Until a short while ago, I had no idea that someone could possibly think that I’m part of some “leftist” conspiracy not to attack astrology. To say this post from Commissar at the Politburo Diktat came out of the blue is an understatement:
Does the Left have a segment of their base that believes a certain pseudo-science, a segment their leaders are reluctant to antagonize? Is astrology quietly acceptable within the “progressive” community? The Left takes great pleasure in bashing Republican Creationists and ID advocates (quite appropriately, and I join them in this, as my readers know)…
I don’t recall reading PZ Myers, DarkSyde, Ed Brayton, or Brent Rasmussen denouncing astrologists. Let me be clear. I seriously doubt that Markos sent out a “dummy up on the astrology-bashing” to his apparatchiks. Almost certainly the Left’s “Defenders of Science” simply haven’t perceived astrology as a threat.
It took me a while to figure out just what the hell this guy is talking about. Here’s the story, near as I can figure it: Someone named Jerome Armstrong, a person I’ve never heard of who has a blog I’ve never read, apparently said something about believing in astrology recently. I presume that Armstrong is the “advisor to a serious Democratic presidential candidate” that Commissar refers to, but perhaps that’s really someone else I’ve never heard of (since I don’t have the foggiest idea who the advisors of Democratic candidates, serious or otherwise, might be). What does any of that have to do with me? Your guess is as good as mine.
Commissar is carefuly not to actually accuse any of us of going easy on astrologers, but he does suggest, with a wink, that we haven’t bashed astrology because it was “unimportant and inconvenient to take a stand on.” Inconvenient? For me? Apparently the Commissar thinks I have some sort of connection to the Democratic party and have some interest in whether they win some election. Even more apparently, he hasn’t read my blog and is just casually lumping me in with people who actually are involved in partisan Democratic politics. I’ve never voted for a Democrat in my life (though I did once do some campaign work for a Republican candidate for Congress).
For the record, I have nothing at all to do with Democratic politics or with any of the people he mentioned (other than the fact that DarkSyde has been a friend for a long time). My political disagreements with PZ Myers are fairly well known, I thought, so why someone would lump me in politically with him is beyond me. So why haven’t I bothered to take on astrology on my blog? Because I view it as a fairly irrelevant issue. Astrology is incredibly stupid, but the last I checked we didn’t have any think tanks pushing to get it into public schools, or state legislatures demanding that we “teach the controversy” about it, or major court cases over the constitutionality of teaching it in schools.
Anyone who has to even ask the question of why someone would spend their time arguing against creationism but not astrology, and think that the answer is anything other than the obvious one above, must see boogeymen beneath the bed and monsters in their closet, especially if they think that anything involving Democratic politics could possibly have a role in my thinking about anything. Astrology is monumentally idiotic. Anyone who thinks that the planets and stars have any effect on their fate has far more credulity than good sense. And the moment anyone tries to get it put into science classrooms, I’ll be happy to pay as much attention to that as I do to creationism.
But here’s what really has me laughing: in the same day, I’ve got Gary Hurd, who thinks that I’m a mole in the anti-creationist movement and a supporter of “libertarian, fundamentalist, Republican crypto-facists” bent on destroying the earth in the name of Jesus – AND – I’m simultaneously so beholden to the politics of a party I’ve never voted for that I avoid saying anything that might offend their imagined constituents, all because some guy I’ve never heard of says something good about astrology. I can hardly keep up with my real motivations with all these conspiracy theories flying around about me.