These Republicans who put faith over science are embarrassing

I don’t personally have a problem with religious faith, even in the extreme, as long as it doesn’t supersede science and it’s not used to impose outdated mores on others.

But some people see our extreme religiosity itself as a form of dysfunction. In a 2009 paper in the journal Evolutionary Psychology, Gregory Paul, an independent researcher, put it this way: “The level of relative and absolute societal pathology in the United States is often so severe that it is repeatedly an outlier that strongly reinforces the correlation between high levels of poor societal conditions and popular religiosity.”

But I believe that something else is also at play here, something more cynical. I believe this is a natural result of a long-running ploy by Republican party leaders to play on the most base convictions of conservative voters in order to solidify their support. Convince people that they’re fighting a religious war for religious freedom, a war in which passion and devotion are one’s weapons against doubt and confusion, and you make loyal soldiers.

There has been anti-science propagandizing running unchecked on the right for years, from anti-gay-equality misinformation to climate change denials.