10/06/2006

These Are Tomorrow's Voters...and Leaders

Truly one of the scariest things I've read in a very long time: (you really have to read the entire article to get the full effect, but to gauge this snippet you just need to know that Me is the teacher, and Samantha is an eleveneth grade honor student at a very well respected private Catholic school!)


Samantha: Yes, but what science says doesn’t matter.
Me: (silent, unsure of an appropriate response to such an assertion)
Samantha: Just because something is true doesn’t mean you have to believe it.
Me: Okay. (I write her last sentence on the board so it’s plain as day.) Are you sure that’s the argument you want to make to defend a right to abortion?
Samantha: Sure. I can go through my life denying what science says is true. I have that right.
Me: Yes, I guess you can. I can refuse to believe, for example, that the world is round. I can insist it’s flat.
Samantha: Exactly.
Me: But can that kind of thinking ever become the foundation of our laws, even if some unreasonable folks want to base their personal decisions on it? If we do, laws just become a matter of who has the power, not what’s right and true. Laws would simply be what the lawmaker wants them to be, for his own convenience. If the ones making the law want to say wife-beating is okay, then that’s the law; it doesn’t matter if it’s “true” that women are people and have rights. Or Hitler can have his concentration camps. Or America can have black slaves. And there’s nothing anyone can do about it, because (the lawmaker says) just because something is true doesn’t mean I have to believe it.

Samantha shrugged.

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