Saturday, November 17, 2007

Vocal Religious Fundamentalism

The following is an email I sent to my close friend and psychological expert, William. His thoughtful and eloquent response to this email is here.

Hi Will,

This afternoon, I would like to follow up on my statement as to the sorrow that one should feel after watching Tuesday's Nova: Judgment Day. You said that you felt "revved up" in watching the law bring back a very controversial topic in terms of teaching Intelligent Design within the Dover, PA school district, however I ordered caution because of the locality and numeration of what I anticipated would be a very harsh reaction.

As I have rightly anticipated, there was a very strong reaction to the negative towards PBS, as seen by the
latest Ombudsman column.

Yet by about a three-to-one margin, the long compilation of letters from viewers that appears below were critical of the program, charging a one-sided treatment, a bias toward evolution colored by the producers, and that it was insulting to believers.

Here is just one of the many emails sent in to Michael Getler, the Ombudsman for PBS.

It doesn't take a "Rocket Scientist" to figure out that if we, as humans, evolved from monkeys . . . THEN WHY? . . . Are there STILL Monkeys??? We were "Created" by God!!! Pull up AOL now and you'll notice the Gov. of Georgia praying for rain, (No Doubt to GOD). When 9/11 happened what did every good neighbor do? PRAY. Not to monkeys . . . To our "Creator"!!! It shouldn't take tragic and desperate circumstances for people to realize this fact!!! GOD BLESS AMERICA!!! In GOD We Trust!!!

Sonya L. Johnson, North Port, FL

Once again, I, like Sam Harris, must ask you why you feel revved up about the Dover, PA decision while such a strong constituency has goals of turning our country into a theocracy. What is more, is that while fundamentalist Christianity can be argued as being a minority, many have admitted that the religious moderates are as much to blame for their lack of confrontation fundamentalism, and thereby allowing it to control the discourse of the U.S. public image.

Also, of an ironic nature, those who would so quickly take the United States to war against the theocracy of Iran would also just as quickly make our country a theocracy, just Christian, not Muslim.

I put the question to you, how do you think we will avoid war? Who are those of "cool" disposition, and how much of our discourse do they control, as opposed to war hawks and religious fundamentalists? I would like to hear how the U.S.' current theory of presidential powers prevents one of those of vocal minority to do as he pleases? Does our current theory of presidential power prevent anything?
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