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.