Letter: A former Christian’s arguments against Christian education
For the better part of twenty years I was inculcated in Christianity. Eight of those years were spent in a private Christian primary school. It was here that I learned the Bible as history. It was this interest in history that fueled my study of the past. I was obsessed with the history of early Israel since those days of my childhood. I became a subscriber to the Biblical Archaeology Review and filled up my head with ideas about earth sciences and the history of human development: the earth was only 6,000 at the most, humans walked the earth with dinosaurs in the Garden of Eden, the Israelites were slaves to the Egyptians and subsequently crossed the Red Sea and then committed genocide on the unprepared inhabitants of Canaan, David killed Goliath and established a vast monarchy in the Middle East and his son Solomon expanded on this and made Jerusalem the gem in the desert. These parts of the history of Israel were the driving force of my interest and influenced the way that I read history and viewed the world around me.
It is my belief that the education of a young person is essential and much care and thought should be directed towards providing them with a strong foundation upon which to build. When you are instructed that history happened a particular way so that a god could come into the world and liberate mankind your view of history is shaped around that transitory moment. History up to the point of the First Century C.E. was recovering from the fall in the Garden of Eden, receiving the incomplete but best-there–could-be laws from a select man who was worthy enough to speak to God on a mountain (however these laws were only given to the illiterate tribes in the Arabian desert. We are told that the rest of humanity that was not as fortunate to receive this revelation had the same law written upon their hearts. This certainly makes one wonder what the point of any revelation if it was already inherent, but I digress.), and the establishment of a familial line that would produce the liberator of the Jewish people (and all humanity).
I was fortunate enough to have a personal relationship with the same god who made these events happen. Moreover, I was so lucky enough to be at a school where I knew the truth about history. I was free from the lie of evolution and I never even was educated about the theory of evolution in the public high school attended when I was fifteen. When I heard it I was so repulsed by it that I did not even give it the time of day and made it my goal fight against it. I looked deeper into my holy book for its self-evident historical truth. Genesis 10:25 indicated that during the time of Peleg the earth was divided. This clearly meant that Pangea did exist but it was separated after Eden while humans populated the earth.
These parts of the Bible I considered ancient history and the accuracy of their description made it all the more believable to me. This was because I had nothing else to compare it against. It was the
more real thing I knew because all other forms of studying the past were denied to me. My concept was that these things I considered ancient history might be the parts that would contain some discrepancy with the historical record but certainly if they were mostly true than the later parts of the history in the Bible were certainly true. Their truthiness was not even brought into question until I reached
For the past four years I have devoted myself to catching up on what I missed out as an education. Even these later parts of the history described in the Bible are largely questionable and certainly unable to be proved. We must question the value of making comparisons in archaeology to what is described in the narrative of the Bible but that is a topic for another discussion (and one that I will be more than happy to participate in). I only accepted the theories of evolution as the best possible explanation for human development when I was twenty-one. The loss of faith came shortly after that. I strive daily to expand those parts of my intellect that were stifled and stunted by being taught lies and mistruths for such a long time. I spent enough time being bitter about it and now I see that I must turn my misfortune into something positive and I believe that through various mediums I can contribute to the growing force that sees religion and religious education as a negative force in the world and should be challenged.
Adam John Fraser