In the past decade more than 100 million people have left the Christian Church, but that has not stopped conservative religionist from trying to force their point of view into public schools. Since Texas passed its “prayer bill” in 2006, numerous “Bible Belt” state legislatures want to do the same end run around the separation of church and state.
Evidently, the message sent by the 100 million people leaving Christianity is not clear as Georgia, Texas, Tennessee and South Carolina all have “Bible bills,” while Arizona’s lawmakers are set to pass a bill encouraging schools to set up Bible course. Asides from the coming legal payday for attorneys because of the obvious religious intent of the legislation, religionist will assist in pushing even more away from the church with their unceasing intrusion into public life.
Not content to watch former church members walk away; several Southern states are leading the charge toward Galileo by allowing schools to change science education in an attempt to undermine the well-established theory of evolution. The legislation is an obvious ploy to promote religious views as science that if implemented will further lower the already pitiful standing of US students with the rest of the world.
Apparently, unaware of those voting with their feet or their standing as one of the least favored groups in the United States, conservative religionists hope to close the barn door well after the horse escaped, by using state legislatures as shills to promote religious views as science in public schools. As a whole, the United States already lags behind the rest of the world in science education: if teaching the highly disregarded scientific viewpoint of the Christian Right becomes reality, the Religious Right will succeed in pushing America back to the Dark Ages.
Religionists want to teach evolution as it relates to the Bible; a book lifted from various cultures of that period, pieced together, and then voted into existence more than three centuries after its founder’s death, and, even then it was not finished. Taken literally, the Bible is at best a relic, an antique or even an example of early heroic composition, but as a reference for living in 2012, it is hopelessly out of date and nearly useless other than as a worn icon or decoration for a coffee table.
Density aside, a possibility exists, that right wing religionists may realize that they’ve won a few battles, but the war is fast slipping away as there is a good reason over 100 million Christians left the church and the Evangelical Right must take a large portion of the blame. The battles won in the South are little more than preaching to the choir or home field advantage. Clearly, it is also an admission that Christian parents and churches aren’t getting the job done. Or, why the need for government assistance in promoting their world-view?
The Religious Right might claim that society needs more religion in order to improve, but no matter how it is assessed, religion has done little if anything to improve public morality and in many cases exacerbates problems by inserting intolerance and irrationality into already complex issues. In a dominant Christian populace (76%), the first thought is morality should not present a problem, but as noted evangelical researcher George Barna acknowledged, there is little difference between the behavior of Christians and non-Christians.
As an example, Christians account for 65% of abortions in the United States,a fact that never passes the lips of anti-abortion spokespersons. Born-again Christians are the most divorced group in the United States. Again, this fact seems to avoid the lips of religious speakers. The fact is Right Wing Christians want a fascist state enforcing their version of belief and providing assistance with brainwashing children and teenagers with their view of religion.
Although, science has its shortcomings, it has done a remarkable job of explaining much of the “unknown” that makes a difference in life on earth, like curing disease or feeding the population. In the 21st century, the supernatural is no longer accepted as a viable cause for natural occurrences and the place of religion, other than as a social club for like-minded people, is no longer relevant in the industrial world.
Although, the 100 million that left the church are not all abandoning their belief, they are leaving behind organized religion and a large portion cite its intrusion into politics and sexuality as major reasons. Unfortunately, the continued trespassing of religion into the public domain of education might increase religiosity, but the price will come at a price none can afford.
Already the South is the least educated, poorest and most socially dysfunctional part of the country; with the addition of Bible-based learning, the chances of the most religious states in America escaping last place seem remote. Thanks to the Evangelical Right, religion has become more divisive than ever and tolerance for its continued illogical and unreasonable demands is fast growing short.