While all people have some capacity for reasoning, a brief survey of world history makes it clear that man is not a rational animal. A glance at today's news confirms it: a President who lied his people into an unnecessary war and has virtually bankrupted his country is re-elected because he claims to be a Christian and appeals to the irrational core of fear that lurks inside of every human being.
This criticism of President Bush is not gratuitous, because the theme of this paper can only be fairly examined in light of the current veneer of religiosity worn the Republican party, and their recent electorial success.
The fundamentalist assault on sexuality and women in particular is not a new phenomenon. It is St. Paul who bears key responsibility for introducing a new emphasis on the evils of sexuality into Christian doctrine in the 1st century CE, after having enjoyed a playboy's lifestyle in his youth. But orthodox Judaism and fundamentalist Islam are equally strict in their emphasis of draconian penalties for what they regard as sexual transgressions, since all three faiths share a common historical root.
Man has always created his own culture, upon which his survival depends. But the same winnowing process that assures that only the best technology survives does not necessarily apply in the realm of culture. Scientific advances have produced reactionary responses from religious
Leaders at least since Galileo was forced to recant his belief that the Earth revolved around the sun. And politicians from all countries have been quick to discern that entire nations can be both motivated and controlled by the manipulative use of religion.
One of the most devisive and relentless battles taking place in the trenches of the culture wars is the fight for control of women's bodies. Will it be the state or the woman who decides if she uses birth control or has an abortion? The Catholic Church has been strenuously opposing the ...