Connecting Dots That Don’t Connect

It’s strange, isn’t it, how conspiracy theories and Republican politics have almost everything in common? Conspiracy theorists connect dots that don’t connect. And, so do Republicans.

Chem trails… September 11 was an inside job… the moon landing was fake… the Satanic panic… Obama’s birth certificate… In order to believe any of these nitwit notions, first you have to let your inner nitwit run amok. To him, feelings rule. Facts can go pound sand.

Religions Connect Dots

In conservatives’ defense, it starts early with tenets of religious faith that never pass a smell test. The follower follows regardless; asking questions is verboten. All religions connects dots that don’t connect. That’s their whole purpose. Why is the world the way it is? Because, says the religion, the dots connect the way we say they do. Follow us or else!

Imagine for a moment that the men who first penned the Pentateuch (the Old Testament) had had access to microscopes and telescopes or even the internet. Would they have written their texts the same way? Of course not! They would have known that “in the beginning”, there was a singularity and then a big bang (not some sky deity getting bored and deciding to create everything).

What if the OT’s authors had known about germ theory and string theory and economic theory? Suppose, for a moment, that they had had access to electricity, automobiles, airplanes and instant replay. If any of Jesus’s followers had had a smart phone, we’d have very different discussions about Jesus today.

More Dots

Religion doesn’t have to be bullshit’s apologist. Instead of getting the world wrong, maybe more religions should worry less about explaining the world and worry more about teaching how to live as a good person in it. But then, L. Ron Hubbard invented Scientology with plenty of science in his pocket and he still got the world (and how it works) completely wrong.

Sorry, Thetans.

One of the big reasons conservatives love religion is because religion never has to explain itself. It can always get away with connecting unconnected dots. What’s the explanation? Because the religion says so!

Republican arguments for pretty much everything rely on just such leaps of faith rather than data. More guns equals more safety for everyone. Tax breaks for the rich equals prosperity for all. A handful of cells equals a baby.

Every one of those is demonstrably wrong or wrong-headed. But then, connecting dots that don’t connect is a lot like shotgunning bullshit at a wall. As the shit drips downward, the conspiracy theorist Rohrshack tests an explanation for what it all means.

The goal isn’t finding a real answer, it’s finding a justification for bullshit – and giving it credence.

And that – right on cue – is where our hapless news media steps in…

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