Topic: God and US
Fanning the Flames: An Official Endorsement of Magic Thinking
Note this from the Associated Press, Tuesday, August 2, 2005 (7:05 AM Eastern):
The Knight-Ridder item is here and notes, "Bush didn't seem eager to talk about the topic." He seemed to want to talk about the Roberts nomination to the Supreme Court, and about that baseball player who was suspended for ten days for using steroids, even though the fellow testified to congress he just never, ever used them. Bush: "Rafael Palmeiro is a friend. He testified in public and I believe him."
Hey, the guy just reached 3,000 career hits! Who are you going to trust? Palmeiro and Bush are friends - Palmeiro has been to the White House. Palmeiro says Bush is a great president.
As one critic points out: "It's like listening to a small child. He doesn't want to believe it, so it isn't true. This is the man currently running our country." (And who cares about overpaid athletes taking these things? Doesn't our congress have more important things to look into?)
Ah, it all fits together. One believes what one believes - and passes it on, as if you believe it then it must be true. Intelligent design should be passed on in our schools.
Then came the firestorm, with the first snaky comment on this presidential endorsement of "intelligent design" from Wonkette: Teaching [Intelligent Design] as [an] 'alternative' to evolution is a little like teaching 'magic' as an alternative to physics."
Once on a long flight to Paris with a scientifically challenged friend I was asked how airplanes flew. She didn't get it - they were so big and heavy. It seemed an odd question to ask at thirty-eight thousand feet over the middle of the Atlantic, but I launched into the thing about wings and the airflow over the shape of the wing and the low pressure on top and lift and all that stuff. I got a blank look from her. I asked her if she ever held her hand out the window of a moving car, tilted it up a bit, and noticed how her hand was forced upward. I got another blank look from her. I told her it was magic. Luckily, back in those days drinks were free on international flights. Scotch helped. (And she hated Paris, and the French.)
There is similar frustration out there now about Bush and "intelligent design" as a fine idea.
The conservative John Cole over at Balloon Juice offers The Coalition of the Stupid:
Yipes! And the stuff left out with the ellipses is just as tough.
And the Rude Pundit is ever better, or worse, depending on your point of view, with The Stupiding of America:
As you see, there is a reason he's called "The Rude One." And then he launches into how this relates to the Bolton nomination to the UN post:
Bill Montgomery over at Whiskey Bar just quotes Menken:
A more measured approach here:
No, you just have to believe it.
What else can believe? Try this:
The earth isn't really a bowl sitting on the back of elephants? But that's so cool.
On the other hand, in terms of public opinion, Bush is with the majority on this issue. A CBS News poll in November found that most Americans don't think humans evolved, but then they don't want evolution totally replaced in schools - two-thirds believe "intelligent design" should be taught alongside evolution in the schools. Bush is just going with the flow.
Note: "That total includes 56 percent of Kerry voters. In fact, 37 percent of the country supports teaching creationism instead of evolution. Thus, if the United States were to have a national referendum about Intelligent Design in schools, the position that the President expressed today might win in a landslide.
Well, Tuesday, August 2, this topic is all over the web. Anyone can find lots on it. It will pass.
But you can also Google for appropriate quotes.
"Stupidity is also a gift of God, but one mustn't misuse it." - Pope Jean John Paul II
"I am patient with stupidity but not with those who are proud of it." - Dame Edith Sitwell
"It's possible to fight intolerance, stupidity and fanaticism when they come separately. When you get all three together it's probably wiser to get out, if only to preserve your sanity." - P. D. James