W W W W World Wide Web Witness Inc. Home Page Contents Page for Volume What is New
EXTENSIONS TO THE YOUNGER CHILD
MATTERS OF IMMISCIBILITY
What It Is
If our notice of the basic emotive, substantive and ideological contradiction between Report Religion and that specified in the Bible has caused some stimulus for reflection, attention to this younger segment may - because of its admitted sensitivity - give further indications either ameliorative or pejorative. Let us then research the point in the Report text. In any affliction, it is usually best to know the extent of it.
First, it is apparent that the same contorted approach to 'inner logic' in flat contradictories, at the care level in religions, is by no means absent in the specifics for this age group. Thus the very possibility of a truth transcending apparently diverse 'symbols' seems forgotten, and young children are taught, in an almost skittish feeling religious progressive dinner, the propriety of all that goes in major religions at least (is it the traditional major ones? if so, why?). It will be realised that our concern is with presuppositions, not pragmatism: with rational proprieties and rational grounds, not didactic expediency.
If truth be once admitted, its breach follows with remorseless certainty. It is not, then of course there is nothing of which to be persuaded, merely the force of totalitarian determination, whether derived from this or that source: an impact and impulse of flesh, directed by force, a denial of all faith. If however there were to be NO direction, then State schools could not opt for this, for it would FORCE parents to TAKE this or to PAY again, as things are currently constructed. As a FORM OF RELIGION for private schools, of course, it would be an option among others. The Government however does not run private schools, but with tax money, public ones. Moreover, if truth were not known, then argument would be superfluous, except perhaps about who will push hardest. It then becomes more a gymnastic than an educational exercise, let alone an appropriate one...
Forgetful, for the moment, of the concept of sacrilege which is central in the high specificities of Biblical Christianity, and merely looking at truth as something that is actual, rather than subjectively relativistically unattainable except in the sporadic flashes of 'insights' which are regrettably not susceptible to propositional statement, we reach immediate practical consequences in this young age area. Do we then propose for tender intellects a 'game of mathematics', in which coy involvements with 2+2=5 are combined with gambols into special 'societies'? Would these be educational societies? - the terminology might be attractive, modish - where 2+2=mystery, or perhaps 41/2 raised to the third power, the better to fascinate the intellectual child? Is it not largely a matter of symbols?
It is possible this would, in any case, by some be deemed modern and progressive; and the present writer at least has found in that field a seeming reluctance to develop precise mathematical concepts too quickly, despite the damage to the abstractly inclined child which stylised pragmatic, concretised empiricists seem sometimes lightly to regard; if some are really cognisant of it at all.
Yet. assuming this 'advance' which seems incorporated in doctrinaire 'objectified' mathematics as THE mode - assuming this giant step forward has not been made, we can repeat out question. WOULD we turn lose the mathematical babe into such a 'game of mathematics'? It is felt we have not as yet 'progressed' sufficiently for this analogy for illustrative purposes, to lack all force. On p.193 of the Report, we are however told that a "Jewish child can identify in imagination with the Muslim community and understand inwardly, as a loyal (sic) player in the 'game of faiths' ... " He can play with truth. He can expand the rather limited (?) field of his (provincial? tribalistic - ?.. . the latter word is certainly not being put into the Report's mouths for the mouth of the Report has spoken it) natural or traditional religion in his new loyalty.
Which 'loyalty' however in that? The attentive reader
will not have failed to notice the sic attachment to the quotation.
Is it possible that the Report Religion in playing its own explicit
(supra) little game of seeking that kind of tolerance and sharing*
27 of awe which allows the hypothesised 'deeper unity' (p.196) to flower
- that is, the one apparent for reasons unstated by the writers of the
Report. Apparent? Where? Ah, it is, as we have
already seen, 'beneath all the differences of creed, code, cult and
Rather the ludicrous character of this Report assumption on lowest common denominator religion in its specific formulation, as quoted, forces one facing presumably intelligent Report writers - and even allowing for a lack of edge where compromise may have begotten confusion through numbers - to look for some ground or motive, consciously held or otherwise.
What underlies such Report talk?
What It Involves
Well then, the 'loyalty' of the Jew is apparently to be towards this new tolerant, all-in type of Report Religion where the underlying unity in so compellingly apparent that the symbolic characteristics (supra) of ... apparent differences, no, say diversifications, do not cause undue concern to the happily integrated community. It is in this HOPE of being able to 'unify in a more fundamental way the differences' that such loyalty is presumably to be postulated of the Jew happily - just conceivably otherwise, if history and text count for anything in the Report - ensconcing himself at tender age in the absorbing realisms of a religion forbidden In the Old Testament, in terms sufficiently strenuous to make earthquakes seem relatively minor, by comparison.
The student of the Old Testament who may have a desire for a jolt to memory despite the former attention given to this topic in this work, might be led to such Scriptures as: Isaiah 8:20 - "To the law and to the testimony; if they do not speak according to this word, it is because there Is no light in them." Here it will be noted that the law of Manes in perfectly distinct, as is the institution of the prophets (Deuteronomy 18:15-22). Indeed, the Law is contradistinct (Deuteronomy 4:2, 13:1-18).
In the last passage, there In an explicit proscription (sic - not prescription, the difference in significant) of "the gods of the people who are round about you, near to you, or far off from you, from the one end of the earth even onto the other end of the earth." The proscription is not local; it is not limited; it is not a humanistic compulsion in the articulation of Israel's deity. Sharing with awe in the activities of such claimed gods, and the proclivities of their devotees, is something which is noticeably absent; a phenomenological approach in strikingly distant.
Yet do Moslems in simple fact cleave to the law end the
testimonies given the Jews? Are they of such a mind, unlike the case
of the Jew, reciprocally? It is not noticeable. Is their divine being characterised
by that system of specialised sacrifice, justice and mercy in the terms
noteworthy for Jehovah!
His protestations to the contrary are numerous
in that he declares Himself unique and specific; His desires concerning
man, distinctly and contradistinctly (Isaiah 44:8,10-13, 44:22-23 and 44:26;
Proverbs 30:6; Deuteronomy 12:28-32; 32:31, 31:16,26-27, Leviticus 26:13-19,
Deuteronomy 6:3-25, 4:5-9).
THIS, it is the demonstrable case, and not some other thing.
One point is of great interest, apart from penalties for non-performance (as in Leviticus 26 where they are historically oriented, and cumulative) of the inner force of these divine protestations of the Old Testament. It is the close and indeed intimate correlation of the divine uniqueness, as moreover of the unique relation to Israel, with the divine words. A good Illustration is found In Deuteronomy 4.
In verse 7, we are appealed to with sovereign tenderness
by Moses on the part of the deity: the issue is nearness, intimacy,
inter-personal relations, awe and mercy. In verse 8, we move
through the area of explicit law and testimony, divine declaration
and deposition made explicit end manifest. The two expostulations
are in accord, and developmentally parallel, a phenomenon common
in the Psalms.
There is a bold jointness about this intimacy and this propositionalisation (regrettable word, perhaps - but so clear in the current milieu - God presents propositions, not blurs; and makes it clear He expects them to be understood and performed, since they are for good, and not evil).
It is, then, noteworthy to the student of men and history that such an attitude is in no slightest way remarkable when it is predicated of men. Whether it be in promise (and breach of...),, contract (and breach of... ), theory (and theft of...), patent (and the stealing of...), manuscripts (and plagiarism), teachers (and student use of their ideas without acknowledgment), soldiers and commands, parents and rules, lovers and undertakings: whether one, the other or all of these, men themselves are quite aware, indeed extremely aware of the intimate relation between person and speech, identity and pronouncement.
It would be strange if they boggle at the thought that Jehovah who states He in their Maker, and that He, a Spirit not limited as they are, made them in His image as derivatives, should know nothing of such things.
Not accidental in the masterful use of the term 'covenant' in the Old Testament (and the correlative in the New Testament, as in the central affirmation in Matthew 26:28 which fits in with Matthew 5:17-19 et al. - in the foregoing case (II Kings 17:15). Thus In Exodus 6:4, we notice the concept in its broad feature; in Exodus 19:5 we find it in its national intimacy (with Israel by no means either a paradox or misnomer) and in Exodus 24:8 we see the same combination of binding and words, Person and people as noted before. Indeed, we also see interwoven the concept of sacrifice, but not sacrifice alone: rather that specified by Jehovah in 'ALL these words' with the efficacy and limitation, the scope and signification given (capitalisation added).
On this basis, then, the Jewish child, in terms of the Old Testament base to which the nation classically relates, who did as the Report would have him in all loyalty, is guilty of breach of covenant; breach of divine zeal; ignoring of the extensive prohibitions on other gods and any gods not conforming to the propositionally distinct covenant in their performances; of giving assent to, or at least engaging in witting connivance with religious profession made to such god or gods; dealing with the peoples who have them in this area; the arousing of what is in profound metaphor termed 'jealousy'; flirting with another; giving an impression that there is some truth in what Jehovah has termed 'no truth', in the spiritual context; and sporting with the promiscuous concept of an underlying unity when God has proscribed precisely such things with utter zeal and distinctness.
Especially repugnant in this scriptural setting, is the permissiveness that slights sanctity, slurs the divinity and mixes the spiritual drinks (Hosea 8:2-14, II Kings I7:29-41, Exodus 20:5); and indeed, the purity of heart which shall ‘see God’ (Matthew 5) is not an option for the servant of God, but even figured fundamentally in the temptation of Christ, when the basic horror of the devil’s offer was that it broke THIS command, "You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only will you serve" - Matthew 4:10. This was the criterion, this was the disjunction, here the ways cleaved, the paths divided and the communication ceased. Indeed, the whole BOOK of Hosea depicts the service of something else, someone else, some idol, some spiritual way, which is NOT GOD (cf. Deuteronomy 32:18-21), and hence mere miasma of imagination (Isaiah 44:8-11), an example of pursuing words and imagery, images and attractions, where neither the truth nor the power nor the purity is to be found (Jeremiah 2:11-13, 10:11).
Jeremiah 11:1-17 makes such an intense parade of the proposition, such a pronouncement of this evil, such an exposure of the fickleness of heart and lightness of thought, of having the one God but adding the many fictitious formats, each of which makes some spiritual claims, just as Jeremiah 2 sets out with scorching clarity and profound expostulation, the entire spiritual insanity of NOT retaining the one God in one’s knowledge, whilst moving off to the various barren substitutes which have some sort of psychic appeal, that the case is both open and shut, moral and judicial. In Jeremiah 2, the people forsake "Me, the fountain of living waters, and hewn themselves cisterns - broken cisterns that can hold no water" and are like slaves.
Just so would the child of a household known for faithfulness to God, for example, have hewn out cisterns of make-believe religions visited upon the invaded heart, the supine mind and the exposed nerve of the soul, by the gracious kindness of the Report Religion, the enterprising provision of the State. It would become in one respect a revisiting of history!
Again, in Jeremiah 11, they are bound by covenant but
flit and flirt, "they have turned back to the iniquities
of their forefathers who refused to hear My words, and they have gone after
other gods to serve them: the house of Israel and the house of Judah have
broken My covenant… Therefore, thus says the LORD: ‘Behold, I will surely
bring calamity upon them which they are not able to escape; and though
they cry out to Me, I will not listen to them … " (cf. Hosea 7:13ff.
where they did not cry with their heart). Indeed, "the
LORD of hosts, who planted you, has pronounced doom against you for
the evil…which they have done against themselves to provoke Me to anger
in offering incense to Baal’ " - Jeremiah 11:17. The ephemeral unreality
of heart which CAN do such things, is that of the refusenik.
Nor is it different for the New Testament, where as just noted above, Christ made it clear the whole authority of the Old Testament applies, never abrogated, only fulfilled, while making His own New Covenant, with an impact of HIS OWN words, just like that of the Old Testament Jehovah, whom He claims to be (John 8:58, Matthew 5:19ff., John 14:21-23, Revelation 22:18ff., Matthew 7:24ff., in the context of 7:21ff.), and acted accordingly in His personal life. Christians such as the author accept the Christ; and even Jews who reject Him may yet wish to cling to the Old Testament Covenant which Christ fulfilled. THAT is their religion, and THIS is precisely how much latitude is left in either case.
That is all.
Now appears more clearly the value of our having taken the concepts of the Report, the rationale, if you will in one aspect; for this enables us to see perfectly explicitly that this is not merely other than that of the One who is the Jehovah of the Old Testament in its perspective, attitude and resultant prescriptions or exhortations; rather it in contrary to Him and to His words; contradictory and syncretistic, for there in an intense, even (in one sense) passionate purism. The spirit of the thing is wholly divergent from that of the Old Testament, as of the New as we have just observed; and the exclusive character of the Biblical utterance brings the impact of prohibition into the didactic area espoused by the Report.
This government document has gone too deep, too far; it has failed to limit itself to the didactic, to the educative in humility and meekness; it has transgressed into the territories, the very territories which it purports to further. It has tended rather to father them, patronise them, humble them; and tell them - here is the essence of our astonishment - without any metaphysical argumentation discernible, any systematic logical tour de force at all.
Certainly, that is good strategy, from a surreptitious point of view, whether or not this was the reason for the omission; for what is not available is not readily produced!
It is also true that the case to some might seem the more marvellous in that the Report would have us believe this is 'secular' (p. 278) which invades, assaults and corrupts the very groundwork of one of the most famous covenants designated as between deity and men of which the world has ever been aware. THAT, it is merely one case that we refer to the Jews, since the REPORT DID JUST THAT; but it applies to the case of Biblical Christian Theism no less.
The thing is not small.
So far from being fundamentally subject to unification
in essence, the deity of the Old Testament in the received writings of
the prophet David (so indicated in II Samuel 23:2) declares:
gods of the nations are idols" (Psalm 96:5);
and what is meant by Jehovah has sufficiently been established in the relevant
regard of covenant, diction and specificity - indeed, contradistinction.
What is the attitude in historical detail which we may find to such 'cultures'
religiously speaking? We will recognise that we are not speaking
theocratically here, but attitudinally - since our nation is not a Jewish
theocratic State, though Jews indeed live here. In Deuteronomy 12,
The Jewish child, this being the one the Report evoked, can loyally empathise with what is worthy of destruction? certainly; but only by divesting himself of another loyalty, if he be a Jew who adheres to the Old Testament that to Jehovah. It is as simple as that. HIS speech is clear about the uniformity of faiths, the lightness with which one can mix them and the insignificance of mere symbols... which JUST HAPPEN TO BE HIS WORDS. The attitudes which HE displays are distinct from the actions to which they once led; and there is the clear statement "I CHANGE NOT" - Malachi 3:6, which is much the same as the proposition in Isaiah 59:21, in which He indicates that these words would not depart from the mouths of ALL generations.
The 'understanding and sympathy' to be devoted to a variety of perspectives could not well be more divergent from the Old Testament attitude of cursedness in cussedness if you will: in the wild, anti-God folly of inventing ANYTHING in HIS name, which happens to be HIS! Indeed, He is not alone in finding it unacceptable to have people speak for Him; even in our minute cases, we ourselves do not greatly value someone else speaking in our name, whether to our bank or to our grocer, to our gardener or to anything for which we have responsibility; let alone, when it is in fact the EXACT OPPOSITE of our REVEALED WISHES. It is time we came back to earth, and allowed the bubbles of existential romance to pop. Indeed, so intense and portentous was the whole matter of what was required, that God appointed two mountains, Gerizim and Ebal.
On entry to the promised land, there were to be the curses on disobedience put from the one mount, and the blessings of obedience, from the other, two trumpetings of voices, two mountains to make massive impact, one for each category, intensifying, dramatising and making monumental, the issues at hand. (Deuteronomy 11:29, Joshua 8:33ff.).
Now as to this Report Religion 'game of faiths': This relates to gods divergent from Jehovah and depicts the entering into their proponents' religious cults as to the practice of idolatry (as just indicated). Indeed, for just such a forsaking of Jehovah as our texts have repetitively shown, the Jews could themselves attain to a cursed condition. There is no question of crass favoritism. (Deuteronomy 11:26-28, 27:15-26, 29:18-19, 27:15-68). Not merely is it an outward matter, but an inward (Deuteronomy 29:18-20). The results of covenant breach are immense, extensive end remarkable; there is a sort of negative passion for consummation evident in Deuteronomy Chapters 27-28 which is astonishing to the syncretist; but the academic should take account of it when unifying... or conceiving of what he is about in seeking so to engage.
So intense is the abhorrence and condemnation, that not
only are the tokens of other worship to be destroyed in the land, but marriage
with persons of nations (non-proselytes) is forbidden. No barter
or commerce in religion is permitted; no sub-contracts or various allowances
are tolerated (Deuteronomy 7:2). Jehovah, the fount of mercy, will
allow no mercy to adulteration, pollution of the purity He deems necessary
for true mercy, such as, in His deity, He assigns. His thoughts are
final and supernatural, require inward consent and outward observance;
and they are other than those merely human (Isaiah 55:8-9). Countenancing
of what is accursed is disloyalty, non-fealty, folly and presumption.
What It Entails
A word is here in order for the follower of Rousseau with his remarkably kindred and most 'useful' State religion; or of the Report Religion, in whole or in part.
This indeed applies to the agnostic for whom 'the requirements of Jehovah are inexpressibly boring, playfully amusing or a source of intolerant (sic) reflection about the intolerance of Jehovah... or indeed, for any who may misconstrue. Let these forgive our assiduity, as experience suggests it is not vain.
It in not, then, at this point or in this respect being asserted that the State should enshrine the words of Jehovah in its truly secular, or even in its quasi 'secular' (p.273) - that is religious - teachings. It is not, for the purposes of the present depositions, put forward that the reader must consent to this deity. The statements of Jehovah (cf. Exodus 3:14, Isaiah 45:22-23, 42:10, 44:6, Philippians 2:1-12, Colossians 1:19-23, 2:8-10, Hebrews 1:1-10, John 8:58 - who has expressed Himself definitively in incarnate form is Jesus, the Christ according to the New Testament, and the Biblical Faith of Christian Theism): these are not used, in this regard, as a basis for performance. To be sure, this writer regards the Bible as the wholly inerrant and infallible word of the living God, to be interpreted in its local and pervasive contexts. But this is not the point here. We are discussing secular attempts, and one such action in particular, to 'deal' with religion : what is fitting RELATIVE TO THE CLAIMS OF THE REPORT, and in particular, relative to the claims of the religions being ... shall we say, serviced.
If tolerance and respect for others are in view, as statedly in this Report Religion, then a program which presupposes both in theory and in practice, the propriety of the inter-mingling of religious practices for a member of the State, fails notoriously. Its assumptions run counter to the promulgations of Old Testament Judaism to the point of being all but incredible (that is, for those allegedly attempting such respect, such sensitivity to the point of artistry, and toleration to the point of being exemplars to men). Before such a program can be implemented, the religion of the report, in significant regards, must be adopted. These two, the substance and the alleged motivation and 'values', are as near as the furthest star from our earth, as close as in size is a speck of dust to the galactic continuum.
What, in Report Religion terms, is ENTERING INTO the feelings of idolaters (the same, as defined by Jehovah, for the Report illustrative case was a JEWISH CHILD), and, again, SHARING THEIR AWE (at folly and impertinence, from the perspective of Jehovah); and similarly, what is playing 'games' with idolatrous faiths is, from the plateau of Jehovah, toying with vipers, collaborating with cursedness and imbibing venom as refreshing cordial.
Now the reader may not agree with Jehovah, and the texts already quoted will show quite clearly that He has taken abundant account - and this in minute detail - of such possibilities. This rejection however, for the immediate precise point, is wholly irrelevant to the issue in hand. This deity is, by such things, sedulously shorn of His glory, impudently contradicted to His face, His commandments are defiled and His person in defied; and while this will not change HIM, it will make the actions of those responsible relevant, shall we see, to His purpose and pronouncements! Not only, however, is this done; it is performed in the face of this highly articulate and explicit covenant, which as we have documented, has been most impactively made. When or under what circumstances would this most intense lèse-majesté occur?
Why, it would do so, as we have extensively shown, if the program of the Report in the present regard, should be implemented.
This is simply a fact. The religion of the Report,
and Old Testament Judaism, these are documented to be mutually exclusive.
Emphatically, dramatically, conceptually, unconditionally, they mix without
mutuality, they move like a Judge and a prisoner, most unharmoniously.
It seems superabundantly clear, each is a high affront to the other; each
condemns the approach of the other, and each exhorts to behaviour alien
to the other as something commendable. That such a program, as the
Report Religion envisages should be implemented by a State, is therefore
not possible unless that State wishes to make war on that religion, is
incontestable. The Report is so 'sensitive', however only ostensibly,
that it would seem this circumstance has escaped its learned sequences
of quotations and finesse.
The relativism explicit or implicit in many modern theologians - sometimes despite protestations to the contrary - is so contemporary a feature as without doubt to constitute an element of the Zeitgeist.
Without digressing to a point endangering our directness, we may mention the Bible-removing trends (i.e. movements alien to it in diverse aspects, regards or in philosophic positions, either additional or alien to it) of Karl Barth, Emil Brunner, SØren, of Kierkegaard, Niebuhr, Tillich, Altizer and so on. One makes God wholly other, makes revelation momentary and non-propositional to the point that the proposition is proof that the revelation in no longer operative (except of course when that author is telling us about the propositions; but then, such exclusions of present company seem to apply, as shown in The Shadow of a Mighty Rock, to Freud, Marx and others as well - cf. pp. 611ff. and Index). Another throws all into existential proclivities in which the mere text is not allowed equality, or certainly not direction (cf. op.cit. pp. 861-867). One of these exponents finds it intellectual suicide to embrace the traditional apparatus in the mind; another finds no personal proposition-making god left at all; yet another has His demise a prelude to something ... new. God of course had all this covered from earliest times (cf. Deuteronomy 32:4-43 - especially v. 21, with pp. 294-307, op.cit.).
Drs. Schaeffer and Van Til have documented all this to the point of virtual plethora; it is not new, novel or a matter for surprise for those who wrangle on which one ? - and how in this or that direction the neo-orthodox, the existentialist, the neo-liberal, the neo-evangelical or indeed, the neo-Kantian or neo-Hegelian position, should be allowed, followed, and to what extent one should or might be susceptible to it all, or some of it.
For our purpose, we merely note that for each and all, the Scripture is NOT taken as infallible and inerrant in the original manuscripts*28 , and various new god-concepts are provided from the amplitude of philosophic trends. The bibliography will provide the assiduous reader with adequate data for this simple fact; already noted is its expression in the U.S. Presbyterian Confession of 1967, where the truth alas lies hidden in the 'love of God', apparently inextricably, in the most flamboyant contradiction of John 14:6,21-23 that could well even be imagined by those with a lively facility in that direction.
Now there is a possibility - and this is not integral
to our thesis ,but a hopefully illuminating excursus.
It is that the Report, either by conviction or by endeavour to cause this statistical sort of sensitivity which it displays in the political area, has enshrined the symbolic, the transmutative trends in its approach; left them unreasoned for; and sought as a kind of consensus to implement with such presuppositions a practical manoeuvre for the people.
Such an endeavour for the comprehension of how their product, the Report could ever have been formulated as it has been, so naked and unprotected by closely reasoned rationale, however is not relevant to the fact of what has been done; except to help the reader avoid total incredulity, with the fabled mill-girl - that such things could be.
They are. Incredible even to the credulous, or not: this is the fact.
We have shown that although subject to rational amazement, it is susceptible to some degree at least, to cultural comprehension!
There is metaphorical imbibing, if not at the mother's breast. then at an early age - of practices, cultic ones indeed; the sharing in the spirit of the thing; the ground laying for a realisation of the 'inner logic' of them all, the components, these religions, for a needful unifying by some cultural architect lose in the realm of religion... This is the tutelage of the young, so well adapted to violate the most sacred prohibitions. From the Old Testament point of view, it is incitement to involvement in the elements of execration.
The Religion of the Report, then, is seen to develop before our eyes from a singularly inept syncretism. In terms of the dignity of the citizenry, to say no more, into what? It grows into an abuse of extreme youth, and even of mere childhood.
This is done in direct and potent contradiction of the wholly other directions regarding the young with their involvement and the instruction participation, designed to aid the child to continue in that way, found in the Old Testament (Deuteronomy 6 at al.).
Indeed, the Report Religion gives the extraordinary impression of having learned from the very method of the Old Testament (predisposing but not conditioning), and to have applied it to the idolatrous defilement (from the Old Testament perspective) of the young. This is done by the prescribed METHODS!
The complement is too dubious: if the irony is delicate, the affront is not.
However we are not done with the little child; he in indeed important, as Jesus' words indicate to the Biblical Christian. With respect to offence (literally, that which makes to stumble) and mill-stones, there is a quotation almost too familiar to require quotation (Matthew l8:6). It is however interesting that this is followed by a reference to the WORLD: "Woe to the world because of offences."
The 'senaltive' and 'artistic' purveyor of curricula will
no doubt consider such items as these, in serving the State 'respectfully
for all'. They do, after all, relate most intimately to two of the
world's most famous and vast montheistic structures, in their work... And
Muhammad himself showed little evidence of a yen for assimilability,
preferring in strong terms, if need be, to bring matters quite literally
to a head... (This is there a matter sui generis as seen earlier on
pp.69-70, and as such, it does not concern
further this paper.)
We have yet to consider the didactic side in terms of conceptual timing. This seemingly rather distant topic is actually near to our matter. If, in the end, it should - of course for excellent seeming didactic reasons - prove necessary to delay the conceptual, the grossly propositional elements of religion, the systematic aspects, to a relatively late age range (and of course still later if there be danger that ANY be not yet ready), what then? Why then the formative years might be the better populated with the unconscious, the Intuitive and the sketchily inductive components of the Report Religion, ever present, ever pleading and - so commonsensically, itself quite possibly propositionalised! After all, are not the children to be ... encouraged?
Lot us explain. Immerse a person when young in procedures, pageantry and ceremony; let him learn by 'experience'; and structure the experientiel milieu to evince agnostic religion, susceptible by definition to underlying unity considerations to ALL faiths - and what have you? Admittedly, the child may discern the trend. He may - having another commitment, sense the blasphemy of such ... play. He may even, if for example of a maverick variety, or possessing notable independence of spirit, or even thought, tend to resent the subtle SEEMING trend to the manipulation of his mind by endless seeming performances, immersions and involvements, always having a certain atmosphere, an air. He may sense, or intuit or even (children are not always foolish by ANY means) as decades of experience confirms most vocally to the memory of the present writer), induce the dogma which is implicit (if it is not in fact, already in part explicit!).
He may turn from it as many a son of an elder may turn from his parental affirmations. He may react; he may over-react; he may revolt. True.
However, he has been given, other things equal, a predisposition to accept if not the detail, then at least the dogmatic assertion of religion as mostly symbolic (supra) that is underlying all presentation and all atmosphere; of 'faiths' as universally, and fundamentally having a mysterious Inner Logic which is ignorant of contradiction, and hence not amenable to logical understanding. He may intuit something such which having capacity to formulate it. Impressions can be like that.
He may even discern that propositions which cannot contradict - because of their non-contradicting category*29 are not things really known. Thus, if he seeks knowledge, he may look elsewhere. The possibilities are numerous; and whatever may be the motives of the Report Religionists, they are not only outrageously invidious to major religions, but clearly so in their contradiction of the underlying claims - and to that extent, are working like latent radioactivity, present but not seen, in a way pejorative to their progress.
Less notable children might be smeared spiritually more readily, especially as reality is not a rub when it is mythical, or disposable by varieties in the religious supermarket.
Now again, let us be clear. We mention above inhibition of certain religious 'progress'. It is not an entire deficiency in the realm of 'progress' that is assumed. It is, indeed, definitely capable of some progress in the sense which assumes to be right, the Report Religion of which we speak - that is, a movement to that symbolic syncretism which surpasses all and any understanding ... To that end, the Report procedures would indeed seem likely to contribute. It would of course be the use of State resources for competitive indoctrination. It would moreover be an indoctrination which is weak in logical force, pragmatic in procedure, contradictory in concept.
Nevertheless, as far as culturally conditioning people in a desired direction, as in 1984 of Orwell fame, certainly, it is not at all being asserted that the Report Religion has but foolish plans of implementation, if once it were to be assumed to be authoritative and correct. It is just that since rationally it cannot be so, for the reasons abundantly given, it is in peril of becoming simply a spiritual shanghaiing, a press gang movement, in which teachers do what the old entrainers would do, to stray youth, putting where the State thought they would be best. In the old days, that might be on a ship. Here it is in a religious perspective.
The difficulty... shall we say, would be slightly mitigated, IF the religion were authoritative and correct. And this, as we have seen, it has a strong verbal disinclination to be. After all, it tells us - rather amazingly in view of its desire for its purveyance, being drafted into our affairs with the dignity of 'secular' - it declares that there has been a growing recognition that in an open society, it is inappropriate for one world-view to have a monopoly in the State school (p.43).This must stand as a tribute to the extent to which one can forget oneself, forget even that one has a viewpoint, a religion - if it is the Report Religion - when involved in the turmoils of ... serving one's fellow man. While this may seem a modish adaptation of the current slogan 'a man for others', its effect is opposite rather then apposite to the concept as normally defined.
The 'progress' of which one have spoken, at which the
Religion may really be quite apt: it is rather the simple advancement
of that religion. However the 'progress' which it would act to retard,
it would be that of religions as self-defined, or as defined by the 'sacred'
writings concerned. What demolishes exclusivist claims may indeed warm
the heart of a relativist who rejects them all; but such warming does not
constitute a sufficient answer to the detrimental dynamic discernible in
the implanting of relativistic ideas in the very young. Far less
is this so, when they implanted while concepts facilitating awareness,
are delayed ... till later.
END-NOTES FOR SECTION V
In a Biblical sense and perspective on the grounds given, this is something in what is before us, done promiscuously.
As for example explicit in that vastly laborious work of England and Scotland in the era of Cromwell - The Westminster Confession. This still serves as formally binding, for example, in the Presbyterian Church in Canada and is closely related to the subordinate standard of the Presbyterian Church of Australia.
It is the subordinate standard to this day of not a few Presbyterian bodies, though in accord with its own emphasis, it is justly supervened by the Bible itself. It has been a specific to Presbyterianism for centuries. Similar emphasis on this Biblical element, at least within standards, may be found with some Lutheranism, Methodism and, to a point, in the Council of Trent.
The historical overview is rather well provided in some
detail by Dr. H. Lindsell in his Battle for the Bible (q.v.).
The circularity is intentional and is intended as a pseudo-didactic
mirror to the circularity of the Report. You could also call it a
hypothetical, unconscious student feed-back.