I’m no expert on the historical influence of religion on the politics in America. From what I’ve read the founding fathers were dead set against the church, any church, having the power to bully political figures and shape political policy. Freedom of religion was encouraged, including the freedom to not be bound by any religion at all. The church had its function, and it was an important one, and the government had its function and they did not overlap.
Back then, because science and scientific methodology were truly in their infancy, most folks believed in a spiritual superbeing of some sort. There was no good evidence otherwise. But over time, as we discovered more about our planet and our universe, as we unearthed and were able to date fossils, tools, even entire civilizations, it became apparent that our little ball in the sky was much, much older and more complex than the good book would have us believe.
With the emergence of technology, our ability to apply the scientific method has exploded and the results have been truly astounding. Discoveries in meteorology, biology, anthropology, chemistry and geology have left no doubt about the true age of the earth and its early development. Fossil finds of prehistoric and prehuman creatures, some millions of years old have become commonplace. The advancement in these areas, just in the last half century, are incredible.
Given this indisputable data, which continues to accumulate, it is unbelievable that a supposedly educated and intune population in a modern country would insist on clinging to ancient ideas that simply cannot be supported by any evidence at all except what was written by old superstitious men nearly 2000 years ago. It boggles the mind. It’s not only unreasonable, it’s dangerous.
Now, in the 21st century, it seems that the power and influence of the hard core religious believers is greater than ever. So great in fact that our leaders, whether they actually believe these myths or not, must present a public front showing their allegiance to these fairy tales. I don’t think they do it because they truly buy into it – i can’t accept that any knowledgeable person who has taken the time to study the science would – I think they do it simply because they realize that to do otherwise dooms their political careers. In other words, they must act as if they are as ignorant of the truth as the people who vote for them.
McCain and Obama both fit into that category. Saying they believe the malarky so the dumbest segment of the public will vote for them is required. Palin is different. She really is dumb and does believe it. As comical as it is every time she speaks, I don’t laugh at her. I find myself sitting there with my mouth hanging open in disbelief.
I don’t know how, in this age of new found wisdom and scientific discovery, the ultra conservative religious fanatics have emerged as such a powerful force in America. It must have something to do with the people yearning for and searching for some peace and consolation in the highly stressful times that we live in. Religion always thrives among the needy and the desperate.
But I do know that it is a formula for future social disaster. If we continue to live in the past, if we are satisfied to pray and hope for a better future instead of work for one, if we are so frightened and ignorant that we frantically read a fairy tale over and over in the hope that it will somehow bring about the changes in our lives that we desire instead of facing the hard facts that we have to get off of our butts and work for that change, then the US will continue to crumble, the ultra rich will continue to steal from and rape the poor, and the empire, like others throughout history, will disappear into oblivion. I for one am betting that will happen.