Here we are well into the 21st century, and residing in arguably the most developed nation in the world, and still a large portion of the population remains as Bible literalists. These are people who want to believe the literal interpretation of every word and idea in the Bible.
What is wrong with that? It is the same thing that is wrong with people who believe in the literal interpretation of Islam or any other religion whose creation occurred thousands of years ago by ancient writer-philosophers who attempted to codify an orderly way to live.
Religious law was the forerunner to community and governmental law. Religion introduced mythology and commingled that with spirituality that had both a noble purpose as well as a manipulative one.
As with all laws and regulations and sources of governance, the persons who are “in charge” of the source and its implementation and enforcement are powerful. Some “leaders” seek almighty control of enforcement mechanisms, armies and police, as well as religious orders to control the masses.
In the instance of the American republic and creation of the US Constitution, the Founding Fathers saw wisdom in separating religious belief from government to achieve a balance of order and to distribute power and control among the electorate citizens.
This accomplished permitting people to hold their religious beliefs as individuals without imposing those beliefs on others. Freedom from religion was as important as freedom of belief.
Now, practical contradictions happen when historical and scientific evidence is at odds.
Witness this story from the Los Angeles Times that discusses the notion of “evolution”. Scientific evidence strongly proves the evolution of humankind like the evolution of all other animals and plants, that survival of the fittest is pervasive. There are anomalies of course too.
Where this becomes political is when citizens must decide what to instruct their children. Do the follow the teachings of scientists or do they follow the literal and obsolete teachings of the Bible? How do they reconcile the two sources of interpretation?
"Islamic views on evolution are diverse, ranging from theistic evolution to creationism. Muslims believe in a God as the Creator, as explained in the Qur'an. Throughout history some Muslim thinkers have proposed and accepted elements of the theory of evolution, while believing in the supremacy of God in the process."
Here is the politics in this story:
“According to a newly released survey by the Pew Research Center, six in 10 Americans say they accept the principle that species have evolved, while about one-third say that “humans and other living things have existed in their present form since the beginning of time.”
That overall division of American views has stayed fairly constant. But over the last few years, the gap between Democratic and Republican views has doubled.
In 2009, a majority of Democrats and Republicans took the evolution side of the argument, with 64% of Democrats and 54% of Republicans agreeing. In the latest survey, Democratic belief in evolution was about the same, 67%, but Republican support had fallen to 43%. A 10-point gap between supporters of the two parties had grown to a 24-point gulf.”
“Chalk up another topic beset by political polarization: Evolution
By David Lauter
December 30, 2013, 1:40 p.m.
By about 2-1, Americans accept the idea that “humans and other living things have evolved over time,” but as with so many issues these days, answers to that question have taken on a growing partisan cast.
According to a newly released survey by the Pew Research Center, six in 10 Americans say they accept the principle that species have evolved, while about one-third say that “humans and other living things have existed in their present form since the beginning of time.”
That overall division of American views has stayed fairly constant. But over the last few years, the gap between Democratic and Republican views has doubled.”