"There is no scientific debate on the age of the earth. I mean, it’s established pretty definitively, it’s at least 4.5 billion years old. I was referring to a theological debate, which is a pretty health debate. And the theological debate is ... how do you reconcile with what science has definitively established with what you may think your faith teaches. Now for me, actually, when it comes to the age of the earth, there is no conflict. I believe that in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. And I think that scientific advances have given us insight into when he did it and how he did it, but I still believe God did it... I just think in America we should have the freedom to teach our children whatever it is we believe. And that means teaching them science, they have to know the science, but also parents have the right to teach them the theology and to reconcile the two things."
-- Marco Rubio, "clarifying" his earlier position that because he's not a scientist, man, he couldn't tell you the age of the Earth
Here's the pertinent part of the quote: "I just think in America we should have the freedom to teach our children whatever it is we believe." Let me see if I can translate that for you: We should be able to teach our kids, and believe for ourselves, whatever the hell nonsense pops into our heads, no matter how utterly divorced from provable fact it is and expect to be taken seriously and have our beliefs deferred to. Sure, there may be science, math and hard evidence that contradicts the magical stories we've been told by a 2,000-year-old book written by people who for the most part believed that the world was no more than a couple of million square miles wide, but so what?
This is what I mean when I talk about taking issue with faith as a general concept and why I think its acceptance is dangerous. If I told you that I was teaching my four-year-old daughter that she should ignore science and instead believe that the world was created by a giant insect that rides a comet across the night sky, you'd not only think I was nuts, you'd discount the belief system entirely and wonder what the hell I was doing to my kid. There's no way in hell you'd show my belief, no matter how understanding you might be, any kind of respect whatsoever. And rightfully so. Yet if I tell you that I'm teaching my child that the world was created in six days, 6,000 years ago -- there are those out there, like Marco Rubio, who would tell me not only that it was acceptable but that it was my right as an American. It's my right, in other words, to be wrong.
This is why I can love and respect people of faith, but I have a very hard time respecting the faith itself.
By the way, in looking over a few things for this post and others on faith-based religion, I came across this -- and it is so jaw-dropping in its hilarious insanity that I'm pretty sure it could represent the event horizon of pure irony.