We talk a great deal lately of the entertainment factor where Republicans and their policies are concerned. Sadly, even when it’s funny, it’s painful, like this tweet from John Boehner earlier today in celebration of Apollo 11, and of a moon landing which took place 46 years ago today:
— Speaker John Boehner (@SpeakerBoehner) July 20, 2015
And it seems like ever since, the GOP has been trying to make a giant leap backward – against mankind.
This is what Apollo 11 gave us:
In 1961, Democratic President John F. Kennedy announced his intention to send Americans to the moon. In 2014, Texas Republicans said they wanted to get rid of NASA. Republicans complained scientists bully them with facts.
This year, Republican Ted Cruz, who wants to be president, lied about NASA’s budget, and got caught. Ted Cruz said he doesn’t want NASA studying the Earth’s climate. NASA administrator Charles Bolden had to explain to the man who would be president that,
We can’t go anywhere if the Kennedy space center goes underwater, and we don’t know it. That’s understanding our environment.
Sure, Apollo 11 united us all. And Boehner and his Republicans get their way, the place from which Apollo 11 was launched – Pad A, Launch Complex 39, Kennedy Space Center – will be under the waters of the Atlantic before we launch another mission to a planet. Let’s face it, rejecting science is not the quickest way to the exploration of our solar system.
The next step is supposed to be #Mars. Right now, we can write books and make movie about an astronaut trapped on Mars (and I highly recommend the book), but we can’t go there.
Right now, we can see the moon:
We just can’t go there either. We can’t even fly to the ISS in a NASA craft. Let alone #Mars.
And it is not just science – either space or climate. It is people.
Remembering the Apollo 11 moon landing with the woman who made it happen http://t.co/Aw0Ub9HL7T
— TIME.com (@TIME) July 20, 2015
Margaret Hamilton, who worked on Apollo 11’s software – the software that made the success of the mission possible. She told Time Magazine she hopes “that we continue with exploration.” How unlikely that is, if the GOP gets its way. How more unlikely it is that women will play any part in it, if the GOP gets its way.
I will never, for as long as I live, forget sitting in front of the television, a little older than my son is now, and watching Neil Armstrong – and hearing his words – “That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.”
Gene Cernan, who commanded the last Apollo mission said, “We leave as we came and, God willing, as we shall return, with peace, and hope for all mankind.”
But we won’t return. Not until the Republicans decide that science is important. That it is science that explains our universe, and that it science – not a cherry-picked Bible – that provides us the means of that understanding.
All things are knowable. Just not from the perspective of the Bronze Age.
Such thoughts can make you melancholy. When really, all you should be is happy.
Photo from Twitter
Hrafnkell Haraldsson, a social liberal with leanings toward centrist politics has degrees in history and philosophy. His interests include, besides history and philosophy, human rights issues, freedom of choice, religion, and the precarious dichotomy of freedom of speech and intolerance. He brings a slightly different perspective to his writing, being that he is neither a follower of an Abrahamic faith nor an atheist but a polytheist, a modern-day Heathen who follows the customs and traditions of his Norse ancestors. He maintains his own blog, A Heathen’s Day, which deals with Heathen and Pagan matters, and Mos Maiorum Foundation www.mosmaiorum.org, dedicated to ethnic religion. He has also contributed to NewsJunkiePost, GodsOwnParty and Pagan+Politics.