Just add it to our continuing series of roll-your-eyes experiences with American lower…uh, higher education: It is once again cool to hate God. And, as is their wont, English departments across the land are leading the charge.
English professors rarely do anything half-way and their anger and outrage know no bounds as, an academic trade publication tells us, they “curse” and “denounce God” because of their intellectual commitment “to the spirit of human progress and the principle of justice.” And so they have put behind their “hatred” of God—even giving it an official name, “Misotheism”–the massed academic might of a discipline that has, in modern times, devoted itself to ridding the world of the Christian culture and values it considers hopelessly regressive,
The educators’ bible, the Chronicle of Higher Education, has now made it official: the study of “Misotheism” is a legitimate area of inquiry, and it is time to hold God accountable for the agony inflicted upon humanity. Call them the “Chronicle crowd,” the educators and self-satisfied elites who know– absolutely know, mind you, without a doubt and with soul-numbing certainty—that “God is guilty of gross negligence, dishonorable conduct, and criminal behavior.”
Well, then! This stalwart of the education industry, breathless in its discovery of new areas in which to enrich our knowledge, is doing what the education industry has done for many years: ignore the past, ignore reality, and ignore the consequences of looking at the world through humanist-colored glasses. After all, they have done wonders for public education; now it’s time to train their guns on God. Hey, everyone reading the Chronicle is smart enough to understand the essential goodness of man—wonder why God and his non-academic creations, the common folks, don’t understand this.
Never mind the rich theological and philosophical traditions of Christians who have struggled with the existence of evil in a divinely created universe. The writings by C.S. Lewis God in the Dock and The Problem of Pain are two of thousands of attempts to come to terms with what we have done to our creation. But then, Lewis was denied the British equivalent of tenure at Oxford for his weird acceptance of God on God’s terms—so he doesn’t count, does he? And never mind that the Bible exists, in part, to help us understand our role in distorting God’s creation. Everyone who is anyone knows that the Bible is literature, not the Word of God.
But in our taxpayer-subsidized English departments, reading and thinking deep and wide is anathema. Each day is a new day in which yesterday’s ideas are once again new—what that great theologian Yogi Berra calls “déjà vu all over again.” Meanwhile, the annual conventions of the Modern Language Association, the trade association for English professors, bear more of a resemblance to the Star Wars bar scene than to a collection of educators dedicated to…education. And so a significant number of the people who occupy the frontlines of the shaping of our culture through future generations find that there is, indeed, a God, but flat out “hate him” because he “is guilty of gross negligence, dishonorable conduct, and criminal behavior” towards the world he created.
Or so says one of the leading lights of the growing academic discipline of Misotheism, Dr. Bernard Schweizer. He uses his platform as a tenured professor at Long Island University’s Brooklyn campus to spread the news and sing the praises of the newly enlightened who find it impossible to deny the existence of God—but are horrified at how poorly he is doing his job. Why can’t God be more like us, the best and brightest, the intellectuals, the self-chosen few who, if he would only listen, know better how to do his job?
It is only in the academy—where yesterday is forgotten and Groundhog Day is not a movie but a way of life—that the problem of evil can be simply and unambiguously blamed on God. The anger and arguments are familiar, but the ignorance and arrogance of our academic elite is startling as they wonder: Why hasn’t anyone thought to blame God for pain and suffering? Well, we’ll lead the way with this new way—to them—to look at God and humanity. But there is another way to summarize Misotheism: “The Thing that hath been, it is tht which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.”” (Ecclesiastes 1:9). God’s been offering advice for a long time, assisting those who will listen in the complex work of navigating the material world he has put together. The complexity of this world for humanity comes in large part from being equipped with a will that has exponential consequences both spiritually and materially, with every choice and result multiplying into first a dozen, then hundreds and thousands and millions and so on into an infinity of effects. Thus the need for the certainty of God and his Word and the beauty available to a creature offered the opportunity to choose to build its “house on a rock” (Matthew 7:24). Both making choices and making the correct choices are gifts from God.
But certainty, Christian certainty is not for the self-celebrated wise of the academy. Those who are angry at God are not the “obscure, cranky, immoral, (and) unproductive” among us, we are told. No, it is those who “have enriched our literary and philosophical heritage” with thoughts and writings that show us to be superior in compassion and understanding to God. And it is only natural that those who are superior, who comprise much of higher (lower, actually) education show us—and God—the way.
And so grows the study of “Misotheism,” and the beginnings of a plague of earnest young assistant professors researching, writing and delivering footnoted curses to a God they view as powerful, but lacking both wisdom and compassion.
Who’d have thunk it? The devil teaches English!