Naughty Religion is Bad Science

In the continual struggle of Fundamentalist Christianity against the rest of the world, new Creationist grounds have been made in Connecticut. Connecticut is not exactly the first state to spring to mind when it comes to extremist conservative religion, but Fundamentalism knows no bounds. Perhaps the largest disappointment, from the point of view of a student of religion who knows the Fundamentalists a little too well, is that otherwise intelligent people simply accept what their clergy tell them. Having been a seminary student and professor, however, I know the kinds of training clergy receive and if the whole wide world knew things would be different.

Clergy of all stripes of all denominations of all religions are just as human as the rest of us. They do not have special physiognomic features in their brains or hearts or cellular structures that allow them to receive private messages from God/the gods. Many are trained in special schools where people like myself teach them, often against the blustering of their clergy supporters back home, what we factually know about the Bible and other aspects of religion. Many successfully block out what they are forced to hear and emerge just as ossified, if not more so, as when they entered. In other words, their “education” has been an exercise in learning to ignore the truth. They are then made into clergy who continue the deception. Even worse are the clergy who receive no training at all, frequently fresh from an overly-heavy-dinner-induced religious experience, who claim that the biological responses to overtaxed gastric juices is some message from beyond.

The average citizen naively accepts the religious credentials of their clergy, supposing that this “holy” person has had some special word from on high. That word is often factually wrong, especially concerning evolution and the origins of life, but it is accepted as gospel truth and disseminated among unsuspecting children. Religion is a matter of belief, not of fact. As America lags farther and farther behind even developing nations in science education, Fundamentalist clergy give a self-satisfied smile. They have become the gods of a nation that was once able to land some of its citizens on the silvery moon in that great literal dome that surrounds our flat earth.

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