Republicans' Frightening Logic for Being Against Preventing Mercury Poisoning
For those who doubt that most of social conservatism is simply tribal identification rather than religion or ideology, check this out, from Right Wing Watch:
Calvin Beinser of the Cornwall Alliance has no scientific credentials but has become the go-to person for right-wing activists on questions of science, particularly climate change. While he lacks any credentials what Beisner does have is close ties to organizations financed by the energy industry and a history of attacking scientists, spreading misinformation, and fueling fears that the environmental movement is a pagan plot to destroy Christianity and kill “about 95% of the human race.”
Beisner is especially concerned about growing calls for environmental protection made by evangelical Christians, and has went out of his way to Green Dragon video series to disparage the EEN for thanking both Republican and Democratic politicians who supported efforts to reduce mercury emissions.
The Focus on the Family letter says it all:
According to the EEN, one of every six American babies is born with harmful blood mercury levels, “which causes permanent brain damage in the unborn and infants.” Therefore, the 12 federal legislators EEN is thanking with radio, TV and billboard ads for supporting the EPA restrictions are “pro-life.”
In truth, only one in every 1,000 American babies is exposed to harmful doses of mercury, and the slight delays in cognitive development it may cause generally disappear by age 7, says Beisner. Moreover, all 12 of the federal legislators EEN is supporting are among the most pro-abortion Congress has to offer.
“Calling this ‘pro-life’ is quite a misnomer, but it will result in a lot of people being confused about who’s really pro-life and who’s not,” Beisner said. “Some of these people have 100 percent pro-abortion voting records in Congress, so people need to know they’re really getting the wool pulled over their eyes if they fall for this.”
Right. Mercury is no biggie and, more importantly, being against babies being exposed to it without also being anti-abortion is meaningless (and confuses the rubes.) Therefore, "pro-lifers" must be against environmental regulations that might prevent permanent brain damage. (Pay no attention to the fact that this charlatan is paid by the industries that are causing the brain damage.)
I think this is a perfect illustration of the problem with the religious right. Their demands to regulate everyone's marriages, bedrooms and wombs is bad enough. But they have such a strong tribal identification that they can even be manipulated into believing something as counter-intuitive as "we shouldn't regulate mercury levels that might cause brain damage because the wrong people are for it." That's Jim Jones level brainwashing.