Two Ideas

I thank Jay Walker, my blogfriend, for pointing out in the comments in yesterday’s post the adaptation that happens when a person is submerged by a culture. As I continue to read The Unlikely Disciple: A Sinner’s Semester at America’s Holiest University by Kevin Roose, the author discusses how much his mental state is effected by his complete immersion into fundamentalism at Liberty University.  In the chapter “Near in Their Mouth, But Far from Their Mind,” Roose visits his cousin Beirne in DC.  He desperately needs a break, and though he only spends one weekend with her, he is surprised by how hard transitioning back to his normal secular life is. 

The students that Roose lives among are completely convinced their religion is right, beneficial and of vast importance.  They question constantly, but not if the premise is correct, but whether they are “doing it right.”  One student, Paul, becomes saved again because he was never really sure the first time was real, in spite of the fact he behaved like the average Liberty Student: attending church, praying, reading his bible and evangelizing. 

The book leads me to believe there is not a lot you can say to someone who is enveloped in this lifestyle to get them to see outside their worldview.  Their windows look out onto a landscape that has been painted onto a brick wall.  We can, however, help our children and those who haven’t immersed themselves see the world through clear glass.  My wish would be for  all students to learn about world religions as intensively as any other history theme.  And Spotting Logical Fallacies should be a required class in every high school.


About Brick Window

A mother and an atheist--Just trying to do the best I can in a suburb full of believers.
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4 Responses to Two Ideas

  1. Jay Walker says:

    You are right that there really isn’t much we can do to influence those who are in that world. What we can do, however, is influence those who merely accept the current prevailing climate that is so heavily influenced by religious thought. Most people have no idea just how deeply fundamentalist Christianity is entrenched at every level of government, local, state and federal. I am sure many would be outraged, or at least unsettled if they knew.

    • Brick Window says:

      I have been reading a lot about the entrenchment as well. I recently finished “Republican Gomorrah: Inside the Movement that Shattered the Party” by Max Blumenthal which dealt primarily with the Moral Majority and the Religion Right.

      The problem is that it is hard to see the influence of fundamentalist Christianity on a day to day level. You know, the forest for the trees. Books like the one I mention are great, but they look back, of course.

      I was so filled with hope when Obama mentioned nonbelievers in his inaugural speech. But lately–ugh. Baby steps, I guess…

      • Jay Walker says:

        Obama, yeah. He’s learned that running for president and being president are two different things. In the end, he is a politician. That’s jaded, I know, but it’s true. Like Obiwan tells Anakin about Padme, “She’s a politician, and they are not to be trusted”. (Yeah, I know, I’m a geek!)

  2. prosey says:


    I may well have to read that book. *wonders if the local library has a copy*

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