It doesn’t hurt to learn a little more

Forrest Johnson

A National Union of Friendly Americans (NUFA) alert has been posted.

Science is in your shoes.

Science is in your soup.

Science is in your soap.

For some reason, and this is the reason the NUFA alert has been issued, science does not exist in the minds of many Americans, including a group of politicians recently hailing industrial hog farming in Iowa by eating scientifically grown hogs and industrially produced corn syrup on their science-based pancakes.

Science and God are everywhere. One is blasphemous and the other sanctimonious according to the many candidates of the New Conservative Neanderthal Party (NCNP).

Apparently God, or the notion of God, can’t be tampered with in the worldview of the NCNP and their minions. As long as you are fundamental in your belief in Christianity, a socially-conservative Christianity where gays and the environment are out but a laissez-faire economy is in, God is immutable. The bedrock of all creation from here to heaven. He sets the rules so don’t take ideas about the known universe, speeding ever outward they say, too seriously. Science is questionable and so are the people behind the curtain who manipulate the data.

Science, of course, is easily tampered with and a political puppet. Watch out for your soup. It may be a tool of the scientific community, which, of course, tends to be liberal in its so-cial perspective. Godless. Just plain different.

I read an article the other day about the way American society has grown ever more leery of science. Even though our vast consumer nation is a cradle of scientific achievement both good and bad we are deciding in droves that science can’t be trusted. Too political according to common NCNP folk who talk to their GPS-instilled cars and hand-held electronic devices and eat processed foods that certainly came from test tubes in research labs across the Heartland for our culinary and nutritional pleasures. Too political when something may challenge a belief system that says that the climate isn’t warming, glaciers aren’t melting and it makes sense that middle America should vote against its own best working-class interests because anything deemed left of center is suspect and right down the alley of the socialists and the scientific community.

We are surrounded by the forest and can’t see the trees. That presents a problem. If people are going to reject the science of climate change and economics and the notions of a sustainable planet, challenge the math so to speak, just what will we accept and put into policy?

According to author Shawn Lawrence Otto, who tried to get a scientific debate going during several recent presidential campaigns, NCNP partisan affiliation will drive policy, not science.

Otto said today’s right wing policy-makers “are increasingly unwilling to pursue many of the remedies science presents.” He said policymakers “take one of two routes: deny the science, or pretend the problems don’t exist.”

What a conundrum. Surrounded by science but reject it when it cuts too close to our flawed beliefs. Buy the latest flat screen television, invite everyone over to watch a football game on the satellite and drink beer that’s been brewed with scientific principles lurking nearby.

The science of sustainable energy is being handed over to the Germans and the Chinese because the political landscape of this nation is still in denial about the science of climate change and fossil fuels. The Industrial Revolution built this nation but we pretend the exhaust of nearly 200 years doesn’t exist.

I met the other day with some folks who responded to the NUFA alert and have been promoting ways to open dialogue within our very complex and often uncertain society.  The National Union of Friendly Americans has recently welcomed back the group North Shore Neighbors (NSN) into the NUFA family in this trying time of ideology and paralyzing rhetoric.

The NUFA Board of Directors and the Exalted Shack Master were especially fond of the NSN motto: “It doesn’t hurt to learn a little more.”