When religious (and political) identity trumps inquiry — and facts

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Creation Museum. Photo courtesy Maureen via Flickr Creative Commons.

Creation Museum. Photo courtesy Maureen via Flickr Creative Commons.

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What would happen if we could unhitch ourselves from such identity games and celebrate the freedom of thought that is supposed to be a cornerstone of American identity? What if facts were not perceived as grave threats but as invitations to ongoing inquiry?

  • Headless Unicorn Guy

    Several years ago, I was talking to a guy who used to work Army Intel in Iraq. He was talking about dealing with Iraqi Muslims (did not specify friendlies or hostiles or both) and that no matter how educated they were, there was only so far you could go with them and no further. He said you could actually see “the wall in their mind slam down” and all that was left was “IT IS WRITTEN! IT IS WRITTEN! IT IS WRITTEN! AL’LAH’U AKBAR! AL’LAH’U AKBAR!”

    You are describing the Christianese version of this. The Forbidden Thought is approached, the wall in the mind slams down, and there is only “IT IS WRITTEN! IT IS WRITTEN! IT IS WRITTEN! SCRIPTURE! SCRIPTURE! SCRIPTURE!”

  • Tom

    Fortunately the Christian who runs up against a shibboleth usually faces, at the worst, the need to update his or her resume. The Iraqis described above question orthodoxies at a vastly greater risk.

    Three cheers for the First Amendment, and all those who protect it! I’m probably wrong about a whole lot of things, but I sure love having the right to be wrong.

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