Friday, November 11, 2016

Anti-science Christians to Blame for Trump

I am unimaginably angry with Christians and Christianity today. They have delivered us into the hands of a greedy sex-crazed sociopath and con artist. Christians and Christianity are to blame, and if that is not immediately clear then I will connect the dots for you.

Way back centuries ago when science was a fledgling thing, some people figured out that the earth went around the star which we call the Sun. Unfortunately Christianity had assigned us a place at the very center of everything as God’s “special creation.” Christians and Christianity pushed back strongly against the basic observable fact that the moon is the only thing which goes around the Earth. But Christianity was eventually forced to surrender its place at the center of everything, and that should have been the end of Christianity. But through monumental pomposity and arrogance Christianity ignored the fact that in comparison to the vastness of the galaxy, our planet is but an insignificant speck. Astronomers later figured out that many of the bright lights in the sky were in fact other galaxies on a scale similar to our own – and that compared to the vastness of the universe our galaxy was also an insignificant speck. So our planet is an unremarkable speck near the periphery of a larger but equally unremarkable speck. Plus recent discoveries suggest that our planet is not unique. A spacecraft known as the Kepler Space Observatory has detected numerous planets orbiting other stars. In fact it appears planets orbiting stars may be the rule rather than the exception. Extrapolating the relatively small sample size to the entire galaxy and neighboring galaxies suggests there are billions of other planets and at least thousands of planets like ours. Yet here we are in 2016 and Christianity still arrogantly and ignorantly insists that it was all created just for us.

Now consider the major event in 1859 when Charles Darwin’s book “On the Origin of Species” was published. Not only did mankind stand upon a planet unremarkable in its insignificance, mankind himself was nothing remarkable. He merely sat at the end of one of the many branches of the evolutionary process. Christians pushed back strongly against this because it directly challenged their fairy tale of divine creation in the Garden of Eden.  A long running series of skirmishes ensued as Christianity has sought to protect its position of authority against the growing body of evidence supporting evolutionary science. History records the Scopes Trial and today we see the pretend-science of “creationism” and “sudden appearance theory.”

Let’s talk about evolution for a minute. White Christian Supremacists need to get a grip. They did not evolve from Apes. Black people did that for them. White people evolved from black people as black people adapted to inhabit northern climes. So white people are merely a sub-species or “phase” of the original people who were black and who evolved in Africa. The fossil record and DNA evidence both clearly speak to this. That means white people aren’t anything special. Everyone on earth descended from Africans, so Africans are the “master race.” White Supremacists are just a pale, greedy and aggressive “breed” of regular (i.e. black) people. White Christian Supremacists please get over your selves.  

Returning to the main theme of this writing, we see a pattern of Christians and Christianity pushing back against the increasing body of knowledge which we call science. The major component of this push back is to sow doubt regarding the veracity of scientific facts and conclusions reached after examination of scientifically collected evidence.  Stated another way, Christianity has been conditioning adherents to ignore inconvenient facts. Christians now believe that they are free to believe whatever they wish without any accompanying responsibility to base their actions on reality. This is a problem for democracy when they cast votes based on whimsy rather than reality.

Add greed to the equation and we a get a synergistically toxic brew. Christians and Christianity are greed enablers.

On the eleventh of January in 1964 the U.S. Public Health Service released a report linking cigarettes to lung disease. This threatened the profits of the nicotine industrial complex. Consequently the greed-driven industry set about sowing doubt about whether or not cigarettes were addictive and carcinogenic. The fact that cigarettes are both addictive and a leading cause of cancer is established scientific fact, yet you would never know it from what politicians say and what the public believes. This is because the seeds of doubt cast by the nicotine industry fell on well-prepared ground. The public was already conditioned to hold scientific findings as suspect – conditioned by their Christian leaders in the religion business.

The nicotine industrial complex and religion business would soon be joined in their attacks on science. Most notable among the greedy hordes were those who profited from fossil fuels and toxic chemicals. For example climate scientists are virtually unanimous in their conclusion that Global Warming is real, caused by humans, and an unfolding environmental and economic disaster. But thanks to people who discount science so they can believe in the fairy tales of the mystical Garden of Eden, people and politicians do not hear or believe the climate scientists. As the ice on Greenland and Antarctica melt most of Florida is going to disappear under the Atlantic Ocean, yet Florida’s Governor, Rick Scott, has forbidden any mention of “Global Warming” or “Climate Change” by state officials. When sea level rise inevitably swallows the cities of Florida Rick Scott has directed state officials that the inundation may only be described as “nuisance flooding.”    

Monsanto is a huge agricultural corporation which profits from the indiscriminate use of pesticides, herbicides, chemical fertilizers, and genetically-engineered crops. Their products and the farming practices they promote are suspected of many things. You may have heard something about Monsanto’s aggressive attack on the World Health Organization after researchers determined that one of Monsanto’s very profitable herbicides is likely carcinogenic. The rancorous debate over glyphosate was mostly ignored by the media as they pursued and promoted the spectacle of a conman running for President of the United States of America. This in itself speaks to an incredible dumbing down of citizens as science and critical thinking have been undermined by religion and chemical profiteers. The conman should have been challenged or ignored by the media. More time should have been devoted to his proposed policies which would loosen regulations governing dangerous chemicals such as those pushed by Monsanto and other greedy corporations. If they had ignored the con-man’s campaign then it would have starved from lack of free publicity as would have been fitting and proper.

Monsanto products are also implicated in the collapse of honey bee colonies. This is not getting the attention it deserves – generally for the same reasons causing us to ignore the facts surrounding the use of glyphosate. Honey bees are hugely important in the intricate web of life. These insects have evolved along with many plants such that each is entirely dependent upon the other. Plants have no way of their own to efficiently transport their pollen from one plant to other plants of the same species. But many plants have evolved to “trick” hungry insects into carrying pollen for them. In exchange the insects receive food perfectly tailored to their needs. Over the course of time the insects and plants have evolved together to form what is often call a symbiotic relationship. Unfortunately, our indiscriminate use of pesticides appears to be killing honey bee colonies across the country. This is bad news for all kinds of plants which rely on these efficient pollinators. This includes plants which are important to us such as apple trees, tomatoes, and virtually any beautiful flower which is displayed in our gardens and city parks. If honey bees continue to decline then many of our favorite crops will disappear along with the bees.

The increasing fact-resistance of the United States also provides fertile ground for crank economic theory. One such theory is called “trickle-down economics.” Statisticians and Economists tell us it does not work. I can paraphrase “trickle down economic theory” such that it becomes immediately obvious why it does not work. “Everyone will be ever so much better off if only we would allow the wealthy to hoard all the cash.” Of course proponents of “trickle down economic theory” would never use these terms, but my paraphrasing is a distillation of the crank economic theory which they are pedaling. More importantly we have evidence that “trickle-down economics” do not work as advertised. One need look no further than the formerly great state of Kansas where Governor Sam Brownback and his cronies have effectively turned the state into a festering petri dish of failed economic policy. Yet fact-resistant Christians merrily go along as the Republican Party proposes to take this failed experiment nation-wide. It is truly mind-boggling.

The ill-logic of Christianity and Christians is legion. For example they believe junk news seen in scandal sheets and gossip magazines. They believe the Obamas have somehow sullied the reputation of the White House. There is no reputable source or evidence to support this, yet at the same time they seem to believe that bringing a white man back in will restore the dignity of the institution – despite the language which the prospective President has used and that he is an adulterer accompanied by a gold-digging harlot. Where, gentle reader, is the dignity in that?

So today I have no patience or tolerance for Christians or Christianity. They value their fairy tales over the common good and have with their ill-informed votes brought us to the very brink of self-destruction. May the Flying Spaghetti Monster have mercy upon us all. Ra-men.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Confronting Christian Privilege

Don’t act so surprised. Christian Privilege is a very real thing. It has many things in common with “White Privilege.” Most obviously the beneficiaries of each are so accustomed to freely exercising their privilege that they are quite oblivious to the fact that they have it.
Before one can confront a thing one must be able to identify it. So let’s look at some examples.
Roy Moore was Chief Justice of the Alabama State Supreme Court. Then he decided to place a monument to the “Ten Commandments” in the rotunda of the court house. This was quite obviously contrary to the “Establishment Clause” of the Constitution of the United States. So he was challenged regarding the imposition of personal religious belief on visitors to the court house. The case was Glassroth v. Moore and resulted in the eventual removal of the monument. Now you may not think this sounds much like privilege, in fact Christians believe it was religious persecution. But consider for a moment how protracted the legal battle would have been if the monument had been dedicated to Atheism, or (gasp!) Sharia Law. The battle would have been over before it started.
Judge Roy Moore had his monument to the “Ten Commandments” installed on the first day of August in 2001. The monument was still there on the twenty-third day of August in 2003 when the other eight justices on the Alabama State Supreme Court decided they had best comply with Federal Court order that the monument was an unconstitutional endorsement of religion. Judge Moore was eventually removed from office over this ethics violation  – which some would categorize as persecution of Christians. But Moore recovered from this and was voted back in as Chief Justice despite his history of ethics violations. Consider if Judge Moore had brought Sharia Law into the courthouse. His career would have been over. End of story. I submit that the difference between the two possible outcomes is entirely attributable to Christian Privilege.
Like Roy Moore, Kim Davis believes it is her God-given right to assert her religious beliefs over other people’s religious beliefs. You may recall Kim Davis as the county clerk in Kentucky who refused to issue marriage licenses to gay and lesbian citizens. Her actions should have resulted in termination. Last I checked Kim Davis had spent a few nights in the slammer. But Kim Davis still has her job and even got tickets to attend Barack Obama’s Annual State of the Union Address earlier this year. As with Roy Moore I submit that the difference between the two possible outcomes is entirely attributable to Christian Privilege.
Roy Moore is actually a repeat offender. He engaged in shenanigans similar to placing the Ten Commandments in the court house rotunda when he was a circuit court judge prior to getting the job as Chief Justice of the Alabama State Supreme Court. If there were no Christian Privilege then Moore would have never been elevated to such a position of power in the first place. And Moore has not given up on basing official government actions on his personal religious beliefs. He was suspended from his position as Chief Justice on May sixteenth of this year for issuing orders contrary to those of the United States Supreme Court.  If history is any indicator then Moore will be back – his career again saved by Christian Privilege.
What can you do about Christian Privilege? You can start by calling attention to it whenever you see it. If the existence of Christian Privilege is denied then do what I did here and draw comparisons in outcomes if Islam was substituted for the Christianity. If there is a difference in outcome then Christian Privilege is to blame.