Today we celebrate the 200th birthday of Charles Darwin and Abraham Lincoln, both of whom struggled mightily against backward-thinking reactionaries in their respective spheres of influence.
We all know the political controversies surrounding Darwin’s evolution theory (note that there is no scientific controversy, only a political one), and it may come as no surprise that Pope Pius IX attacked it the moment it was published.
For his part, Darwin wrote: “For my own part I would as soon be descended from that heroic little monkey … as from a savage who delights to torture his enemies … treats his wives like slaves … and is haunted by the grossest superstitions.”
That’s a phrase which sadly rings as true today as they did in Darwin’s lifetime. In the last 8 years we have had the “privilege” of witnessing the rise of a socio-political movement in America which embraces the torture of its enemies, the clawback of women’s reproductive rights, and absurd religious teachings such as irrational fear of homosexuals, premarital sex, and any scientific teachings which threaten either religious doctrine or corporate profit.