Fool and Lie Makers by Nicholas Nussen

Feature

Fool & Lie Makers

Public Education & the Secular Idols Replacing God
by Nicholas Nussen

St. Paul, passing through one of our public-school classrooms, would find his spirit stirred at a culture no less given to idolatry than that of the Athenians in his day. Only in place of the altar to the "Unknown God," he would find an altar to the all-too-familiar god of the Self; and among the "new things" on the lips of our adolescent sophists, he might hear something like, "Hey, you can't impose your morals on me!"

Such was the exclamation of one of my tenth-grade students two years ago in response to a "judgy" peer, expressing the one moral rule left in our culture, taken almost from the lips of our Savior: "Judge not." However, this is not, as in the Gospels, an admonition to remove the beam from one's own eye before plucking the mote from another's. Rather, it is a blanket prohibition of all judgment whatsoever, proceeding from what the shrewd apostle would recognize as a "strange doctrine" more dangerous than anything preached at the Areopagus: moral relativism, or the notion that all sincerely held beliefs, being neither right nor wrong in an objective moral sense, are immune to criticism.

THIS ARTICLE ONLY AVAILABLE TO SUBSCRIBERS.
FOR QUICK ACCESS:


Nicholas Nussen lives with his wife and infant son in Ohio, where he formerly taught in a public high school, and now works at a university and attends law school.


more on education from the online archives

25.5—Sept/Oct 2012

Easy Burden

on the Blessings & Challenges of Homeschooling by Graeme Hunter

24.5—Sept/Oct 2011

Pupils Delighted

on Wondering or Wandering Through College Education by Anthony Esolen

27.2—March/April 2014

Poetry Above Compulsion

Higher Education Should Advance the Glorious Liberty of the Sons of God by Anthony Esolen

calling all readers

Please Donate

"There are magazines worth reading but few worth saving . . . Touchstone is just such a magazine."
—Alice von Hildebrand

"Here we do not concede one square millimeter of territory to falsehood, folly, contemporary sentimentality, or fashion. We speak the truth, and let God be our judge. . . . Touchstone is the one committedly Christian conservative journal."
—Anthony Esolen, Touchstone senior editor

Support Touchstone

• Not a subscriber or wish to renew your subscription? Subscribe to Touchstone today for full online access. Over 30 years of publishing!


personal subscriptions

Purchase
Online Subscription

Get a one-year full-access subscription to the Touchstone online archives including pdf downloads for only $19.95. That's only $1.66 per month!


RENEW your online subscription

Purchase Print &
Online Subscription

Get six issues (one year) of Touchstone PLUS full online access including pdf downloads for only $39.95. That's only $3.34 per month!


RENEW your print/online
subscription

gift subscriptions

GIVE Print &
Online Subscription

Give six issues (one year) of Touchstone PLUS full online access including pdf downloads for the reduced rate of $29.95. That's only $2.50 per month!


RENEW your gift subscription

Transactions will be processed on a secure server.

bulk subscriptions

Order Touchstone subscriptions in bulk and save $10 per sub! Each subscription includes 6 issues of Touchstone plus full online access to touchstonemag.com—including archives, videos, and pdf downloads of recent issues for only $29.95 each! Great for churches or study groups.

kindle subscription

OR get a subscription to Touchstone to read on your Kindle for only $1.99 per month! (This option is KINDLE ONLY and does not include either print or online.)

Your subscription goes a long way to ensure that Touchstone is able to continue its mission of publishing quality Christian articles and commentary.


more from the online archives

33.1—January/February 2020

It's Personal

on the Consequences of One Birth Before Roe v. Wade by Craig Kellogg Galer

19.10—December 2006

Workers of Another World United

A Personal Commemoration of Poland’s Solidarity 25 Years Later by John Harmon McElroy

34.1—January/February 2021

Jeremiah Revisited

Live Not by Lies: A Manual for Christian Dissidents by Rod Dreher by Hans Boersma

00