by Dr. Ed Berry
Montana Rep. Daniel Zolnikov thinks the public does not have the right to ask potential governor candidate Greg Gianforte questions about his religious beliefs.
In his letter to the Billings Gazette, Zolnikov wrote,
“Ehrlick’s piece sets up a false dichotomy where people of deep religious faith cannot possibly support ideas of religious tolerance simply because they have strong faith convictions. I see this as flying in the face of the very important, and very American, belief that we can all be true to our deeply held beliefs, while still treating others with mutual respect.”
Rep. Zolnikov believes questions about Greg Gianforte’s religion violate Article VI of the Constitution,
“no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.”
Zolnikov’s position demands we define religion as opposed to science. According to the philosophy of science,
If it’s measurable, it’s science. If it’s not measurable, it’s religion. God and heaven are not measurable. Therefore, they are part of religion. You can believe whatever you wish about God and heaven because we have no way to prove your belief is wrong.
However, if you extend your religion into claims about the world we can measure, then you have entered the world of science and we can test your claims.
Religion is about what we cannot measure. That definition of religion is protected by our constitution.
This part of Gianforte’s beliefs are not religion. They are science. Gianforte’s beliefs about the physical world have been tested and they are wrong.
It does not matter that Gianforte derives his beliefs about the physical world from his religion. He has extended his religious beliefs into the realm of science. This is not about “religious tolerance.” This is about truth.
While I am a conservative Republican, I am also a physicist. Truth must always precede political opinions.
Science shows the earth is 4.5 billion years old and the universe is 13.8 billion years old. Native Americans were in America over 14,000 years ago. Dinosaurs died off 65 million years ago.
Gianforte thinks dinosaurs coexisted with humans. Gianforte’s view contradicts every area of science. Gianforte’s view of our physical world contradicts what Montana schools should teach.
Questions about Gianforte’s beliefs concerning the measurable physical world are NOT protected by our constitution.
Voters have the right to know why Gianforte rejects data, logic, and the scientific method, and promotes beliefs that contradict science.
Voters must decide if they want a governor who is totally ignorant of science.