This is a complicated issue, but there isn’t any news today so we’re letting our thoughts run loose, somewhat. We’ll do our best to get the conversation started, but the rest is up to you, dear reader.
Everyone knows, or thinks he knows, what Theocracy is. Wikipedia gives two dictionary definitions:
“government of a state by immediate divine guidance or by officials who are regarded as divinely guided,” and
“A form of government in which God (or a deity) is recognized as the king or immediate ruler, and his laws are taken as the statute-book of the kingdom, these laws being usually administered by a priestly order as his ministers and agents; hence (loosely) a system of government by a sacerdotal order, claiming a divine commission …”
Either one seems sufficient for our purposes. So where do the creationists fit in? Obviously, in some countries, there literally is government that meets those definitions. Heretics in such places are harshly treated, sometimes being subject to lashes, and even execution. Nothing like that — at least yet — is advocated by creationists in the Western world, but they do want government to at least recognize the sovereignty of their religious view of things.
All the creationist outfits we follow want government support for their teachings. They all want their doctrines taught in public schools, especially their supernatural ideas about the origins of the universe, the Earth, life, and humanity. To that extent — i.e., state endorsement of their religion — they’re definitely theocrats. Most of them (but not the Discovery Institute, whose political goals are temporarily limited), insist that not only should government buildings and meetings display their symbols and practice their rituals, but they also want prayers (their kind of prayers) in public schools. They haven’t yet gotten around to advocating lashes and beheading for those who disagree with them.
As we all know, creationists in the US tried to outlaw science they don’t like. An example is the Tennessee Butler Act, which John Scopes was prosecuted for violating. These days creationists seem willing to settle for squeezing their religious “theories” into science classes, so that creationism will be taught along with evolution, which they often describe as a competing religious doctrine.
But infiltrating the public schools to dilute evolution is just the first step. If they were ever successful, there’s no way to know how far they will go. We see no reason why they wouldn’t try to outlaw astronomy, geology, and every other science that causes them discomfort. For the moment, there doesn’t seem to be any desire to outlaw classroom displays of the periodic table of elements, but it wouldn’t surprise us if that too would be a target some day.
They all become enraged when creationist teachers in public schools are disciplined. They are equally enraged at the “favoritism” shown toward what they regard as atheistic science, and they would eagerly punish that behavior if they could. For the moment, however, they seem to grasp, albeit dimly, that this is beyond their reach.
They’re also furious that they don’t receive government funding for their activities. The Discoveroids are always grumbling that their “research” doesn’t receive government funding. Ken Ham is so certain of his righteousness that he is suing the state of Kentucky for millions of dollars in sales tax rebates for “his” share of the taxes he thinks will be generated by his religious theme park now under construction.
But not all creationists are potentially dangerous. There are probably creationist sects in the US that aren’t theocratic. Are the Amish creationists? We’re not sure, but we assume they are. However, the Amish don’t bother anyone. Unfortunately, they’re an exception.
Most creationist sects are inherently aggressive about their beliefs. And they’re proud of it. They claim that they’re the scientists and we’re the ones pushing our religious views. Their drooling followers believe them. When given the opportunity, they vote for politicians who believe as they do.
So what’s to be done? This is a struggle that probably won’t ever end. The best we can do, in our humble opinion, is: (1) avoid them, totally; and (2) keep communicating our message of reason and reality. If you have any other suggestions, we’d like to hear them.
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