Tue, 07 Jun 2005 19:53:05 GMT

Barbarism in Texas. BARBARISM IN TEXAS….This story is almost too horrible for words. The details are a little thin, but here’s the outline. In 2003, Texas passed an anti-abortion law that instituted a 24-hour waiting period; required doctors to show women pictures of… [Political Animal]

You know, after reading about the Governor of Texas signing anti-gay legislation in a Church, seeing the conclusion of this tragic case and finding out just how poorly Texas rates in almost every educational category, I am reminded of this:

If today you can take a thing like evolution and make it a crime to teach it in the public school, tomorrow you can make it a crime to teach it in the private schools, and the next year you can make it a crime to teach it to the hustings or in the church. At the next session you may ban books and the newspapers. Soon you may set Catholic against Protestant and Protestant against Protestant, and try to foist your own religion upon the minds of men. If you can do one you can do the other. Ignorance and fanaticism is ever busy and needs feeding. Always it is feeding and gloating for more. Today it is the public school teachers, tomorrow the private. The next day the preachers and the lectures, the magazines, the books, the newspapers. After while, your honor, it is the setting of man against man and creed against creed until with flying banners and beating drums we are marching backward to the glorious ages of the sixteenth century when bigots lighted fagots to burn the men who dared to bring any intelligence and enlightenment and culture to the human mind.

Spoken by Clarence Darrow at the Scopes Trial. What they failed to do 80 years ago they are succeeding at today. Texas, along with several other states, and encouraged by a vocal group of demagogues and pundits, all seem well on their way to the ‘glorious ages of the sixteenth century.’ These people are afraid of intelligence (based on their strong efforts to debase science), they are afraid of culture (too many incidents to mention) and are truly afraid of the ideals of the Enlightenment (which produced this country).

The rigidity and outright bigotry of these groups will only serve to harm the rest of us. If they do somehow succeed, the upward trend of human existence over the last 400 years will be blunted. Tens of millions of human beings will die because of these bigots. It is happening today in Dafur. These people are upset about gays while children starve through inaction. They truly want a religious state and will hope for an American Inquisition.

If they gain more power, they will simply drive others away. It is no longer the case that America is the only place to live. As it continues its great fall, it will not only export jobs but export people. People who do not want to live in a place following demagogues and theocrats. Let’s just call them bullies. They will leave while they are still able to before REAL ID becomes an internal passport system; where fences on the border are no longer their to keep people out but to keep people in. That is the path these people want. To take the diversity of opinion that is America and leave only one – theirs.

I really do have faith that our system will right itself. But it needs to happen soon. We have very big problems that need to be attacked. Focussing on Michael Jackson, gay marriage, and the whole slew of moral issues promulgated by these people will prevent that from happening. This really is all about power and who gets to wield it – preachers, theocrats and demagogues as seen 400 years ago; or The People of the Enlightenment. There really does not seem to be a Third Way here.