In case you weren’t paying attention…

…the far right is trying to convince everyone that evolution is not scientific fact. or, rather, that scientific fact is irrelevant in the face of religious doctrine.

“Kansas school board takes evolution to trial [Salon]”:http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2005/05/13/kansas/

Here’s the thing:

bq. “For that matter, he also views the entire struggle over evolution as merely a wedge in the religious right’s efforts to tear down the constitutional wall between church and state.”

I believe the same thing. That is the end goal– to marry church and state in the U.S.

To be honest, even the process of this battle results in the beginnings of religious persecution and intolerance. I’ve seen an erosion in my own ability to be tolerant of Christians in general, and right-leaning Christians in particular. Reflecting on this recently, I realized that this must be how religious wars begin. When everyone is keeping their religious beliefs out of the way of others, for the most part, it’s easy to be tolerant. When one group decides to push their beliefs on others in an agressive way, especially through politics, it becomes much harder to tolerate.

I guess I need to separate out tolerance of beliefs from intolerance of what I see as an unacceptable and extremely dangerous trend in our government.

In case anyone needs a review, we have a separation of church and state because the people who wrote the Constitution realized that it is the only way to ensure that all citizens are protected from religious persecution– you know, the reason white people settled in the Americas to begin with?

two things i didn’t know.

1. “andrea dworkin died last month.”:http://susiebright.blogs.com/susie_brights_journal_/ i was never fully on board with dworkin, but i did see her speak at the feminist bookstore located in the big victorian near the old DAP. now what was that place called? i remember they had written across the inside of the porch, so you’d see it as you were leaving, “Thank you for your matronage”. those were the days.

2. “susie bright has a blog.”:http://susiebright.blogs.com/susie_brights_journal_/ i haven’t been keeping up with her, but who can’t get behind the work of a sex-positive feminist? i also saw her speak, back in the days when i’d do that sort of thing. i got her to sign something for me. she signed it, “clits up! Susie Bright,” and drew a little heart.

BRASIL!!

I’m mostly annoyed at “boingboing”:http://boingboing.net/ these days, but one story yesterday made me want to jump up and down (in a good way) and yell, “Yippee!!”

The apparently highly enlightened country of Brazil has “refused US aid because of abstinence-only restrictions placed on it!”:http://www.guardian.co.uk/aids/story/0,7369,1475965,00.html?=rss

Of the 3 million people who die of AIDS every year worldwide, something like 98% of them live in Africa. To send aid to Africa and tell health agencies not to issue condoms is criminal. To send aid to _any_ country that needs it for health care and tell them to do nothing to stop the spread of HIV except tell people to pray is like designing a world health and economic disaster on purpose. Brazil is not a wealthy country and can ill afford the kind of economic decimation that AIDS has caused in Africa.

_GO BRAZIL!_

And hey, they also have really fabulous music there, in case you’ve been hiding under a music rock for the last twenty years or so. Go check out ‘O Samba!’; it’s on the iTunes music store.

-:|:-

i also want to comment further about a quote in the article:

bq. But Sam Brownback, a leading Senate conservative, told the Wall Street Journal: “Obviously Brazil has the right to act however it chooses in this regard. We’re talking about promotion of prostitution which the majority of both the house and the Senate believe is harmful to women.”

this smacks of an incredibly condescending attitude that implies that women are not capable of making choices in how they live their lives. today over on the 19th floor, “mark siegel writes about this same attitude peeking through in a couple of other places.”:http://WWW.the19thfloor.net/archives/000829.html

anyone who doesn’t get this is encouraged to read judy chicago’s autobiography, “Through the Flower”. as a feminist artist in the 70’s, when modern feminism was just getting its legs, her experiences in teaching a women’s-only art class at a University in California are enlightening. in order to get her students to the point where they were able to work effectively, she had to dismantle the roles they’d been raised to fulfull and show them that women can be as strong as men, can work just as hard, can take responsibility for themselves and their emotions, and can choose to lead their lives however they want.

the deepest sort of insanity

the first i heard of it was an april-fool’s-day quiz on the NARAL web site. that the bush administration is putting forth the idea that condoms don’t work and actually _cause_ STD’s and pregnancy.

it seems so absurd.

notification #2 is at the beginning of “this salon article,”:http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2005/04/27/birth_control/ the phrase, “anti-condom campaigns”.

it comes as no great surprise to me that anti-abortion campaigners have now turned their attention to chemical means of birth control, because these means often do not prevent conception, only implantation. but barrier methods? condoms in particular?

i guess the basic delusion behind abstinence-only campaigns is that people are actually capable of following them. but we’ve got millions of years of human history that indicate that we _aren’t._

that’s a reality the bush administration firmly refuses to grasp. but, you know, even if humans _were_ capable of abstinence on a mass scale, can you really expect every single one of us to abstain? always? without fail?

jeez, at least leave us condoms.

(oh, i know, i know. freely available condoms = teenagers with ready access to a means of making sex safer = end of the world.)