Friday, October 22, 2010

Subtle tricks.

Arsinoe was Cleopatra's younger sister, so history tells us. And Arsinoe was killed on big sister's orders, because she might have been a rival for the Egyptian throne. The same source describes how the boys in Cleopatra's family were disposed of, also. How vile and evil! If you asked most people what they know about Queen Cleopatra, they would probably say she was famous for her beauty and her tragic death after her lover died, not that she was a power-seeking murderer.
We know families don't always get on well, but fratricide is another thing. As we agreed, discussing it after, the society of Ancient Egypt included some dark and evil places.
It's the same elsewhere. The Ancient Greeks, of the Hellenic Age, had a very advanced civilization in the material sense. They learned and deduced some things about the world and our solar system which were later forgotten and had to be rediscovered hundreds of years later. Vert commendable.
They could also be grossly indulgent and entertain some perversions. Several times I've been told that Hellenic men took boys as 'lovers'. That's not homosexuality so much as pederasty, or paedophilia.
The Romans indulged in debauched evil, too. Burning people alive in the Colluseum, or having them set upon by wild animals, was a specator sport for the public at the time.
Yet we were taught at school that these societies were marvellous and admirable. History books and scholars talk about 'the wonder that was Ancient Rome' and 'the Golden Age of Greece', overlooking the Greek practice of keeping slaves. Egypt too is described as a place full of wonders, like the pyramids and Tutenkhamen's tomb.
A young learner could get the impression that the past was a breathtaking place, and it's only the present that is disappointing. And it is a subtle trick, to delude us about human nature and the state of the world. It pretends that human beings are much more admirable and upright than we actually are. I say 'we' because I'm not some exception.
Secular teaching of history therefore conceals an important truth, that a human must know to hear the call of God. Human history does NOT only show us what marvels we have achieved as a race, but also what depths of corruption we have often sunk to.
Teaching history the way we do can be mischieviously misused. Communists teach history to try and sell their ideology, by claiming everything before Karl Marx was bad. And secularists can use history to try and fool us that we don't need God.
This was what George Orwell meant when he said, whoever controls the past controls the present. Tell people that the past was what you want them to believe it was, and you can manipulate them into believing certain things about the present.
The concept of the 'noble savage' comes in here too. The idea was that at some time in the past, a human society existed which was perfectly harmonious and free from evil. If we can get back to it we can re enter the golden age of peace. That idea also tries to show that human creatures can be perfect if put in the right environment - and thus pretends that we are better than we are in fact, when you look at what actually happens.
I can see why the Christian schools movement has grown. There is a need to present knowledge and learing in a clear way, without attempting to idealize it. And Christian truth will show that, but not secularism. Secularism tries to pretend we are better than we are, and deny the need of a Messiah to save us.
I wonder where it will end?


Farrah said...

Excellent, Andrew! We read an interesting history book on the Incans, Aztecs, and Mayans as part of homeschool last year. The author said exactly what you did. He wrote the book, because he was tired of history books in schools giving glowing reports to these nations. I can't emphasize enough how horrific some of their human sacrifice practices were. This book was written for grade school level, so it didn't go into much detail. But the details it gave actually made me no longer enjoy eating at our local Azteca restaurant as much. The decor has paintings on the walls of things like the temple where Aztec sacrifices were done. Just the thought of it almost makes me sick.

One of the nations believed that their sun god could only be kept alive by human blood. They thought if they didn't have sacrifices every day, the sun wouldn't rise. And one of the nations thought that their gods liked for children to cry. So they would torture the children just before sacrificing them. Horrible, horrible stuff.

Our God hates human sacrifice, drawing blood, making children "walk through fire." He doesn't like to see His people hurt. Unlike pagan gods, our God wants the best for us. He is just, logical, loving, merciful, intimate with us . . . He is the perfect God.

Is it any wonder that these civilizations were conquered or disappeared from the face of the earth? I'm sure God had a hand in it to stop their evil practices.

Andrew Clarke said...

I agree, Farrah. As you describe, I've heard things about the Aztecs and Incas, and their human sacrifice, which are utterly evil - including the sacrifice of children. It makes the blood run cold with horror or hot with loathing. Then some historian talks about 'the glorious past', including 'the glory that was Rome' - with Christians fed to the lions!