Fundamentalist Propaganda


This article on creationism makes me want to cry. It's about the vast network of religious organizations that spend millions of dollars to promote lies and half truths that support their fundamentalist reading of the Bible.

Hundreds of pastors will preach a different message Sunday, in honor of Charles Darwin's 197th birthday. In a national campaign, they will tell congregations that it's possible to be a Christian and accept evolution.

Ham considers that treason. When pastors dismiss the creation account as a fable, he says, they give their flock license to disregard the Bible's moral teachings as well. He shows his audiences a graphic that places the theory of evolution at the root of all social ills_ abortion, divorce, racism, gay marriage, store clerks who say "Happy Holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas."

It's funny, because with the exception of racism, I don't think any of those are particularly bad. Abortion and divorce certainly aren't things that anyone likes to happen, but they're often far better than the alternatives (loveless marriages or pre-teen pregnancy, for example). What's even funnier is that the Bible was often used to justify racism in the past.

The worst part of this situation isn't that these groups are coming up with millions of dollars or that they're aggressively marketing their ideas. It's that they're teaching this crap to children, who don't know any better_

"Who's the only one who's always been there?" Ham asked.
"God!" the boys and girls shouted.
"Who's the only one who knows everything?"
"God!"
"So who should you always trust, God or the scientists?"
The children answered with a thundering_ "God!"

One twelve year old girl described her path to believing in creationism_

"They were explaining about apes standing up, evolving to man, and I could kind of see that's how it could happen," she said. Ham convinced her otherwise. As her mother beamed, Emily repeated Ham's mantra_ "The Bible is the history book of the universe."

I don't understand how people can stare into the face of overwhelming evidence and ignore it. I don't understand the need to cling to beliefs unflinchingly and justify them, no matter what kind of irrational explanations and leaps of faith that may entail. It is certainly the nature of religions to hold fast to their doctrines. In some sense, I can't blame them for that. However, I can blame the people who supress their curiosity and intrinsic human desire to understand the world.

"The feeling of awed wonder that science can give us is one of the highest experiences of which the human psyche is capable. It is a deep aesthetic passion to rank with the finest that music and poetry can deliver. It is truly one of the things that make life worth living and it does so, if anything, more effectively if it convinces us that the time we have for living is quite finite."

-- Richard Dawkins

Comments

Written by Len Hart -

Thanks for this great article. This wave of fundamentalist hysteria is relatively recent. I grew up in a more secular world, when the words "under God" did not appear in the pledge of allegiance. Like Lobsters, we have been slow cooked intellectually. Idiots will always be idiots. What alarms me is the lack of outcry by people who should know better, or worse, people who know better and say nothing. Bertolt Brecht put it this way_ "A man who does not know the truth is just an idiot but a man who knows the truth and calls it a lie is a crook." Thanks for the Dawkins quote and keep up the good work.

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