07 August 2005

Religion Rant

I'm going to take a moment to stop being understanding, analytical and sympathetic.

What do these anti-science idiots think they are trying to accomplish?

Our President thinks "intelligent design" is good science that should be taught in our schools. His administration has ignored the consensus evidence that global warming exists and is caused by us. The FDA is giving more credence to an ideological nutcase who operates a criminally unethical gynecological practice and treated his ex-wife like a prostitute while claiming to have god on his side, than it does to the vast majority of its advisory panel on the issue of over the counter status for emergency contraception. They want to stop stem cell research using tissue that otherwise would have been incinerated in a medical waste bin and call that humane. And, don't get me started on the parents who aren't willing to give their kids vacinations or blood transfusions. The EPA is planning on ignoring all scientific advances of the past quarter century as it sets out to classify endangered species status. Something like a third of Americans are young Earth creationists. They object to the Big Bang Theory, and to plate tectonics, which they want to strike from school curriculums, and have this weird idea that our schools are teaching the "Biology of Abortion" whatever that means. It is only a matter of time before they'll be arguing for equal time and pay for demon exorcists in hospitals because that's the medical approach which Jesus and his disciples used. They are more exorcisms in the Gospels than there are communions, baptisms, ordinations or funerals.

And, it isn't as if the non-scientific side of the worldview these anti-science idiots are trying to preserve by ignoring science is any better. Hate gays. Treat women like shit. Dancing is bad. Execute people who received sub-standard trials and let God sort it out. Our country is by and for Christians only. Convert or kill non-Christians. Keep brain dead people on life support. Believe in God and you'll get rich. Ban Harry Potter and Dungeons and Dragons. Your own sins don't matter because they'll all be forgiven.

Are these all Christians? No. But, they are the majority of evangelical Christians (from denominations that often didn't even disavow slavery until the 1960s) and they are a growing share of the more traditional varieties. Somewhere, the messages of tolerance, anti-materialism and charity got lost. I'm not a Christian (the metaphysics are plain wrong and the Biblical God is a pretty evil being on occassion), but I do see that it is possible to find good moral foundations in Christianity and that Christianity can be a force for good in the world. But, the recent track record doesn't look good. Many 19th century Christian philanthropists would be turning in their graves if they could see what a mess has been made of the then uncontroversial cause they gave their riches to advance.

Also, it isn't as if the "good" Christians are very active in keeping their faith from being perverted. I spent a lot of years in more moderate churches, and while the sermons advanced a generally positive view of life, I never once heard a pastor with the temerity to publicly say that the other side had it wrong. You don't see a lot of Lutheran or Episcopal or Methodist preachers take to the airwaves denouncing Dobson's latest faux pas (the United Church of Christ did try to run an ad campaign but the networks wouldn't let them).

The religious right is a dire threat to what makes this country great, and it is taking moderate Christianity down with it, as they feel compelled to imitate it or die.

Also, just for equal time, Islamists seem hell bent on returning the world to a middle aged vision that is brutal and backward, the BJP Hindus are hardly a positive force for change in India, and the ultra-orthodox Jews casting freaky graveyard curses on their own Prime Minister would be laughable if they weren't serious. Joe Lieberman is a reminder that many of the faults of right wing Christianity are buried deep in Orthodox Judiasm as well.

Wake up people! Science is real, it works. You don't need God (or gods) to be moral. Hate and ignorance are not positive forces for change in our world.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This rant sums up my feelings for the whole of the united states... The incredible hate, absurdity and intolerance contained in the religious books of the "Abrahamic" faiths is enough reason to jettison all copies of said books into space. Knowledge is power.