Creationist Wisdom #749: Teach the Truth

Today’s letter-to-the-editor appears in the Alexandria Echo Press, a twice-weekly newspaper published in Alexandria, Minnesota. It’s titled Teenagers can handle diversity, and the newspaper has no comments section.

Unless the writer is a politician, preacher, or other public figure, we won’t embarrass or promote her by using her full name, but today we have an exception. Her name is Deanne Novotny, and she’s a leader in her community, as can be seen in this earlier article in that newspaper: Deanne Novotny honored with Ernie Unruh Christian Service Award. Excerpts from her letter will be enhanced with our Curmudgeonly commentary and some bold font for emphasis. Here we go!

A famous Bible verse says that there is a thief in this world that seeks to steal, kill, and destroy. (Jn. 10:10). We are indeed accomplices to this thief, if we, and organizations like the Freedom From Religion Foundation, force public schools into allowing only the ideas of materialism.

What’s wrong with materialism? Deanne explains:

This [materialism] is a manmade faith system that relies on mathematical and scientific improbabilities.

Wow — that sounds terrible! What else is wrong with materialism?

It includes the belief that life arose from non-life. Yet this and other debatable humanistic beliefs are taught, even in science classes, as fact, with little or no scrutiny. How about moving such thinking to a philosophy class, where it can be surveyed with other belief systems?

What alternate belief system is being “stolen” from the school kids? Deanne says:

Unlike godless religions, the biblical worldview depends on the real, historical Jesus, who said He was the “Alpha and the Omega” and “the Truth.”

Oh, of course — Deanne wants public schools to teach what’s in the bible. She tells us:

Teenagers, especially, need to know, and can handle, diversity of thought. They do not need to be “protected” from the words of the Bible, as secular humanists often decry. I submit it is tragic to not know biblical truth. It pains me to see kids desperately seeking answers to the big questions of life, and only being able to receive politically correct answers.

Someone should explain to Deanne that the public schools are run by the government with money taken from taxpayers. The Constitution of the State of Minnesota, in Article I, Bill of Rights, says:

Sec. 16. Freedom of conscience; no preference to be given to any religious establishment or mode of worship. The enumeration of rights in this constitution shall not deny or impair others retained by and inherent in the people. The right of every man to worship God according to the dictates of his own conscience shall never be infringed; nor shall any man be compelled to attend, erect or support any place of worship, or to maintain any religious or ecclesiastical ministry, against his consent; nor shall any control of or interference with the rights of conscience be permitted, or any preference be given by law to any religious establishment or mode of worship; but the liberty of conscience hereby secured shall not be so construed as to excuse acts of licentiousness or justify practices inconsistent with the peace or safety of the state, nor shall any money be drawn from the treasury for the benefit of any religious societies or religious or theological seminaries.

Deanne isn’t concerned with that. She continues:

Jesus said we would have trials in this world. He offers Himself as the solution. So, let’s not be like Pilate who scornfully asked Jesus, “What is truth?” and then walked away without waiting for an answer.

And now we come to the end:

Let’s give, not steal or ignore, the Word of Life that saves and satisfies minds and souls.

That was lovely, Deanne, but no one is stopping you from teaching whatever you like at home, in church, or in any other private venue. However, you can’t teach your version of The Truth in state-run, tax supported schools.

Copyright © 2017. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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13 responses to “Creationist Wisdom #749: Teach the Truth

  1. “Render unto Caesar” is a saying of Jesus which is so famous that it even has an article in Wikipedia.

  2. “This [materialism] is a manmade faith system that relies on mathematical and scientific improbabilities.”

    Deanne’s own book defines faith as the evidence of things which are not seen (Hebrews 11:1). The emotion of faith, in other words, is the evidence of them. Materialism, however, is based entirely on things which are seen or otherwise sensed, and so has absolutely nothing to do with faith as it is described biblically.

  3. Perhaps Ms Novotny should go read he bible. John 18:38 (KJV) says: “Pilate saith unto him, What is truth? And when he had said this, he went out again unto the Jews, and saith unto them, I find in him no fault at all.”

    Pilate was trying to save him at this point, there was no “scornful” turning away. But I guess lying is ok if you think it can help your cause. Or more likely, like most christians she doesn’t actually read the Bible.

  4. Indeed, GPF, it would be a good thing if more Christians, especially young Christians, could be persuaded to read the Bible.

  5. GPF, jimroberts. Oh, they read the bible all right, mostly the parts they agree with or those that serve the moment. They ignore the contradictions of the two creation stories in Genesis and the many more contradictions in the four Gospels. Rigorous, logical thinking that they might apply to reading a novel, fixing a car, or solving a math problem, well forget it when it comes to faith. Or, often enough these days, to voting.

  6. “Oooooo, look at me! I’ve won a minor award! Now, I’m an expert in both education and adolescent development,.”

    No wonder my stint as a headline writer at a small town paper was so brief.

  7. Penguins kill polar bears

    Must be a cultural thing. To most other countries Materialism is having more than you require to survive. Having possessions’ that you can’t part with (people of religion and their institutions seem to have a lot of stuff). How it became about science and maths is beyond belief since you can not possess or own something that just is. Science and math require no faith, no belief, no understanding for it to work. We don’t need a weekly sermon to remind us that gravity exists and if we don’t believe we would float up into the sky.

    Then there is the argument about the origin of life. You can’t get life from not life. Yet the entire basis of religion is that some space alien created life from non living material like mud.

  8. First prove there was a Jesus. Just to be a nit-picker, there is no ‘J’ in the Hebrew/ Aramaic languages.

  9. Ross, don’t assume that the strange way you pronounce “Jesus” is normal in other languages.

  10. Penguins kill polar bears, “materialism” is simply one of those words that has more than one standard meaning. It first referred to the belief that there is no spiritual realm and matter is all that exists. It was first recorded in 1748, according to Douglas Harper’s *Online Etymology Dictionary.* Your meaning, all about excessive concern for consumer goods, came along in 1851.

    Though scientists normally accept materialism as a working assumption, not all are committed to it philosophically. The ones who have faith in some supernatural realm reserve that belief for their worship and separate it from their analysis of evidence.

  11. There are those who object to the word “materialism” and prefer “naturalism”.

  12. When are these idiots going to learn about arguing from ignorance?

    Since we don’t know (pick anything: god, supernatural, unicorns, Santa Claus) does not exist, it could exist. Therefore, we should teach it to children and let them decide.

  13. Penguins stole my hat.

    @Retired Prof. Must be a translation thing. Growing up travelling south east Asia on the tourist/hippie trail in the 80’s. Materialism meant having possessions’. All nationals’ from many countries used that term. The other terms used are spirituality and being in the physical world.

    Doesn’t matter because many found out that while the journey was fun the results were not as expected. Interestingly there were few people from the US. It would seem that the countries that have citizen’s that travel the most become a more secular/atheist society.

    There was another point. But bugger it.