Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Believing in Miracles ('04)

Link: "Believing in Miracles"

by Hal Crowther
Dec. 2004

[excerpted; full text at the link above]

...The United States of America, technologically advanced, technically literate and nominally civilized, now stands in the dock of world opinion with little choice but to plead guilty to pernicious, pandemic, pre-Enlightenment, near-medieval gullibility....

The great abyss of difference that now yawns between Europe and America is the average American's eagerness to believe damn near anything....

Creationism, the kind of thing that leaves Europeans speechless, is the pièce de résistance of imbecile fundamentalist rubbish. When the Darwin-bashers crawl out and try to flex their muscle, bookburners and witchburners are never far behind....

The United States was founded by post-Enlightenment intellectuals, many of them agnostic, who pursued the science of liberty with the support of austere Anglicans, Congregationalists and Quakers. If you could poll the shades of the Founding Fathers, you'd be hard pressed to find one who believed in the Virgin Birth. What they all believed in passionately, and believed to be the cornerstone of democracy, was the strictest separation of church and state.

"What have been its fruits?" asked James Madison of state-supported Christianity. "More or less in most places, pride and indolence in the clergy, ignorance and servility in the laity, in both, superstition, bigotry and persecution."

In the USA ... the Dark Ages seem to loom ahead of us. What nation's intellectual history ever ran in reverse? ...

[emphasis added]

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