Metaphysics off the Cuff
That the religious right-wing of the Republican Party has profound difficulty with their easily-perceived majesty of Science is repeatedly self-evident. Over several decades, numerous lawsuits have been filed by Bible-Belt school districts whose school board members have not been able to accommodate themselves to Darwin’s theory of evolution propelled by the process of “natural selection.” And as most people know, avowed Christians of the fundamentalist stripe are frightened to death by the thought that the world we see today developed over millions of years and decidedly did not occur in seven days.
That human beings were not instantaneously created by a supreme being is incomprehensible to them; and therefore any set of ideas which tend to erode this belief in divine, instantaneous creation must, from their point of view, be overturned.
But brute facts cannot be overturned. They simply come into being and reside in the human mind once they are perceived as incontrovertible. And the History of Science has produced a huge and wide-ranging set of “brute facts.”
All the members of the Supreme Court, I would imagine, have a healthy respect for the advances of Science, all of them being highly-educated people. And even though four of its right-leaning members are practicing Catholics (Alito, Kavanaugh, Roberts, and the newest member, Barrett), I would still make this assertion, given my faith and optimism in the rule of law.
That religion permeates American politics is hardly a secret. And even though the founding fathers of the United States strove mightily to erect constitutional barriers between Religion and the State, the development of American politics over, what, two and a half centuries, have led to a fractured and barely functional Congress.
The introduction of the tenets of religious faith into any political argument will ipso facto muddy the waters, and promote the further stirring of controversy. In fact, the religious-right wing of this country would much prefer to revisit and live within the political atmosphere of the 1950s when the Jim Crow laws were still very much ascendant in the deep South, where the notion of universal civil rights was and continues to be regarded as anathema.
And because of this persistent political-sociological situation in this country, I have come to regard the recent sweep of American culture with discomfort and deep misgivings.
I am a secularist and an agnostic (recently converted from atheism, which I adhered to since I was twelve). These diametric and countervailing waves of opinion continue to collide with one another, continue to fester irruptions of civil disruption and murder. And the most worrisome and unsettling aspect of this whole business is the extreme-right-wingers’ devotion to and love of The Second Amendment, which they regard as sacrosanct. And they view themselves as gun-toting “patriots,” some of whom stormed the Capital Building in their vain hopes of overturning the election in favor of the loser, Donald J. Trump.