The Day the Enlightenment Went Out

[Submitted by Cliff Day]

New York Times

Op-Ed Contributor: The Day the Enlightenment Went Out
November 4, 2004
By GARRY WILLS

Evanston, Ill.

This election confirms the brilliance of Karl Rove as a political
strategist. He calculated that the religious conservatives, if they
could be turned out, would be the deciding factor. The success of the
plan was registered not only in the presidential results but also in
all 11 of the state votes to ban same-sex marriage. Mr. Rove
understands what surveys have shown, that many more Americans believe
in the Virgin Birth than in Darwin’s theory of evolution.

This might be called Bryan’s revenge for the Scopes trial of 1925,
in which William Jennings Bryan’s fundamentalist assault on the concept
of evolution was discredited. Disillusionment with that decision led
many evangelicals to withdraw from direct engagement in politics. But
they came roaring back into the arena out of anger at other court
decisions – on prayer in school, abortion, protection of the flag and,
now, gay marriage. Mr. Rove felt that the appeal to this large bloc was
worth getting Bush to endorse a constitutional amendment banning
gay marriage (though he had opposed it earlier).

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