Sunday, December 17, 2006

Well, if it isn't Christ, then it must be...

Let's look at the latest bit of insanity being propagated by our friends on the Far Right.

For a long time, there has been a war against science by the Religious Right. It started back before it was even considered a Right/Left issue. The early Catholic church kept their services in Latin, and ensured that there were no copies of the Bible translated out of Latin, in order to keep power over the uneducated.

It's a simple rule: if the people can't understand it, then they can't argue against it. And looking around, we find that same philosophy cropping up in politics again.

You would think that evolution is a dead argument (so to speak). It isn't really a "theory" (in the sense that it might be the way things happened, but there's an equal chance that it didn't). It's called the "theory of evolution" in the sense that we haven't been alive and sentient for 5 billion years, and so there are parts of it that we can't explain fully.

On the other hand, evolution is the structure that far too much of science is built around. We can point to massive amounts of evidence that shows that evolution is at work in the world today. We can prove that evolution is continuing (OK, everywhere except in Kansas and the Crystal Cathedral).

We can even show that evolution is perfectly in line with Christian belief - the book of Genesis says that God built the world in seven days. We'll ignore that whole "no sun, no days" argument here, and accept that "day" was a metaphor for an uncounted period of time (they covered that in Inherit the Wind, didn't they?). We'll just ask one simple question. Where does Genesis state that evolution wasn't the mechanism that God used to create life? Are you saying that God has to stick to some human timetable?

And my wife pointed out an interesting argument. If you really want to get picky, go back to the King James version of the Bible. God gets all the time He needs to get the job done right.
"These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens." Genesis 2:4
They screwed that up in other translations - "This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created" (NIV) - but old Jamie Rex has the answer for you right there: time isn't a fixed concept for God. Just for Man. (It's the only thing my wife remembers from Sunday School. Her teacher must have been so proud.)

And oddly enough, there are a large number of people who can accept the fact that evolution and God can be in the same room without starting a fight.

Meanwhile, though, if you wander through the South (and particularly in Baptist churches), you keep hearing about "Eee-evil-utionists," and how they're trying to keep God out of our children's lives.

It's the same old story. If there's something complicated (like evolution), and you can keep people in the dark about how it works, then you can lie to them about it, and twist the truth to fit your agenda.

The same can be said about homosexuality. It's the one issue that people refuse to agree on. You've got people who find it disgusting (and people who find it enticing but have been trained to believe that it's disgusting), who cannot accept that there are some people who are attracted to people of the same sex.

OK, let's rephrase that last sentence. It should read like this: "You've got people who cannot accept that there are men who are attracted to other men."

Because, for the most part, lesbians aren't disgusting - it's more like "Yeah, women should like other women, until they get a real man like me, in there between 'em..." And then the whole fantasy breaks down into a lot of sweaty, steamy panting.

Let's be real for a minute. Guys, listen up.
They aren't called "lesbians" because they like guys! They're lesbians because they don't want you in the room with them!

And most of the time, they can beat you up if you try to join in, too!
Sorry, that's kind of off the topic. What we're supposed to be talking about is the War on Science.

This is one of those places where the Religious Right coincides with the Political Right. Both sides want to keep science as one of those Big, Scary Things That Nobody Understands. Because it helps them. On the religious side, people are more accepting of the Bible as "the unaltered Word of God" if they haven't read it.

On the political side, people won't believe in "global warming" if they don't have a high school education, and can't understand how pollutants in the atmosphere might alter how the sunlight affects the earth.

Ignorance helps both groups, so they work together to keep people ignorant. Which brings us to today's topic.

Our friends at the World News Daily have a new theory they'd like to bounce off of you. Soy makes you gay.

Feel free to read the article. It's fascinating. It contains enough crap per paragraph to poison an entire crop of spinach. The author, Jim Rutz (who is not a doctor, by the way - he's a minister) wants you to know that not only does soy "feminize" men, it makes everybody fat! (The McDonalds' "Dollar Menu" has nothing to do with that, right?) And it causes leukemia, too! (No, really. It does. Trust us.)

Oh, by the way, you don't need to worry about soy sauce. "Unlike soy milk, it's perfectly safe because it's fermented, which changes its molecular structure. Miso, natto and tempeh are also OK, but avoid tofu." (Have you ever seen natto? Nasty stuff - let's not even get into it.) This is a simple correction, but it means that the soy product that most people have in their cupboards, soy sauce, is nothing they need to worry about. It makes the masses feel better about ordering Chinese food, I guess.

Now, why do we find this particular line of crap in a far right, religious website? It's simple. See, the "perfect" televangelist is, himself, perfect. Like the Pope, he can't be questioned, because God talks through him.

But just lately, too many evangelical leaders are showing themselves to be gay. Ted Haggard, for example, was not only seeing a gay prostitute, but tweaking on crystal meth at the time. (This is nothing new, by the way. Look up the story of Jim Bakker sometime.)

But if the leaders of the evangelical movement are gay, and they've been preaching against gay sex, then what are the people to believe?

Well, if you listen to Jim Rutz and his soy theory, it isn't their fault! They aren't gay! They just had too much soy!

Sadly for him, people are gradually starting to realize that maybe the Word being preached doesn't necessarily come from the Lord. Jesus Christ preached about helping the poor, feeding the hungry, and not screwing up the world the God created.

Maybe, if more people read the New Testament (and actually thought about what those words in red were trying to say), they'd start to wonder whose word Jerry Falwell was actually preaching.

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