Susan Jacoby wrote a book I'm ordering today:
The Age of American Unreason
American anti-intellectualism and anti-rationalism is on a roll.... and many, if not most, Americans don't even think it matters.
Her thesis isn't new... but I'm hoping it will be accessible enough to recommend to those caught with the disease.
Read todays article: Dumb and Dumber: Are Americans Hostile to Knowledge?
In the article she equates the desire for many religious Americans to see Creationism taught in school as an anti-intellectual approach. I don't think she's familiar with the many intellectuals who are actually part of the debate. But I will admit many in the debate are not open to discourse or a nuanced point of view.
And I do think she is right that we're offering mainstream courses in our colleges on pop-art and rock music, sacrificing the higher arts and culture in standard education.
It can go without saying that this plight is also in the American church by and large. Church is infotainment, a passive collection of people watching a band and a preacher. Then the preacher asks why the ones on the stage are the only ones doing anything. And the people in the pews say that the system has made it that way....
I don't think it's a church problem. I think the weird, passive, too - much - knowledge - is - dangerous attitude in American culture of today is IN the church. So we should expect this from the seats in the pews to the seats in the subway.
And I think Jacoby is right: this is not a generational thing. It isn't about Baby Boomers vs. Gen Yers. Many parents want youth leaders to help fix their kids, when the parents need fixing too.
Like I mentioned a couple of days ago in "The Music Diversion," maybe we need to not simply fast from music, but also fast from television or seeking entertainment to make us feel 'normal.' Maybe we need to work on a creative project or read a Kathleen Norris book (I recommend The Cloister Walk), or Dick Staub's The Culturally Savvy Christian, or even Living with Questions.