14 December 2009

The Progressive Religion

As Christmas approaches, my thoughts have naturally turned towards things of a more religious nature.

The cause of this change in mindset hasn't all been Christmas-related activity. Much of what has oriented my thinking has been the religion of progressivism.

This is a topic I've addressed numerous times before--so many times, in fact, that I don't dare do a search of my archives and post every link to every article in which I've treated the subject. You'd be bored (more than usual) and I wouldn't have time to go and pick up my laundry from Tony all the way out in Queen's Park.

Suffice it to say that the progressive religion, though perhaps as not clearly outlined as other, more organized and defined religions is, in fact, a religion.

And the leftists--liberals and members of the Democrat party--who reject and sometimes mock Christianity and other religions (not all leftists, but a sizable vocal minority), are no less devout and pious in their belief system than their country bumpkin hick Christian friends on the right.

Indeed, as Byron York points out in latest article, leftist progressives are just as superstitious (in some cases, depending on definition, more so) as conservatives.
"Conservatives and Republicans report fewer experiences than liberals or Democrats communicating with the dead, seeing ghosts and consulting fortunetellers or psychics," the Pew study says. For example, 21 percent of Republicans report that they have been in touch with someone who is dead, while 36 percent of Democrats say they have done so. Eleven percent of Republicans say they have seen a ghost, while 21 percent of Democrats say so. And nine percent of Republicans say they have consulted a fortuneteller, while 22 percent of Democrats have.
There's more. Seventeen percent of Republicans say they believe in reincarnation, while 30 percent of Democrats do. Fourteen percent of Republicans say they believe in astrology, while 31 percent of Democrats do. Fifteen percent of Republicans say they view yoga as a spiritual practice, while 31 percent of Democrats do. Seventeen percent of Republicans say they believe in spiritual energy, while 30 percent of Democrats do.
There are some areas in which the two partisan groups are similar. When Pew asked respondents whether they have had a religious or mystical experience, 50 percent of Republicans said yes, as did 50 percent of Democrats. But overall, there are sizable disparities.
Progressives behave in all the same ways that conservatives do--it just so happens that their religion is become the public religion that Christianity was in Europe in preceding centuries and like Catholicism and early Protestant churches, they use public/government bodies to enforce the right amout of piety.

By recycling (in some areas here in London, you must recycle under penalty of law).

By purchasing carbon indulgences offsets (to rectify past--or future--"bad" behavior).

By paying a forced tithe (taxes) to fund "research centers" like the CRU and other so called "green initiatives" whose goals generally center around public information/marketing campaigns that guilt individuals into donating even more of their money. Or, if you have none, into supporting legislation that will compel those who do, but who do not want to pay (how unrighteous of them!) to pay higher taxes to fund Al Gore's next PowerPoint.

Whatever happened to the separation of Church & State?

Whatever happened to the separation of Church & Science?

Let's take the first, church & state. The consensus opinion in the United States is that separation of church and state has largely aided individual religious liberty. For the most part, I agree. However, if you look at Europe today, the involvement of the state with church seems to have done more damage to the latter than anyone anticipated. No one goes to church. Churches, cathedrals, meetings houses (mosques excepting) are all empty. Religion has become secularized and is no longer compelling to the masses.

In this instance, America's separation of church, while initially about religious liberty, seems to have saved American churches from the same fate as their European brethren.

It is possible, therefore, to surmise that a similar forced adoption of progressivism as the public religion would create the same sort of generational backlash that public religion did in Europe. Granted, it took centuries, but now the youth pay no mind to the faith of their fathers. Indeed, they know practically nothing about it.

The problem, of course, is that those of us who do not want to worship mother Gaia would be forced to do so until the zealotry of the current generation of environmental fanatics died out. Given the haste with which fads seem to pass nowadays (and the blatant cooking of the books at the CRU), this would probably only really hurt (and by hurt I mean kill) people in lesser developed countries while those of us in the developed world would only have to deal with the inconvenience of much higher taxes, lower standard of living, etc. I'm a poor student so whatever.

Before we go any further, take a little time to watch this enlightening Q&A with Michael Crichton:

Second & lastly (if you're still with me), science & religion. Look, I have no problem with those who honestly believe (whilst I'm a heretical "denier." note the religious language) in the religion of progressivism with environment, multiculturalism, tolerance, government, taxes (tithes) as their tenets. I wouldn't criticize your belief system at all, except that you insist on turning your beliefs into public policy.

The other major problem I have with you is this--the complete bastardization of science. If you've been following (at all) what's been happening with the scandal at the CRU, you know what I'm talking out. If you don't, here's a pretty good place to start. What has been done is nothing short of a triumph of tribal politics (the sort of stuff they're supposed to leave to me) over science. Where the data didn't produce the right graphs, they "massaged" it. Where the data contradicted their findings, they deleted it. Where skeptical scientists published articles in good academic journals, they ganged up and tried to keep them out or discredit the journal. And where all of this failed, they fantasized about beating up those who disagreed with them.

Whatever climate science has become (or ever was) it is no longer science. The only ones permitted into the inner sanctum and given access to the holy raw data are those who can be trusted to apply the right sorts of "homogenizing" effects or use the tricks of those who actually know how to use (and by use I mean really, you know, use) statistics.

If all of this only hurt their own cause, I would just laugh and laugh and laugh. But no, their complete misrepresentation, misuse and abuse of the scientific method and the peer-review process has done damage to science as a whole. And that really ticks me off. The pressures of faith and money (the environment business is worth tens of billions of dollars after all) have turned "climate science" into nothing more than propaganda machine. Like other rent-seekers, their whole goal is to do whatever is necessary to get more money (see your local newspaper for the latest alarmist prediction).

To sum up: Believe in Global Warmism if you want. I'll leave you to your religion the same way you leave me to mine. However, do not conflate your religion with science, impose it by the state, or try other public policy shenanigans to compel my observance.

If you have tips, questions, comments or suggestions, email me at lybberty@gmail.com.