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Tuesday, November 26, 2002

Shining Path Columnist Stays the Course.

Brian "Baader-Meinhof" Dickerson shrugs off criticism, burnishes his halo, and quotes a local bobo who cites Carl Sagan as scripture:

---------Begin Excerpt-----------
"I plead guilty to the crime of hyperbole, Richard [a letter writer who pointed out the obvious].

But my point was a serious one. Read what another Free Press reader has to say
:

There are two groups struggling for power in both the Middle East and the United States. One group believes that we solve problems by applying reason and considering history and experience. The other group believes the answer to all problems is found in their holy texts. Since 9/11, I'm less inclined to sit quietly while others declare that their religion is the ultimate authority on how God wants the world to be organized.

In "The Demon-Haunted World," Carl Sagan refers to science as a candle flickering in the darkness of the ignorance that threatens to envelope us. Whether we think of the candle as science or reason or tolerance or open-mindedness, those of us who are dedicated to protecting its light feel threatened.

It doesn't matter what a group calls itself or what religion it represents. It only matters that they are trying to extinguish the light by claiming that the answers to all human problems are available in their religious texts and no further discussion is necessary. Yvonne Aho, Clarkston."
--------End Excerpt---------

Actually, Mr. Dickerson, you should have pled guilty to the crime of hack writing. That, and perhaps involuntary mindslaughter. After all, both columns are remarkably uncontaminated by use of the reason you claim to revere.

My IronyMeter™ quickly overloaded. Here's the problem: in defense of tolerance, Aho and Dickerson embrace intolerance. In defense of reason, they resort to emotional sloganeering. In defense of secular progress, they ignore Zyklon B, collectivized agriculture (read: engineered famine), and the other gory "achievements" of the 20th Century, at once the most secular and bloody in human history. It's remarkable that such "reasonable" people are incapable of making even the slightest distinctions on issues of religion. All religions are equally awful, even though the skies have been unaccountably free of Oakland County Republican evangelicals piloting planes into the Renaissance Center.

It's a demon-haunted world, all right: haunted by the demonized opponents that exist only in your feverish imagination.

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