I Mean, I Suppose Illiteracy Is A Problem

[The former head of Obama's faith-based outreach] once drafted a faith-outreach fact sheet describing Obama’s views on poverty, titling it “Economic Fairness and the Least of These,” a reference to a famous teaching from Jesus in the Bible. Another staffer repeatedly deleted “the least of these,” commenting, “Is this a typo? It doesn’t make any sense to me. Who/what are ‘these’?
Possibly the staffer was from another religious tradition, of course. Still, that points out another problem. The American literary tradition is awash in Biblical references -- just consider Moby Dick. Even granting that Jefferson et al were followers of a Deist line of thought that is closer to secularism than Americans often appreciate today, drifting completely out of the Christian tradition means drifting away from much of the founding thought of the American ideal. And the best thought, too: Jefferson spoke of a separation of Church and state, but also of the rights granted by a Creator inalienably. The nation was founded in a tense relationship with the institution of slavery that it inherited, but the Abolitionists were also the most intensely Evangelical Christians of their age. Dr. King's oratory doesn't make sense outside of the Biblical tradition.

I wonder what they think the answer to that problem is, or if they recognize it to be a problem?


E Hines said...

It's why reconciliation with them is impossible: they aren't capable of it. They need an education which need they don't recognize exists or whose legitimacy they deny.

A more secular example of their lack of education recognition capacity or outright denial is their understanding of the relationships among global warming; man's role in it, if any; and science.

Eric Hines

Eric Blair said...

I have seen college courses like "The Bible as literature" which would at least get one to where the quotes would be intelligible, but but even that is beyond most professors these days.

(I'm gonna sound like Ymar) They just want to delete the past. I am seeing this more and more.