I don't usually go into religion on this blog, mostly because I'm a big ol' wuss and don't want to cause problems, but Writtenwyrdd's post about books banned from school libraries made me think. I hope this comes out semi-coherently.
Wyrdd says about the banned books,
And the main factor appears to be, once again, religious intolerance. As in, you must believe exactly as I do, and I'll ensure that by giving you nothing to change your mind. Which, as anyone who has studied any history at all knows, will not work. In fact, suppression of ideas tends to have the opposite effect than the one desired!
And I agree. Suppression of ideas makes those ideas even more desirable to rebellious teenagers. If they want to really suppress them, the more effective method would be to simply feign indifference.
However, you can see why these book banners would worry about education leading people away from church. In a fit of serendipity, this article about why one man walked away from Christianity came across my desktop immediately after I commented on Wyrdd's post. The main reason he gives for leaving is that Christianity just doesn't make sense. Actually that the existence of God himself doesn't make sense. That the only reason people believe in any god is because they were indoctrinated in their particular religion as children. (And looking at it objectively, that's mostly true, isn't it?) Religion is humanity's way of explaining the as-yet unexplained, and as science provides plausible explanations for the things we used to take on faith (as in the battle between creationism and evolution, and don't get me started on that) a modern person absolutely has to reconcile scientific knowledge with faith if they are to continue to embrace the Bible.
So to come back around to my point, yeah, education can transform the idea of God, and for many it disproves God's existence. Honestly? I don't think that's necessarily a bad thing. I believe in God, not as separate entity looking down upon us, but as part of us. Our life essence. Our selves. God does not need us to believe in God. I don't believe in Hell or being "saved" in the Christian sense, and I'm obviously not the only one. There's a shift in social consciousness coming about, and banning books which express different ideas is just a way to maintain a way of life that is losing its hold on dominance, just as we do at every major social shift. We'll settle down into a new way, and when that one goes we'll likely hold on just as tightly. It's what we do.