According to the reports in the media there is a new bill before the Oklahoma legislature that would allow science teachers to teach creationism and Intelligent Design, the creationists attempt to portray god worship as science. Reports I read says the author of the bill defends this attempt to equate myth with science as a defense of academic freedom. Louisiana is the only other state to have passed such legislation.
The Nova documentary Judgement Day: Intelligent Design on Trial is a documentary worth watching as it covers the case of teachers in Dover PA who were instructed to teach Intelligent Design as part of science courses. Naturally, the creationists arguing ID is science weren't very convincing; those that bothered to show up. The documentary uses actors but the actual trial transcripts. How could they be convincing? It's not science. Some areas in the US refused to broadcast the documentary.
Arguing religion of course is hardly worth it; we wouldn't give credence to anyone arguing that fairies and their communities should be included in anthropology or geography classes but organized religion is so deeply tied in with the ruling classes in society and in our case, the capitalist class and capitalism that it is a very powerful tool for mind numbing the population. As Richard Dawkins pointed out in his best seller, The God Delusion quoting Robert Persig, "When one person suffers from a delusion, its called insanity. When many people suffer from a delusion, it's called religion."
Dawkins makes another interesting point that our use of the terms, a "Catholic child" or a "Muslim child" are incorrect. Children are not able to make an informed decision about religion and these belief systems. Despite all the whining from god worshipers about being persecuted and that religion (namely Christianity in this country) is not getting a fair shake, we are indoctrinated from an early age by religious beliefs. From the pulpit to the political podium we are bombarded with religious ideas as if these myths should be taken seriously at all. There are hundreds of thousands of movies that include religious themes or themes about devils and demons. Yet atheists are up there with pedophiles and, as Dawkins commented, gay people of 50 years ago as far as society is concerned. In the US you could almost be a child molester and run for political office with more chance of winning than an atheist.
Religion, despite what some of its more liberal proponents say, is not tolerant, just the opposite, it is divisive and destructive and substitutes mythology and fairy tales for science. As Marx pointed out all those who believe in a god believe that theirs is the divine god and all others man made. You would see the limits to religious tolerance in the US if the ratio between Christians and Jews or Christians and Muslims in the US changed to the detriment of Christians.
Here's a few famous quotes about this fairy tale world:
The fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no more to the
point than the fact that a drunken man is happier than a sober one. —
George Bernard Shaw
A man is accepted into a church for what he believes and he is turned out for what he knows. — Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain)
The church says the earth is flat, but I know that it is round, for I
have seen the shadow on the moon, and I have more faith in a shadow than
in the church. — Ferdinand Magellan
If the Bible is mistaken in telling us where we came from, how can we trust it to tell us where we're going? Justin Brown
Not only is there no god, but try getting a plumber on weekends. — Woody Allen
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