It’s time for another visit to the funhouse mirror held up to history by our 10th-grade textbook for homeschoolers, World History and Cultures In Christian Perspective. If the Church of Rome was the textbook’s designated Big Bad for the period from Constantine through the Reformation, then history’s other greatest monster is Charles Darwin, who along with Karl Marx, provides the heresies against which World History will kick for most of the modern era. Buckle up, gentle readers — we’re headed for a Culture War zone.
As we know from last week, the Victorian era was an unrivaled era of peace, prosperity, and freedom for everyone (for certain vales of “everyone”). This all came to a crashing halt with the death of Victoria herself:
Queen Victoria’s 64-year reign restored dignity and prosperity to the British Empire, but when she passed from the scene, the glory faded. After Victoria’s death in 1901 her son Edward VII (1841-1910) ascended to the throne. Edward did not share his mother’s resolution to “be good,” and when the morality of the monarchy fell, so did that of the nation. As the Victorian Era came to an end, Britain entered into a period of decline both at home and abroad. By the turn of the 20th century the faith, energy, and morality of the British people were under attack by the false philosophies of Darwinism, socialism, and modernism.
That Edward VII, what an immoral rat! The editors neglect to tell us what exactly he did to torpedo the “morality of the monarchy,” but they say it happened, and they have not been wrong yet. We bet it was the mistresses. Victoria never had any mistresses. We feel kinda bad for poor Edward VII, having to carry the blame for the decline of Western civilization like that. We get the sense that Edward’s greatest failing was just plain not being Victoria.
And then there’s Darwin. For all the damage the theory of evolution has supposedly done throughout modern history, we learn almost nothing about it in this book:
In 1859, Charles Darwin (1809-1882), a British naturalist, published On the Origin Of Species, in which he proposed that life on earth had “evolved” over time through the process of natural selection. Darwin’s philosophy of evolution, sometimes called Darwinism, replaced God the Creator with time, natural processes, and chance.
Few people in Victorian England took the pseudo-scientific ideas of Charles Darwin seriously. However, Darwin’s ideas were accepted by those who wanted to break away from the moral restraints of society and religion, and were soon falsely acclaimed as “true science” (p. 378).
That’s it, as far as a description of the contents of Origin of Species. Now, of course, this is a history text, so we shouldn’t expect the sort of detail you’d find in a Christianist biology textbook (and we have one of those, too!). It is enough that evolution goes against a literal reading of the Book of Genesis; once that’s acknowledged, the smart money is on emphasizing the wicked motivations of anyone who accepts the laughable notion that evolution is actual science. Which it can’t be, because it just isn’t, so shut up.
Darwinism gained further respectability due to its vigorous promotion by British scientist Thomas Henry Huxley (1825-1895). Huxley also coined the term agnostic to describe one who believes that the existence of God and anything but material reality cannot be proved by human reasoning and thus is not an important area of human inquiry. The ungodly ideas of Darwin and Huxley led to an acceptance of the philosophy of materialism – the idea that matter is the only reality and that everything in the world, including thought, will, and feeling, must be explained in terms of matter.
We’ll give the editors this much — that’s actually a fairly accurate explanation of why “Goddidit” is not a scientific explanation of anything.
The parade of Victorianism-ending horrors has not yet ended, however: hand-in-hand with “Darwinism” comes socialism, which of course “attacked the very heart of Britain’s economic success by retarding personal initiative and interfering with the exercise of free enterprise capitalism.” Why anyone would want to rein in the best practicies of 19-th century capitalism is an utter mystery to the editors. Just look at what those horrible socialists thought:
- An early group of British socialists in the 19th century were the utilitarians, followers of philosophers Jeremy Bentham and ]ohn Stuart Mill. The utilitarians believed that the goal of life is “the greatest happiness for the greatest namber” — often regardless of the means or the consequences.
- Another socialist organization in Britain was the Christian Socialists, a group who wanted benevolent social reform, but did not want to take the Bible literally.
- The Fabian Society: Fabians taught that socialism should be achieved gradually, through a series of “reforms,” including pensions and food subsidies from the government, the elimination of private property and a government-imposed minimum wage.
- The Fabian socialists also believed that education should be managed and subsidized entirely by the government, not by private organizations (such as Christians). The Fabians realized that control of the nation’s educational system was crucial to the success of their program. The Fabians’ influence grew in the 20th century and came to include many influential writers, educators, and journalists who helped bring about Britain’s downfall as a great nation (p. 379) .
No mention Mill’s foundational discussion of free speech, On Liberty — That is a worship word, and he is not allowed to use it.
So obviously, not really Christian, because they emphasized actually making the lives of the poor better, when what the poor really needed was some Revival.
Are you terrified yet? We’re thinking of dressing up as George Bernard Shaw for Halloween. But that’s not all! Wanna see something really scary?
And there you have it: public education is part of the plot, and, by implication, must be destroyed if socialism is to be prevented.
And finally, the greatest stab in the back of all, the rise of “modernism,” which in this textbook is not an avant-garde artistic movement, but a theological heresy:
Darwinism and socialism might have been defeated in Britain had it not been for the rise of another “ism” — modernism, a philosophy which cut to the very heart of all that had made Britain great. Modernism, or religious liberalism, began in Germany with faithless theologians who believed that the Bible was merely a beautiful myth and full of errors. Church leaders became more concerned with attacking social injustices and working toward establishing total democracy than with bringing people to personal salvation through ]esus Christ. These false doctrines had worked their way into British thought by 1880 and did much to bring about Britain’s decline in the 20th century.
All those “Christians” who think that evolution and faith can coexist, or that the Bible makes sense as a spiritual allegory but not as history or science? And even worse, the “Christians” who think that Jesus really meant that anything should change in the way the world treats poor people? They’ve all been voted off the island, thrown under the nuns’ bus, and cannot join in any reindeer games.
Next Week: Godless Communism!