Well this plank of the official platform of Texas’s GOP (via Talking Points Memo) makes the faith-based religious community’s hostility towards reason and fear of unfettered critical thinking explicit:
We oppose the teaching of Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS) (values clarification), critical thinking skills and similar programs that are simply a relabeling of Outcome-Based Education (OBE) (mastery learning) which focus on behavior modification and have the purpose of challenging the student’s fixed beliefs and undermining parental authority.
It drives me nuts every time I characterize faith as the volitional decision to believe, independent of evidence to the contrary and sometimes an outright refusal to even consider evidence to the contrary, and get told by atheist defenders of faith that “No, no! Faith is reasonable, it’s not anti-evidence!” But it is and religious believer after religious believer that you talk to confirms this explicitly as soon as you point out something transparently irrational that they believe. They usually have no compunction in not only admitting to their irrationalism and expressing their misology but celebrating these things as stemming from a virtue—the alleged virtue of faith.
So, here is yet another uncensored expression of the authoritarian, anti-rational religious mind. Students are to be presumed to have “fixed beliefs” determined for them by “parental authority” that should never be challenged by training in explicit critical thinking skills or discussion that forces students to undergo difficult values clarification for themselves.
But of course that does not mean these people’s faiths are irrational! How dare I suggest such a thing. It’s so prejudicial of me.
And why are they so against values clarification? Because the Social Darwinian caricature of it in the song “Lifeboat” (by the Christian satirical musical artist Steve Taylor) is all they think it could possibly entail to critically assess our values. They often think that if we actually reason honestly and irreligiously about values then we would destroy the weak and so we need dogmatic assertions of the dignity of persons to stave off such truthful assessments. And these supposed denials of common sense reality allegedly can only be derived from the Christian Bible (even though the book constantly shows no awareness of any such concept) and can only be maintained by deferential, unthinking obedience to religious authority. That’s how little confidence they have in either reason or in the rationally defensible truth of morality. (See more about this in my post Is It Too Risky to Debate Morality’s Foundations in the Public Square, in which I explicate and criticize the views of both the fundamentalists and the accommodationists who pander to them.)
(The video features the singer, Steve Taylor, performing satirically in drag, so I apologize if his performance has any dimensions offensive to transgendered people.)
For more on faith, read any or all posts in my “Disambiguating Faith” series (listed below) which strike you as interesting or whose titles indicate they might answer your own questions, concerns, or objections having read the post above. It is unnecessary to read all the posts below to understand any given one. They are written to each stand on their own but also contribute to a long sustained argument if read all together.The Threatening Abomination Of The Faithless