Listening to episode 73 of Ben Franklin’s World, which featured historian Mark Noll discussing the Bible in early America, and he mentioned that literacy rates in New England and Scotland were the highest in the English-speaking world in the 17th & 18th centuries, largely as the result of Protestant influence and emphasis on reading the Bible. Of course, this era overlaps with the Scottish Enlightenment and the founding of Harvard and Yale and other influential New England colleges. Ironic that religious fervor laid the seeds for the advancement of science, the growth of skepticism, and the rise of humanism. I might go so far as to say that this gives me hope. Yes, every cause has an effect, but we don’t always know what the effect will be, and it might be quite the opposite of what is intended. So rave on, you Republicans and right-wingers, you close-minded anthem singers and jingoistic ready with the trigger-fingers, despite all your efforts, I do believe that justice will prevail.
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