Hi, I'm a sixteen year old male Catholic and in my high school physics class we are supposed to read Dan Brown's fictional novel "Angels and Demons." My teacher said it is supposed to help us learn how science affects our culture. Still, I cannot possibly imagine how reading a fictional novel is appropriate material for a high school physics course. We have been assigned to read the first 133 pages over the upcoming Christmas break (yuck! could there be a worse way to spend this holy time of year?). As I am sure you already know, Dan Brown is the same blasphemer who wrote the Da Vinci Code. So, my question comes in two parts (a)what should I do about all of this? Should my parents and I say something to the teacher about all of this? And (b) do you know of any other books that could show how science relates to society without being blasphemous like this?
Sadly things like this have happened before in the public school that I go to and, as I am sure you know, is very pervasive in all aspects of American life. Also, I would like to add that there is a girl in the same physics class who goes to our parish as well, and my family knows her family fairly well. Perhaps it would be useful to work together on this? I appreciate any help you can give, and God bless all of you at EWTN for all that you do.
Your brother in Christ, Mark Hoffkins
Answer by David Gregson on 1/24/2008:
It's a bit late to do anything about your assignment before Christmas, but I would suggest a two-pronged response to any similar readings in the future. Ask your parents to express their concern, perhaps at a PTA meeting, and yourself give a critique of the material in classroom discussion, based on any evidence you can find that the reading is skewed. The latter would alert your classmates to any anti-Catholic/anti-Christian bias in the reading, and perhaps make them more critical of such bias in the future.