P T Barnum denied ever saying that, but he remains the master of illusion. The new version of Barnum is Ken Hamm of the Creationist Muesum.
In a previous era, Ken Hamm would be a circus side show act. He would be standing outside a tent hawking, “Come and see kids riding on dinosaurs, proof the world is only 6,000 years old and how the Bible crushes evolution.”
One of the things he shouts today is, “As proof of creationism, we have 1,000 academic papers published a week. No, it’s 10,000 academic papers a day. But wait, there’s more. There are ten million academic papers proving God created everything.”
Barnum and Hamm prove there is always an audience for illusion. No matter the unlikeliness of a story, a theatrical illusion of the story with mock ups of characters, actors and recorded narratives, will bring in dollars.
The religious right seems to have attended the P T Barnum school of illusion. We see the results at work everywhere.
Anti abortion billboards are an example. There are pictures of children one to maybe three years old. The billboards don’t say abortions involve fetuses rather than children one to three years old. It would be helpful if anti abortion politics would include pictures of young mothers who died in child birth.
In an earlier period, anti gay political operatives aways provided pictures of transvestites when referring to gays.
Only better education can offset the power and success of illusion.
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