COMMENTARY: The author of the article below, Dystopiologist, is a friend who has engaged in lively discussions with many atheists. I defer to this experience since I have rarely had similar discussions with atheists. In this article he seeks to help others understand an atheist's frame of mind and offers suggestions for dealing with this issue.
Atheism is one of the most serious problems of our time (CCC 2123). It takes several different forms: practical materialism (God is irrelevant since only matter in space and time is important); atheistic humanism (man is the center of the universe, not God); social atheism (belief in God and practicing religion deceives man and discourages him from working for a better form of life on earth).
Inherent in Christian faith is the belief that everyone can come to know, love, and serve God. If all men are created to know God, each person must have the opportunity at some point of his or her life to have faith in Him. Still, because we all have free will, we also have the freedom to reject any opportunity for such faith.
Why You Need to Understand It
- A Paper on a Neglected Area of Catechesis
Heavenly Father, we are blessed beyond words to live in the United States of America. You blessed the Founders of our nation with a keen understanding that YOU are the source of our rights and our dignity, and that no man can rightly usurp Your authority. Our forbearers' obedience to Your Natural Law has given us unheard of prosperity, wealth and freedom. But our popular culture has turned away from you, Lord. Many of our people now worship new "gods" - idols made of our own hands: Power, money, popularity and fame, technology, science, and something called "the economy". Our culture says: 'There is no God! Therefore, there is no good, no evil, no right and no wrong! We are "free" to do as we please!'
"Remember your catechists in particular; Holy Spirit come, and help us to reach those in our culture who have not completely hardened their hearts. Give us the ability to speak in the secularist's native tongue, exposing spiritual error for what it is. Help us be a light in the darkness, especially to those who are most vulnerable - our children. Amen.
Reading: Romans 1:16-26
"Wait a minute here. . . Did I hear this guy correctly? Evangelize WITHOUT a Bible or a Cathechism?" Yes, you did. Today, as I give my concluding speech in my last class of a three-year program in Advanced Catechesis, I'm going to do my best to avoid sourcing Danielou, Benedict XVI, the Catechism or the Scriptures. And although these texts are spiritual food for the likes of you and me, and we should always continue to study the Word of God, these sources are utter foolishness to today's cultural"zeitgeist" - the "spirit of the times". I strongly believe that today's catechist is all too often attempting to catechize people who are not even evangelized, and furthermore, that there is a massive failure on our part to engage the popular culture as any good teacher would: In the "native language".
I see this borne out as a teacher in my local parish. It's always difficult to find well-formed catechists who know and love their Faith. But even when one does find them, I have noticed a tendency by some to attempt to cover the entire breadth of the Deposit of Faith, covering everything from the 4 Marks of the Church, to the 7 gifts of the Holy Spirit, to the 15 works of the flesh to the Seven Sacraments to the seven deadly sins, from the Septuagint to the Decalogue. For those children from Catholic families who truly live their Faith, and most of our RCIA Inquirers since they are already evangelized, we are on the right path providing what these people are already hungry for. But for kids whose parents drop them off and expect us to "make them Christian" in one hour per week - those kids who sit in the chair with glazed eyes, asking few, if any, questions as we talk about 600 year-old men, an invisible man in the sky, a talking snake and a big boat that carried all the animals in the world for 40 days - why should they buy this stuff? Oh, we also ask them to "suffer like Christ", and that if they don't follow God's rules, they will go to hell. What would we say if one raised their hand and said: "Hey, Mr. Teacher - How do you know that any of this is true?" Are we going to fall back on the "Have faith" thing, or worse yet, give them a condescending "That's a stupid question. . ." kind of remark, and move on? What would YOU do if you were so lucky as to have a student ask you to "prove that God exists"? Would you stumble? Dodging and stumbling is a most revealing answer in itself, isn't it! I argue that today's Catechist MUST become familiar with the secular culture, and with atheism and anti-theism in particular.
Be not afraid! Since the Truth really IS on your side, you have nothing to fear from a frank discussion of atheistic pseudo-intellectualism as well. We utterly own any discussion regarding morality, and we have reason and science on our side as well.
While I cannot possibly discuss the entire panalply of the possible attacks our faith will undergo today (it truly comes from all possible directions by design), I would like to reclaim two broad intellectual domains for our side: 1) Morality and 2) Science. My talk today is intended primarily for pastors, parents and catechists, but it may also be suitable for young adults and other developing Christians who wish to know how their Faith holds it's head up in a secular world.
The Secular Assault
Focus on the Youth
The "father of lies" has long known where to strike - the minds of our youth. Adolf Hitler said:
"If there are people in Germany today who say, "We will not join your community; we will remain as we are" - then I reply: You will pass on. But after you will come a generation that knows nothing else."
Hitler, of course, established the Hitler Youth program, and took full control of both the school system and the popular culture.
My personal patron "uncanonized Saint" (I suspect that he's in heaven, at least!), Cardinal Josef Mindszenty of Hungary, is my personal hero because he was keenly aware of the atheist threat to young minds and fought it with every ounce of his being. Declaring publicly that his personal safety was of "no importance" in this matter, the Cardinal selflessly picked up the cross of unspeakable torture and brainwashing at the hands of the communists during the Cold War, boldly drawing a line in the sand when the communists attempted to nationalize Catholic schools in Hungary. Knowing that controlling the minds of the young is a key objective for any would-be totalitarian, he drove from town to town in a sound-truck, urging people not to give up their schools to the communists.
It is also known that when Hitler expelled the leading communist change-agents in Germany in the early 1930's (from the infamous Institute for Social Research in Frankfurt and other places), most landed in the United States - and at Teacher's College at Columbia University in particular. With financial backing by wealthy foundations and even hostile governments, they ramped up the wholesale reshaping the American mind, in a process that has nearly won the prize today. And lest we have any illusions regarding the fundamental assumptions our own government's so-called "educators" operate from, allow me to quote John Dewey, the "father" of American Education:
"There is no God and no soul. Hence, there are no needs for the props of traditional religion. With dogma and creed excluded, then immutable truth is also dead and buried. There is no room for fixed, natural law or permanent moral absolutes."
Benjamin Bloom (every teacher has heard of "Bloom's Taxonomy") bragged that he could take a student from "belief" in God to "unbelief" in 1 hour - and demonstrated his ability routinely.
Ross Finney, a contemporary of Dewey, explains how this works in more clinical, scientific way in his landmark text: "A Sociological Philosophy of Education":
"The young mind is as absorbent as blotting paper. The ideas of other people exert an insistent pressure even upon adults unless we are already possessed of ideas which they seem to conflict. As a young child's mind is so meagerly equipped as yet with knowledge, it can offer no such resistance. Accordingly, it absorbs whatever cognitive material happens to be extant in its social environment. . . It is the business of teachers to run not merely the school, but the world."
Another contemporary of Dewey's and co-signer of the Humanist Manifesto with Dewey, Francis Potter, wrote:
"Education is thus a most powerful ally of (secular) humanism. What can the theistic Sunday Schools, meeting for an hour once a week, and teaching only a fraction of the children, do to stem the tide of a five-day program of humanistic teaching?"
Education is the "front line" in this battle - but the battlespace is larger: It's EVERYWHERE. Movies, hidden lyrics in our songs, books - and of course, the new cultural "Wild West" - the internet. For a hugely entertaining look at just how effective subliminal advertising is, by a master in exploiting the vulnerabilities of the human brain, check out "Derren Brown" on YouTube (just type in his name in the search engine).
As I mentioned, I cannot possibly address every single attack that will come at us, I have lumped many of them into two broad categories: Those regarding "science" and those regarding "morality". From what I have seen on the internet, the very Church that invented the Scientific Method has all but lost scientific credibility in the public mind, and now, anti-theists are attempting to claim the moral high-ground as well. Let's take a look at what they have to say:
* "Teacher?! What evidence do you have that God exists? (pause) Do you have ANY real, scientifically valid evidence that God exists (or of any of this stuff, for that matter)?"
* "Atheism isn't a 'belief system'; it merely states that one doesn't believe in God. It doesn't mean any more than that."
* "Isn't religion just a childish fantasy that attempts to explain things that we don't understand (the "god of the gaps" theory)? Isn't it true that atheists tend to be more intelligent and highly educated? Isn't religion simply a crutch - a 'balm' for dull minds?"
* "My school teaches that religion divides people. One religion thinks that they have the truth, another says that it has the 'truth'. Each one says implicitly and explicitly that the other is terribly wrong, often stating that the others are dangerous and perhaps going to hell. Wouldn't it be better if we all just saw each other as "human beings" and one species, instead of "sheep and goats", saved or unsaved, Christians or heretics?"
* "What about the Crusades, teacher? The Inquisition? Protestant v. Catholic wars? Supression of Galileo? Islamic and fundamentalist extremism? Isn't religion responsible for untold human suffering and bloodshed?"
* "Isn't religion just a method of social control? Isn't this simply an undeniable fact of history? Isn't Marx correct when he describes religion as the "opiate of the masses" - a feel-good addiction for a primitive, superstitious, unenlightened mind?
* "Teacher, I have many atheist friends who are good, 'moral' people, while many Christians I've met are total jerks or even criminals. How can you tell me that morality comes from God or the Bible? "
* "But teacher, morality evolves does it not? Slavery was once okay (God "condoned" it in Exodus), as was genocide and the killing of little babies, right? If God wanted us to stone homosexuals once, but now He doesn't, how can you tell me that homosexuals don't now have the right to get married?"
* "Doesn't science support the idea of morality as an evolved adaptation? Didn't Darwin write extensively on "altruism", and don't we observe it in the animal kingdom?"
* "Doesn't quantum physics support a relativistic paradigm? If spirituality exists at all, doesn't the interconnectedness between the observer and the observed support a more Eastern "New Age" philosophy rather than a tribalistic, dogmatic Western monotheism?"
All of these questions reflect the current cultural mindset in America - the "default" position, and in today's Information Age, our children WILL be exposed to propaganda that supports it. Can you inoculate them against it?
The Theist's Response
Rule #1: Don't Flinch! You have nothing to fear, and you can always set the question aside for a more thorough answer later. But since how you respond to the question will be closely watched by all of your students, your immediate response to this must be one of confidence - and indeed gratitude that your student has asked such an important question.
Rule #2: Understand where THEY are coming from! That's the basic strategy here: Turn the tables on atheism. What does it believe? How does it stack up against our system? Although the following dialog may or may not be appropriate in a CCD class, it does reflect - thanks to the miracle of the internet - tips and insights I've collected from hundreds of hours of research and debate with doubters, scoffers and outright God-haters:
Theist: "So let me understand here - you don't believe in any higher power than man?
Atheist: "No." (Note that although agnosticism would seem to be the open-minded alternative - and indeed it is - I find that atheists are invariably eager to answer "no" here, because only this answer absolves them from the burdensome task of discovering just what that higher authority might be. That would be "religion". Sitting back and saying "prove it" to the world is the lazy alternative. Note that if the answer is "No" to this question, you absolutely OWN the moral domain from this point on).
Theist: "Well then, where does morality come from?" (Though you technically "own" morality already, this question is useful as it further engages them in your dialog and it gives you further ability to explain to them the error of their ways later on).
Atheist: "Morality is a "social construct" - an evolving concept that helps us survive. No species can survive it if works against itself. Even animals exhibit social, altruistic behaviors; Darwin wrote extensively about it."
Theist: "So it comes from the human system, and there is no higher authority than man. Okay then - please answer this question:
'If everyone that ever lived; you, me, even the Jews - EVERYONE - agreed that what the Nazis did (all the bad stuff) was moral, would it be moral?'"
1) The question is utterly logical: If M=SC, and SC=N, then N=M where:
M = "morality"
SC = societal construct (from the human system somehow)
N = what the Nazis did
2) The question is purely hypothetical and non fact-specific (there's no excuse for not answering it)
3) There is only ONE possible answer to the question for an atheist: YES. A "no" answer would concede a moral authority outside the realm of human construction (even a "space aliens" theory of intelligent design would not be morally authoritative).
In over 1 dozen times the author has asked this question (YouTube "comments" section, period March 2008 to November 2008), approx 35% dodge the question and refuse to answer. % of atheists who answer "no": ZERO! I have never had an atheist answer "No" to this question!
The following is from an interview of Arch-antitheist Richard Dawkins by Christian apologist Larry Taunton:
"I asked an obvious question: �As we speak of this shifting zeitgeist, how are we to determine who�s right? If we do not acknowledge some sort of external [standard], what is to prevent us from saying that the Muslim [extremists] aren�t right?� (Dawkins replies): �Yes, absolutely fascinating.� His response was immediate. �What�s to prevent us from saying Hitler wasn�t right? That's a genuinely difficult question." I was stupefied. He had readily conceded that his own philosophical position did not offer a rational basis for moral judgments. His intellectual honesty was refreshing, if somewhat disturbing on this point."
At this point, it should be clear that you, as a theist, OWN the field of morality, and in fact, any right to make value judgments such as "good" or "bad", or anything having to do with even "better" or "worse" for that matter. An atheist - if they truly understand atheism - does not, indeed CANNOT, believe in these concepts. Even a concept so weighty as "love" is simply "chemicals", as Nobel Prize-winning atheist Francis Crick believes, and accordingly, morality as an objective reality cannot exist either. As Bertrand Russell stated: "Outside human desires there is no objective moral standard." Since man creates "morality" to an atheist, the possible things that could be "moral" are limited only by his imagination. This recalls Dostyevsky's famous line in The Brothers Karamazov: "Without God, all things are permissible."
Does this sound "sane" to you? Let me read to you the legal definition of "criminal insanity", according to Nolo press, the legal self-help publishing center:
"A mental defect or disease that makes it impossible for a person to understand the wrongfulness of his acts or, even if he understands them, to distinguish right from wrong."
Ladies and gentlemen, does that not fit?! Doesn't Richard Dawkins call US insane? But in fact, you're now talking to a person who meets the definition for being "criminally insane", as our legal system has defined it for centuries.
Further debunking atheist "morality"
You'll be shocked at how readily most atheists you speak to readily concede that morality as it has been understood for the past 6,000 years simply does not exist to them (these tend to be the more intellectual, academic type). But in keeping with Marxist praxis, that doesn't stop them from claiming the word anyway. For the masses, anti-theists have peddled the notion that human beings somehow have an innate purity and goodness, which is somehow twisted and perverted by authoritarian structures such as "religion". If these structures - which, it is said, claim to have a "monopoly" on truth and love, were eliminated, peace and love would break out all over the world as we recognize that we are "all one species". Here's the typical pseudoscientific argument for where morality comes from:
Atheist: "Morality evolved to help us survive - it is beneficial to the species as a whole. Man is a social animal, and no species can survive if it kills itself. Darwin wrote extensively about so-called "altruism", and self-sacrifice is seen in apes, dogs, and many other animals."
There are more than a few problems with looking to Darwin's theories to find "morality":
1) Altruism may indeed be beneficial to a species, but it is absolutely NOT essential; indeed, most species on earth do not exhibit altruism, even toward their own young. Darwin wrote so much about the subject precisely because it is so hard to rectify with the fundamental winner-take-all logic of Natural Selection.
2) There is NO same-species or different-species distinctions within Natural Selection; all that matters is who wins and who loses. Thus, older bird siblings push their own weaker brothers and sisters out of the nest, and alpha-males and females ostracize or kill their beta or gamma challengers. Clearly humans show no immutable intra-species loyalty; history shows that they can make a homicidal or genocidal distinctions between individuals or groups for virtually any reason. The Milgram experiment in the 1950's showed that human empathy is easily overridden by authority figures, and the Stanford Prison Experiment in the 1970's showed that absolutely normal, healthy and intelligent college students could be utterly dehumanized within a matter of days - and even the psychologists conducting the experiment lost an objective moral sense (see www.prisonexp.org).
3) Darwin's theories support violence and competition rather than "altruism". A species may benefit from altruism, but only weakly in most cases. But it won't evolve at all without "winners and losers"; indeed, there can be no genetic shift WITHOUT the weaker "losing", either by exclusion or by death. That's how evolution works. Note that there is no more efficient way to effect genetic shift than mass-extermination of a selected class.
4) Gauss' Law, accepted as experimentally "proven" in the laboratory, states that two populations with varying abilities will NEVER peacefully coexist if resources are limited. The stronger will ALWAYS eliminate the weaker.
So let's think about it - an atheist claims that we are "animals", and implicitly assures us that we can look to the natural world (in effect, the animal kingdom) for the truth about how we should behave. But is there "murder" in the animal kingdom? Is there rape? Indeed, these are actually desirable behaviors if it enhances the "spread of DNA" as Dawkins calls our ultimate purpose on earth.
Hitler's Germany was modeled DIRECTLY on evolutionary, Darwinistic ideas. Yes, you'll hear the anti-Church smear about Hitler being a "Roman Catholic", but Hitler is in fact a model atheist. In his book "Biocreation", Richard Hickman wrote:
"It is perhaps no coincidence that Adolf Hitler was a firm believer in and preacher of evolutionism . . . his book, Mein Kampf clearly set forth a number of evolutionary ideas, particularly those emphasizing struggle, survival of the fittest and extermination of the weak to produce a better society."
Dr. Robert E. D. Clark wrote in his book "Darwin, Before and After":
�Adolf Hitler�s mind was captivated by evolutionary teaching — probably since the time he was a boy. Evolutionary ideas — quite undisguised — lie at the basis of all that is worst in Mein Kampf — and in his public speeches�.
Noted evolutionary anthropologist Sir Arthur Keith wrote:
�The German Fuhrer, as I have consistently maintained, is an evolutionist; he has consciously sought to make the practices of Germany conform to the theory of evolution�.
I've left out quotes from Hitler himself; there are too many to count. So much for evolutionary "altruism" as something we can bank on! The "culture of death" is a logical outgrowth of atheistic Darwinism.
Always define your terms! Since objective morality does not exist in an atheistic worldview, many atheists will attempt to redefine objective morality in subjective terms in order to "prove" that what we think of as "objective" is really "subjective", thereby "proving" that objective morality doesn't exist. I've seen a college paper that did this, and even invented the term "absolute morality" to substitute for what we call "objective morality".
Now, let's look at "science" - which is, of course,"holy mother church" and revelator of all truth to today's atheist:
Atheist: "You still haven't proven to me that God exists. I don't believe in fairies or the Flying Spaghetti Monster (a false "god" created by atheists to mock Christianity); why should I believe in your God without any evidence?"
Well, ask them how much they really know about "science", because sitting back and demanding evidence is NOT scientific:
1) The first main step in the Scientific Method is to "Construct a Hypothesis" (Some longer lists include "curious observation" first, but it can be argued that this isn't formally methodological at this stage. But ALL versions list construction of a hypothesis well before evidence collection and analysis). Consider what "evidence" of the day showed for the following:
* Manned flight being the "safest way to travel" - 150 years ago. Only a track record of dismal failure existed.
* The earth is actually round - this contradicted ALL available evidence, and "common sense", at one time in history.
* That hundreds of animals can live in a single drop of water. Again, this went against ALL available evidence and common sense - until the microscope was invented.
* 100 kg of metal can destroy an entire city. Simply unfathomable even a single century ago.
* Time can slow, and be different for different people at the same, well, "time" - sheer madness 100 years ago.
* Light and space "curve"; objects actually are accelerating as one holds them in the hand, yet become stationary in space when one drops them (in other words, when they appear to accelerate they are actually stationary, and when they appear to be stationary, they're actually accelerating) Utter lunacy 100 years ago.
- all of these began as hypotheses that flew in the face of current "evidence", but were ultimately proven correct! Genius does NOT sit back and "demand evidence".
2) Different fields of inquiry require different types of evidence. Anthropology, sociology, philosophy and yes - theology, do not normally quantify evidence in liters, kilograms and meters.
Take even a darling of New Age movement, quantum physics - a "hard science" by most peoples' reckoning. Do you recall the "observer problem"? It's been falsely twisted out of shape to suggest the somehow our minds interact with things that it observes (the movie "What The Bleep Do We Know" is a notorious example), and yet all the problem really is is that we simply cannot observe things smaller than the tools we observe them with. How can we use light to study light, for instance? An electron with an electron microscope, etc.? It's a problem of scale; that's all it is - and endeavor to investigate things that cannot be seen or measured. Accordingly, the field of quantum physics is a field almost exclusively of statistical mathematics! That's right; there's no "hard" evidence at all; most all "evidence" in quantum physics is purely intellectual. Kinda like theology and philosophy, huh?! Theistic philosophers have an "observation problem" in the exact same way, and are left with intellectual tools just as the quantum physicist is. But somehow, atheistic evangelists have succeeded in casting things as "scientific" when a nihilistic hypothesis is supported, and a theistic hypothesis is mere "superstition", in spite of the facts.
3) NOTHING is known with 100% certainty. Here is a wonderfully ironic quote from the National Academy of Sciences (2005, Science, Evolution and Creationism") as they essentially attempt to explain why the theory of evolution can be accepted as "truth":
"Some scientific explanations are so well established that no new evidence is likely to alter them. The explanation becomes a scientific theory. In everyday language a theory means a hunch or speculation. Not so in science. In science, the word theory refers to a comprehensive explanation of an important feature of nature that is supported by many facts gathered over time. Theories also allow scientists to make predictions about as yet unobserved phenomena."
Hey, wait a minute: Why doesn't this apply to the God hypothesis?! 6000 years of evidence in favor of it is somehow "unscientific" and requires "proof", and yet an admittedly limited one such as theirs gets a "pass"? Read their statement again; it's a brilliant apologetic for scientific nature of Christianity!
All knowledge requires "Faith". There is some fundamental assumption underlying ANY field of inquiry. For instance, how do we know that the laws of the universe will be the same tomorrow? How do we know that math will still work next month? We really don't. All we know is that these things have a good history of being stable and predictable - and yet, when you think about it, one could probably make a case that even history isn't knowable. But that doesn't stop us - we all must make certain fundamental assumptions in order to proceed with any line of inquiry. There's nothing wrong with questioning those assumptions, either - remember, God wants us to "test all things" intellectually, and Reason is itself from God. But the point here is that even atheistic scientists have some unquantifiable, unmeasurable assumption at the core of their arguments - in a word, Faith. Note that we still use Newtonian physics to guide spacecraft, even though it has been completely superceded by a new theory that owes almost nothing to it. Yet even though it is perhaps fundamentally flawed, we still use it to calculate trajectories and guide rockets with it to this day. It captures enough of the truth to still be useful. Note that Einstein's model is also limited in the same way - useful, but perhaps founded on a faulty assumption. All sciences have underlying assumptions - i.e., faith!
Let's look at the atheistic hypothesis again:. Richard Dawkins sums it up thusly:
"The universe we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil, no good, nothing but blind, pitiless indifference".
Tell me: Is that reasonable? Does it follow the Scientific Method? Is it even open-minded?! In the end, Atheism is actually a highly dogmatic belief system. It is unscientific, and even anti-intellectual, since it makes unfounded negative declarations on the most important questions of human existence - with NO evidence and providing no alternatives - and furthermore, precludes any additional thought on the matter, lest you be kicked out of the club (excommunicated, as it were).
The Catholic Christian hypothesis, on the other hand, provides a proven, working hypothesis for the most important questions of human existence. It does not claim to explain everything, but it allows freedom of inquiry within well-tested boundaries, always checked by reason, logic and science. And no, one doesn't have to believe it, either - God wants us to discover Him of our own free will. Can Atheism truly compare with Christianity by ANY measure?! It cannot!
The following true story came out just a couple of weeks ago in World Net Daily, on November 22, 2008:
"A New York man is linking the suicide of his 22-year-old son, a military veteran who had bright prospects in college, to the anti-Christian book "The God Delusion" by Richard Dawkins after a college professor challenged the son to read it. Jesse Kilgore committed suicide in October by walking into the woods near his New York home and shooting himself. Keith Kilgore said he was shocked because he believed his son was grounded in Christianity, had blogged against abortion and for family values, and boasted he'd been debating for years."
"(A friend said this to Jesse's dad): "He mentioned the book he had been reading 'The God Delusion' by Richard Dawkins and how it along with the science classes he had take[n] had eroded his faith. Jesse was always great about defending his beliefs, but somehow, the professors and the book had presented him information that he found to be irrefutable. He had not talked � about it because he was afraid of how you might react. ... and that he knew most of your defenses of Christianity because he himself used them often. Maybe he had used them against his professors and had the ideas shot down."
This was a kid attempting to do the exact same thing that I've been doing these past few months. What happened? What happened to Jesse is exactly what will happen to millions of Christians in the very near future - someone will make a better case for atheism than we do for Christianity. They will sound more "reasonable", more "scientific", and more logical. Whether we are right or not doesn't really matter to our hearers in the short term; the most reasonable sounding argument will generally win, and if the gap gets too large between the buzzwords and jargon of our Faith and the day-to-day language of science and academia, we will lose souls.
1) I strongly recommend adapting your catechesis in such a manner as isdescribed in Luigi Giussani's book "The Risk of Education" - a book described by Dr. Holly Peterson (former Director, Dept. of Evangelization and Catechesis, Diocese of Sacramento) as "the best book on catechesis" she has ever read.
2) I also strongly recommend that you in fact teach atheism to your kids - in particular, it's scientific weaknesses, its antiintellectualism, it's egocentricity, and its moral bankruptcy.
3) Lastly, I also recommend that you prepare for martyrdom in some fashion. If you haven't spent a lot of time surfing the internet, you're NOT in touch with today's youth - and you have no idea how bad things already are. Dawkins has already convinced many that raising a child religious is "child abuse", and anyone who doesn't believe in his version of creation is "ignorant, stupid or insane".
Karl Marx stated: "Communism begins from the outset with atheism. . .", and Vladimir Lenin wrote:
"A Marxist must be a materialist, i.e., an enemy of religion, but a dialectical materialist, i.e., one who treats the struggle against religion not in an abstract way, not on the basis of remote, purely theoretical, never varying preaching, but in a concrete way, on the basis of the class struggle which is going on in practice and is educating the masses more and better than anything else could."
As we careen toward one-world government, Christianity is at the very top of the "Most Wanted" list for any would-be totalitarian.
Christian apologist Larry Taunton warns:
"Richard Dawkins and the New Atheists present a major challenge. However, Dawkins is far more than "an evangelist for atheism". His vitriol against Christianity lays the foundation for a future "Christian Holocaust", potentially greater than the one instituted by Adolph Hitler against the Jews. Dawkins wants to eradicate Christianity from the marketplace of ideas in our culture. His followers know that the only way to thus eradicate Christianity is to eventually begin to eradicate Christians. This is how it emerged with Hitler, and it is how it will emerge with Dawkins and his followers."
Thank you, and may God bless your work.
References and Sources of Interest
Cloning of the American Mind, Eakman, Beverly K., Huntingon House Publishers, Lafayette, LA c 1998 - Excellent expose of psychographic intrusions into the educational field.
the deliberate dumbing down of america, Iserbyt Thomson, Charlotte, Conscious Press, Ravenna, OH c 1999 - Expose of the intentional assault on traditional values in schools, by a former U.S Dept. of Education chief.
The Underground History of American Education, Gatto, John Taylor. Oxford Village Press, Oxford, New York. c 2001 - An excellent story about who really runs the EdBiz.
Why Schools Don't Educate, Gatto, John Taylor, Mr. Gatto's acceptance speech for winning New York State "Teacher of the Year" award, internet article: http://www.naturalchild.org/guest/john_gatto.html
- excellent short article on the internet.
Zeitgeist - The Movie, full-length internet film, www.zeitgeistmovie.com
Zeitgeist - The Movie - 2 of 13 (Part 1 of 3 on Religion), 5-minute pseudo-science snippet on YouTube, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KeZB2EsPqGE
Major attack film on Christianity and religion; all "underground". Parents haven't heard of it - but maybe 40 million youth have already seen it?
Good source for uncensored news, documents and "spy" stuff
Flying Spaghetti Monster - false religion designed to mock Christianity
Cardinal Mindszenty Foundation - worldview warriors, named after the fearless Hungarian freedom fighter, founded by the sister of Phyllis Schlafly.
EdWatch (www.edwatch.org) - the nation's largest grass-roots educational reform movement. Protestant, but fighting the good fight for our children.
www.beverlye.org - Beverly Eackman's websiite. Expert in psych-war in our schools
Sun Tzu "The Art of War"
2500 year old military treatise and one of the "Great Books". An easily read "classic", it will help understand how lies and psych-war works.
quote: "All warfare is based on deception" - Sun Tzu, approx. 500 B.C.
"If nothing had any meaning, you would be right. But there is something that still has a meaning." Albert Camus, Second Letter to a German Friend, December 1943.
www.prisonexp.org - Website for the Stanford Prison Experiment of the 1970s. Answers the research question: "What happens when good people are put in an evil place?"
Derren Brown - Master of deception (find him on YouTube) and subliminal suggestion. Very entertaining - and he always tells you how it works!
John Taylor Gatto - former New York State Teacher of the Year, turned whistleblower. Currently an expert on the industrial, economic purpose of "education".
Luigi Giussani "The Risk of Education" - Excellent model for teaching the Christian Faith to children, especially teens.
"Ten Questions Every Intelligent Christian Should Ask Themselves", YouTube
video. Well-executed (ahem) hit-piece on Christianity. Very dangerous in my opinion; millions have watched it already. Epitomizes what we are now up against.
SecondLife - a virtual world that people have been "living" in for the better part of a decade now. Many churches "exist" there now virtually.
Michael Chapman, www.americanheritageresearch.com - perhaps our nation's leading expert in textbook bias in so-called "public" education. His video "America's Censored Heritage" is a must-see.