Thursday, June 30, 2016

The Land of Rationalia

Neil deGrasse Tyson Just Proposed a Whole New Country. His posting on Twitter reads:

Earth needs a virtual country: #Rationalia, with a one-line Constitution: All policy shall be based on the weight of evidence

We've been here before - it was called the French Revolution, where the main enemy was the Catholic Church and all her allies. The revolutionaries expelled priests and bishops who would not take a vow to the new Republic's constitution and those laypeople who opposed to the point of armed rebellion were viciously exterminated, an estimated 170,000 people. The revolutionaries closed down churches, cathedrals, and monasteries and executed priests, religious, and lay people, giving us many more saints on our calendar. Much of the monastic artwork I saw in the Philadelphia Museum of Art were originally parts of French monasteries and convents that were torn down during and after the Revolution. In the glorious Notre Dame Cathedral, the revolutionaries tore down all the religious artwork and declared that they now worshiped the Goddess of Reason, rejecting religion as superstitious and unscientific. According to James A. Herrick in his book The Making of the New Spirituality, inside Notre Dame "a special ritual was held for the Feast of Reason: the nave had an improvised mountain on which stood a Greek temple dedicated to Philosophy and decorated with busts of philosophers. At the base of the mountain was located an altar dedicated to Reason, in front of which was located a torch of Truth. The ceremony included the crowd paying homage to an actress dressed in blue, white, red (the colours of the Republic), personifying Liberty." These "temples of Reason" popped up all over the country, with its foundation on atheism and humanism.

Now, I don't believe any of these atheists are calling for our murder (only those of us still in the womb or too old or sick to be of "value"). However, this belief that faith and reason are incompatible is an outcrop of the Reformation and the Enlightenment. In terms of the Reformation's blame, it has to do with the fact that most of (if not all) the great universities of Europe were built and run by the Catholic Church, so it was important to "liberate" the universities from Rome's control. Galileo, wanting his theory to be taught as a fact, was the sticking point for atheists and Protestants - do we want the Pope or a bishop to tell us what we can and cannot believe? That was the first wedge - divorce the university system from the Church that founded it. With the Enlightenment, they pounced on this and have perpetuated the false belief that religion and science can never go together, even though nearly all the major significant scientific discoveries over the past 1,900 years were attributed to devout Christians (even the Big Bang Theory was devised in part by a Belgian priest).

And all the Millennials, the most educated, yet ignorant, people on the planet, will cheer Tyson on, regardless of the fact that to make many of his points he has been caught fabricating quotes of his critics, making them sound stupid. Truth doesn't matter to this group who pretend to be seeking the truth - as long as religion (and especially MORALITY) is silenced, they are happy regardless of what the truth is. And we, as Christians (especially Catholic Christians) are to blame for their delusions, as usual.

"One of the greatest problems of our time is that many are schooled, but few are educated."

--- St. Thomas More