Examples of Public Discourse (Good and Bad): Big Think on Religion and Politics


This is an ongoing series based on two articles I previously wrote. You can find those here and here

Big Think video on YouTube. “How Religion Turned American Politics Against Science”.


Big Think is a YouTube channel whose content is predominately Left, if not Far-Left. I like to follow this channel because it gives me insight into what the Left actually believes, instead of what they say they believe. I make this point because there’s a persona that the Left likes to portray, such as, they are people who value diversity and tolerance; meanwhile there’s the reality that they have very specific groups of people who they don’t like and think very negatively about. In this case the presenter, Kurt Andersen, levels accusations against conservative Christians for turning American politics “against science”!

Consider this statement in the video description: “From climate change to Creationism and outright conspiracy theories, Andersen points to how the Republican party has come to increasingly incorporate fantasy and wishful untruths into its approach to social, economic, and foreign policy—and it’s turning America into an anti-science spectacle.”

And what is the reason Andersen offers for this fantasy thinking in the Republican party? The “extremist” and “nutty ideas” of Protestant Evangelical Christians!

Way to go Big Think and Kurt Andersen! What a wonderful example of not broadly generalizing an entire group of people in a demeaning way (sarcasm intended). What a wonderful example of careful thinking and intellectually engaging the actual issue (sarcasm again). And what’s his solution? He says (paraphrase here), that it’s okay if you have religious-magical thinking in your private lives, but don’t bring them into politics!

And that, my friends, is the problem. He doesn’t really care what people think, so long as they vote according to what he thinks is right. He’s really not concerned with engaging people’s hearts and minds. He’s just concerned with having the world the way that he wants it. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t expect him to defend his position or argue against those he disagrees with at every opportunity. There comes a time when you simply describe your position or idea about an issue. That was the scope of this video, not to argue point for point his opinion, but to simply give his opinion.

I’m okay with him having a different opinion, but the problem is that he’s not okay with me having a different opinion. He’s not okay with me having an opinion that is informed by my religious belief, which in turn informs my voting behavior. And I suspect that he’s not okay with us having a discussion about it either. He would rather I simply agree with him so that we can go on about life.

And what if that were the preferred method of Christians? What if we really didn’t care about the actual spiritual state of our neighbor, so long as they were leading decently moral lives? Would we be okay with that? I hope not!

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