In A Demon-Haunted World, #Science As A Candle In The Dark

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Opinion by Dr. James Daly

The late Carl Sagan, in his 1995 book “The Demon-Haunted World, Science as a Candle In the Dark” warns of exactly what is happening today and how reliance on science, reason, thought and collaboration is the antidote to a society that has, quite literally, gone mad. Are we citizens of a modern, progressive society, educated in science, allowing our actions to be governed by science and reason or are we to remain slaves to ancient mythical demons?

The founding fathers of the United States were wise in codifying the separation of church and state into the constitution. At the time of the country’s inception and ratification of the constitution, they couldn’t have imagined the weapons that would eventually be developed, weapons that amount to nothing less than an existential threat to the existence of our species and to civilization as we know it. Climate change, also an existential threat and a close second to nuclear annihilation, can only be mitigated, not prevented with both threats a result of hubris, greed, the almost worldwide adoption of the failed NeoLiberal economic model and the willful ignorance of science.

From a purely agnostic and neutral point of view and contrary to popular misconceptions, the United States was never, nor is it now, a “Christian Nation”; the actions of this country’s leaders over the previous century have borne this out. From the actions and policies arising from the corrupt and hegemonistic “Monroe Doctrine” that have caused untold suffering and death to unknown countless people in Central and Latin America, to the atrocious legacy of what was done to the Native Indians on this continent, to the twisted logic used by President Harry Truman to incinerate Nagasaki and Hiroshima with the atomic bomb, there is nothing remotely “christian” about this country.

The level of hate, racism, xenophobia and violence in the United States is exceeded by no other country on the planet and is the result of this weaponizing of religion from the Christian Right. This weaponization is having deadly consequences with a sharp rise in hate murders by White Nationalists/Supremacists, many claiming a ‘Christian’ identity.

The delusional thinking, the myth that this country was ordained by God to save the world is exemplified by Ronald Reagan’s ramblings, comparing this country to a “Shining City on a Hill” or that Jesus guided the founding fathers as they crafted the Constitution. The problem with these people -and many well-meaning Americans, is that they don’t see their country the way it really is, the way the rest of the world sees it. More authentic ‘Christian Charity’ is practiced by atheists or people of different religions than these hypocrites, the self-described ‘Christians’ of this country.

What we have today is a small, influential group of religious and political leaders in this country who have the ear of the current and many previous administrations; these people are, defacto, setting US foreign policy, from the crushing sanctions being imposed on Venezuela and then blaming that country’s president for the problems they’ve caused, to US policy in the middle east, one that is propping up an apartheid, right-wing hegemonistic government in the hopes that country will be the catalyst who brings about the “End Times”. The “End Times”, or “Armageddon” as it is otherwise known, is a religious myth based on the last chapter of the christian bible. Since when does a religious myth determine foreign policy?

What happened to the separation of church and state? And where is congress you may ask as it is their role to act in an oversight capacity and to hold every administration in check. The short answer is that many members of congress are either corrupted by powerful special interests or are part of this lunatic religious fringe; many are climate change deniers who have been compromised by the fossil-fuel industry or, being members of the religious right, believe that their messiah will return and they will be taken up to heaven in the “Rapture”.

Any atheist or agnostic who doesn’t share the religious world view of these individuals, would look with amazement and incredulity with what is happening at the highest levels of government in this country. In addition to members of the so-called 700-Club, a wealthy, conservative and ostensibly “christian” group, many administration officials as well as current cabinet-level positions are held by members of this group; they openly admit that “their christian faith informs their decisions”. These individuals are openly and deliberately pushing an “end times” agenda such that their messiah can return and rule the world for 1,000 years in peace. Their belief IS A MYTH and their actions have to be called out and stopped! This is not a conspiracy theory as could be inferred; one only has to listen to what they say, what they do and who and what countries they support and in what capacity.

The late Carl Sagan, in his 1995 book “The Demon-Haunted World, Science as a Candle In the Dark” warns of exactly what is happening today and how reliance on science, reason, thought and collaboration is the antidote to a society that has, quite literally, gone mad. Are we citizens of a modern, progressive society, educated in science, allowing our actions to be governed by science and reason or are we to remain slaves to the mythical demons from John’s Armageddon, haunting and governing our lives and decisions through mindless adherence to an ancient religious myth, making national policy decisions based on this religious myth, one of many hundreds from the pantheon of world religions? It’s high time we shed our religious hypocrisy and embrace science, reason, progress and cooperation as the only possible way forward.

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