It is the 21st Century and the cover of Time Magazine has pictures of a chimpanzee and God under the bold headline, “Evolution Wars”. I turn on the television and a non-descript talking head is promoting the bizarre idea that tax cuts for the rich lead to increased tax revenue. I flip the channel and an effeminate man is lisping about how he prayed away the gay.

How did such weird and scientifically bankrupt ideas find their way into mainstream culture? The answer is at once simple and scary.

Besen argues that the far right has for years outfunded gay and progressive political voices.

I think Besen’s statements about conservatives are just a little bit too sweeping — not all conservatives are antilibertarian theocrats. Nevertheless, a $295 million to $75 million imbalance in donations to political groups may help explain, in some fashion, why irrational ideologies — creationism, reparative “therapy,” abstinence-only sex ed, and botched civil wars in Iraq — have won out over sound, fact-based public policy.

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