Don't bury me – that nothing is for now

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By JULIAN RODRIGUES*

A description of the air of our time

The corpse stank. There was no public authority able to intervene. Subject died on the 22nd, but was only buried on the 26th. It happened in the interior of Goiás, in peaceful Goiatuba. However, it could be anywhere else.

An energumen (shepherd) promised to resurrect in 3 days, if by chance he died. His wife believed and forbade the burial awaiting the promised miraculous feat. There was no public authority capable of intervening and burying the stinking body. A crowd accompanied, after all, singing religious hymns, the postponed funeral of the pastor who boasted of his resurrection, but did not deliver the order.

life is hard, ever. It turns out that things are more difficult than usual. There is an international regressive movement that aims to take us back to some medieval, pre-Cartesian and pre-Enlightenment times. Either we scratch the ground, without any concessions to obscurantism, fascism, irrationalism and religious fundamentalism, or soon we will be in Goiatuba, or worse, in Gilead.

The best critical theory, social movements, a range of thinkers have given us tools to criticize and problematize “Western instrumental reason”. Cool. Important. That said, we need to get back to basics. Drive in stakes. React to the neo-fascist, right-wing extremist, irrationalist, obscurantist, denialist gale. The earth is not flat, man descends from monkeys and vaccines work. Ah, the dead do not rise.

Deconstructing the founding foundations of rationality, science and Modernity itself is one of the main focuses of the entire movement of the world's extreme right. The international rise of neo-fascism and the like has very powerful ballasts with religious fundamentalism and with the spread not only of fake news, but also of anti-scientificism.

Perhaps the main legacy of bourgeois revolutions is the principle of secularism in the State and the primacy of reason and science in dealing with public affairs. Movements like the trumpism and the pocketnarism they undermine the minimum consensus that we have tried to establish at least since the 17th and 18th centuries. That part of the population of each country follows beliefs, clings to magical thinking, is fervently religious, so far so good – it is part of the democratic game. Inadmissible is the penetration of anti-scientific ideas into the “public sphere”, and into government policies.

The moment is critical. There is no room for relativizations, problematizations, deconstructions on top of good old rationality. Liberals, socialists, social democrats, progressives, anarchists, communists: let us unite. In defense of science, reason, evidence-backed discussions, common sense, Enlightenment tradition and secularism. Before it becomes fashionable to wait days to bury someone because the person had promised to resurrect.

Religious freedom is not something that is above other human rights, much less above the secular state, democratic freedoms and public policies built from evidence.

Pray and watch!

Gilead is here. Gilead is not here.

* Julian Rodrigues is a teacher, journalist and activist of the LGBTI movement and human rights

 

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