What you thought you knew, you didn't know, especially if you are a modern Republican. The New Yorker has done an admirable job in compiling the historical claims of the movers and shakers in that political realm. This means a complete history according to 21st century conservatives has been organized (http://nyr.kr/TB7U2k) and no doubt is one step away of filling all the textbooks headed for Texas.
The time line runs from Rick Perry's dialogue on the birth of America -- you remember, in the 1500s -- all the way to Sean Hannity's riveting narrative of how George W. Bush killed Osama Bin Ladin. It's a feisty history that reveals the ways in which liberal bias has infected our children's education and attempts to steal truth and knowledge away from the lies of liberal teachers.
Finally, thanks to Dan Quayle, kids everywhere will learn that the real Pledge of Allegiance was written in 1908, and it went something like this: "I pledge allegiance to the Christian flag, and to the Savior, for whose Kingdom it stands, one Savior, crucified, risen, and coming again, with life and liberty for all who believe."
Even Mitt Romney couldn't bungle it better.
Milking the rich
One of the major givens of the modern Republican platform is that rich people shouldn't be taxed much because it's good for the economy. A great rundown on how this has worked for us -- and what the world was like before -- is provided by Shamus Khan in Time magazine (http://ti.me/PnS7xP).
Khan's narrative is one of the rich spending decades viewing their higher tax rate as part of their civic duty towards the country in which they lived on these spoils of good fortune. It was during the Reagan years that it all started plummeting, as did our economy save a few precious bubbles, and we're still arguing about the same thing 30 years later.
Go back 100 years, and the Republicans were quite different. Says Khan, "In 1909, Republican president Teddy Roosevelt argued in favor of income and inheritance taxes, as they would promote, ‘equality of opportunity.' "
Wait a minute! That's the same year as the real Pledge of Allegiance was written! And a year before the birth of Mitt Romney's father, George, who, it was recently revealed by Mitt's mom, lived off welfare for awhile (http://bit.ly/UIcJ9s). Good thing Mitt's going to put an end to that nonsense!
It never ends
Everything you know is probably wrong, anyhow. You don't have to be a Republican to be in that position. At the same time, it turns out that anything you can imagine has the possibility of being real.
Last week, this article in Live Science (http://bit.ly/RhJlE3) covered the way scientific research doesn't so much disprove the existence of God as just display his lack of importance in explaining the universe. In other words, why say 1+1+0=2 when you can just say 1+1 and leave out the unnecessary zero? God is that unnecessary zero.
For instance, if Quantum Gravity Theory's prediction that time is endless and the Big Bang is just part of a transitionary phase of a never-ending universe, rather than the beginning of time, then the universe formed from the consequence of the law of physics and there is no creation for God to create. Time is eternal, without beginning, and thus no work for God to do.
The big picture revelation comes from the idea that string theory predicts a number of universes and these multiverses are infinite. A result of that is that every possible mix of elements, etc., exists parsed amongst the multiverses and a universe like ours -- with sentient life -- is just the inevitable result of being the universe that happens to have the correct combinations. It doesn't need to be created special and be attributed to a creator; it's just a side effect of the infinite multiverses. When possibilities are endless and everything exists across the universe, ours is just one of the infinite, inevitable and not that special.
What that really means is that the evangelicals are entirely right about science chipping away at faith, but they still can't comprehend that it's all just data, not agenda. I do wonder though: If all things that are possible in an infinite multiverse are real, does that mean that there is a universe somewhere that does have a God? Or is that the one thing all the universes have in common?
John Seven is the Transcript's arts and entertainment editor.