February 2001 – "We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ."
--2 Corinthians 10:5
A few months ago my wife Alison and I attended a local community theater production of Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. What is appealing to me about the story of Alice is that it is so crazy. Masterfully crazy. But then, that's kind of my brand of humor. The cast of zany and twisted characters tries to make Alice believe nonsense is actually good sense. The Mad Hatter. The Cheshire Cat. The Caterpillar. And my personal favorites, Tweedledee and Tweedledum. The original Dumb and Dumber, although I can't tell which is which.
Today, we live in a culture that reminds me more and more of Wonderland. And I'm Alice. I look around and see nonsense called reason. I see wrong called right. I see evil called good. Take for instance this story from the Fox News website dated December 6, 2000.
Opening a new front in the religion-in-schools war, two Cornell legal scholars are advocating the removal of abstinence-based sex education from public schools on the ground that it violates the First Amendment clause requiring separation of church and state.
Constitutional law professor Gary Simson and Cornell Law graduate Erika Sussman say the government is promoting a religious agenda--specifically one backed by fundamentalist Christians--when it allows public schools to teach kids that forgoing sex before marriage is the only way to go.
Huh? Did I read this right? Yes, I did. All together now, "Huh?"
Just because a sensible (and moral) idea finds its origins in the Bible, does that make it a violation of the so-called church and state constitutional separation?
Question for you Dumb and Dumber--uhh Gary and Ericka: What then, do we do with the teaching that murder is wrong? Isn't that found somewhere in the Bible? What about teaching kids that lying is wrong? Can't do that if we buy your logic.
Did you know that in response to the results of teenage promiscuity many public schools are going to abstinence-based sex education programs today? In fact, this same Fox News story reported, "Of the 69% of U.S. public schools with a district-wide policy of teaching sexuality education, about 35% require the abstinence-before-marriage model."
By "results" I mean unwanted pregnancies (which often lead to abortion) and the spread of sexually transmitted diseases including the deadly AIDS virus. In fact, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 18% of American women and 8% of American men carry the sexually transmitted virus known as genital human papillomavirus, which causes half of all cases of cervical cancer. When I read this statistic I was absolutely stunned. Twenty million Americans--mostly young people--are infected with this virus. One out of every five women. That is staggering.
I don't know exactly all that Lewis Carroll was trying to communicate in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Bet he had a lot of fun writing, though.
On the other hand, I know exactly what God is communicating in the book of Galatians when he gave Paul these words in verses seven and eight: "Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth of the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting."
There are a lot of voices in this wonderland known as America today. Some tell us sanctioning two men getting married is a good thing. Some tell us legalizing more drugs would be a good thing. Some tell us that teaching kids to remain abstinent before marriage is unrealistic and wrong.
The bottom line is that Christianity and its moral code are under siege from every side. Let us not fall prey to lies that almost sound like truth. Let us always look to the Scriptures for what is right and what is wrong. What is moral and what is immoral. What is good and what is evil.