The Great Plains is certainly different. Politically it’s deeply conservative. More conservative than I imagined. The other day, I had a discussion with a seemingly bright person that is active in local Republican politics. (He attended the 2008 and 2012 Republican Conventions, and even ran for political office.) He’s not dumb nor is he atypical; but, he illustrates one of the many problems facing the Republican Party: a blatant disregard and ignorance of science.

While discussing the abortion issue, I asked him when he thought life began. His response was interesting. He said, life begins “before conception.” (Did he mean to say that individual sperm and ovum constituted life and should be afforded legal protection?) I tried to inquire further, but he soon became flustered, and it was apparent that his knowledge of reproduction and science was extremely limited. Ignorance can be excused in most people, but it shouldn’t be disregarded or unaddressed, especially when spoken by a person in an “influential” position. (This person happens to be an Evangelical minister.)

Was I surprised by his response? Not really, since he had earlier stated that “Christianity should be the national religion.” (Whatever happened to “Separation of Church and State?”)