Neil deGrasse Tyson says religious-based governance is the end of democracy

Neil deGrasse Tyson says religious-based governance is the end of democracy October 21, 2015



Online tabloid Salon has a new exclusive interview with Neil deGrasse Tyson in which he states in no uncertain terms that democracy ends when people start bringing their own personally held beliefs in governance.

The host of TV’s Star Talk told Salon:

The moment you start bringing your personal belief system into governance, then that’s the end of pluralistic democracy. We have words for governance like that and they’re called dictatorships.

Those are your personal truths. One of them is, “Jesus is your Savior.” I’m not going to say that Jesus is not your savior. That is your personal truth. But, in a country where we have different religions, if the person who said: “Jesus is your Savior” is going to govern a pluralist country, then their legislations must be based on objective truths, not personal truths.

And personal truths are not only religious. You can have political personal truths. You keep those to yourself or your political group. But, to impose them on others is to do away with the freedom that a free democracy gives you.

We currently live in a country where politicians battle to have their “personal truths” made into law and this becomes the definition of a theocracy. While Tyson chooses his words carefully and tries to mix in “political personal truths” we all know he is talking about the right-wing religious fundamentalism that is driving science and social policy in congress today.

The second we allow personally held beliefs (let’s not call them truths, they are not true) into policy, despite the evidence, or despite the fact that your policy could lessen the well-being of others, is the second we no longer live in a democracy.

The Christian right is hell-bent on ending democracy and it is about time that Tyson start to speak out in more clear terms and stop hiding behind the excuse that he is nothing more than a scientists or communicator and it is not his job to get involved.

It is all of our jobs to get involved.

[Image: NASA/Bill Ingalls/Public Domain]

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