Monday, February 20, 2012
RELIGION - February 16, 2012
The rage over religion in the national elections might remind us of that in 1928, when Al Smith, a Catholic, ran against H Hoover. Some GOP railed against the Dems as the party of Rum, Romanism and Rebellion, and raised the spectre of papal control of DC. It was not until 1960 that a Dem could put out that hate-fueled fire and promise that that political panic was a ghost. Liberal USA, school in skepticism in the intervening years of scientific tolerance, would accept Kennedy’s honeyed words, and another 44 years until the Archbishop of St. Louis would pronounce excommunication on Sen. Kerry and those supporting his bid for the presidency, using his Catholic authority to aid in defeating him. Today, religious arguments from all of those bishops have been turned against Obama with a lock-step unanimity that is reminiscent of the days of the Spanish Inquisition. In the meantime, some students schooled in the virtues of scientific skepticism emerge from better schools ready to apply to all claims of divine inspiration the same lack of belief that religious preachers apply to other faiths than their own. This results in GOP claims that higher education propagandizes today’s youth against what they believed in childhood to be the revealed word of one divinity or other. This distortion the GOP candidates call a war on religion. Over the centuries the pronouncements if science, while admittedly occasionally found to be wrong, are less often abandoned than the reports of those resting on divine revelation, their own or others’. It appears true that well-educated people are less credible than others about such claims, and that such skepticism is more often sustained, on the whole, than competing ideologies.