August 18, 2007
Mike Huckabee, one of the less egregiously hateful presidential wannabes in the GOP’s Rolling Revulsion Revue, recently got some snarky applause for his response to the question of why he supports creationism. Even people as smart as Eric Alterman chuckled when Huckabee said, in effect, it doesn’t matter that he supports creatonism because that has nothing to do with how good a president he might be.
The enlightenment was a beautiful thing. People cast aside dogma and authority. They started to think for themselves. Natural science flourished. Understanding of the real world increased. The hegemony of religion slowly declined. Real universities were created and eventually democracy took hold. The modern world was born. Until recently, we were making good progress. So what went wrong?
The past 30 years or so have been an age of endarkenment. It has been a period in which truth ceased to matter very much, and dogma and irrationality became once more respectable. This matters when people delude themselves into believing that we could be endangered at 45 minutes’ notice by non-existent weapons of mass destruction.
It matters when reputable accountants delude themselves into thinking that Enron-style accounting is acceptable. It matters when people are deluded into thinking that they will be rewarded in paradise for killing themselves and others. It matters when bishops attribute floods to a deity whose evident vengefulness and malevolence leaver one reeling. And it matter when science teachers start to believe that the Earth was created 6,000 years ago.
I know a science teacher in Kearny who ought to be asked to comment on that quotation — but only if he promises to address the points David Quolquhoun is making, instead of disgorging another “I’m a poor persecuted Christian” whine.