A number of news items have recently come out which raise the question about the future of education and inquiry in this country. Some science museums/IMAX theaters in the south have refused to play films which mention the role of evolution out of fear of evangelical reactions. A bill is being considered in Florida that would allow students to sue college professors if their views are not represented in the course, such as creationism.
Medical evidence by doctors which examined Terri Shiavo showed she had no cerebral cortex. Yet the language of the right suggested this evidence was ignored in their efforts to rally their supporters. In medicine, the sciences, and in the universities of this country the possibility of empirical evidence and the results of the best inquiries we have in the subject in question can be stopped if there is a religious group which has decided to target it.
Let's say that the purpose of religion is to search out what features of existence have a salvific quality to it such that we ought to turn ourselves to this if we are to be transformed to the best possible. If so then the knowledge of the world derived from the sciences could prove to be valuable for the religious quest. But today much of religion has pitted itself against the sciences. Thus these conflicts which are affecting our schools and other areas of life.
And many evangelical groups have applaued the voters of Kansas 71% of whom passed a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage. Such amendments in other states have been used to end any form of domestic partnerships, usually starting with employees who work for the state. This is the public face of religion...it's an uphill battle for those of us who think that religion can have something positive contribute to the greater society.