The Abolition of Man

I was recently inspired by a speech given by Ravi Zacharias to obtain from the library a copy of C.S. Lewis’s “The Abolition of Man”.

In the very last paragraph of the chapter “Men Without Chests” Lewis writes: In a sort of ghastly simplicity we remove the organ and demand the function. We make men without chests and expect of them virtue and enterprise.  We laugh at honor and are shocked to find traitors in our midst. We castrate and bid the geldings be fruitful.

Lewis wrote this as an answer to his being asked to critique a textbook. You really should read the whole thing for yourself. Be warned if you are a product of the public education system as we know it you may also need a dictionary, thesaurus and several other reference materials including Google.

I will not even hazard to tell you what I interpret his words to mean. I will, however, tell you what I got from it.

We take out the very heart of what our country was founded on and still expect it to be a land of freedom and opportunity.

We attempt to take away our children’s vivid, innocent imaginations and still expect them to be the next Michelangelo. If they have an imaginary friend we insist on a psychiatric consult. We impose on them adult issues and don’t understand why they grow up seemingly too fast.  We are so worried about what they’ll be when they grow up that we no longer allow them to enjoy childhood and guarantee by doing so that they will never be all they could be or should be.

Now the country group Lonestar is by no means as cerebral as CS Lewis. However, both will give you a very important message: let them be little.

We are doing both our children as well as ourselves a great disservice. We are cutting out their hearts and expecting them to be loving. We are removing their brains and expect them still to think. We may not use an actual scalpel but we are doing it just the same by allowing their childhood as well as their education to be robbed by testing instead of teaching both in the public school system as well as at home. It has to stop.

I will also add that not only do you have to worry about your own children, you need to be concerned with your neighbor, especially if he or she is a child. If you think this doesn’t pertain to you just remember: today’s kindergartner is tomorrow’s teacher, nurse, doctor, lawyer, politician, police officer, soldier and decision maker. You better hope they get the best of everything that they can while you still have something to say about it.

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