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Thursday, April 28, 2005

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 Whose nation under God?

Robert Kuttner argues that President Bush, Tom DeLay, Bill Frist, and company are playing with serious fire:
America, which separated church and state precisely to protect the private right to worship, has long had its share of religious absolutists who have wanted to harness the power of the state to their own view of revealed truth. But never before in our history has the government deliberately and cynically intervened on the side of the zealots....

What's under siege here is nothing less than the Enlightenment.... The philosophers of the Enlightenment were men of science who understood that faith could not be disputed but that reason could be subjected to the test of logic and evidence....

Today's religious extremists are not only trying to use the state, with all its power, as religious proselytizer. They oppose science when it happens to conflict with their version of revealed truth. They twist history to claim that the Republic's freethinking Founders, like Jefferson, Adams, and Madison, were really theocrats like themselves. They long for the predemocratic world of absolutes circa 1500.

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