What frightens her (and me) the most is the fact that most Americans do not read and it is these non-reading Americans who will vote for the next leader of the free world in the November elections. She cites the prevalence of digital media as a cultural indicator of "dumbness" and points out that only 67 percent of college graduates read poems or novels for pleasure, as opposed to 82% in 1982. She rightly points out, "...there is no evidence that focusing on a screen is anything but bad for infants and toddlers" and that "...the inability to concentrate for long periods of time...seems intimately related to the inability of the public to remember even recent news events." She also bemoans the anti-rationalism of our youth which actually takes pride in ignorance.
If you stop and think about it, this has a lot to do with the popularity of Barack Obama. What does anyone know about him other than the fact that he has exciting pep rallies which tout "change"? What percentage of voters will vote for him based only on the fact that they know he is about "change"? What makes him any different than Hillary Clinton (other than actually being more liberal than she is)? How many will vote for him (amongst the Democrats) simply because he is a black man? How many will vote for Hillary simply because she is a woman? Jacoby is right. These are scary times politically speaking.
This all is very interesting to me since I just finished reading a book last week called, "What Every Christian Should Know" by Jo H. Lewis and Gordon A. Palmer. In this book, the authors bemoan the illiteracy of the average American Christian in the early 80's (back when 82% of the college graduates actually read poems and novels for enjoyment, when things were substantially better than they are now). It's interesting to note that the authors suspected that the trends would lead to the following:
- An extinction of Sunday School classes.
- An emphasis in youth ministries on "socialization" over content.
- An increased divisiveness based on age, race and economics.
- An exodus from local churches into New Age theologies.
- Decline of Bible reading.
Were the authors prophets? No, just readers who could see the proverbial writing on the wall. And just like our modern counterparts, many in evangelicalism take pride in their elevation of the lowest common denominator intellectually. Like a giant sow, they wallow in the muck of their own stupidity.
This all is why logic is lost on modern college students. It is why they embrace Darwinism uncritically, with a great deal of faith. It is why the Emergent Church will continue to grow exponentially; it is a movement which absolutely glories in knowing absolutely nothing with certainty.
The best thing we can do as Biblical evangelists to arm ourselves against this massive wave of idiocy is simply to read. Read deep theology. Read some classics in Christian and secular literature. Evaluate what you read and assimilate it. Soak in the Bible. Determine to glorify God with your mind. Prove yourself to be someone who knows how to think and you will have an edge on anyone who tries to counter the Gospel message.