Roger Ebert—yes, that Ebert—argues that New Agers and Creationists shouldn’t be president. What does the film critic think the two have in common? Intellectual incompetence. WARNING: Ebert’s blog post is full of high-minded snobbery:
New Age beliefs are the Creationism of the Progressives. I move in circles where most people would find it absurd to believe that humans didn’t evolve from prehistoric ancestors, yet many of these same people quite happily believe in astrology, psychics, reincarnation, the Tarot deck, the i Ching, and sooth-saying. Palmistry and phrenology have pretty much blown over.
It’s not my purpose today to argue the equal absurdity of Creationism and New Age beliefs (no, not even though the tenets of astrology were formed when astrologers knew piss-all about the planets). Those debates have been pretty much settled to the satisfaction of both sides, which agree with themselves.
I adamantly support the right of any candidate to profess any faith, or none. And in the separate case of their New Age or Creationism beliefs, I emphasize my words “should not” rather than “can not” be President. If a candidate professes the story of Creation as an ancient legend or symbol, as so many do of Adam and Eve, that is quite understandable and has long precedent.
It is in the specific cases of those with literal belief in the scientific truth and application of such beliefs that I raise a red flag. We live in the harrowing early years of a century when the nation must compete in a new way, and this battle will be fought on the grounds of science defined by the traditional Scientific Method. We can have no patience with a chief executive who professes the value of ancient superstitions in the forming of policy.
My only purpose today is to state early and often that if a Presidential candidate believes early humans used saddles to ride on the backs of dinosaurs, as they are depicted at the Creation Museum in Petersburg, Kentucky, that candidate should not be elected President.