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The Xenophile Historian

K. U. P.

(Kimball's Unauthorized Perversion)

"For I Have Tasted The Fruit"

The above title comes from a fictitious book written by Academician Prokhor Zakharov, the leader of the geek faction in the computer game Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri. Zakharov, like many of today's intellectuals, doesn't want anything to do with religion, because he believes it is incompatible with science. If you are a reader who feels the same way, I respectfully disagree.

I have been thinking of writing this since June 2, 2007, when I became one of the first visitors to the Creation Museum in northern Kentucky. Less than a week after I posted my pictures of that trip in my blog, a group of evolutionists saw them, and began to make comments, about how my pictures and commentary confirmed their suspicion that creationists are ignorant louts.

I thought that my use of the Internet to promote my ideas would be seen as a sign that here's a member of the "Religious Right" who isn't afraid to investigate new inventions and new ideas. Popular literature (books, movies, etc.) often depicts men of science and men of religion as opposed to what each other is doing, but this has not always been the case. I prefer to take the attitude that was common in the two centuries between Galileo and Darwin, when science was seen as a way for us to learn about God's handiwork. Scientists like Newton and Leibnitz were not atheists, and believed the universe had been made by an intelligent creator. In fact, what isn't commonly known is that Newton wrote more books about theology than he did about astronomy, mathematics and physics; most of them were published posthumously. Recently a manuscript of his was discovered, written in 1704, where he predicted that the end times described in the Book of Revelation would begin 1,260 years after the crowning of Charlemagne, or 2060 A.D., and that the Jews would return to Israel before that happens. You don't expect to hear from Christian Zionists before the twentieth century, so when I read that, I thought, "Sir Isaac Newton was one of us!" All things considered, if Newton lived today, even with all his discoveries, his faith would cause people to regard him as a poor scientist.

Other religions besides Christianity have had periods where they got along well with science. For Judaism it appears to be the norm, judging from all the Jewish scientists and doctors that have come along over the years. You can't go to a modern college campus without running into Indian professors, especially in the departments of mathematics and computer science, so I think it's safe to say that Hinduism doesn't have a problem with scientific research. As for Buddhism, in another paper on this site I told about the Dalai Lama attending MIT's "Investigating the Mind" conference in 2003. This project used high-tech equipment like electroencephalograms to monitor the brain waves of meditating monks, in the hopes that someday it may be possible for machines to give us the same good feelings (satori) that meditative techniques have worked on achieving for centuries. Did His Holiness fear that such tests would disprove Buddhism, or replace it? Not at all; in fact, he approved of the experiment and has said that if he hadn't become the Dalai Lama, he would have liked to have been an engineer. Confucianism and Taoism don't seem to have much interest in learning new things, but that doesn't stop the Chinese from keeping up to date with the latest technology. And while the fundamentalist Islam of today is against progress, there were times in the past, like during the Abbasid Caliphate, when Moslems were more open-minded.

"There is no contradiction between true science properly researched and the Bible properly interpreted, except in the minds of people who don't understand either."--Moishe Rosen

It is also time to discard the notion that intolerance only exists among religious folks. Once upon a time people felt motivated by God to wage wars, or kings used their religion as an excuse to oppress their subjects, but over the past two or three centuries, more injustice, violence and suffering has been inflicted in the name of non-religion. We look at the Crusades and the Inquisition as nasty experiences, but the people responsible for those atrocities were beginners, compared with secular tyrants like Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, Mao Zedong or Pol Pot. Recently the Center for Religious Freedom produced a report entitled "Religious Freedom in the World 2007," rating 102 countries on religious liberty. Of those 102, only four got a perfect score, and all of them were countries with a Christian heritage: the United States, Estonia, Hungary and Ireland. Let the record show that it is better to be an atheist in a Christian nation, than to be a Christian in an atheist one.

Finally, have you noticed that here in the West, secular organizations like the ACLU pick on conservative Christians and Jews all the time, trying to suppress any attempt by them to express their beliefs in public, while followers of eastern religions, neopagans, Wiccans and even Moslems are left alone? We had the case recently where a school board in California taught students about Islam by having them dress up like Moslems and use Moslem names for three weeks, while these days you can't have a Christmas tree on public property or say "Merry Christmas" without running the risk of offending someone. It was bad enough when our secular culture kicked Christ out of Christmas; now it apparently wants to get rid of Santa, too! For the record, I don't have a problem with non-Christians celebrating Hanukkah, Divali, Solstice, Saturnalia or whatever, if they prefer that over Christmas. Now who are the less tolerant folks here?

The ACLU doesn't hate religion, it only hates Christianity!

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