Did you ever have one of those days when you look at something and immediately lose faith in part of humanity? When you wonder if anything you say or do throughout the course of your life really matters, when you feel like you’re tilting against windmills and are up against an army of vacuous robotic morons with nothing but wind whistling between their ears? Today was one of those days. I’ll start this blog with a question.
What is an Extremist? The dictionary says it’s a supporter or advocate of extreme doctrines or practices. Extreme is defined as “farthest from the center or middle; outermost; endmost”.
There has been a lot of talk in the past two decades about extremism – some justified, some not. The Islamic extremists who ran planes into the Twin Towers could rightfully be called extremists. Consciously boarding a plane, hijacking it and flying it into a building is definitely extreme. The Christian extremists who blow up abortion clinics or murder doctors who perform abortions is definitely extreme. Eco-terrorists who burn down luxury homes in developments definitely falls into that category. There are myriad websites that cater to that sort of extremism. I loathe that sort of thinking.
There is another, more insidious, form of extremism, though. It uses pseudo-intellect to cover its tracks and make sure that factual information is discredited as bogus. Today I discovered a website that could definitely fall into this category. It’s Conservapedia.com. A website that presents itself as “The Trustworthy Encyclopedia”. A website that, the more I read, the more perturbed I became. (When I realized that home-schooled children actually use this website as their primary source of information, I also became REALLY angry.)
This bastion of trustworthiness says, in the opening salvo to the article on public schools, “Public schools in the United States are liberal and atheistic government institutions that employ 3 million people and spend 411.5 billion annually at a cost of $10,770 per student. Spoken prayer, the Ten Commandments, and sharing of faith are expressly forbidden in public schools’ classrooms during school hours, and teaching of morality is implicitly disfavored. Homosexual indoctrination is common as early as elementary school in more liberal states. The failures of underperforming public schools are paradigm of socialism, along with landfills and the Canadian healthcare system.” It then goes on to give such ridiculous stats as 70% of students leave HS unqualified to attend college, 77% of students have used illicit drugs and that the “real” dropout rate may be 50%! Come on, that’s just ludicrous.
Conservapedia says that vegetarian “health advantages are debatable”. REALLY? I won’t even comment on this. Go talk to the thousands of nutritionists and doctors who have proven otherwise.
Regarding scientific issues like astronomy, carbon dating, dinosaurs and genetics, there is precious little information, perhaps because facts are a bitch to refute. Regarding dinosaurs, they say the whole discussion is “atheistic liberal junk science”. The articles on astronomy and the age of the universe show us that atheist scientists simplistically use the speed of light to calculate the age of the universe, when in fact, the light was “created by God” on the way to earth. (!) Over and over, articles relate back to the “young earth” model of life, which says that the world is 6000 years old, that all dinosaurs were created on Day 6 and died in Noah’s flood, and that carbon dating “requires certain assumptions that cannot be scientifically proven.” Therefore, throw out the baby with the bathwater Mr. Einstein, because it’s all wrong!
Regarding politics, Liberal means “someone who rejects logical and biblical standards, often for self-centered reasons. There are no coherent liberal standards; often a liberal is merely someone who craves attention, and who uses many words to say nothing.” That is the opening paragraph. The same paragraph for Conservative gives us, “A conservative adheres to principles of personal responsibility, moral values, and limited government, agreeing with George Washington’s Farewell Address that ‘religion and morality are indispensable supports’ to political prosperity.” Wave the flag and shoot me now. Here’s a screen shot on the character and traits of a Liberal – part of it got cut off, but you get the gist. I LOVE the tools and traits – didn’t know I was all those things…
I don’t really feel like quoting any more from this idiotic website. Looking back at the original definition of extremism as “far from center”, this site personifies extremism. It’s a pathetic, revolting attempt to cloak fact in religion. To make people think that science is wrong and that all Muslims are bad and the Judeo-Christian tradition is the only path to truth (which I flatly reject). To use quasi-intellectual arguments to lead people like sheep back to the fold. To save us all from ourselves.
Oh, by the way, did you know that atheism causes obesity? I kid you not. Guess someone from Conservapedia.com should tell the good Reverend…