Those who fail to learn from history are condemned to relive it

R Merle Lavengood 4/12/05

Through out history The Church has silenced scientists that have crossed the line of Biblical thinking. One of the most famous of which is Galileo. Contrary to popular belief he was never tortured or excommunicated. Although in June of 1633 under the threat of torture and execution he was forced by Pope Urban VIII at the Vatican to renounce his work under oath and plead guilty to heresy. He was then given a life sentence to house arrest where he died in 1642.

He was guilty of discovering and publishing in a book that the Earth revolves around the sun. A fact that contradicts the teachings of the Bible where the flat Earth is the center of the Universe and the Sun and Stars revolve around us.

Galileo was not alone under the spotlight of the church. Many before and after him were silenced by the Pope. The practice has continued through to modern times. Carl Sagan and Stephen Hawking have both been summoned to appear before the Pope at the Vatican and given mandates to stop teaching the true age of the Universe and the Pope’s dislike of their public position on the “Big Bang” theory VS the “Magic Wand” theory.

Galileo’s published works were not removed from the Vatican’s “index of prohibited books” until 1835. The many Popes have successfully suppressed science and facts for hundreds of years. It wasn’t until 1992 that the Vatican pardoned Galileo for his crimes.

What have the outspoken religious groups learned from Galileo’s censorship? Nothing!! The Religious Inquisition of the 1300s through the 1600s is alive and well in the minds of the Bible extremists in the world.

The advances in science and medicine in the last 50 years has been staggering. Where the human race will be technologically in two or three hundred years is beyond our current imagination.

If the Vatican and other Religious fanatics had not limited science we would be there now! Yet the Bible thumpers and Creationists continue their quest to pull us back into the Dark Ages. Their blind devotion to the outdated belief that the Earth is less than 5000 years old has led them to extreme acts.

Instead of the tools the Vatican used to promote the belief in god, Torture chambers where the nonbelievers were sawed in two from the crotch to the neck while alive or slow roasted over hot coals till death among others, The Bible Belt bullies are now armed with Lawyers.

The fight over the posting of the 10 Commandments on public property has little to do with lawyers keeping people from reading the word of an alleged God. It has everything to do with drawing a line in the sand before it is too late.

The current battle ground is the same as the 15th century. Their perceived threat of teaching any science that brings to question the idiocies of the Bible. Like a child that doesn’t want to hear something he doesn’t like by putting his fingers in his ears and chanting lalalalalala to drown it out, they push on to deny the public access to truth and facts.

School systems are being forced one by one to stop teaching anything that mentions biological or geological evolution. The latest step in the war against commonsense is the attack on the science centers and museums for fear school children may learn something not authorized by the church.

Science Centers in Georgia and the Carolinas were targeted first because of their location in the Bible belt. The Inquisitionist have scored another victory with the Imax Theaters in over a dozen cities who have now stopped showing science films under pressure from the Religious fanatics.

The latest battle has now been extended to the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History where the Bible crowd has silenced truth once again using tactics of threats and intimidation.

The suppression of scientifically accurate information as a response to those with differing perspectives is dangerous, wrong and threatens both the integrity of science and the broader public education to which is critical to our future as humans and to a lesser extent our ability to remain a viable contender as a country within the global technological community.

The church is banking on the apathy of the American people and has been quite successful in quietly gaining a long string of victories against anything that threatens the Biblical version of the world.

Only when someone stands in their way like the Judges in the 10 commandments cases do you hear of the war in mainstream press. The press is subject to the same threats of religious protests and thus keeps the reports to a minimum as a rule. Have the lessons from the plights of the great scientists throughout history been in vain?

Is the day when the Bible replaces science text books in the schools of America upon us? Are we doomed to relive history and be condemned to a new dark ages? Should the Religious Fanatics in the Middle East brutally executing anyone not living strictly by the story book of their God be a wake up call?

Organized Religion Has many positive social points and as a whole has a worthy roll in the community. But since the beginning of written history it has been shown that nothing good comes from letting the extreme fundamentalists gain momentum allowing them to force their intolerant, narrow and strict Biblical based views upon others by threats and force.

We as Americans, proud and free, have to realize the threat at our door step is very real and will have devastating consequences if we don‘t wake up and act now. Say no to Religious oppression!

Say no to dumbing down our future generations of children to make for a dumber nation that out of ignorance or fear won’t question the Bible or Religious leaders! Just as history looks down on the Pope’s torture and killing of anyone questioning the Bible up to only a few hundred years ago and the abuse of Galileo and many other scientists , so shall history look down on the Inquisition of the American Religious fundamentalists and their quest to force their beliefs on our children and plunge the country back into the dark ages.