Challenging ideological ways of thinking…
While we may not personally know the Bill Gates, the Steve Jobs, the Al Gores, among other science-conscientious scholars in the world, we can certainly respect and appreciate the contributions provided by these 20th and 21st Century visionaries. Without their school of thought, modern communication as it is today would not exist. In fact, many of the “friends” that you enjoy and communicate with on social network giants Facebook, Twitter and Google might not have seen the light of day. After all, without a platform on which to build, who would have known Mark Zuckerberg and the infamous “Tom” from MySpace?
With the boon of computer technology and the Internet, many of the services that you use daily like access to public events; file sharing and reporting; public safety services, utilities and transportation services, among numerous other online services would not be what they are today. It is what it is. Whether you admit it or not, you employ and communicate online when you swipe your credit card, run the cash register, process your taxes, “Google” a term for your research paper, order your favorite trading card from eBay, get directions, or store files for research and analysis. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg… imagine how much longer it would take to process your refund or rebate, your paycheck, accurate lab reports, or get a 911 responder to your residence in an emergency situation?
What do these men have in common? They grew up in a society and culture where the separation between church and state was a given. Al Gore said, “Fear is the most powerful enemy of reason;” and he was right. We live in a society that has taken a U-turn on progress in an attempt to drive strict ideological religious education. It is no wonder why US students fall to the wayside when it comes to science education. Today, “more than two-thirds of eighth-grade students lack a solid grasp of basic science facts,” as reported by the National Assessment of Educational Progress. And on the same day that this news report was published by the Wall Street Journal, another news story overshadows our American lackluster love for science by the Global Post, which elaborates on how Chinese researchers have advanced quantum physics by teleporting photons 60 miles. When did we, the land of opportunity, lose sight of what we are empowered to do as a global leader?
If our society turns the page back on progress – turns our back on the foundation of the US Constitution itself, and chooses to run on zealous dogma, what becomes the end result? As a person of spiritual faith, I know there is a divine source without having had it engrained in my educational groundwork. It is a feeling, a conscientiousness that discerns between right and wrong – compassion and apathy – understanding and confusion – love and hatred. The same holds true for those scientific marvels who have molded the world into what it is today. If we have that choice right now, right here, to empower the American spirit to be the best it can be, do we choose those who contribute to our usefulness and progress? Or do we choose those like the extreme religious television evangelists who cater only to our selfish interests and comfort zones of our Id and our uncomfortable sense of primordial fears? We cannot afford it. Not in a socioeconomic or multicultural sense, anyway. We have the choice to move forward or fall to the wayside — much like that of our youth who will one day lead this great Nation. Separation between Church and State is not a choice, it is a must for the successful advancement of our America - maintaining our personal freedoms of diverse religions, and for excelling both socioeconomically and competitively on the global stage.
People will believe what they want to believe when the Id is the only Neanderthal mechanism at play – for the most part, I believe we as a people have evolved to overcome extremist views that threaten the fabric of our very existence. Sometimes learning how to see through a new spectrum is difficult. I invite others who may disagree with me to watch the film, Paul. Guaranteed to make you laugh, “Paul” may also just enlighten you.
OPED – Extreme Ideology vs Reasoning
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