Here, I thought, was the most insightful passage in the book Flock of Dodos (the book I talked about in my previous post):
While it’s certainly true that a majority of Americans are supporters of either creationism or creationism’s post-adolescent older sibling, Intelligent Design, this need not necessarily translate into any horrible national policy implementations. According to a recent Newsweek poll, for example, more than half of Americans believe in the Rapture, but Congress has yet to make any appropriations for a viable post-apocalypse government framework. (p. 139-140)
The authors don’t say why the fact that Americans have these beliefs hasn’t led to major national policy implementations. This is an intriguing question, and I don’t have a good answer. Is it because people say that they believe in something like creationism, but they really don’t? (This would be closely related to the recent discussion I had about whether people who say they believe in God really do believe.) Is it because the people who control the political power don’t have the same beliefs as the majority of Americans? Is it because the spirit of religious freedom in our country is such that people recognize that they shouldn’t politically impose their religious beliefs on others? Or is something else going on?