Monday, July 7, 2008

Observations on too much right wing religion - don't bother to argue with me...I may not be right, but I am not wrong!

Sometimes I see something that sticks in my head and festers. This is one of those times. While I was in So. Carolina I heard about a bill that was being passed to allow the printing of license plates that say, "I Believe" with a Christian cross on it. There are some things that just should NOT occur and this is one of them. Today this story was broadcast on CNN and other networks as a new story, but  if they have the plates it is not a NEW story! (see article)

Elsewhere in the news (actually this is about 4 days old)...The People for the American Way (A conservative Evangelical group) were discussing the Olympics and Tyson Gay (an Olympic runner) who will probably win a gold medal. In their article they wrote, "Tyson Homosexual ran the 100 meter...". Apparently they have a program set up that switches the word "gay" to "homosexual". They (The PftAW) won't respond to say which was more offensive to them... gay or homosexual... and why either would give them pause.

These are the same (okay, perhaps they aren't exactly the same) people that want to put a label on all text books describing the Theory of Evolution as being one possible "theory" of life's origin. See article below:   While this article I have included is about a group in Kansas, I would like to point out that there were three, count them...THREE, Republican candidates (Huckabee, Brownback and one other) during the primaries that raised their hands when asked if they believed in Creationism over Evolution. Huckabee went as far as stating that while he didn't know if it was "6 days to create the earth or 6 days of undetermined value". Here is a great article about how the Creationists are trying to subvert the Supreme Court ruling by stating that they want "Intelligent Design" (same as Creationism - they came up with this name to divert the populace AND the courts from who they really are) to be taught.

Honestly, I truly don't care what they teach, as long as they teach both AND state that BOTH are "THEORIES". I would also like them to state that Newton's Law of Gravity is a "Theory" - personally, I need much more proof before I will succumb to such nonsense as this gravity-thing. Who are they trying to fool... gravity, bah! I think that we should also make sure that we list Ohm's Law, PI, Pascal's Principle, Avogadro's Number and all the other proven laws as "just theory".

Why does religion have to be so zealous about manipulating a situation for its own gain? It isn't just the Christian faiths that are so fanatical, you can find this in the Muslim religion as well. I find it highly amusing that these same "Christians" are the very first to point fingers at Fundamentalist Muslims as being too right wing. Zealotry is not to be admired or emulated, it leads to blind-militarism and the demise of many cultures. 

Okay, I don't want everyone to all jump on this and get confused and think that I am confusing religion with charlatans like Jerry Fallwell, Pat Robertson or Ted Haggard (everyone's favorite drug using - cock chugging evangelical pastor). Religion, more specifically, the belief of something can be good for people. What I mean is that belief in some higher power can make people feel as if they have purpose and that there is more to life than what is in the mirror. I realize that some people need that. 

I would like to think that reading a variety of books is key to a grounded education, but when a person neglects to broaden their knowledge base, they become as narrow as the charlatans I have listed above. One quote I have seemed to hang onto for over 20 years (I re-read it before my trip) is from Robert Persig's "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance", it is, "When one person suffers from a delusion, it is called insanity. When many people suffer from a delusion, it is called religion." 

Don't get me wrong, I am not against religion, religions, spiritual beliefs or the teachings of those religions. What I get unplugged by is that there are people who become unhinged by people with diametrically (and not so) opposing viewpoints. Why does the religious "right" try to push so hard to have a voice in the government? Why won't they just allow government to exist without their influence? Maybe another question is, why do governments allow religions so much influence?  


Anonymous said...

People For the American Way is not a "conservative Evangelical group" - the groups that replaced Tyson Gay's name with "homosexual" was the American Family Association, which actually is a conservative Evangelical group. People For the American Way is a group that monitors right-wing groups and merely reported the AFA's gaffe.

BAJ said...

Good catch:-)

Anonymous said...

Dear Bret - I finally managed to visit your blog. Sound like a fantastic journey. Just a short comment for now, as I just got into work. Coming from a secular country it's always been highly amusing to observe the stupidity of (American) creationists and the very complicated and devious ways they try to make evolution go away. As an evolutionary biologist and geneticist it is curious how a theoretic framework so ingrained in modern science can be disputed by so many. I know few people opposed to being cured using drugs that could never have been invented (save by invoking a miracle, of course) if we didn't use evolutionary-based insights about gene function in e.g. bacteria and animals compared to humans. That said, I am slightly worried about some media claiming that creationism is gaining ground in Europe as well. It looks like the 'age of popular enlightenment' may be coming to an end. I watched an interview with a Pakistani head-of-religious-something-or-other and government advisor, and he claimed that all the knowledge we need about the world could be found in the Koran. When asked why the non-religious western world then had proven so much better at inventing 'useful stuff' he replied that the only way of explaining this was that western scientists must be reading the Koran secretly at night... An he was dead-serious! Ok - it's (also) my responsibility to keep the world from going mad(der). back to work.