Ask some non-religious liberal friends how they would describe a person who attended only fundamentalist Christian or ultra-Orthodox Jewish schools from preschool through graduate school. "Brainwashed" and "closed-minded" would be their most likely answers, and they would often be right. Most people assume that any person who is exposed to only one way of looking at the world for all of his or her life can hardly be regarded as open-minded.
Now ask those same individuals how they would describe a person who attended only secular schools from preschool through graduate school.
Your friends would probably look at you with incomprehension. What kind of question is that? After all, they and the great majority of people in our country attended secular schools, and they consider themselves perfectly normal and open-minded.
"Brainwashed"? "Closed-minded"? Such terms cannot possibly be applied to the secular or the "progressive," only to the religious and conservative.
But, of course, such a response is logically untenable. If a person is to be considered brainwashed for having only received a religious education, a person who has received only a secular or liberal (as in politically liberal) education should be regarded identically.
In fact, when secular people and those on the Left deny this, it actually illustrates that they probably have been brainwashed. The secular/Left immersion they underwent has been so effective that it has rendered them incapable of realizing that they have been so immersed.
This is one reason it has become more and more apparent that the most closed-minded people in American and European society today are not the religious but the secular, not the Right but the Left. The majority of even fundamentalist Christians and Orthodox Jews are exposed to far more secular thought and behavior than the secular are exposed to religious thought and behavior. Virtually all religious Christians and Jews study secular subjects, have been taught by secular teachers, read secular books, and watch secular films and secular television. Virtually no secular people have studied religious subjects, been taught by religious teachers, or read religious books, let alone watched religious films or television, neither of which exists in any number.
Dennis Prager is a SRN radio show host, contributing columnist for Townhall.com and author of his newest book, “The Ten Commandments: Still the Best Moral Code.”