Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Alienation and Frustration

Holy crap.

"John C. Green, a senior fellow at the Pew Forum, said he was surprised to see that teaching both evolution and creationism was favored not only by conservative Christians, but also by majorities of secular respondents, liberal Democrats and those who accept the theory of natural selection. Mr. Green called it a reflection of "American pragmatism."
"It's like they're saying, 'Some people see it this way, some see it that way, so just teach it all and let the kids figure it out.' " NY Times
Read the article here.

To be fair, I s'pose, if creationism is placed in a context, like "ok, here's what Christians believe," along with "here's what Muslims believe" and "here's what Buddhists believe," etc., in the name of pluralism, in some sort of course on "World Religions," I'll bite. But I'm guessing that's not what those that are pushing this movement have in mind.

What's fascinating, in a way, if one manages to distance oneself from this, is that this issue, which has basically been settled since the Scopes Monkey Trial, is back on the block 80 years later. What's going ON in this place????

One more thing. Those that proclaim America a "Christian nation" are correct only in that the majority of people in this country are Christian. But one of the roles of government is to protect the minority from the whims of a "tyrannous majority." Seems like it might be falling down on the job. Moreover (ok, another thing)- to say this country was founded on Christian principles is correct in that the men who founded it were Christian- and of course they were influenced by the mores of a religion subscribed to almost universally in the western world- but they were also guided by Enlightenment and purely capitalist principles, neither of which can be accurately labeled Christian (although I'm sick of idiots proclaiming that capitalism is the Christian way to be- do you really think Jesus was a capitalist, you morons? Render unto Caesar, remember that?)- finally (ok, one more thing), there is in the Constitution itself and in the first ten amendments a fundamentally pluralist vein, stemming from the fact that the first white people here came to escape religious oppression. And if you don't buy that, the 14th Amendment erased any chance of establishing a state religion. And yet, some 150 years later, we're having this inane debate.

I'm alienated and frustrated because I feel like I might have to leave the country I love because it's no longer the country I love.

Later in the day... oh dear LORD (spaghetti lord, that is) in heaven, this is funny. Thanks to Derek for the link.


At 3:50 PM, Blogger Lizzie said...

Great topic- I could rant on this for days. I'll try to keep it manageable though.

First, I'm getting my masters in international development and one of the themes that is always brought up in the touchy-feely-culture classes is changing the attitudes of those in the third world. Then, I read about things like intelligent design and blocking stem cell research and I'm amazed at the traditionalist values that we, supposedly the most advanced nation in the world, decry in developing countries as obstables to progress but cling to here with zealous righteousness.

Second, evolution is not a theory people! It is a proven fact. To present it along side intelligent design implies that it is debatable and both are possible. Evolution is not for you to *believe* in, it's for you to learn. You don't have to have faith in calculus, it's not a debatable "theory." Evolution is the same way. Contending otherwise is not only offensive at the separation of church and state level, it also means that we are sending our nation's youth out into the world with completely false information. We will be breeding a nation of idiots.

Third, I don't believe that the tyrannous majority is actually a majority. I think it's an extremely well-organized, fanatical minority that takes advantage of the fact that the masses are asses. Maybe I'm being too optimistic though.

Sorry for the verbal diarrhea- I have a lot of opinions on this subject but am not feeling particularly eloquent today. Me not so good with words today but you get the gist of it.

At 4:58 PM, Blogger Noisette said...

Well said! Interesting comments on the third world/first world dichotomy (or lack thereof). That's completely true and an astute observation.

PS- I wish I were getting my masters in international development.

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At 7:55 AM, Blogger St. Dickeybird said...

Very well said!
Unfortunately we're hearing a lot about state VS church these days. In such a multicultural nation, there is no reason to mix the two.

And come up to Canada; our legal system isn't THAT different.

At 11:26 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your writing bores people. I have gotten no less than 5 messages today asking why you would consider still writing a blog. Could you please not writing a blog anymore? Please! Seriously, please! Go make babies or bartend or sit in a Starbucks pretending to be clever.

At 1:05 PM, Blogger Noisette said...

"Go make babies or bartend or sit in a Starbucks pretending to be clever."
Can I do all three at once?
Seriously, dude, maybe you shouldn't reading my blog, if you not liking it.
Just a thinking.

At 3:58 PM, Anonymous Steph said...

Nice article. I have to say, I would rather see evolution reduced to being taught alongside ID in a Philosophy or Religion class than for ID to be elevated as a "scientific" principle. Sadly, this could happen. Our country has this uncanny way of dumbing things down to meet the lowest common denominator. Of course this is why intellect flocks to the cities... saftey in numbers. It's only those idiots in the middle of nowhere (Kansas) that seriously consider this kind nonsense.

Speaking of idiots... What's with this "anonymous" bullshit? If you're going to knock someone's writing at least identify yourself. What bores you anyway? Do you even understand the topic???

At 4:41 PM, Anonymous He's Dead, Jim! said...

Faith in calculus? Well, not really. But when one moves towards higher math and physics (beyond the scope of my studies) one needs to accept certain premises we cannot prove. It's called bending one's brain.

In fact, much of mathematics is based upon theorems, some of which cannot be proved. Indeed, one must have "faith" in some form to accept perhaps the most concrete discipline we have.

For sure Evolution is responsible for the features of living beings on this planet. But there is a magical element there as well.

As one friend expresses extremely well: " The dharma, what Christians might call "the Word of God," is like a sunset. One cannot capture its magic through description. The Holy Bible, or any other book, can't substitute, describe, codify, or otherwise give someone the religious experience. It can only be awakened to. Someone else (other than Jesus, which is what makes him different) can't "born you again," but one can be born again. Similarly, no one can enlighten you, but the buddha nature within can be realized. You *can* wake up (or be born again, or whatever terminology suits you).

I can't explain the dharma to you, but you can know it.

So, is The Holy Bible the word of God? Of course it is. Is The Holy Bible another confusing, contradictory, thoroughly unsatisifying jumble of poorly translated and incomplete stories with no unifiying point? Of course it is.

The Buddha points his finger at the moon, don't argue about the finger. " RD

At 10:50 PM, Anonymous Jennifer said...

Cool rant, but most of the founding fathers weren't actually Christian - well not as we think of Christian today. The big named guys were mostly deists, chill unitarians, and an occasional atheist.
Anyways, yeah keep it up!


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