The fact that the Bible is the only book with which it can be safely assumed a majority of American adults are even vaguely familiar is not good if we want to have a full and vibrant public debate. For one thing, it allows our history to be re-written. It allows Americans to believe that the Founding Fathers were inspired solely by Judeo-Christian scripture without reference to the Greek and Romans (or English common law for that matter). It allows us to believe that marriage is static and unchanging institution that has come to us from Eden untouched by social and historical change. Most dangerously, it allows us to live in a democracy completely unaware of what a dangerous battle field history is for such governments, especially when those who are meant to be governing themselves lack the knowledge to do so effectively and thus abdicate their power to the richest or most powerful amongst them.
Due to a series of minor but time-consuming home-improvement problems today, I ran out of time for a blog post. So, instead, I'd like to share with you this insightful paragraph from a Salon.com article by Classical scholar Kate Billotte on the importance of history and literature. While I disagree with Ms. Billotte's assertion that Republicans are solely responsible for the cheapening and degradation of public discourse (it's a culture-wide problem, not just one political party's), this paragraph is nevertheless very true:
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