Monday, April 19, 2010

I think we need a Fox News to English dictionary

Dick Cheney famously said that, "deficits don't matter". Well Fox News has taught us that definitions don't matter. First, they merged the words "socialism" and "fascism" together and carelessly defined them as any government intervention in the economy, no matter what. Now, it seems that "secularism" and "paganism" have been conflated:

Of course, if religious belief is important to economic growth than that relationship should hold within Europe, as well as between Europe and the US. Is there any evidence for this? Not that I've seen. Northern Europe is more secular than Southern Europe, and is also more prosperous. Nor does this hold outside of Europe. East Asia, despite being relatively secular, has seen enormous economic growth over the past 40 years. In the Middle East, Iran was quite rich until theocratic rule took over in 1979; but then again, the Fox News crew might call Iran a "fascist state", or complain that only Christianity is good for economic growth.

I could go on, but this conversation doesn't warrant serious engagement. These commentators have abused words to the point where debate simply cannot happen. Secularism is not paganism and environmentalism is not "worshiping the Earth". Just saying these things doesn't make them true.

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