The Biology of Racism

The Evangelical Roots of our Post-Truth Society

Catching upon blogging, I want to share this interesting article from the NY Times on the evangelical roots of the post-truth society.  If anything, I think this article needs to be longer, with more in-depth exploration of the topic.

The author discusses how conservative and fundamentalist evangelical Christians embrace a worldview of biblical inerrancy which compels them to reject aspects of science, philosophy, and history which they find incompatible.  They are taught to view those things and their purveyors as false or fake.

This was something of my experience, growing up, though I grew up in an era when the fundamentalists did not have complete control of my denomination, but this sort of talk was gaining ground.  In some ways it emerged out of conservative Christian rejection of some aspects of popular culture and the culture wars of my parent's generation.  I do remember being raised on the evils of rock music, for example.  So as those sectarian ideas developed over time, they led to a rejection of even more of mainstream culture and thought.

The Texas textbook fights are good examples. The debate wasn't just about rejecting science books that discussed evolution, health textbooks couldn't discuss condoms in the sex ed section and, later, history textbooks downplayed ideas like the separation of church and state.

Here is an excerpt from the article:

We all cling to our own unquestioned assumptions. But in the quest to advance knowledge and broker peaceful coexistence in a pluralistic world, the worldview based on biblical inerrancy gets tangled up in the contradiction between its claims on universalist science and insistence on an exclusive faith.

By contrast, the worldview that has propelled mainstream Western intellectual life and made modern civilization possible is a kind of pragmatism. It is an empirical outlook that continually — if imperfectly — revises its conclusions based on evidence available to everyone, regardless of their beliefs about the supernatural. This worldview clashes with the conservative evangelical war on facts . . .

So, it's easy to see how this brainwashing might lead to people without the critical thinking skills and personal autonomy to judge Donald Trump accurately.  Yet, I remain puzzled with how supposed promoters of traditional values could embrace this moral reprobate.


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