Civil Discourse Now

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Theocracy that rejects evolution will kill many in a pandemic

One of the two major political parties is under the control of a minority who believe this country was founded as a theocracy - a government controlled by a religion - and should be restored to a theocracy. Their beliefs are false and their control of a party is a threat to us all.

The United States is billed as “the Land of the Free.” At the top of the list of freedoms is that of religion. The First Amendment provides for freedom of and from religion: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof...”

Clearly our government is not meant to be a theocracy, but some people, some quite prominent in the most recent administration, who just as clearly believe theocracy - government by their deity - is the only government. To keep such people out of power is not unfair “discrimination.”

Of immediate concern: they reject principles of science. We need people - not simply as scientists and both now and in the future - who understand how life reacts. Yet many young people are taught as “science” matters (“creationism”) that reject science.

In life sciences, a broadly accepted concept is the theory of evolution. COVID-19 evolves and adapts. If we are not taught how such matters of life function, we shall be ignorant of how to adapt our behaviors to stop COVID’s spread.

If scientists are taught evolution is “only” a theory, more people will. As a technical term “theory” means “a more or less verified or established explanation accounting for known facts or phenomena.” Random House Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary, 2d ed., 2001, p. 1968.

It has long been held that the truth or falsity of a religious belief and the sincerity of believers are safe from examination by any government. United States v. Ballard, 322 U.S. 78, 87 and 93 (1944). This should not apply if adherents of a belief seek to impose a theocracy.

Beliefs of the Framers of the Constitution were shaped by the Enlightenment. They knew of the religious wars fought in the name of the same deity by different groups. Yet people who would have our country ruled by their “god” teach that this country was supposed to be a theocracy.

Teaching children today things that are not true - science is at the forefront - is the way in which the people who advocate theocracy can obtain that goal. This group is a minority, but it controls one of the two “major” political parties and statutes make them difficult to dislodge.

This is not criticism of these people because they call themselves “Christians.” They have used a religion to leverage power. We should remember that in the European wars fought over religion, each side claimed the same deity was behind it.

There are other aspects of this theocratic element that are troublesome. I have accepted challenges to debate a couple of these would-be theocrats, but they chickened out. I hope Micah reads this. I never rescinded my acceptance.

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