Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Marco Rubio: Science, God, and the Economy

Marco Rubio opened his mouth again.

"I’m not a scientist, man. I can tell you what recorded history says, I can tell you what the Bible says, but I think that’s a dispute amongst theologians and I think it has nothing to do with the gross domestic product or economic growth of the United States. I think the age of the universe has zero to do with how our economy is going to grow. I’m not a scientist. I don’t think I’m qualified to answer a question like that."
- Marco Rubio

Many articles about this quote replaced the GDP / economic section with an ellipsis, choosing to focus on the "Mark Rubio is a young earth creationist" theme.  This is unfortunate, since that edit masks some of Rubio's crazy.  To wit:  Mark Rubio doesn't understand how his beliefs in God serve as presuppositions to his economic policies.

Back in July, Paul Froese wrote an article entitled 'How Your View of God Shapes Your View of the Economy'.  Here's the relevant passage:

"...approximately 31 percent of Americans, many of whom are white evangelical men, believe that God is steering the United States economy, thus fusing their religious and economic interests."

Now, let's smash these two ideas together.

1)  Marco Rubio isn't prepared to dismiss the idea that Young Earth Creationists are batshit insane.

2)  Marco Rubio potentially maintains a belief in an invisible sky daddy.

3)  Persons who maintain a belief in an invisible sky daddy may believe that the Invisible Hand of The Market is actually The Invisible Hand of God.

So, Marco Rubio may believe that Jesus controls the U.S. Economy.

That seems important.  And it's the part of the quote many news sites glossed over.

There is a very strong connection between one's religious beliefs, and one's understanding of reality.  There is a strong connection between one's understanding of reality, and one's political ideology.  When we attempt to break these into individual component pieces we're being disingenuous.  One cannot "leave religion at the door", so to speak.  That shit doesn't come off so easily.

So, yes, Marco Rubio's belief in Invisible Sky Daddy does relate to the GDP, to the economic growth of the United States.  If a person maintains that there is no God, that this existence is all there is, that we human beings are biological organisms alone on a rock in space, then that ontological picture will foster a significantly different political mindset than some goatfucker who thinks there is an invisible man in the clouds who gives a shit about our well-being.  If Rubio believes that, ultimately, it's all in God's Hands then he'll probably enact different fiscal policies than someone who realizes that the economy is simply the product of the discrete, particular actions of particular human organisms.

It's the difference between living in reality, and reifying fabricated bullshit into a security blanket.  Rubio probably maintains the security blanket approach to the economy.  When things get bad, then God will step in and save us.

I can understand the utility of that world view:  It makes reality seem far less precarious.  It removes some of the danger, some of the uncertainty.  It makes a person feel like their decisions, while important, are all observed by some all-knowing omnipotent father figure who can rush in to save them at the last moment.  It's a comforting, understandable story for someone to tell himself.

But it's sure as fuck not helpful for lawmakers to think that.

Which is why, in a sane world, Marco Rubio would be a priest, rather than a politician.*

*Ignoring the fact that in a sane world there would be no priests.


_J_ said...

And now we have a 'Marco Rubio' label.

Because we're fucked.

Caleb said...

"It's the difference between living in reality, and reifying fabricated bullshit into a security blanket."

I like this imagery.