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Monday, May 21, 2007 

Lowering the collective level of intelligence one step at a time.

We spend a lot of our time these days either condemning or talking about the backwardness of Islamic fundamentalists, but it's not often we decide to take a dip in that other cesspool of the illogical, irrational, unscientific and radically conservative, namely the American Christian far-right.

Take, for instance, just one of the Republican candidates for president in 2008, Samuel Dale Brownback. Formerly a Methodist, he converted to Catholicism with the help of an Opus Dei member, that quite wonderful organisation which counts our very own Ruth Kelly as one of their number. Being a man that takes his belief in God seriously, he naturally wants to ram down the throats of every young person the doctrine of intelligent design, which in real terms is neither a doctrine or intelligent. Additionally, he describes the effects of Roe vs Wade, which established the right of every woman in America to have the choice of an abortion, as a "holocaust", which certainly doesn't insult every woman who has gone through the emotional wringer of deciding what's best both for her and her unborn child.

As you might expect, Brownback has predictably attracted the support of those who are even more right-wing than he is. The stated mission of Blogs for Brownback is that they want a "principled" conservative to win the nomination for president, and for him to commence battle against that "far-left liberal kook (Hillary Clinton)". Blogs for Brownback doesn't just discuss the domestic and foreign policy issues which the candidate will have to deal with once he's elected though, oh no. Much more important it seems is to once and for all prove that "Heliocentrism is an Atheist Doctrine":

What’s even worse than the debate raging in American schools about the teaching of the soulless doctrine of evolution, is the non-debate over an issue that rational Americans have foolishly conceded to the secular among us: the issue of Heliocentrism, or the idea that the Earth revolves around the Sun.

And where does the blogger's proof for the concept of the Earth in fact being the centre of the universe come from?

Don’t take my word for it, or the evidence of your own senses, Copernicans. There’s also the Word of the Lord:

“He has fixed the earth firm, immovable.” (1 Chronicles 16:30)

“Thou hast fixed the earth immovable and firm …” (Psalm 93:1)

“Thou didst fix the earth on its foundation so that it never can be shaken.” (Psalm 104:5)

“…who made the earth and fashioned it, and himself fixed it fast…” (Isaiah 45:18)

“The sun also ariseth, and the sun goeth down, and hasteth to his place where he arose.” (Ecclesiastes 1:5)

“Then spake Joshua to the LORD in the day when the LORD delivered up the Amorites before the children of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel, Sun, stand thou still upon Gibeon; and thou, Moon, in the valley of Ajalon. And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed, until the people had avenged themselves upon their enemies. Is not this written in the book of Jasher? So the sun stood still in the midst of heaven, and hasted not to go down about a whole day.” (Joshua 10, 12-13)

Finally, "Sisyphus" just lets it all out:

If you ask me, that settles the question right there. I support the Bible, and I don’t want my children learning about Heliocentrism in school. I think this doctrine encourages atheism, Darwinism, and anti-Americanism. I don’t want my tax dollars going to finance this kind of false science. It’s complete rot, and I hope that those of us who come to realize this can ultimately prevail against its propogation amongst OUR children with the money from OUR salaries.

Even then he still isn't finished. Further down, in the comments:

As for those offering evidence the Earth is flat, I have to say that you may be on to something. Not having been in space myself before, I cannot state conclusively either way; it’s hard for me to believe that NASA is people by liars and charlatans, but after the deluge of lies I’ve been exposed to on this thread, it’s become somewhat easier for me to accept that. You’ll have to give me some time to meditate on this one. For now, I think the sensible among us can all agree that the Earth, be it flat or round, does not move. If you keep reminding me, and keep sending me evidence from Scripture and scientific websites, I may come to see things your way. Time will tell.

Which has you thinking that surely, surely, this is a brilliant satire, the kind of gag which the Flat Earth Society have been pulling for decades. Only, if it is, it has to be one of the most elaborate and excellently pulled off in quite a while, as there's a whole blog's worth of this well-written but bonkers nonsense.

Even if it is a parody, its main point still stands: there really are some among us who are so pigheadedly ignorant, despite their apparent intellect, that there'll fight to impose their own beliefs on us all, and they're by no means all Islamic.

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