The Anti-Intellectualism of Christianity

One of the biggest issues that I have with Christianity is the anti-intellectualism that it perpetuates. It isn’t hard to miss. For starters, the majority of Christians in America are ignorant and proud. The fact that the most idiotic President in our nation’s history was elected mainly because of the support of the Christian Right, speaks volumes. A quick look back at history also shows that the Church and various organized religions have done everything they could to restrict science and knowledge. At every stage of scientific achievement, Christians were always their persecuting those who wish to expand human knowledge and human progress. One of the Humanities biggest loses came pretty early on too. In 415 CE a Christian mob brutally murdered Hypatia of Alexandria (I would go into more details about the brutality of that murder, but it is a bit graphic) who was one the bright lights of Science in her time. Even today, almost half of Christianity stands against the science of evolution and medical stem cell research.

The fact is that the more religious someone is, the less value they tend to place on science and education. According to the National Academy of Sciences, 93% of scientists express disbelief or doubt in the existence of a personal deity. 72% outright disbelieve in a personified deity. These are among the brightest minds on Earth. Both Albert Einstein and Stephen Hawking (widely considered the two smartest men who every lived) had issue with the personified deity of Christianity. These men joined the company of many of the most intellectual founding fathers such as Ben Franklin, Thomas Paine, Thomas Jefferson, and other.

The concept of “faith” is a slap in the face to science and intellectual curiosity. Faith stops questions while science encourages questions. Faith provides dishonest, unsupportable, and unquestioned certainty while science leaves every conclusion open to change with additional evidence and discoveries. With faith, no education is necessary because education is often a determent to faith. This is one of the biggest reasons why Christian fundamentalists are so keen on censorship and control. Even in the Bible, the character of Jesus elevates blind faith above intellectual rigor, reason, and evidence.

“Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed [are] they that have not seen, and [yet] have believed.” – John 20: 29

This is not the only instance in which the Bible attacks the intellect. Corinthians is full of such examples. “God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise” – 1 Corinthians 1:27 and 5 “That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.” – 1 Corinthians 2:5, etc.

Science, reason, and intellectualism support the concepts of continued questioning, education, and human curiosity. Through the scientific method, the rules of logic, and the thirst to understand, people of reason are continually pushing the boundaries of human knowledge and helping to make life better and longer for us all. Yet, example after example, the Bible and Christianity stand against the intellect and continue to propagate ignorance, fear, and unreason. Between the Creation Museum and the absolute unquestioning certainty of a divine deity, Christianity remains one of the biggest oppositions to human progress and the greatest threat to intellectualism.

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5 responses to “The Anti-Intellectualism of Christianity

  1. Wow! So nice to find someone who has thought this out! In my debut book on the first page I took a scripture verse from Romans that says: “For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge” (Romans10:2). It is certainly true when dealing with the various Christian masses. I could go into a long detailed list of those terrified of intellectualism but it’s just easier to say that any faith that would lose its faith claim based on education is frightened of any sort of scientific research. These groups allow “God” to answer anything they don’t understand and often don’t realize that sciences answer for us everything else. To me blind faith is a slap in the face to the “Creator” of human intelligence

  2. I would encourage you to look at the wide spectrum of the Christian faith. There are people that value knowledge and intellectualism. Sure, they don’t make up the largest and most well-funded portions, but what part of society does? The majority of our society does not value intellectualism. Look at the New York Times bestseller list. Look at what society preoccupies itself with. The biggest news is Michael Jackson. When CERN was coming online, the story wasn’t about how amazing this was, and how we were going to jump our understanding of the smallest particles around us forward by years, but the story was, “Are we all going to be destroyed by a black hole?”

    You’ll find people who aren’t open-minded everywhere, even in science. There are plenty of scientists that are unwilling to re-examine their views based on evidence to the contrary. But there are intellectual Christians. I would encourage you to look into the emergent movement within Christianity. Faith and science does not have to be mutually exclusive

  3. If you sir are an intellectual, why is there so much room for typos and spelling/grammar errors in your article? I can show you a list:

    1. “President” is only capitalized in this sentence, for example, since it is the first word in the sentence. “President of The United States” as a formal title also warrants capitalization.

    2. One sentence needs its commas rearranged. It SHOULD read as follows: “The fact that the most idiotic president in our nation’s history was elected, mainly, because of the support of the Christian Right speaks volumes.”

    3. “Christians were always THEIR persecuting…”? WHAT? Excuse me?

    4. “One of the Humanities biggest loses”? You mean “One of the humanities’ biggest losses”?

    5. Why is the word “science” capitalized in the sentence about Hypatia?

    6. “Smartest men who EVERY lived”? You mean EVER lived, do you?

    7. “And other”? You mean “and others?”

    8. “Oppositions” (notice the plural form) is not even a word! You mean “opponents”?

    You are from Philadelphia I take it. Do you realize how many Jews (many of which are loyal to their culture’s religion) living on the Main Line are scientists, mathematicians, lawyers, psychologists, and others with high-stakes jobs?

  4. Regarding Dauson’s scripture that he quoted – “For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge” (Romans10:2). If you read this passage of scripture in context. Read Romans 10 v. 1 thru 4. You will realize that the author is talking about the Israelites (those that did not know Christ) – not the Christian culture. See below.

    Brothers and sisters, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for the Israelites is that they may be saved. 2 For I can testify about them that they are zealous for God, but their zeal is not based on knowledge. 3 Since they did not know the righteousness of God and sought to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness. 4 Christ is the culmination of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes.

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