The Culture Wars: Former Christians Running Away
The Thomas More Law Center gets involved in a lot of striking cases. Yesterday the non-profit legal group announced that it will represent citizens opposed to the opening of an Islamic academy by the New York City Department of Education.
The Khalil Gibran International Academy is slated to open with public funds on September 4th for the purpose of immersing students in Islamic culture. The Academy’s Board of Advisors includes fundamentalist Islamist imams and other members with ties to militant Islamic organizations which make no secret of their desire to dominate the United States.
In the announcement of its involvement in the case, Thomas More Law Center notes that “New York City School Chancellor, Joel Klein, who is aggressively promoting this Islamic school, is the same person who refused to allow two Christian students, a second and a fourth grader, to display a nativity scene.” The Center also notes that other publicly-funded Islamic schools have appeared in several communities across the country despite the frequency with which Islamic mosques and schools have been used as depositories for anti-American, anti-Christian and anti-Jewish propaganda distributed by Saudi Arabia. Meanwhile, several public universities are reported to have constructed footbaths to facilitate Muslim prayer rituals.
I will leave to others the task of discerning whether Islamic schools create a significant security threat. What I find significant in all this is not that Muslims should want to establish schools, but that public officials have in some places bent over backwards to support Muslim schools while at the same time recoiling in horror from any expression of Christianity anywhere public funds are at work. There is a pattern here which emerges only when people are so blinded by their rebellion against former values that they subconsciously evaluate every option in terms of its ability to widen the gap.
This is the same pattern which was so much at work in the refusal of liberal Americans, a generation ago, to see anything wrong with Communism. For that matter, it is the same pattern exhibited by the many so-called Catholic intellectuals who have systematically dismantled Catholic institutions and, above all, destroyed moral theology. These enormous blind spots and otherwise inexplicable behavior patterns are in fact easily explained by an age-old psychological truism: When we have committed ourselves to a way of life which our former faith threatens, we reflexively tend to support whatever will help deaden our consciences. Now this alternative way of life, to put the matter plainly, involves moral turpitude. Hence the subconscious need to dull the conscience becomes a powerful cultural force.
America, in some ways, remains a Christian nation, but she has also become in many ways a former Christian nation. It is well to remember that the culture wars are not being fought primarily between serious Christians and high-minded pagans, but between serious Christians and former Christians. Regardless of nominal affiliations, the two camps are defined by those who are committed to Christian moral principles and those who, in their personal, familial or social backgrounds, used to be. In any case, the critical fact is that these former Christians are still, morally, running away. In the culture wars, it is this spiritual motion which explains most things most of the time.
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