The Cult of Ignorance - Part 2
When Islamic terrorists opened fire at a concert hall in Paris, we were once again confronted with the ugliness of religious extremism. However, there is a driving force behind this incident and it ties in very closely to my previous discussion on the cult of ignorance. Religious radicalism is just one of the outward results of collective rejection of critical thinking. But while we condemn Islamic terrorists overseas, there are plenty of far-right fundamentalists here in America that we should be equally worried about.
Many of these Christian radicals believe they should be allowed to discriminate against minorities, gays, and women because of their “sincerely held religious beliefs.” They make it clear that they want to turn American into a Christian theocracy because that’s what they think the founding fathers wanted. But anyone with a basic understanding of history knows that’s not true. The Constitution clearly states that Congress shall make no amendments in favor of or against any religion. Therefore, we can conclude that the founding fathers intended for America to be a secular nation of laws based on reason and logic. In fact, a secular society is actually the most ideal environment to foster religious freedom since no one religion is favored over another. But the fundamentalists seem oblivious to this fact because, again, they have willfully chosen to reject critical thinking.
The fact that these groups exist in America is scary enough. But what makes them truly terrifying is that there are several elected politicians who agree with them! When you have active congressmen who refer to the theory of evolution as “lies from the pit of hell,” that’s when we should be alarmed.
For example, former Republican presidential candidate, Mike Huckabee, once openly stated “God’s word trumps the Constitution” and that he would ignore any law that he felt went against his sincerely held religious beliefs. In other words, he would willingly disobey written laws if he thought that’s what God wanted. Thankfully he ended up dropping out of the race because he couldn’t get enough voter support. Still, he should have been immediately disqualified from being eligible just for that statement alone. Think about it, would you want a religious zealot in a position of power with the authority to launch nuclear weapons (and you thought George W. Bush having his finger near the button was a scary prospect)?
Another example is Idaho Republican Rep. Vito Barbieri, who was present for a hearing about a bill that would ban doctors from prescribing abortion-inducing drugs via telemedicine. A local physician (Dr. Julie Madsen) testified against the bill, using the example that colonoscopy patients can swallow an electronic device that allows doctors to examine parts of the colon. Her reasoning was that telemedicine is a valuable tool for both patients and doctors. Barbieri asked if the same procedure could be used in pregnancy. In other words, he was asking if a woman could swallow an electronic pill to allow a doctor to see what the state of her pregnancy was. Dr. Madsen, of course, said no but the point is that Rep. Barbieri thought the stomach and vagina were connected. Not only does this demonstrate woeful ignorance of the female reproductive system, but human anatomy in general. You would need to take a personality test just to be a greeter at Walmart, which begs the question of what were the requirements for his job? Did it involve fitting shaped blocks into the right holes?
When you have ignorant citizens, you’re going to get ignorant leaders. And where you have ignorant leaders, economic poverty follows close behind. Think about it, how likely do you think innovative companies or manufacturers are to setup shop in communities where most of he residents are uneducated? Also worth mentioning, 95 out of the 100 poorest counties in the US are in states run by conservative governments. This speaks volumes of how effective Republican leaderships have been lately. That’s not to say Democratic administrations are perfect either (because they’re not). But when one political party is in charge of the majority of America’s poorest states, that’s a statistic that’s hard to ignore. My point is that ignorance poses a threat to America in terms of national security and economic stability.
So what does all this have to do with the Paris attacks? Everything! Ignorance breeds fear, fear breeds hate, and hate leads to ideologically-driven violence. Fighting terrorism, poverty, environmental destruction, etc. starts with an educated populace. No free society can endure if its citizens are ignorant. Because when people are educated, they elect the best leaders and they can’t be so easily mislead by mass media and its corporate sponsors.
– The Young Overviewer
Original Source: http://wp.me/p5NVgj-2x