Nel's New Day

April 13, 2014

Religion & Ignorance: The Chicken or the Egg

Filed under: Uncategorized — trp2011 @ 8:08 PM
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Collecting articles about the ignorant statements from religious fundamentalists, I wonder which came first–ignorance or a belief in religious fundamentalism. When I talked to a friend about this question, he said that these people are likely not stupid, just uneducated. A few statements from conservative  leaders during the past few days back up this theory:

Once an elected senator from South Carolina, Jim DeMint heads up the Heritage Foundation. The name of the group almost sounds as if it has something to do with our country’s history, but DeMint demonstrated a woeful lack of knowledge in his appearance on a Christian radio station:

“Well, the reason that the slaves were eventually freed was the Constitution, it was like the conscience of the American people. Unfortunately there were some court decisions like Dred Scott and others that defined some people as property, but the Constitution kept calling us back to ‘all men are created equal and we have inalienable rights’ in the minds of God. But a lot of the move to free the slaves came from the people, it did not come from the federal government.”

He goes on for a while in the same vein, saying that “no liberal is going to win a debate that big government freed the slaves” and gives credit to the “Republican” Abraham Lincoln because of “a love in his heart that comes from God.”

The phrase “all men are created equal and we have inalienable rights” does not appear in the Constitution although some of this sentiment is in the Declaration of Independence. Before the Civil War, the U.S. Constitution stated that runaway slaves had to be returned:

 “No person held to service or labor in one state, under the laws thereof, escaping into another, shall, in consequence of any law or regulation therein, be discharged from such service or labor, but shall be delivered up on claim of the party to whom such service or labor may be due.”

The U.S. Constitution also prevented Congress from banning slave importation until 1808. DeMint is right “that the slaves were eventually freed” because of the constitution, but it was the Thirteenth Amendment that did by providing that “[n]either slavery nor involuntary servitude. . . shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.” Even that document didn’t pass until the end of 1865, eight months after the end of the Civil War and the assassination of Lincoln.

Despite the U.S. Constitution, state laws in the South continued the Black Codes and Jim Crow laws that maintained the inferiority of former slaves and their descendants until big government passed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Voting Rights Act of 1965, now largely eradicated.

As for Lincoln the Republican, the GOP party of the 19th century held liberal views while the Democrats were comparable to the Republicans today. The Republicans love to claim Lincoln as one of their own when it serves them, but they reject all of his policies.

Rick Wiles, host of TruNews, demonstrated ignorance when he claimed that Adolf Hitler and all the top Nazi leadership were “creating a homosexual special race.” He continued by accusing LGBT rights advocates of being “homofascist” in a radical movement just like Nazi Germany.

“It wasn’t this thing about an Aryan race of white people, blue-eyed, blonde-haired, white people, Hitler was trying to create a race of super gay male soldiers … It will end up in America just like it was in Germany, but it won’t be the Jews that will be slaughtered. It will be the Christians.”

AFA’s Bryan Fischer called LGBT rights advocates “Nazi stormtroopers” who are “totalitarian and repressive.” Pastor Jeff Allen wrote in an op-ed for Liberty Counsel attorney Matt Barber’s website Barbwire:

“Many [LGBT rights advocates] really do console themselves with fantasies of their own Kristallnacht, in which Christians are euphemistically ‘taken out of the way’ as part of the ‘gay’-stapo’s ‘final solution’ to the ‘Christian problem.'”

Last week Wiles called on Jesus Christ for help in overthrowing President Obama out of office with a military coup.

Last Sunday, I wrote about Mississippi’s so-called “sex education” that compares a girl who has premarital sex to a dirty piece of candy. A student is told to unwrap a piece of candy which is then handed to all the other students, one by one. The teacher draws the analogy that girls who have sex with different boys are just like that candy: they get dirty just like the candy because they’re handed from one boy to another.

The mandated Mississippi curriculum allows teachers to instruct students that homosexual activity is illegal under the “unnatural intercourse” statute. Although the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Lawrence v. Texas invalidated all laws against homosexuality, some states such as Alabama, Louisiana, and Utah have kept their anti-sodomy laws on the books. Mississippi teachers don’t have to teach anti-LGBT positions, but they cannot contradict them. The state also has a law allowing anyone to discriminate against anyone else on religious bases.

An argument from religious fundamentalists is the belief in “geocentrism,” the theory that the sun revolves around the Earth, in opposition of the heliocentric model with Earth and other planets that make up a solar system in which planets circle the sun. To support geocentrism, ultra-conservative Roman Catholic Robert Sungenis has made a film, The Principle, narrated by Kate Mulgrew and including statements from noted scientists.

Mulgrew, a progressive Democrat, says she was duped, and several scientists have said that they never agreed to be in the film. Lawrence Kraus wrote:

“I have no recollection of being interviewed for such a film, and of course had I known of its premise I would have refused. So, either the producers used clips of me that were in the public domain, or they bought them from other production companies that I may have given some rights to distribute my interviews to, or they may have interviewed me under false pretenses, in which case I probably signed some release. I simply don’t know.”

Many ignorant religious fundamentalists have been elected to Congress. In its congressional report card for 2013, the Secular Coalition for America has given 315 of the members, 58 percent, an F grade for supporting bills such as granting special rights to religious organizations, discriminating against rights for women and LGBT people, and promoting issues like prayer in federal environments.  Five of the 315 congressional members receiving F grades:

Rep. Doug LaMalfa (R-CA): At 5 percent, he has opposed taking care of the poor and maintained that abortion causes cancer, although he later retracted this false statement. He also opposes marriage equality because he claims, wrongly, that churches would be forced to perform same-sex marriages.

Rep. Tim Walberg (R-MI): Another 5-percenter, the former minister insists on Christian prayer in any setting and has voted against every bill calling for separation of church and state. In opposing bills such as the ACA, he said:

“I don’t normally quote from Joseph Stalin, but today he said something appropriate, about liberty. He said America is a like a healthy body, and it’s resistance is three-fold, it’s patriotism, it’s morality, it’s spiritual life. If we can undermine these three areas, America will collapse from within. I would encourage our church, I would encourage Congress, I would encourage our administration to fight back strongly against what Stalin understood.”  [Huh?]

Rep. Walter Jones (R-NC): A quote from this 5-percenter’s website:

“America was built upon Judeo-Christian values, and these values should be protected. During my years in Congress I have been a steadfast supporter of traditional marriage, the unborn, and the free exercise of religion. I am an active senior member of both the Values Action Team (VAT) and the Pro-Life Caucus.”

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL): The presidential candidate wannabe frequently says that he thinks about the bible first when governing which includes pro-life and anti-climate change issues.

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY): Also trying for the presidency, he believes life begins at contraception, employing his philosophy of libertarianism only when it pleases him. He claims that this philosophy has no moral compass and needs Christianity for direction—unless, of course, when Christianity supports helping others and ending poverty.

Check on your own representatives and senators here.

These images from a fourth-grade science test in a religious school  shows why fundamentalist religious people are ignorant.

science test

 

 

science 2

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