Throughout history it paid dividends in the form of gaining adherents for the Christian religion to claim they were besieged by various forces of evil despite dominating a great part of the world. Their still-persistent assertions they are being persecuted in one sense or another reveals they suffer a psychologically-complex perception of being persecuted that does not exist. Whether it is the phony war on Christmas or Easter, not being allowed to rule by theocracy, or own women as birth machines, there is perpetual harping by the religious right they are being persecuted in America.
Although fundamentalist Christians have no dearth of so-called tormentors, for the past eleven weeks their greatest enemy has been science in the person of Neil deGrasse Tyson and the Fox science documentary series Cosmos. If one believed idiotic creationists, Tyson and the program’s creators’ sole purpose in producing the series is refuting god, spreading atheism, and debasing the bible for what it really is; mythology for an ancient people void of knowledge of the universe. Of course, their real enemy is science, scientists, and the scientific method their tiny minds can hardly fathom on their best cognitive day, and because it debunks their limited biblical worldview, they feel they are under attack.
In the episode two weeks ago based around Michael Faraday and his brilliant work and research explaining electricity, self-appointed creationist spokesman and defender of the faith, David Klinghoffer, of “Evolution News” was incensed that Faraday’s “faith is mentioned at the beginning, but implicitly dismissed as having anything to do with his science.” It was typical lunacy from the anti-science religious right crowd, and belabors the point that the “faithful” are incapable of bifurcating superstition, fairy tales, and bible mythos from science, fact, and empirical data. Klinghoffer’s idiotic remark makes him and his ilk appear much more moronic than even a semi-intelligent chimpanzee knows they are.
It is reasonable to assume that Tyson’s intent in even mentioning Faraday’s religious faith was that he was able to leave superstition and fairy tales out of “his science” and use the scientific method, not the bible or god, to make the astounding discoveries the entire world continues benefitting from. Besides, it seems reasonable that an omnipresent, omniscient deity would have included at least a couple of chapters in the scriptures detailing gravitational and quantum theory, astrophysics, or why the Earth’s magnetic field shields the planet from the Sun’s life-ending radiation.
Klinghoffer went so far as accusing Professor Tyson of deliberately going “out of his way, indeed twisting the facts, to depict faith as an obstacle to science. But when acknowledging its vital role in scientific history would be most appropriate, Cosmos invariably falls silent.” Klinghoffer reveals that his ignorance of history is a deep as his ignorance of science because throughout history faith, particularly the Christian faith, has been as vicious an enemy of science and especially those who practiced it as it is today.
If the episode on Faraday sent Klinghoffer into a Mosaic rage, last week’s offering certainly put him over the bible’s mythological “edge of the Earth.” In fact, Klinghoffer wrote that instead of just pausing and skipping over what he claims are “anti-bible” parts of the program so his son he claims is fascinated by the show can watch it without losing his religion, he forbid his son from watching the episode. Klinghoffer previously said he had to explain to his son that Tyson is not doing science, and that “with past installments I had to pause the show to point out to Ezra where host Neil deGrasse Tyson stopped talking about science and switched to baiting Christianity. Episode number 11 of 13 made that procedure impractical and tiresome.” Klinghoffer said he was talking to another creationist cretin and wondered “where, with two episodes left and having dropped the initial pretense of a program on science, the Reverend Dr. Tyson will go from here?”
The program is, and always has been, a science program and Klinghoffer likely lost his biblical mind when, tapping into anthropological science, Tyson explained the origins of civilization and writing in ancient Mesopotamia`(modern day Iraq) and described the Epic of Gilgamesh that either god or Moses, whichever mythological character wrote the story of Noah and the ark, plagiarized the exact same story from a thousand years earlier. The fact that anthropological science proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that a crucial part of the Christian bible is not the original and infallible word of god is likely the ultimate torment to evangelicals like Klinghoffer. In all probability, Klinghoffer’s son will never be exposed to science as long as he lives within his ignorant father’s realm of influence.
Neil deGrasse Tyson has been unwaveringly careful attributing ancient mythos to people who believed thunder was an expression of angry gods and epileptic fits were demonic possession, and has not “baited Christianity” like Klinghoffer asserts. What Klinghoffer is doing with his weekly attacks on Tyson and Cosmos is fear-mongering about the dangers of science via Cosmos because he hates science and knows anything Tyson explains on the program is easily verified; including that god’s word in the bible is fallible and likely plagiarized from earlier civilizations.
Programs like Cosmos, science, and indeed public education mortify evangelical Christians who already believe their children’s belief in superstition and fairy tales will be destroyed if they attend public school or, dog forbid, a non-Christian college or university. There are, like Michael Faraday, scientists who also adhere to a religion, but they are smart enough to leave superstition and mythos outside the lab. They also certainly understand that most of what ancient people needed religious mythology for is meaningless, and frankly ridiculous, in the 21st century. If creationists and their evangelical brethren believe their faith is under attack by science, Cosmos, Neil deGrasse Tyson, or historical facts, it is because they are clinging to ancient mythos befitting Bronze Age humans and they deserve to be metaphorically persecuted for being ridiculously stupid.
Audio engineer and instructor for SAE. Writes op/ed commentary supporting Secular Humanist causes, and exposing suppression of women, the poor, and minorities. An advocate for freedom of religion and particularly, freedom of NO religion.
Born in the South, raised in the Mid-West and California for a well-rounded view of America; it doesn’t look good.
Former minister, lifelong musician, Mahayana Zen-Buddhist.