I have some trepidation about posting this article, because I’m not interested in making this a political blog. I do have political views and even some legit cred in this area, but again, not my goal with this platform. However, it seems that there is some crossover that is worth addressing.
A little note first, since this is an atheist blog. There are stupid atheists. There are atheists with no particular science training (me). There are atheists that believe in lots of crazy conspiracy theories and whatnot. There is nothing about atheism that means you’re a logical person or a critical thinker or a skeptic. However, I believe strongly that education is the best inoculation to religion. The better the education, the stronger the medicine. This is a project for an entire community, an entire nation, not just teachers.
So obviously, the title is a take-off of Trump’s campaign. He wants to make America great again. As it has been noted many times, he doesn’t really explain when America was great, or why it was great. There’s just a general feeling-ish that we used to be better. However, the churches of this country would have you believe that loosing belief is why we are no longer a great country. This is just flat out bullshit. Religious belief is at an all-time high in this country, as you can see below.
When our 13 loosely associated colonies decided to get together and throw off the rule of the King of England, write one of the finest Constitutions the world has ever seen, and began building this country at an unprecedented rate, religion was at it’s lowest. Religious adherents were still less than half of the population for the Industrial Revolution, when America became an emerging superpower.
Religion as part of the political experience is a new player on the scene. In the first half of the century, they were not thought of together, and science and technology were not hampered by bronze age myths. In between the Industrial Revolution and the Nuclear Era, the U.S. was attracting the most brilliant minds in the world. By the time of the space race, science and technology were what every child dreamed of doing. Kids grew up wanting to be astronauts, invent things, and change the world. The “world of tomorrow” was a popular theme for the majority of the 20th century at various amusement outlets.
Then religion started taking over. The simple but powerful motto “out of many, one” (E Pluribus Unum) defined the American experience as a nation of immigrants, multiple states working together, and a melting pot. But in 1956, it was replaced by “In God We Trust”, which marginalizes our greatness from individual accomplishments and conceding them to some magic dude. Thomas Jefferson didn’t even believe in the divinity of Jesus, but by 1959 we were highly concerned about the religious beliefs of a Presidential candidate. By the 1970’s, religiosity in the U.S. had hit an all-time high, which still remains. By 1979, the religious had become a caucus of its own right, and have been a major player in every Presidential race since.
Now, many of our children are taught every day in class, church, and social media that scientists are lying to us. They aren’t taught that they can change the world, they are taught the world is changing and it’s bad. Nobody cares about the world of tomorrow, they fight to have the world of yesterday.
Science and technology solve problems. They fuel the economy. Attract brilliant minds. This increases science education funding, which increases all education stats. Good science ensures longevity of resources. It makes us economic leaders. It makes us a world leader. It makes our military the most advanced.
Is America getting greater? NASAs budget is down again. Betsy DeVos, an idiot that is almost 160 years behind in her science education, is in charge of American education. Limited resources are being squandered, while new energy technology is getting sidelined. Our education stats keep slipping. If a brilliant mind also happens to be from an Islamic country or Mexican, we lost ’em. Tariffs are already running farmers out of business, so not only won’t we lead the world, we also won’t feed the world.
China, already kicking our butt on education, has an active space program, polar and ocean research, and most recently has begun benefiting from the U.S. tariffs, as more countries look to them for agricultural and technology trade. They are an emerging superpower. And don’t forget Russia.
The US has a big military, and we still are recruiting international talent in communication technology. But that’s pretty much the only edge we have. How will we compete if more and more of our population is taught that gullibility is a virtue, and science is the devil? How will we get better if our economy stagnates? How will we stay ahead of the arms race, literal and figurative, if we don’t have the best minds working on the problem?
Trump didn’t make the problem, but he stamped approval on it. He made China and Russia great again.
The Spartan Atheist