Wednesday, January 31, 2007

The Truth Shall Set You Free (If The White House Doesn't Supress It)

Two thousand years ago Jesus walked around as the ultimate pragmatist, claiming that truth would set people free. Recent testimony about how the Bush Administration has suppressed scientific information on global warming has become a sad metaphor for how far we have fallen.

The life changing “truth” Jesus spoke of was knowledge through a relationship with God. From what I can tell he never tried to trick anyone. He hardly ever even asked for belief. He trusted that with enough information people would make the right decision. Compare that to the way President Bush has operated on a myriad of topics, but in this case global warming. His tactics finally saw the light of day today in congressional hearings.

Federal scientists have been pressured to play down global warming.

Climate scientists frequently have been dissuaded from talking to the media about their research.


Interview requests of climate scientists frequently were "routed through the White House" and then turned away or delayed.


Scientific findings have been edited by the White House to reveal more positive findings.

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee has asked for those documents and, not surprisingly, the White House has been slow to hand them over.

The shady behavior among a supposed Christian administration is one thing. But a fear of science is not exclusive to the White House. In an incredible example of cognitive dissonance, Americans spend almost $6000 per person on health care, and yet more than half also reject the theory of evolution. We happily enjoy plastic surgery, air travel, and longer life spans, and 13% have never even heard of global warming. Our daily lives are lined with the benefits reaped from science and yet so many of us are deathly afraid of it.

Which principle of Christianity sets it in opposition to science? Why is an increase in knowledge feared? I don’t recall Jesus ever hiding knowledge. In-fact, most sermons you hear probably revolve around Jesus’ role in expanding God’s revelation, and then letting people make their own decisions based on that information.

Christianity should certainly not be opposed to pragmatism. Anyone can say they love God. Christianity says you can’t claim to love the unseen if you can’t love that which you can see. And so you get the command: who ever loves God must love his brother. Had John faced this current group of believers maybe he would have said asked how some can claim to love God while fearing facts? The church has done more to discredit itself by consistently fearing truth than any group of anti-religious zealots ever could.

The worst, perhaps, is acceptance of science only when it is convenient, a sad extension of many people’s faith. And that, perhaps, is why so many are disgusted with organized religion. So many of its fiercest supporters fail to see a disconnect when people who have devoted a lifetime to studying God can somehow find a way practice things that would shame even the sickest of people. Their reaction does not indicate any appreciation of newfound truth, but, rather, frustration at getting caught.

Scientists have now embraced what Christians should have been cherishing: truth. God only knows how you are supposed to elicit sincere appreciation by blocking knowledge. What is not hard to recognize is how such thinking corrodes life itself. Many Americans are racked with an impressive mixture of guilt, ignorance, and incompatible beliefs, and, in a reversal, their lives are bound by their thinking, or lack of it.

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