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Posts Tagged ‘illiteracy’

From the Economist’s Democracy in America:

Twenty words you can’t say in Alabama

EVERY politician says something he has to walk back once in a while. In the case of Bradley Byrne, a Republican candidate for governor of Alabama, it was

I think there are parts of the Bible that are meant to be literally true and parts that are not.

We at Christians for Scientific Inquiry obviously stand by Mr. Byrne’s original statement, and regret that the vagaries of polarized politics as practiced in the US of A means that he had to recant this statement, which, hard as it might seem to outsiders, is a courageous one to make as an Alabaman Republican.

This sort of ignorance is precisely what CScI was founded to counter. All too often, fanaticism combines with (relative) illiteracy. Anyone who has perused St. Joseph’s purported genealogies, according to St. Mark and St. Luke, would realize that the bible cannot possibly be “true. Every word of it.” (according to Mr. Byrne’s recantation). Any Muslim who can bother to Google would find that the term Allah is not exclusive to Islam, and in fact predated it, having been used by pagans, Jews and Christians in Arabia before Islam existed.

Sadly, people go to extremes in order to maintain archaic dogmas. In ancient, pre-scientific times, it might make sense to extrapolate from the claim that some writings or prophecies are divinely-inspired, to the claim that therefore they are infallibly true, word for word; in this day and age, these kind of assertions are not only quaint, they are decidedly dangerous.

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