My colleagues and I in the ID movement enjoy a rich fare of letters from critics whose lives we have enriched. As a service to my readers, I plan on posting some of the juicier ones. We start with the following by Howard Kronberg. You just can’t make this stuff up.
From: HOWARD KRONBERG
Sent: Monday, May 09, 2005 5:54 PM
Subject: THANK YOU FOR YOUR COURAGE
THANK GOD FOR INTELLIGENT DESIGN
An article appeared in the New York Times on Friday, on a topic that I have been following for the past few weeks. It seems that people in Kansas are trying to pass legislation that would force the teaching of Ã¢â‚¬Å“Intelligent DesignÃ¢â‚¬Â as an alternative to Darwinism.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Intelligent DesignÃ¢â‚¬Â is the new, pseudo-scientific sounding name for good olÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ fashioned Southern, Bible thumpinÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ Ã¢â‚¬Å“CreationismÃ¢â‚¬Â. As if you could really use the word Ã¢â‚¬Å“IntelligentÃ¢â‚¬Â when referring to anything that has to do with Kansas. Maybe if the supporters of this legislation would loosen their Bible Belt by a notch or two, they could get more blood to their brains.
This whole situation made me quite distraught. The thought of children being taught that they are descendant from the people of the South rather than monkeys is a sad, sad situation. But it did make me think.
It made me think about the Civil War. About how awful and tragic it was. How awful and tragic it was for the country. It made me think about Abraham Lincoln. About how he is considered one of the greatest Presidents and leaders this country ever had because he kept the Union together.
The worst thing that has ever happened to this country is the Civil WarÃ¢â‚¬Â¦Ã¢â‚¬Â¦not the fighting of it, but the Ã¢â‚¬Å“winningÃ¢â‚¬Â of it. Think about how much better this country would be without the South. (IQÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s alone would be 20 points higher.) Think about how we would have a different country south of the Mason Dixon Line. Ã¢â‚¬Å“Way over yonderÃ¢â‚¬Â, could refer to the foreign country on the other side of the Mississippi.
What does the South really add to the nature and quality of the life of this nation? What would we lose? Just imagine; no more Mullets, no Jeff Foxworthy, no Strom Thurmond, (it would have been worth it right there), no cow tipping, no marrying your sister..erÃ¢â‚¬Â¦I mean cousin…its having sex with your sister. Yes, I would miss the Allman Brothers. But I would be willing to swallow hard and accept that loss, if it meant never having to look at another picture of that lunatic Georgia Ã¢â‚¬Å“Runaway BrideÃ¢â‚¬Â, Jennifer Willbanks, and those freaky Ã¢â‚¬Å“deer caught-in-the-headlightsÃ¢â‚¬Â dilated pupilsÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ stare she has going.
What have we gotten from the South? They gave us the Ã¢â‚¬Å“Rust BeltÃ¢â‚¬Â and the Ã¢â‚¬Å“Bible BeltÃ¢â‚¬Â but the Garment Center is still in New York. Go figure. (OK, we also have the Ã¢â‚¬Å“Borscht BeltÃ¢â‚¬ÂÃ¢â‚¬Â¦.nobody is perfect). They gave us NASCARÃ¢â‚¬Â¦Ã¢â‚¬Â¦driving around in a big circle and giving a trophy to the guy who gets there first. Gets where? ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a big damn circle. They gave us Ã¢â‚¬Å“Jack DanielsÃ¢â‚¬Â, Ã¢â‚¬Å“MoonshineÃ¢â‚¬Â, Kentucky Bourbon and the Ã¢â‚¬Å“Cotton GinÃ¢â‚¬Â. Do we really want to shave our nation with a society whose two main contributions to the country are Driving and Drinking?
The history of this planet and its great societies and cultures is one of exploration. Industrious, inventive and imaginative people designed and built great new technologies to enable then to scour the earth to unlock its mysteries. They created passages, roads and then highways to explore by land. To explore by water, they invented rafts, boats and then ships powered by the wind. Huge cloth sails were made to catch even the slightest breeze to push massive wooden ships to far off continents. Men pushing, and then pulling, row upon row of sturdy wooden oars powered even the tallest of ships.
Invention followed invention, and soon travel across water was accomplished by the turn of a screw at the end of a great spinning steel shaft. Combustion engines turned these steel shafts. And with all these innovations, with all these inventions, with all this modern technologyÃ¢â‚¬Â¦Ã¢â‚¬Â¦what did the South come up with to navigate the Mighty MississippiÃ¢â‚¬Â¦Ã¢â‚¬Â¦Ã¢â‚¬Â¦a friggin Ã¢â‚¬Å“wheelÃ¢â‚¬Â. Some Bubba said, Ã¢â‚¬Å“Hey, letÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s put that there wagon wheel on a flat boat and turns it in the waterÃ¢â‚¬Â. Brilliant!
They call it a Ã¢â‚¬Å“RiverboatÃ¢â‚¬Â, but the only thing Ã¢â‚¬Å“boat likeÃ¢â‚¬Â about it is that it doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t sink. But then again neither does soap when you put it in water. (Oh yeah, another thing the South knows nothing about.). A riverboat bears a striking resemblance to a house on a crappy wooden raft. It makes you think that this mode of modern transportation was invented when the banks of the Mississippi overflowed and some poor slob, sitting high in the branches of a tree above the flood waters, watched his house as it floated away down river. Not wanting to ever experience that situation again, our Southern friend decided not to rebuild his house ABOVE river level and AWAY from the banks of the over flowing riverÃ¢â‚¬Â¦..but IN the river. I guess he figured it would save time in the long run.
The current crisis now facing this nation with the massive amounts of low wage jobs being outsourced to third world countries could have been easily avoided if the South had seceded from the Union and became a separate nation. There is no doubt that it would have become another third world countryÃ¢â‚¬Â¦.but at least it would have been our North American third world country. All the manufacturing the New York Ã¢â‚¬Å“Garment CenterÃ¢â‚¬Â sends overseas to Thailand and China could have been sent to Mississippi or Georgia for manufacturing by their uneducated, barefoot, low wage workers. Imagine how much cheaper clothing would be for us Northerners without all that extra shipping costs added to the price of the garment.
The North would still have been subsidizing the failing Southern nationÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s economy, but we would have only been contributing to the South as part of a larger package put together by the World Trade Organization or the United Nations. Bono would have visited the South to get the world to take notice of their plight, because, of course, the country where Bono comes from, Ireland, has no problems of its own.
The South, lacking any real educational facilities that emphasized Ã¢â‚¬Å“goalsÃ¢â‚¬Â, instead of Ã¢â‚¬Å“goal linesÃ¢â‚¬Â, would have been sending their students to study abroad at Northern Universities. These students could have attended graduate schools in engineering and medicine. They would have learned real engineering skills as opposed to figuring out how to put the tires from a three story earth mover onto a 1970 Pontiac GTO. Maybe when a Northerner called the Dell Customer Service Line for computer support, Joe-Bob would be answering the telephone instead of Habib, (or Ã¢â‚¬Å“RogerÃ¢â‚¬Â as he claims his name is in that heavy Bombay accent). Maybe, just maybe, Southerners would own the Seven-Elevens, instead of working there, if the South was a separate country.
Eventually the North would have brought democracy to the South when we invaded them to rid their oppressed people of their theocratic rulers, their version of the TalibanÃ¢â‚¬Â¦.Ã¢â‚¬ÂThe Religious RightÃ¢â‚¬Â. We are going to have to do it eventually; had the Civil War turned out differently it would have already been done.
So where is the Ã¢â‚¬Å“intelligenceÃ¢â‚¬Â in KansasÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Ã¢â‚¬Å“Intelligent DesignÃ¢â‚¬Â theoryÃ¢â‚¬Â¦Ã¢â‚¬Â¦.there is none. And the proof that there is none, is that if the Universe was created by a Supreme Intelligent BeingÃ¢â‚¬Â¦.he wouldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t have created Kansas or the South.