This Christmas season, let the atheists among us recognize that the West remains eternally indebted to Christianity. If there were no Christianity, there would be no natural law, natural rights, human rights, or our traditional moral ideals — for without the theological gestalt supplied by Christianity, these ideals are reduced to arbitrary human inventions.
A group that refers to itself as the “Arkansas Society of Freethinkers” is not in the Christmas spirit. When it caught wind of the fact that Little Rock, Arkansas' Terry Elementary School had arranged for its students to attend a stage performance of "A Charlie Brown Christmas" at a local church, it began to eye the school up for a lawsuit.
Inasmuch as one of its key characters quotes the Gospel of Luke, “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” you see, has an explicitly religious theme.
That there is no such “separation” clause in the U.S. Constitution has long been established. Yet this episode is telling not because it reveals the atheist’s ignorance of the Constitution. Rather, it is telling insofar as it reveals his ignorance of his cultural inheritance.
The great Catholic writer Hilaire Belloc famously declared that “the faith is Europe and Europe is the faith.” We can paraphrase him by saying just as assuredly that Christianity is the West and the West is Christianity.
It is true that the Western mind is indebted to classical, pre-Christian Greek and Roman sources, but even here, it is primarily to Christian men of learning that we owe thanks for resurrecting and restoring to European civilization the lost riches of antiquity.
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Jack Kerwick, Ph.D. (photo)