Abdullah, a 26-year-old computer engineer and pious Muslim, is a wanted man. He joined the first protest in Homs in March, and since then he has emerged as one of the dozen or so leaders of the youth resistance. His savvy with technology has made him a target for the police, and this was the fifth place he had slept in in less than a week. He hadn’t been to his family’s home in two months. Around his neck he wore a tiny toy penguin that was actually a thumb drive, which he treated like a talisman, occasionally squeezing it to make sure it was still there. I sat next to him on the mattress and watched as he traded messages with other activists on Skype, then updated a Facebook page that serves as an underground newspaper, then marked a Google Earth map of Homs with the spots of the latest unrest. “If there’s no Internet,” Abdullah said, “there’s no life.”
Is Treme the mistake that ends the career that started with Homicide and ends on the streets of New Orleans, or is it the beginning of something entirely new, an evolutionary leap, a fusion of the novel with cinematic television? Salmon Rushdie announced recently his next work would not be a novel but a serialized cable television science fiction drama. The original article in The Guardian was couched to suggest Rushdie was positing the end of the novel, that television of the sort that The Wire and Treme made possible was the wave of the future.
They’re like ‘Who do you want to be, Hannah? Tina Fey, right?’ And I’m like no, I want to be Joel McHale.
It used to be that every medium was tied to a specific device. Television was something you watched on TV; radio was something you listened to on the radio; a movie was something you went to the movies to see. No longer. Transmedia is what happens when media become uncoupled from the devices that were invented to deliver them. It’s an organic and inevitable response to the world we live in. Like, how else would you tell a story?
Yes, does the climate change? Of course it does, it’s changed for thousands of years. But the idea that one factor, and man’s contribution to that one factor, of which there are hundreds of factors that have an influence on climate, that that one factor of which man’s contribution is a small part of, is somehow the tip of that tail that wags the whole dog, and that we have to change all of our economic policy based on that, is just a pure overreaction that is not backed up by any kind of real evidence.
– Rick Santorum via Santorum to Huntsman: Yes, You’re Crazy
There are so many things wrong with this statement, but the one I’m going to jump on is the following: the earth is not thousands of years old – it’s billions of years old. The climate has changed for billions of years. Billions, not thousands.
Furthermore, I’m going to be very loud and very clear here that if you truly believe that the earth is only thousands of years old – based I can only imagine on the “infallible word” of a single, poorly translated document overruling an overwhelming preponderance of evidence – then your inability to critically think, understand basic first-grade science, and/or divorce your personal beliefs should immediately disqualify you from candidacy for any political office.
I’ll even double-down on that one and make it even more clear: If your religion flies in the face of accepted science, and you accept those religious tenets as being more accurate than science, then you should not be allowed to hold a political position in this country. Your own irrationality and your own inability to differentiate science and religion has disqualified you, and under no circumstances should you be allowed to hold sway over people’s lives and livelihoods. We should not accept willful ignorance from the people who run and rule the most powerful country the planet has ever seen and we should not allow that ignorance to burden the populace at large.
To be totally clear, I’m not denigrating religion here, though full disclosure demands I admit to finding them all a bit silly. What I am denigrating is the wanton disregard of established fact in favor of personal religious opinion by those in a position to affect millions of others with that opinion. Freedom of religion in this country goes both ways – you’re free to believe what you wish, but you cannot assume that your beliefs should translate or influence other people. THAT’S what the first amendment guarantees: not just the freedom to worship, but the freedom from undue influence of any single religion, including Christianity.
We are not a “Christian Nation.” This is an indisputable fact. Do you know how I can say this? Because in the Treaty of Tripoli, signed only five years after the adoption of the First Amendment, and one of the few items put before the Senate to be unanimously ratified, it states:
As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion,
That seems fairly clear to me.
The outright denial of science in your political decision-making because it interferes with your religious viewpoint is no different than demanding a population-wide acceptance of your religion. It’s really that simple. You’re welcome to believe what you want to believe, but I’m welcome to demand that the people who hold sway over the country as a whole be able to critically think and divorce their personal religious sentiments from the actions that directly affect me as a United States citizen.
If they cannot do so – if their religious delusion is so great that they can’t or won’t accept commonly understood science like the established age of our planet – then they should not holding political office in ours or any other country that has enacted and still recognizes a separation between church and state. Anything less, and we should just admit that the whole uproar over “Sharia Law” is really just because you want to get there first with yours.
Run, Barrett, Run!