"They were a boy and girl. Yellow, meagre, ragged, scowling, wolfish; but prostrate, too, in their humility. Where graceful youth should have filled their features out, and touched them with its freshest tints, a stale and shrivelled hand, like that of age, had pinched, and twisted them, and pulled them into shreds. Where angels might have sat enthroned, devils lurked, and glared out menacing. No change, no degradation, no perversion of humanity, in any grade, through all the mysteries of wonderful creation, has monsters half so horrible and dread.
Scrooge started back, appalled. Having them shown to him in this way, he tried to say they were fine children, but the words choked themselves, rather than be parties to a lie of such enormous magnitude.
“Spirit! are they yours?” Scrooge could say no more.
“They are Man’s,” said the Spirit, looking down upon them. “And they cling to me, appealing from their fathers. This boy is Ignorance. This girl is Want. Beware them both, and all of their degree, but most of all beware this boy..."
- A Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens
One of my most favorite stories is a Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. What? Surprised an atheist can enjoy a Christmas story? Or even a ghost story? Well I can and I do.
The above scene from the Second Spirit, the Ghost of Christmas Present, is telling.
The greatest monster we face today is Ignorance.
As American we seem to want to embrace our ignorance as some sort of badge of honor. We watch stupid TV shows with stupid commercials for products we don't need or are even bad for us. We revel in it.
Of course then it is no surprise that there are those that want to dumb down our schools. Have them learn stupid fantasies because they are too ignorant or too lazy or both to learn the truth.
There is another quote often attributed to G. K. Chesterton.
“Fairy Tales are more than true; not because they tell us that monsters exist, but because they tell us that monsters can be beaten.”
Ignorance can be beaten. But it is going to take a lot more work than most people are willing to do.
I agree. Ignorance is rampant, and it's the most dangerous monster of all. We need to beat it, though so many cling to it like it's all they have.ReplyDelete
A very profound choice. And, I agree, very dangerous.ReplyDelete
At the same time we need to battle this monster, cuts are being made to education. That's just in the US. In parts of the world, those in power keep the population ignorant as a means of control, escpecially the women.ReplyDelete
You know, I was talking to someone the other day who said that one of the signs that a government, community and country are crumbling is a harkening back to religion, trying to force it on everyone else in the government, etc. His theory was a lot more involved than that, but my point being that I've noticed a massive movement to entangle government and religion, and schools and religion, more. A major drive toward it. I even seem to recall a movement in Texas to change some things in their history books, which I found terrifying.ReplyDelete
Shannon at The Warrior Muse
Powerful! Thank you for sharing and thanks for stopping by my blog and your comments.ReplyDelete
Such a fine post. And I don't find it remotely odd an atheist can enjoy a Christmas ghost story. This atheist has written more than one...ReplyDelete