Sarasota News Leader

11/23/2012

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OPINION RELIGION VERSUS REALITY EDITORIAL In the aftermath of the election, two themes emerged from the Right. The first was that the Republican Party needed to do a better job of reaching out to African-Americans, Latinos, women and young people if it wanted to be more competitive in presidential races. The second was a call for unity in addressing the nation's problems, with a commensurate re- duction in partisan bickering. But either ex- pectation is a fool's errand if the party does not come to terms with the unsound demands of the fundamentalist Christian block at its core. The Religious Right has made it plain that compromise, at least for its adherents, is a four-letter word. It has no intention of back- ing off from its unilateral opposition to abor- tion and reproductive choice, gay rights, stem cell research or their fight for sectarian prima- cy over government policies (the latter col- lectively advocated under the disingenuous heading of "religious liberty"). But perhaps no other position of the Religious Right more imperils Republican presidential prospects or, for that matter, the intellectual sanctity of the nation as a whole, than its stubborn attach- ment to Creationism. This concern was once again brought to the fore by our own U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, who, in a recent interview in GQ magazine, re- sponded to a question about the age of the Earth with the tautological response, "Wheth- er the Earth was created in seven days, or sev- en actual eras, I'm not sure we'll ever be able to answer that. It's one of the great mysteries."

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