With religion removed, shouldn’t we see a rise in respect, tolerance and compassion?

I’ve just been reading about “tolerance” at a website (toleranceDOTorg) devoted to teaching children and adults to tolerate differences in others. (Well, I’m all for that. Who could be against that?) The impression I get from reading articles on the site is that hate crimes have been on the rise in the country (that’s my impression right now, I’m still looking into it), and, though “[o]nce considered a Southern phenomenon [argh!], today most hate crimes are reported in the North and West.” (Really? The media seems to be unaware of this.) In schools there seems to be the perennial problem of bullying, though now it is seen as a lack of respect for “diversity”. Tolerance is obviously what is needed. And how do they propose to teach this tolerance? Some of the ways are through homework, writing assignments, and meditation in the classroom to teach empathy.

Empathy, huh? Excuse me, but are these the same classrooms where all mention of religion has been expunged? Oh, wait, not all religion. Sam Harris and his Four Horseman(ure) pals haven’t succeeded in eradicating all religion yet, so I guess it’s just the Christian religion that can’t be mentioned in classrooms, at work, in public places, etc. Now, I know the New Atheists want to do away with religion because they see it as an impediment to building a global civilization. (What kind of global civilization I’ll leave for another discussion). They say that all religions (and particularly Christianity, one of the two religions that most especially) breed intolerance and hatred. So, if they are right, and religion (especially Christianity) has been removed from so many places already, shouldn’t we be seeing an improvement in this tolerance business? Shouldn’t we be seeing a rising number of happy, healthy and compassionate little atheists running around handing out flowers and singing songs and wishing everybody well? We’re not allowed to do those nasty awful hate-filled Christian prayers in the classroom any more, so why do we have to teach the kids meditation and make them write these assignments to keep Little Billy from punching Little Bobby’s lights out, huh?

Just wondering. Just thinking. Just looking around me at the things happening in our world that seem to defy logic. Take religion out of the classroom, put New Age nonsense in. Oh, that makes sense. Riiight. What’s that you say? The meditation might not be New Age? Oh, that’s right, it could be Buddhist or Hindu or Zen (which is still Buddhist, though I’ve had people argue with me that it isn’t, good grief). But, wait! We can’t have that; that would be religion! Horrors! So I guess it will have to be the common New Age garden variety of nonsense, after all. Oh, joy. God forbid they should just pray the Lord’s Prayer and read things like The Imitation of Christ. Nope, that’d be wrong, all that talk about love for neighbor, stories about the Good Samaritan, humility, charity—a recipe for intolerance if I ever heard one.

Give me a break. This world is getting crazier and crazier. Lord, have mercy on us all. Even people who seem willing to tolerate everything and everybody in the world except Christianity and Christians. Forgive them, Lord, they know not what they do. Amen.

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