A little while back, Dr. Barry Fagin, a columnist for my local newspaper, courageously attempted to restore a small, modest measure of sanity to America. He wrote a column in which he reasonably asserted that belief in obvious nonsense is not a harmless indulgence.
Now, I don’t know how long Dr. Fagin has lived in the god-drunk town of Colorado Springs. But if he’s a newcomer, then I could have told him he was spitting directly into the prevailing winds hereabouts.
And sure enough, no sooner was his opinion published than an outraged populace descended upon the comments section of his column to let him know just exactly where he could stuff his scandalous preferences for reality over nonsense. Wrote one righteous soul: “The great thing about America is that we can go right on believing whatever we want, no matter how nonsensical and no matter how much it annoys the pseudo-intellectuals.”
Here in the Springs, you are smeared a “pseudo-intellectual” if you dare to write a column in which you make any favorable references to reality. Of course, the Springs is like America in general these days. Fairness, balance, and a sense of proportion are disappearing except as slogans. Extremes are become fashionable. The fantasy based community appears ascendant. And the reality based community is, all too often, hunkered down.
To be sure, many people jumped in to defend Dr. Fagin. Colorado Springs, like America itself, is not yet a monocrop of humanity: There are active dissenters here, albeit they are, in the community as a whole, both outnumbered and out gunned. My friend Don and I used to attend the meetings of the local Freethinkers, which has an active membership of around 30 people, until we could no longer stand the atmosphere of the meetings, which was one of group-depression. Everyone there seemed to be a refugee.
Of course, the fantasy based community and the reality based community are battling all over the country — not just in the Springs. For instance, Lillian Daniel, who lives a thousand miles east of here in Glen Ellyn, Illinois, and who is both an author and a minister, is thoroughly convinced logic and evidence have no place — and ought to have no place — in deciding what she believes about her god and the bible:
I can’t prove to you that Jesus lived, died and was resurrected, nor that he healed people on the sabbath or that he forgave his tormentors. I can’t prove to you that one God can also be three in one, and that together that force has parted the waters, burned bushes and fed thousands on short rations. None of this can I prove. But I can tell you that I have faith in it.
In Daniel’s remarkable mind, the biblical passage that trumps logic and evidence is Hebrews 11:1-3, 8-16, “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” And, because logic and evidence are trumped:
I can hope and believe in what is not before my eyes. I don’t have to be logical, and most of all, I don’t have to prove it. Not to you, not to anyone.
Now, that’s a pretty neat trick there — and so far as I know, she didn’t even need to use a pony.
Around 85% of Americans identify themselves as Christians. And, millions of those Christians would sanely reject Lillian Daniel’s radical will-to-stupidity.
Yet, millions of other Christians in America would heartedly embrace Daniel’s radical will-to-stupidity.
To be sure, the fantasy based community in America is comprised of more than Christians. It would be ridiculous to assume that Christianity and the fantasy based community are identical. They are not.
I could go on, but I’ve been awake most of the night with insomnia. At last, I am becoming tired. So, I think I’ll grab a wee bit of sleep here in the early hours between night and day.
H/T: Mike the Infidel