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How to Recognize and Counteract Anti-Religious Indoctrination
Special to JCE CatholicNewsWorld by Scott Ventureya:
On Anti-Religious Indoctrination
to know Recognize Anti-Religious Indoctrination
First, whenever an educator is adamant of pushing an
ideology on their students as if it were commonsensical and widely established
(despite it obviously not being so, such as the inexistence of God). Students should be alarmed when an educator
makes such claims without substantiating it with good arguments and evidence.
Second, whenever an educator denies truth, as was
previously discussed, this should suggest an anti-religious agenda may be at
work. This includes denial of well-established laws of logic which are
necessary for any scientific endeavour let alone communication. The laws of logic cannot be proved but must
be presupposed, without this communication would be literally impossible.
Third, the expounding of moral relativism, related
to the second reason, it is a form of truth denial, namely, moral truth. An
important distinction between subjective and objective truths must be made.
Subjective truth is based on internal preferences whereas objective truths are
based on the outside world and cannot be altered based on our desires,
regardless of how much we wish. Moral relativists deny objective truths and
reduce everything to the subjective level of internal preferences then proceed
by rationalizing them. For obvious reasons such a view put into practice will have
Fourth, the advocating of scientism – a belief that
science can account for all types of knowledge. It is commonplace particularly
in the university setting for professors to pin science against religious
belief and even sometimes philosophical reflection, as if it were a scientific
claim. Scientists who do this
unwittingly are expounding philosophical or even a-theological positions of
their own. As the philosopher Peter van Inwagen explicates: “When it comes to
classifying arguments, philosophy trumps science: if an argument has a single
“philosophical” premise (a single premise that requires a philosophical
defense), it is a philosophical argument.”
Fifth, the relentless exposition of naturalistic
(the view that all that exists are natural phenomena; no God(s), souls or
spiritual beings) ideologies while mocking religious and supernatural
Sixth, the presentation and defense of liberal ethical
ideas such as abortion, homosexual marriage and euthanasia. If your child is being exposed to this at a
young age, approach the educators and the school administration.
to Counteract Such Indoctrination
There exists a wealth of resources to counteract
each of these methods of anti-religious indoctrination. It is important to read as widely as possible
from differing viewpoints on issues pertaining to truth, relativism, the
existence of God, religion, evolution, creation, abortion, euthanasia,
homosexuality, and science in general in order to gain a nuanced and balanced
perspective. It is vital to understand
what you stand for and what you stand against.
This is a proper first step in countering attacks against what you
Students can challenge indoctrination by asking
their professors simple but logical questions. Greg Koukl refers to this as the
Colombo tactic: “[going] on the offensive in an inoffensive way by using
carefully selected questions to productively advance the conversation. Simply
put, never make a statement, at least at first, when a question will do the
job.” By doing this one can gather more information
from them, reveal inconsistencies and leaps in logic through solely asking appropriate
questions. However, just one or two
questions might suffice to get the instructor and the students thinking. For example, if educators are speaking about
evolution, ask them to define what they mean by such a term since it has
several different meanings which are more often than not conflated with one
Parents and older students should be vigilant of educators
who deny truth (alongside other forms of anti-religious indoctrination) if
consistent, they will not be able to discern the difference between the grade
of A and F. I believe it is absolutely important for students to question
educators (in a respectful manner) when they present unwarranted conclusions. The implications are great if such
conclusions remain unchallenged. Why should a democratic society remain silent
about the anti-religious indoctrination of students in the schools we fund
through our tax dollars? Equipping young minds to ask the right questions is
essential. The retired law professor Phillip
Johnson pointedly stated in his book The
Right Questions:Truth Meaning & Public Debate:
“the questions I am asking are the ones they should be asking, and that their
education to this point has prepared them to ask the wrong questions [instead
of] the right ones.”
Typically, any dissent from these ideas are stifled
and met with vitriol. There have been
attempts to silence dissenters with fear tactics. This does not create greater
understanding and is poor pedagogy. Parents and older students should be
vigilant of educators who push such ideologies on their students. It is the
first step forward to overcome anti-religious indoctrination. This is Part 2 - for part 1 see http://jceworld.blogspot.ca/2014/12/anti-religious-indoctrination-is.html
by: Scott Ventureyra is a doctoral candidate in theology at Dominican University College in Ottawa, Canada.
Beckwith and Gregory Koukl, Relativism:
Feet Firmly Planted in Mid-Air (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 1998), p. 28.
Peter van Inwagen, “Can Science Disprove the Existence of God?” Philosophic Exchange 34 (2004): p. 41.
on philosophical arguments for God`s existence I would recommend authors such
as W.L. Craig, Norman Geisler, J.P. Moreland, Richard Swinburne, Alvin
Plantinga and Stuart Hackett. For literature on Intelligent Design I would
suggest looking at the writings of William A. Dembski, Stephen C. Meyer,
Michael Denton and Michael Behe. In the
camp of theistic evolution one could read Francis Collins, Kenneth Miller and
Simon Conway Morris. In order to
understand Neo-Darwinism, one should look at books by Richard Dawkins, Daniel
Dennett and Michael Ruse. An interesting
appraisal of competing theories over evolution is that of Thomas Folower and
Daniel Kuebler’s “The Evolution Controversy.”
For apologetic type books have a look at Phillip E. Johnson, Michael L.
Brown and Gregory Koukl.
Gregory Koukl, Tactics: A Game Plan for Discussing your
Christian Convictions (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan, 2009), p. 47.
Johnson, The Right Questions: Truth
Meaning & Public Debate (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2002), p.