Science, Religion, and Hate
Though I try to keep abreast of new ideas, the conclusions of modern science are often, as they say, counterintuitive that is, contrary to what common sense might lead you to expect. In the realm of physics, this is true of the theory of relativity, quantum mechanics, Heisenbergs uncertainty principle, and the currently fashionable string theory, which it would take me a separate column to explain.
Lets take an example closer to home. Paul Harvey reports that scientists have found that, other things being equal, there are more germs on a steering wheel than on a toilet seat. Talk about counterintuitive! But if you live in the realm of ideas, you must be prepared to have your mind dizzied now and then.
Which brings me to the theory of evolution. When Darwin proposed it in 1859, it struck most people as counterintuitive. But after being pushed by the drive-by media for a century and a half, it has come to seem like common sense itself.
I often ask liberals to explain what they mean by right-wing, a term they apply to everything they dislike, even principles that have nothing in common, such as anarchism (opposition to all government) and fascism (government without limits), as well as conservatism (government within carefully defined limits), not to mention monarchism, oligarchy, plutocracy, nativism, militarism, laissez-faire capitalism, theocracy, libertarianism, feudalism, neoconservatism, and a hundred mutually incompatible other things. What common denominator can they possibly share? How can they all be right-wing? No liberal has ever been able to tell me.
To add to the confusion, no matter how bitterly all these right-wing people disagree amongst themselves, they are always a single thing: the right wing. And no matter how much President Bush increases the size of government, no matter how far to the left he moves the Republican Party, all liberals agree that he is right-wing.
I finally began to get my answer when I watched, yet again, the classic liberal movie Inherit the Wind, a fictionalized version of the 1925 Scopes monkey trial. If you want to understand how liberals see the world, this is the place to start.
The real Scopes was prosecuted for teaching Darwins theory in a public school. Today, when government has switched dogmas, he would be prosecuted if he tried to teach that God created man.
The movie never actually uses the term right-wing, but the basic idea is there. On one side are the reasonable, benevolent, open-minded liberals, typified by the Clarence Darrow character (played by Spencer Tracy); on the other are the religious bigots, buffoons, and blowhards who hate science and are typified by the William Jennings Bryan character (Fredric March) and form lynch mobs.
Liberals may not believe in God, but they make it clear that if they did, he would be a much nicer sort of Deity than the one the believers believe in. In fact, he would be more comfortable with the people who dont believe in him than with the ones who worship him. Its the atheists who are made in his image, so to speak. And needless to say, he would probably reject the ontological argument for his own existence.
In the spirit of the movie, Richard Dawkins, a Darwinian biologist and militant atheist, says atheists are smarter than believers and the world would be better off without religion, just as, I suppose, Russia was better off under Stalin than under the superstitious tsars. Elton John, the rock star who has tied the knot with his gay lover, seems to agree. He says religion breeds nothing but hate, especially hatred of gay people.
According to liberals, if you think marriage makes sense only as an objective relation between people of opposite sexes for the practical purpose of establishing and regulating paternity you must hate gay people. And hate, after all, is the essence, if anything is, of what it means to be right-wing. It goes hand in hand with logic and defining things, and is but a short step from outright popery. (Let us not forget that the Catholic Church has always persecuted science.) A liberal God, if such existed, would want everyone to have the right to marry, even or especially gay people. He would also accept gay and lesbian bishops.
Hate is so intrinsic to all that is right-wing that liberals have to keep coining new words, such as homophobia, to identify right-wing hatreds. Other right-wing traits include greed, fear, insensitivity, and bellicosity. Do I overgeneralize? Well, what would you expect? Im right-wing!
Excuse me; I have to run. My lynch mob is waiting for me.
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