Is Ignorance Really Bliss?

If ignorance is really bliss, then today’s guest blogger is one of the truly happiest people on Earth. Avril Blackwood of Greece, NY contributed the following letter to the editor of the local paper.

Liberate U.S. from Christianity

Let’s adhere to the statement “separate church and state.”

Liberate us from all aspects of Christian principles derived from the Christian resource, the Bible.

No more Christmas, a Christian holiday.

Truth is a Christian principle. Let us be free to lie.

Not to steal is a Christian principle. Free those convicted of stealing.

Not to murder is a Christian principle. Free those imprisoned for murder.

Helping others is a Christian principle. No more donations to help the less fortunate.

Did you know that to not offend someone is a Christian principle? Offend!

Expose the many hidden Christian principles within our society and be rid of them.

No more Golden Rule, trust, love, faithfulness, etc. These are all Christian principles.

Wake up, America.

Separate church and state?


It would be easy to dismiss Avril’s tongue-in-cheek point of view as the well intentioned rantings of a singular ill-informed soul, but unfortunately Avril is not alone. The most recent evidence being that this newspaper does not typically publish rantings from fringe individuals or points of view they do not believe will at least resonate with a good part of their readership. More historically, this is the logic the Christian right has been using to insert Christianity into government and other secular institutions.

The logical fallacy in Avril’s viewpoint is that rejection of Christianity is the rejection of everything Christians believe. If you’re not with us, then you must be against us. While this sort of rhetoric is useful in delineating “us” vs. “them” when you’re rallying your people for war, it is still clearly lunacy. To dwell on just one of the points above, Avril is saying that to reject Christianity is to allow murder to be permissible. Yet, despite two-thirds of the world being non-Christian, murder is pretty much universally frowned upon. Gee, why would that be?

Obviously, the point is that Avril’s so-called “Christian principles” are also Buddhist principles, Muslim principles, Jewish principles, Secular Humanist principles, and pretty much principles held by good people everywhere regardless of their religion or lack thereof. The vast vast majority of non-Christians do not reject the message of Jesus, they only reject his divinity. Curiously, so did many Christians until around 300 AD when the Council of Nicea declared once and for all that Jesus was one in being with the Father, that Jesus was God.

Ironically, opinions like Avril’s stem largely from the separation of church and state in this country. U.S. Christians in are largely ignorant of other religions in the world, or even in their neighborhood. Schools teach almost nothing about the history of religion or of comparative religions. And churches are clearly not the place to learn about other religions. This ignorance, coupled with the natural tribalism of humans results in a fear and a casting out of non-Christians.

Time and again history has shown that people and cultures are more similar than different. Once people gain knowledge and understanding beyond the stereotypes, they learn to accept and befriend those who started as “others”. This attitude of cultural assimilation has helped the U.S. to increasingly accept African Americans, gay people, etc. Diversity concepts are taught and even enforced in schools, government, and business. Is it so very hard to extend those Learn and Let Live principles to religion?

Ignorance may be bliss, but it’s no excuse.

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