One of the key themes in The Religion Virus is that beliefs we learn in childhood, no matter how illogical or wrong, become entrenched in our brains. It is very hard for us to unlearn the fundamental beliefs that we learn as children. The chapter, Billy the Racist, which helps to illustrate this point, is the story of a man I met during the three years I lived in New Orleans. Although my time there was brief, I still have a special place in my heart for that wonderful, wild city, and all the friends I made while living there.
I was saddened, but not surprised, to read this morning that the Louisiana State Legislature has once again introduced religion, under the guise of "Intelligent Design," into their school curriculum. (The New Scientist has good coverage of this story.) In writing The Religion Virus, I got a very deep understanding of just why religious people are so determined to infect their children with the virus at an early age. Louisiana is, in many ways, more "third world" than many third-world countries, and the religious attitudes there are almost medieval.
So I can't say I was surprised that these same people have hijacked the legislature of State of Louisiana to help ensure that all the children get thoroughly infected with religion memes. Not surprised, but saddened. It seems like for every two steps forward, there's one step backward, and the Louisiana State Legislature took a big step backwards yesterday.