Anti-Intellectualism

Gene Veith, author of The Gift of Art and other books, just wrote a post titled, Anti-intellectual intellectuals.

What she neglects to address, though, is that when it comes to anti-intellectualism, our elites are the worst offenders! It is precisely our intellectual elites–university professors, cutting-edge artists, culturally-in-tune authors–who are denying the efficacy of reason, insisting that truth is relative, and holding onto exploded ideas (such as Marxism and neo-Marxism) against all evidence.

He also asks: “Who is denying the existence of beauty and purposefully making art that defies the canons of classical aesthetics?” In art, there is a difference between creative and/or edgy – AND – throwing out the past in pursuit of novelty.

There is anti-intellectualism to be seen in the church world too. Anabaptists and Pentecostals/Charismatics are some cultures known for a degree of anti-intellectualism. Presbyterians and Lutherans are more of the intellectual side. What confusing me is why all churches can’t simply embrace intellect AND emotion. Is it really that complicated to realize that God wants us to develop our minds AND be in touch with our emotions?

Anti-intellectualism is tragic though. Once we remove critical thinking skills, logic, and source materials from the equation, we can then more easily be swayed by emotional arguments or poorly researched information. If you do a search for logical fallacies, you’ll find a plethora of Atheist websites that explain it. Now, to make my stance clear, I do not think Christianity can be fully understood or validated by logic. There is more to our humanity and to spirituality than logic.

However, it’s embarrassing to go to an Atheist website and have them quote source materials about, for instance, American founding fathers. Well-meaning Christians (myself included in the past), have quoted our founding fathers without ANY citations. Why should an atheist have to point out what the context of the quote was? Why should they have to point out that a given person may have quotes that give the opposite impression on their spirituality? Why should they have to point out that some quotes Christians use are mis-quoted or have no source?

If we can’t do the minimal amount of research before speaking or writing to our culture, how do we ever expect to be taken seriously?