Confusing creed with education
There is a wave of terror slowly but methodically washing over this country, with potential social and political consequences ranging from the mere loss of a few traditional liberties to an entire generation of indoctrinated zombies.By attempting to subvert the educational process of our children in state after state, the terrorists who are responsible arrogantly infer all moral, social and political implications of a single theory should be judged more important than the legitimacy of the theory itself. They will not stop until every last one of us falls in line with their narrow-minded plan.Their beliefs about the world – its origins and evidence of “reason” for existence – are entirely free of evidence and reason. Yet while convinced of the superiority of their mythological traditions, they are obsessed with the inferiority of their relatively recent media-surged perceived increase in power. They wish for a child’s education to consist entirely of learning to recite from an ancient book of religious fiction, and no amount of scientific common sense (aka provable facts) are allowed to stand in their way.When we witness someone being ruled by ideas for which they have no evidence or rational justification, normally they would be prime candidates for the loony bin or unilaterally labeled as Muslim fanatics shouting “Allah Akbar.” Unfortunately, this group is referred to as American fundamentalist Christians, and they are just as scary and an even bigger concern over the long term for the stability of our nation.Before you Bible jocks start planting your revival tent stakes in my front yard, realize that there is a much larger picture here than the confirmation of judicial nominees, a silly plaque inscribed with suggestions for how to live one’s life, or the explanation for a simple water stain under a bridge.The growing threat from religious fundamentalists – whether Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Buddhists or Hindu – is the number one menace facing all of mankind. Heady stuff. But in the spirit of keeping this column rooted in American education (and my editor’s limit of a thousand words), take a look at these recent Republican right quotes:– “Stop filibustering people of faith!” was the battle cry at a Louisville, Ky., event that should have been euphemistically called “Sunday, Justice Sunday.” The headliner sermon was performed by Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist with a proselytizing intro from the radically fanatic Dr. James Dobson. Dobson, along with his Focus on the Family freaks, promotes an evangelical attempt at slamming females back in the kitchen, scientist back in the woodshed, gays back in the closet, and children back in the single-room schoolhouse with a dusty chalkboard and a handful of paddling sticks with appropriately sized air holes as reminders to study nothing but the latest versions of quotes from their latest rendering of a mystical being.– House Leader Tom Delay asserted, “Only Christianity offers a way to live in response to the realities we find in this world – only Christianity.” He also claims to have gone into politics “to promote a biblical world view.” — Pat Robertson, that 700 Club imbecile who claimed to shift the path of a hurricane through prayer and blamed 9/11 on gays and promiscuous women, said last week, “Over 100 years, I think the gradual erosion of the consensus that’s held our country together is probably more serious than a few bearded terrorists who fly into buildings.”The man was talking about federal judges. Yep, according to Pat, liberal courts are a worse threat to America than Nazi Germany, Japan and the Civil War ever were and Islamic Jihads, China and North Korea are today.Who knew?Two fundamentalist leaders, two politicians, and all four striving for a theocratic nation where they can impose a state religion upon our government, indoctrinate a generation of our youth by forcing a dogmatic education and are proud to live in a country in which a person cannot get elected president if he or she openly doubts the existence of heaven and hell.We now have entire states de-evolving back to the point of teaching creationism as science (Kansas, Georgia and Ohio so far, with 16 others pondering), only they now call it “intelligent design” and try desperately not to use the “G” word in a debate unless absolutely necessary (i.e. when they’re stumped by rational reason or simply need to fill a gap). They refuse evolution because “no one was there to watch it happen.”Peaking in 1963, SAT scores have plummeted since, with American high school graduates performing so poorly at math and science that they are now lower than any other industrialized nation on the planet. Today, over half of the university graduate students in science and engineering are foreign-born. American school kids are being surpassed daily by secularist nations that keep a clear separation between church and state, yet these Christian Conservative Cornholers insist upon teetering on the lunatic fringe of disaster by stressing all little Johnny should care about is Yahweh, abortion, gays and stem cell research. These folks are the real threat.America and her educators need to wake up and tell these religious fanatics to take their modernday version of the Crusades and crawl back under their Rock of Ages while the rest of the rational world studies and teaches the ages of rocks.Richard Carnes of Edwards writes a weekly column for the Daily. He can be reached at email@example.comVail, Colorado
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