Science and Religion Misused

There is an amazing column over at the Washington Post right now, by Richard Cohen, called Culture of Intellectual Corruption. You should go read the whole thing. Mr. Cohen concisely summarizes the many intellectual failings of the current administration. Things like stem cell research:

The Bush administration is intellectually corrupt.

Some of this corruption is induced by the inability to keep religion in its place. The president suffers mightily from this. After just eight months in office, George Bush drew a line between acceptable and unacceptable stem cell research and based it entirely on religious views that had nothing to do with science.

This is good writing, and it’s all true. Mr. Cohen deals forthrightly with the administration’s unforgiveable opposition to the morning after pill:

Similarly, the Bush administration has somehow bottled up Plan B emergency contraception so that it is not yet available over the counter to women 17 and older. This is the case not because Plan B is dangerous or ineffective or even because it is an abortion agent (it is not), but because it is manifestly something that’s needed if abstinence is, somehow, not practiced. In other words, the scientific basis for this policy apparently comes down to this: A good girl should not need such a pill.

Honestly, I am loving this column so much, and it seems like such a reflection of some previous blog posts of mine, that I encourage you once more to read the original. He deals with global warming, intelligent design, and the Iraq War with similar incisiveness. Bravo, Mr. Cohen!

Another one of my favorites, Eric Alterman, has written a similarly inspiring column for The Nation, in which he discusses the problem of conservative ownership of religion:

The moronic level of cable discourse notwithstanding, missing from almost all discussions of the role of religion in public life is what William James famously termed the “varieties of religious experience.” The right-wing hijacking of religion’s public role in our political discourse is as undeniable as it is inappropriate, and represents one of liberalism’s most serious problems.

Indeed. Religion has an important role, as a way for people to agree on deeply held beliefs, or discuss the dignity of every human being, rich or poor. Alterman points out that Liberals should own Christianity at least on economic policy alone. The Republican perversion of science and religion alike demeans both.

Conservatives, won’t you please take advantage of Conservative Amnesty Month? At the right hand side of the page is a list of other progressive bloggers who will support you. We want you to know that we’re here for you.