In 1943, as war raged around the globe, C.S. Lewis delivered a series of lectures that were later turned into an extraordinary book entitled, The Abolition of Man. As the world reached the height of its deadliest conflict in history, Lewis warned of a very different lethal threat emerging in his day. In the very first line of the book, Lewis writes, “I doubt whether we are sufficiently attentive to the importance of elementary text-books.”
Lewis explains his case by carefully dissecting a school textbook he calls, “The Green Book.” This book, based upon a real book (which we now know to be, “The Control of Language: A Critical Approach to Reading and Writing”) expresses “disgust” at the idea that a poem can declare a waterfall to be “sublime” or “pretty.” The reason for the teachers’ disgust is the claim that the poet can only speak of how he felt about a waterfall rather than state as a truth that a waterfall is “pretty.” Lewis’ concern was that the teachers were saying that things cannot be objectively true, that all value statements only explain the emotional state of the speaker and are therefore unimportant.
As I read Lewis’ work I could identify with his concerns, expressed nearly 80 years ago. He was uncanny in his prediction that the subjection of truth to feelings would lead to a future where a small cabal of people manipulate humanity through psychology. He relayed that the idea of relativism is patently absurd and that a deep thinker would never allow it. Then, he warns that the only way such an idea could sway minds is through the indoctrination of the young. He states:
“The very power of (the authors) depends on the fact that they are dealing with a boy: a boy who thinks he is ‘doing’ his ‘English prep’ and has no notion that ethics, theology, and politics are all at stake. It is not a theory they put into his mind, but an assumption, which ten years hence, its origin forgotten and its presence unconscious, will condition him to take one side in a controversy which he has never recognized as a controversy at all.” Lewis, C. S. (2019-09-29T23:58:59). The Abolition of Man.
Today, his prophecy has come true. Pop psychology insists that you are who you are based upon feelings rather than objective facts. Our nation starts to buckle under the question of which truth to follow or whether there is truth at all.
It is into this intersection, this junction of truth and culture that Family Policy Alliance of Wyoming stands tall and says, “Waterfalls can be sublime, truth is knowable, and mankind cannot be abolished in a sea of made-up feelings!”
Advancing Biblical Citizenship,