In the name of science, banish the Koch brothers from philanthropy

Enforcing dogma and excommunicating heretics are not behavior patterns expected of logicians dedicated to the dispassionate pursuit of knowledge. Today, however, this is the expected code of conduct for many who consider themselves to be pure rationalists.

As the Democratic Party embarked on a scorched earth campaign to secure a second term for President Barack Obama, the party’s elected leaders went about creating a villainous caricature of the billionaire libertarian brothers Charles and David Koch. The party’s egregious efforts to sow division for petty political gain culminated in the United States Senate Majority Leader taking to the floor of the upper chamber of Congress to call these two prolific philanthropists “un-American.”

Partisan liberals internalized every element of the Democratic Party’s crusade to discredit their fabricated Emmanuel Goldsteins. Today, even the Koch’s charitable works have been deemed suspect by those who indulge in the self-flattering conceit that they’re above petty politics. And there is quite a bit of Koch-related charity to go around.

“David Koch, the mega GOP donor and executive vice president of Koch Industries, donated $35 million in 2012 for a new dinosaur hall at the Smithsonian’s Natural History museum,” The Washington Post reported on Tuesday. “He had previously given $15 million to the museum’s hall of human origins that is named for him. In New York’s museum, he donated $20 million to the dinosaur wing that is also named after him.”

That’s lovely, but the Kochs have rejected the tenets of the church of anthropogenic climate change and, as such, they must be banished from public life. At least, that’s the path down which some members of the scientific community have embarked.

Three dozen scientists sent an open letter to museums of natural history calling on them to cut ties with the Koch brothers and anyone else with connections to the fossil fuel industry.

In the letter, and a subsequent petition related specifically to the billionaire Koch brothers, the scientists contend that museums of science and natural history should not be associated with “those who profit from fossil fuels or fund lobby groups that misrepresent climate science.”

The petition specifically calls for David Koch to be kicked off the boards of the American Museum of Natural History in New York and the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington. The movement is being organized by a new “mobile” museum called The Natural History Museum, on a 15-passenger bus.

For a sector of society that thrives on private donations, this is a bizarre move. That is, unless the actions of these scientists are viewed through a theological lens. As a display of fealty to a faith and a theatrical gesture of hostility toward nonbelievers, this campaign to exile the Kochs makes sense. In fact, it is of a kind with a proposed rule proposed from the Federal Emergency Management Administration that would cut off federal preparedness grants to those states populated by voters that have the audacity to elect the faithless to high office.

According the egregious and un-republican rule proposed by FEMA, only those states with governors who consent to hazard-mitigation plans that address the effect of global warming would receive preventative disaster relief funding. Surely, every Democrat who very nearly self-immolated in protest over the likely deaths that would surely be caused by Republicans who compelled a brief government shutdown in 2013 will react similarly to this attempt to jeopardize lives in order to enforce consensus. Similarly, the members of the president’s party, including the president himself, who declared that Republicans were recklessly endangering national security during the fight over Homeland Security funding will demand that FEMA stop doing the same merely to protest America’s frustrating ideological heterogeneity… right? Don’t hold your breath.

The galling arrogance shared by many Democrats and these immodest members of the scientific community alike is that they are above ideology. Nothing could be further from the truth. With frustrating regularity, the actions of these and others on the left demonstrate that they are not only motivated by ideology but steeped in the politicization of previously apolitical aspects of American life.

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