Thomas Sowell is my favorite economist. His latest column explains to parents what they can do to counter the left-wing indoctrination that their children receive in the government-run schools.
Now you might be tempted to think that Sowell is going to tell you parents that you just need to make your children read books that undermine what the secular left teaches them in school. But Sowell doesn’t think that will always work:
Yet trying to undo the propaganda that passes for education at too many schools and colleges, one issue at a time, may not always be the best strategy. There are too many issues on which the politically correct party line is considered to be the only way to look at things.
Instead, Sowell recommends a different strategy: he recommends that you engage in a dialog with your child, (preferably in public, I would add, in front of other people), in which you ask your child one simple question about their view:
Another approach might be to respond to the dogmatic certainty of some young person, perhaps your own offspring, by asking: “Have you ever read a single book on the other side of that issue?”
Chances are, after years of being “educated,” even at some of the highest-priced schools and colleges, they have not.
When the inevitable answer to your question is “No,” you can simply point out how illogical it is to be so certain about anything when you have heard only one side of the story– no matter how often you have heard that one side repeated.
Would it make sense for a jury to reach a verdict after having heard only the prosecution’s case, or only the defense attorney’s case, but not both?
Read the whole article. I run into this problem with non-Christians, Democrats and even anti-intellectual Christians every day. The only solution to their dogmatism is to ask about what they have read on the other side. They answer is inevitably “nothing”. We Christians should be able to argue for opposing views better than any opponent. And that is why many of my posts focus on interchanges between opposing views. You can never really be convinced of something until you see one side of an argument fail miserably in a rough-and-tumble debate.
USA Today reports that men are fleeing the churches today in droves. Maybe if Christians started emphasizing debate, instead of just praise songs, emotions and prayer, then we might be able to get more men to be interested in Christianity. Men and women are different – if you want men to come back to the church, maybe you should be emphasizing things we men actually like: confrontation, aggression and competition. I could share many stories of how female-dominated churches and campus groups actively fight efforts to approach Christianity in this way.
And this goes double for raising Christian kids. If we take the feminine approach exclusively, and shelter our children from opposing views instead of teaching about them, you can guarantee that your child will fall away from the faith as soon as he leaves home. As USA Today reported, 70% of Protestant Christian children already do exactly that. There is nothing more fatal to the project of building up a child’s Christian faith than ordering them around on the authority of blind faith. It just doesn’t work.