Base X

This young man is doing good work and he’ll probably be threatened for it for most of his life. Here!  His name is Zack Kopplin and he grew up in Louisiana. He is doing what he can to reconstitute the presence of accredited science in Louisiana’s classrooms. He is facing determined opposition from persons who wish to teach ‘creationism’ and ‘intelligent design’ as logically equal to evolution. He also wishes to restrict the use/application of vouchers for schools that teach religiously-inspired ‘science’.

I think that religion is a force for good in any society in that it encourages and provides expression for the highest and best intentions in our society. I grew up in the protestant traditions; church every sunday with socializing after the services; sunday school; confirmation; activity in youth groups. I’ve read most of the bible and I’m still interested in the fundamental questions addressed in scripture regarding the nature/relationship of the individual and society – questions of the good and good intentions.

I think that religion (in some cases) is also a reinforcer of the our most atavistic impulses. At present, parallel to our political schism, religious expression and organization has split between xenophobic, homophobic and to my mind, fundamentally misogynistic belief systems, and a set of beliefs that more closely resembles my understanding of the core teaching of the New Testament.

What I want to understand is how a group of citizens representing 15-25% of the population has effectively sealed itself within a bubble that resists and denies any fact/evidence that disproves or touches on its belief system. How and why does it insist so fervently and incontrovertibly that it is correct and infallible?

Is it possible to ask individuals who believe to examine their belief system in a new light? How does a person become so entrenched in a belief system that they are unable to admit any contradictions or possibilities that do not conform with that system as prescribed by their leadership? They are even willing to accept contradictions that originate with their leadership when it conflicts with earlier pronouncements. What is happening here?

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