I have been reading C.S. Lewis' book "The Screwtape Letters" - which also includes "Screwtape Proposes a Toast". It has been my reading material in the bathroom, for those sacred times when I run away and hide in the one place Momma can get some alone time (and only if I remember to lock the door).
Anyway, I don't think I've ever read the Proposes a Toast part. This edition has a preface written by Lewis himself, explaining the Toast.
Basically, he is describing American public schools (and *not* in a good way). Whatever Screwtape and his demon companions LIKE, we should run away from. They *love* the American public schools and what we are doing to our children. We should definately be concerned!
And remember, this preface was written in 1962 ~ can you imagine what Lewis would think of our school systems today?! Yike!
Some of the things Screwtape loves about the American public schools:
***a warped version of "democracy" ~ basically that we are completely equal. No one should be higher or lower than another student, regardless of effort, intelligence, hard work, etc. His hope is that this warped ideal would get rid of every kind of human excellence ~ for who would *dare* try to excell and rise about anyone else?? How rude and inconsiderate, what a stuck-up snob!!
***to go along with this, student are passed on from grade to grade regardless of their effort or ability. Also highly intelligent students are trapped with age peers, even if they are capable of much more advanced. It is this desire to be "like everyone else", to keep everyone the same, to conform at which the public schools are so good at.
***in order to make everyone "feel" good (and get rid of that annoying individualism), differences between pupils must be disguised. American public schools (and universities) do this by altering entrance exams to allow anyone in, regardless of their ability (and willingness) to learn and work hard. "All incentives to learn and all penalties for not learning will vanish."
***in going along with this American "ideal" ~ all schooling will, of course, be state education. How else could those in control cut everyone down to the same level and restrict individuals from rising in various areas?
Listen to this line:
"For 'democracy' or the 'demoncratic spirit' (diabolical sense) leads to a nation without great men, a nation mainly of subliterates, full of the cocksureness which flattery breeds on ignorance, and quick to snarl or whimper at the first hint of criticism. And that is what Hell wishes every democratic people to be."
This is SO TRUE!! Cocksureness?! ~ Absolutely! I am appalled by how many ignorant (or ordinary) people there are running around out there who think WAY TOO MUCH of themselves, thinking they *deserve* it all.
Ultimately, Screwtape enjoys and encourages the behavior of American public schools for one main reason: the lack of individualism, the desire to "be like everyone else", a basic state of mind which rejects "almost every road which might finally lead him to Heaven".
My friends, if you believe public education in our great nation is a-religious ~ wake up and look around. Public education is doing NO ONE any favors, except those who desire a nation full of "jelly in a mold". THEIR mold. And this mold in no way resembles Jesus: whose life we should be trying to emmulate. 'If you are not for me, you are against me.....'
You simply can't have it both ways. You can't follow the world and follow the Lord. It doesn't work. We can see how prophetic C.S. Lewis' writings were - as we stare American public schools in the face and see it unfolding today. Hell must be celebrating and laughing.....
Wake up, break out of your public education mold. Don't allow your children to be trapped and conformed to *their* standards. There are better ways. C.S. Lewis saw it back in '62 ~ can you see it even more clearly today?