Face-offs between religion and science are becoming more frequent in the modern world in recent years, and people on all sides of the debate are starting to really ratchet up their rhetoric. Whether it’s the battle over whether or not to teach science in school or rely on millenia old myths for the origin of life, or just how to go about allowing everybody to have equal rights or to keep them subjugated, all sides of the issue have started digging in.
Nowhere is this more clear than in the major political parties of today. Take the Republicans, for instance. A new Public Policy Polling study released on Feb. 24 indicates that, for all their bluster about the founding fathers, the GOP wants to do away with one of the most important freedoms safeguarded by the Bill of Rights: Freedom of Religion. Specifically, 57 percent of Republicans surveyed said that they would support creating an official national religion in the United States. No points for guessing which religion they would like to force on the millions of Americans who do not share their views.
Nevermind the fact that there are dozens of different sects of Christianity, so even attempting to pick one of those would lead to unprecedented strife in a country that was settled, in part, to escape just this sort of thing.
On the other side of the spectrum, we have noted atheist Richard Dawkins, a man who went so far as to say that children need to be protected from religion. He’s gather a lot of fame for pointing out the flaws of religion; a relatively easy task, in fairness. However, he also believes that children should not be “indoctrinated” into the beliefs of their parents, as they are too young to make the decision as to what religion they believe.
Both sides are a little wide of the mark in this case, however. While establishing a national religion in the United States is an objectively bad idea that only a fool could possibly think would be wise, handing parental rights over to the state is equally bad, as is censoring any type of information children receive with regards to religion. If anything, people should be provided with all of the facts with regards to science, as well as being informed on all of the mythologies and religions as well. The more information someone has, the better a decision they can make.
People who favor forcing one point of view or another on someone, whether by forcing a government religion or by censoring it in their education or even asking that their parents not be allowed to teach their children their ways only indicate their own insecurities about what they believe. And if your faith in your own beliefs is so weak that you want them enforced by law, maybe it is your beliefs that need examining, not the public policy that allows others to be held.