One of my on-line acquaintances posted a link today to an essay published on the website of Psychology Today. It was written by “Marty Klein, PhD”, and titled: “Imagine: Sex is Just Sex”.
Since I am generally a progressive where sexual matters are concerned, I read through most of the article nodding along and agreeing that the author had some important points to make about the peculiar American split personality where sex is concerned. I can’t dispute any of the points that Klein made about the impact of America’s bizarre sexual morality on the lives of its people, particularly young people.
But then I got to the end of the article, and suddenly I was furious. If the damn thing had been written on paper, I would have thrown it across the room. Because suddenly, at the end of an article which was about something relevant, at the end of an essay in which the author was making valid points about issues of broad concern to anyone who was born in the USA, lives in the USA, or whose life is affected for some reason by conditions in the USA…
…suddenly he couldn’t resist the urge to stuff HIS religion down my throat. And his creepy Evangelical proselytizing, rather than having the intended effect of luring me into even broader agreement with his religious worldview, instead caused violent repulsion, and threw the entire rest of his essay into a bad light. Rather than being a personal and rational discussion of issues, the whole essay came across suddenly as an agenda-driven, self-righteous attempt to legitimize his own religious beliefs.
Because ALL such Evangelical rhetoric inevitably causes this reaction, in people who do not share the religious world-view of the speaker.
This sort of thing is happening to me more and more often when I innocently click on essays written by people in various scientific disciplines. It is becoming uncomfortably common to find myself nodding through much of the preamble of an essay, agreeing that the author has a point, and then finding myself feeling vaguely ill when I get to the preaching at the end.
Why? Because like all pie-eyed converts and intolerant religious nutjobs, the authors can’t stick to the point. Inevitably they’ll try to throw in some revoltingly jejune and intellectually dishonest atheist dogma to see if they can get it past you while you’re nodding along.
It makes me want to punch the author. Every time.
In this case, the capper of Klein’s essay comes in the lines about how wonderful the latest meeting with his fellow cult members was, followed by a chestnut like this:
“As it is said: religion flies planes into buildings; science flies rockets to the moon.”
Right, dude. Because “Science” didn’t fly atom bombs to Hiroshima and Nagasaki. “Science” didn’t fill the gas chambers at Dachau and argue for the extermination of “unfit” members of society and “inferior races” of humankind. “Science” didn’t sterilize thousands of helpless people in state mental institutions throughout the USA. “Science” didn’t deliberately leave 600 black men in Alabama suffering from syphilis for years, just to see what would happen to them and their communities if they weren’t told. “Science” didn’t dissect the children at Auschwitz and torture the Chinese prisoners at Pingfang. And “Science” didn’t demand that the men who rained fire on London and ate the livers of American prisoners of war be spared, and given lucrative and safe post-war careers, so that “Science” could continue to benefit from the “brilliance” of those minds.
Because Science can do no wrong, can it? Oh no. The dark side of human nature lies solely in the sphere of religious belief. All Science ever does is GOOD things.
What a load of crap!
The more atheism adopts the language and sloppy intellectual habits of an Evangelical movement, the more uncomfortable I become. This article is one of many reasons that I oppose any attempt to make materialism or scientific skepticism into a religion.
I shudder to think of what “Science” is capable of, as this movement gains strength. The world can do nothing but suffer, in the hands of those who believe they can do no wrong.