I was watching a clip from The View a couple of weeks ago. The one where they kept asking Sherri Shepard if she believed the earth was flat. She kept responding “I don’t know.”
At the moment, I was, like, ‘What the fuck do you mean, ‘you don’t know?’ You DO know. We ALL know. It’s proven. Not a conjecture. We’re not relying on word back from the Pinta. Astronauts have orbited the earth. We have photos. WE KNOW it’s round.
So, why would someone who is presumably relatively well-educated (although being on TV certainly doesn’t equate to being educated) say such a ridiculously stupid thing?
In a word: Faith.
The View conversation came after Shepard said she didn’t “believe in evolution, period.” As I’ve discussed in this forum before, you can’t NOT believe in evolution. We know things evolve. Many people don’t believe in the theory of evolution as it pertains to the rise of man and I get that these are separate things.
I get that faith requires a willing suspension of disbelief, much like a good movie. The difference is, you get to walk out of the movie.
But this serves to highlight a very dangerous trend playing out across our country. What do we do when our beliefs are contradicted by science? Tradition would hold that we holler “Eureka!” or in the parlance of contemporary corporate American, have an “aha!” moment. (I tend to have more “wtf?” moments, but I digress).
Or, we’re Amish and think that electricity is the Devil’s breath.
But so many people (okay, mostly right wing Christians) bury their heads in the sand (aka “their asses”) and say “I don’t believe it.” Not believing it doesn’t make it untrue. It’s proven.
I believed in Santa Claus, and the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny (which, while I’m on the subject—what a great way for the Christians to recognize the crucifixion and resurrection of the son of God—a giant bunny who hides eggs. That’s not even a metaphor for anything. Why hasn’t anyone cried blasphemy on that shit?) But eventually, I was informed that these entities were necessary figments that were useful in manipulating children and selling lots of products. (And also, has anyone ever looked into collusion by Easter Bunny and Tooth Fairy? Seems an oddly convenient pairing. Eat the candy! Rot the teeth!)
But face it America, never has it been more apt: The Truth Shall Set You Free.
Maybe we need a Truth Fairy.