Wednesday, September 28, 2005

George Bush's Faith and the Nation: Why Intelligent Design and Michael Brown Are Two Sides Of The Same Coin

I recently witnessed as much of a debate about intelligent design in the schools as I could stomach. And while most of it was obnoxious and predictable, somewhere in the bowels of the discussion I gleaned the notion that many/most of the adherents of intelligent design understand nothing about science, the scientific method or even the use of language in science. For them a theory and an idea or notion are indistinguishable. And for them -- those adherents who are honest believers, not just adopting a position for political advantage -- belief in one thing is equal to belief in any other.

What does any of this have to do with Our President or Michael Brown? you might ask.

I have come to believe that Mr. Bush believes much of what he says. (Yes, this is an excellent time to call on the better nature of a deity, if we haven't used up all of that good will by now. God help us.)

We have a faith-based President. And, as such, things like facts matter little to him. I don't believe he is able to comprehend the difference between what is a fact and what is an outgrowth of whatever it is that he calls faith. Values matter to him, when he is forced to articulate, however badly, a basis for what he says and does. So when the words"Brownie, you're doing a heck of a job." come out of Our President's mouth, they are an expression of faith. He believes in loyalty, so expressions of loyalty, for him, must produce positive, laudable results. Brownie is a good man, so anything he does must be correct and will, therefore, produce the correct result.

Stick with me before you hoot me out of the joint. Pretend for a moment that the person I am describing actually exists. That he is not self-aware and/or that he is just not too bright and/or thaat alcohol has wasted his brain. Think for a moment of how easy he would be to manipulate. If things go badly, it must by definition be caused by evil or some other variation of wrongness. If things go badly, an unscrupulous person -- let's make up a fictional person named Rasputin or Karl. Yeah, we'll go with Karl. Easier to spell. -- might whisper in the ear of the naive believer "It's HIS fault." or "It's HER fault."

The result of a fictional perfect storm much like the one I have outlined above might include a leader who responds more effectively to any set of events that can be easily attributed to bad folks than he would to events that are not so easily attributable. In fact such a leader might just accept such events and be a bit startled when folks expect him to effectively respond to such an event. He (or she - hahahahahaha) might very well say silly faith-based things that don't make much sense to fact-based folks.

Oh, and in case I haven't frightened you enough, consider the accompanying graphic that was recently contributed to the excellent web site PostSecret.

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