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Repeal The Enlightenment!

I've been somewhat flummoxed by the issues being pushed by Republicans lately. Not just a particular issue, but the whole combination. My problem has been that they don't hang together. I couldn't find any coherence between outlawing contraception, besmirching a college education, horking over the separation of church and state....

...and then I got it! I see how these issues hang together and now I see what they're trying to do. It's not just health reform they want to repeal. This group of Republicans wants to repeal the Enlightenment! Think what a great bumper sticker that will be!

America, love it or leave it, is a direct product of the Enlightenment.  We don't need no STEEENKIN' king!  

Now, I may be an elite snob liberal but at least I'm no traitor.

For those of you hadn't been born yet (myself, I was in junior high), here's the skinny on the Enlightenment. Or the part I'm mostly talking about. Right around the 13th Century until the 1800s, societies were feudal and people were entirely dependent on clergy to tell them what was real and what was right. Well, then along came the printing press and the next thing you know some upstarts are spouting out that anyone could understand the word of God for themselves.  "We don't need no STEEENKIN' clergy", they said, and before you knew it, we were in The Age Of Reason in which individual rationality replaced the received wisdom of the clergy.

So OK, here's our first clue: rationality. What is rational about outlawing contraception??? Right. The same good reasons for denigrating a college education.

But it's more than that. It's about convincing an entire populace that we really cannot think for ourselves. The government will make sure religion is the driver in our public policies and the government will ensure that only the ordained can tell us what is real and what is right.

The government in Virginia is doing the thinking for women seeking abortions with the mandatory ultrasounds. Watch your CSPAN and listen as Republicans in the House take the floor and attempt to tie outlawing contraception to religious freedom.

That logic leap will only work if they repeal the Enlightenment.

To do this, every avenue that leads to thinking for oneself must be closed off. Upchuck if someone beloved advocates the separation of church and state. Vomiting is worse than a baby crying; you want to do anything to make it stop. "OK, OK, we'll do a merger of church and state, OK?, just stop horking!"

Then close one of best routes to self-determination: education. De-fund and overburden K-12 and then do whatever it takes to keep people out of college. "Snob" = "Educated Citizen".

Silence dissent by taking to the airwaves and humiliating the dissenters. "Slut" = "Intelligent Woman". But it's going to work out because, without contraception she'll be so busy being pregnant she won't have time to appear before some STEEEEENKIN' panel.

It can't be done over night, especially if they can't find a way to elect Rick Santorum as their nominee. When people talk about "the good old days", I used to think they were referring to the mythical 1950's, but NOOOOOO! They meant the 950's!! Mitt Romney doesn't have the spine to lead a nation back to the Dark Ages, no matter how he longs to be there.

But once we are sufficiently uneducated, have enough religious tenets codified into our laws, cannot control our reproductive destinies without going celibate and cannot safely dissent in public, then we're well on our way to that Happy Playground Disneyworld Dark Ages.

We've got to treat this for what it is and confront it head on.

Either that or we'd better dig out our mouse ears.

Comments

Excellent

and tweeted! Thanks, Cindy.

Angie

Be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.

New Dark Age

Great piece, Cindy. There is so much evidence that a Great Leap Backward is underway, or being attempted (no way it can actually work, it can only make things very ugly for a long while.) Back in the Age of Aquarius I and 100,000,000 of my closest friends believed that since society had obviously evolved it could never devolve. Well so much for that. But we can fight for our rights, and live our own lives. We don't have to live in a new Dark Age, even if others seem to be happy with (the idea) of it.

Gordon J. Whiting Executive Producer LIVE FROM THE LEFT COAST with Angie Coiro

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