder of the degree to which each book I read alters me. A colleague recently mentioned a conversation he had had with a parent at his child’s Christian school. For a little bit of background, this school requires that the parents of applicants sign a document including a statement paraphrased below:

“I accept the Bible as the absolute and unerring Word of God.”

Apparently one of the children had been accepted with a full scholarship to one of the most prestigious universities in the country. The parent with whom my colleague was conversing was fearful of such places. She was afraid that her child would be literally “brainwashed” by the “liberals.”

While it’s easy to dismiss such laughably absurd statements, I think it is worth thinking about more. Here is something I wrote some time ago:

Those who rail against the teaching of evolution and modern cosmology in public schools are 100% correct. Granted, they shouldn’t have much say, as they are usually homeschooling little Mark, Matthew, Luke, John, Jedediah, Obadiah, Hezekiah, Trixie, Dixie, Flopsy, Mopsy, and Cottontail. Nevertheless, it is entirely disingenuous for the science-minded community to contradict their major point. If they allow their children to learn the sorts of things we are teaching, their children will not be good Christians. It’s true. Certainly we all know intelligent and educated people for whom religion and science represent little or no inherent contradiction. But let’s look at this from the vantage point of a religious fundamentalist: The Good Book is true or the Good Book is not true. There are no gray areas. And anyone with the slightest inkling of scientific thought processes will say that the Christian bible is not literally true. No legitimate scientist in the world will even address the question as to whether the age of the universe is:

a) 6,000 years


b) 13,500,000,000 years.

The unfortunately obvious fact here is that if you think a) is true, then you are probably beyond hope. You may be able to function in the real world, but your only contribution will be in aiding the continuance of the ignorance that is holding us back.

but I digress…

We, the free thinkers of America, should acknowledge that acceptance of science (not just the trappings of science, which the anti-science lobby enjoy so much) will ultimately lead to atheism. It’s scary to certain people, but unlike “teh Gay” that they seem to fear so much, freethinking is actually contagious. If you accept one single flaw in the bible, you deny its inerrancy and will burn in some ridiculous fairytale hell. Or you can believe that your god chose Pat Robertson, Pope Benny the Rat, senior sci-fi soothsayer David Miscavige, or Mullah Omar as prophet (or for Mormons, Thomas S. Monson as profit [sic]).

That would probably be my reply.

Shortly before being burned at the stake, no doubt…