Be afraid. Be very afraid. The rabid fundamentalist christians are very close to getting their version of reality included into every textbook in America for the next decade or so.
Read this article, and weep for the future of our nation.
Because Texas (pronounced takes-ass) has a set of rules which mandate all schools in that state use the same textbooks, and further has rules which have allowed the fundie-loonie Governor to pack the board which approves those textbooks with his batshit crazy fundamentalist cronies, wholesale re-writing of the past may soon be required reading in your child’s school. Texas would normally not have quite so much influence, since California is an even larger market and tends to pull textbook publishers back toward the center. However, California’s economic Chernobyl means that they will not be purchasing textbooks for another five years at the earliest. This in turn means that any textbook publisher who wishes to make money for the next couple of years has to comply with the religious fuckwits who control the textbook appropriation process in Texas.
Despite the fact that we have scads of hard evidence indicating that the Universe is roughly fourteen billion years old, the new science textbooks will not have this tidbit of information, thanks to a small group of hardcore religious extremists in Texas who believe it to be their duty to cram their pigheaded, willful ignorance down the throats of your children.
It is a truism that almost any sect, cult, or religion will legislate its creed into law if it acquires the political power to do so, and will follow it by suppressing opposition, subverting all education to seize early the minds of the young, and by killing, locking up, or driving underground all heretics.
Heinlein’s words have been proven true repeatedly- most recently by the Taliban. The only differences between the Taliban in Afghanistan and the christian loonies in this country are language and dress code. The fundamentalist christians gripping the hilt of this subtle dagger do not even bother to conceal their goals. They boast of their belief that their god wants them to conquer this country, and then the world.
But first, they will try to enslave the minds of your children. They will use America’s traditional open-mindedness and laws against us, and enshrine their version of reality in your childrens’ textbooks. I’ve been saying for years that these willful ignorami are the enemies of our civilization- is anybody listening?
America’s current status as a world power was grown by our farmers; dreamed up by our scientists; built by our engineers and technicians; and paid for by our bankers, industrialists, and workers (in one coin or another). Maintaining that status is- and will continue to be- dependent upon scientific and technical progress. That key scientific and technical progress is in turn dependent upon new generations learning the lessons taught by the scientists of the past, then adding their own unique additions and advances to the works of those giants who broke new ground- from Copernicus to Galileo to Newton to the Curies to Bohr to Einstein to Hawking.
But that apparently isn’t good enough for these religious pinheads. They would seemingly prefer that we dumped everything that didn’t conform to their precious holy-book-written-down-from-the-oral-traditions-of-desert-sheep fuckers.
“If all the achievements of scientists were wiped out tomorrow, there would be no doctors but witch doctors, no transport faster than horses, no computers, no printed books, no agriculture beyond subsistence peasant farming. If all the achievements of theologians were wiped out tomorrow, would anyone notice the smallest difference?” -Richard Dawkins, in his book, The Emptiness of Theology.
That quote from Richard Dawkins is not precisely correct, of course, since many of the early scientific pioneers were religious (particularly Newton), and some were actual clergymen. The point, however, remains valid. The barbarians won’t be happy until we return to some non-existent Golden Age of Christian America- probably based upon a poor understanding of life in the early 19th century. All of our scientific and cultural progress since that mythical time must make way for the greater glory of their desert storm deity. These old white guys are deeply unhappy with uppity furriners and colored folks disturbing their precious little dystopian ideal White nation. Check out the following quote from the article I linked earlier:
Barton and Peter Marshall initially tried to purge the standards of key figures of the civil rights era, such as César Chávez and Thurgood Marshall, though they were forced to back down amid a deafening public uproar. They have since resorted to a more subtle tack; while they concede that people like Martin Luther King Jr. deserve a place in history, they argue that they shouldn’t be given credit for advancing the rights of minorities. As Barton put it, “Only majorities can expand political rights in America’s constitutional society.” Ergo, any rights people of color have were handed to them by whites—in his view, mostly white Republican men.
If this doesn’t bother you, you probably aren’t paying attention. It bothers the Hell out of me. These pernicious fuckwits are hell-bent on destroying the very soul of America and replacing it with the Republican Plantation of Jesusland, a slightly more technologically advanced version of the Taliban’s thirteenth-century paradise on Earth which will be nonetheless equally destructive. If you aren’t white, male, and christian, you just won’t matter. Black, asian, and hispanic minorities will be graciously permitted to till the fields and work in the factories, while women will return to being sexual commodities for their “betters”. Non-christians will be economically and physically persecuted until they conform, emigrate, or die.
When will the people of this country realize that they’re allowing the barbarians in our midst to undermine what we (the People) have spent the last 230+ years building? Why do we allow these willful idiots to spew their nonsense in public without constant justifiable denunciation and opprobrium? They make no secret of what they want. Are we to sit idly by and let them build their racist theocracy upon the smoldering ruins of our flawed but wonderful republic?
Judging by the apparent total lack of interest in dealing with these morons … I believe the answer is probably yes.
Current status: Outraged
Current music: Seen All Good People by Yes