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Conversation with Scott Durgin on Patriarchal Institutions, Roman Catholicism, and the United States’ Freedoms: Member, Giga Society (3)









Interviewer: Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Numbering: Issue 30.A, Idea: Outliers & Outsiders (25)

Place of Publication: Langley, British Columbia, Canada

Title: In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal

Web Domain:

Individual Publication Date: July 8, 2022

Issue Publication Date: September 1, 2022

Name of Publisher: In-Sight Publishing

Frequency: Three Times Per Year

Words: 3,924

ISSN 2369-6885


Scott Durgin is a Member of the Giga Society. He discusses: laws and policies enacted through sociopolitical attitudes; other post-colonial states; Protestants and Roman Catholics; women’s bodies; Dominionists; magical thinking; free expression and religious freedom; the right in American society; and closet Christians and cultural Christians.

Keywords: Carl Sagan, Catholic Church, Neil deGrasse Tyson, post-colonial states, Scott Durgin, SCOTUS.

Conversation with Scott Durgin on Patriarchal Institutions, Roman Catholicism, and the United States’ Freedoms: Member, Giga Society (3)

*Please see the references, footnotes, and citations, after the interview, respectively.*

*One interpolated addition on July 4, 2022, explicitly noted in the text.*

Scott Douglas Jacobsen: Critical thinking arises in a number of educational contexts. What is “critical thinking” in the context of learning?

Scott Durgin[1],[2]*: I don’t think it’s possible to define critical thinking without going on for pages and pages. Critical thinking “in the context of learning” would not be too far different than the definition of critical thinking itself. What I could do is identify what I think are the cognitive skills or mental abilities involved in critical thinking. I’m sure most of this has been written elsewhere but at least four or five skills come to mind

  1. Interpretation
  2. Evaluation or examination.
  3. Analysis
  4. Inference and
  5. Self regulation, possibly the most important.

These particular skill sets must be coupled with a healthy sense of curiosity…to question without fear…to use REASON as the ultimate pathway to exercise critical thinking and arrive at the truth. That curiosity would force one to observe as many things as possible, to engage others, to read very deeply into many things, but also very broadly. Above all things to grow, so that one’s skills and capabilities improve with time. This seems to be a most relevant way to tie critical thinking to learning.

Jacobsen: How does critical thinking work in the real world, i.e., outside the confines of the academic system?

Durgin: Good question. I can honestly say that my abilities at critical thinking did not mature until after I had already learned how to learn. And learning how to learn cannot be done thoroughly without an academic experience: to change, modify, evolve and revolutionize one’s thinking.

Jacobsen: What is Carl Sagan’s legacy?

Durgin: Heroically and elegantly bringing scientific thinking to a popular audience.

Jacobsen: Why promote The Demon Haunted World above other texts on critical thinking and a scientific, skeptical mindset?

Durgin: Because this one book, read thoroughly perhaps twice perhaps 10 times, is all that is necessary to understand the basics of reason and critical thinking.

Jacobsen: Sagan is dead. Who took on the legacy of him, the mantle?

Durgin: I can’t say that for sure. I can tell you that I like a great many thinkers in the field. Neil deGrasse Tyson is probably my favorite. Just boundless energy, incisively argumentative and affably entertaining. Bill Nye, excellent individual. Richard Dawkins Christopher Hitchens many others.

Jacobsen: Neil deGrasse Tyson has an amazing personal history, individual story, with Carl Sagan, as a youngster. How has Sagan, through his legacy, created a buttress against pseudoscience, religious fundamentalism, and the irrational?

Durgin: It’s actually not much of a buttress with people who are on the wrong side of science and politics and religion. In the United States we spend a pittance of public money on science and education compared to what we spend on other things. We live in a country where most religious people believe it is their duty to stop others from doing things that the religious people dislike.  They are clueless as to how the Constitution automatically stops them. They basically plug their ears, drag their small dicks into their huge monster trucks and just drive over anybody who tries to educate them. 

Jacobsen: How did the Roman Catholic Church love Hitler?

Durgin: How did they not? The papacy basically trained all their followers to be abjectly terrified of Bolshevism Marxism and communism. How this ramped up after World War II with the Dulles brothers in this country and many others is remarkable. Fascism, which the church is very much akin to living as a philosophy, was completely ignored. Hitler had free reign mostly. The only reason why the papacy and the Catholic Church feared and opposed Hitler was because he began shutting down certain areas of the Catholic Church. When it came to slaughtering Jews, Freemasons, protestants, orthodox Christians and Serbs; the Catholic Church adopted a deafening silence. Their concordat with Hitler occurred only months after Hitler gained significant power in 1933. He of course gained ultimate power by 1934 when Hindenburg died. Pope Pius the 12th literally kept secret Hitler’s plans to invade Poland who ironically had a shit ton of Catholics in that country. The pope likely agonized over the decision knowing what Hitler was going to do but unable to inform even his followers. He knew however that the survival of the supremacy of the Catholic Church was more important than a few tens of thousands of Catholics dying.

Jacobsen: How did the Roman Catholic Church love Stalin?

Durgin: They didn’t love Stalin but they were certainly able to tolerate him…he killed more Jews than Hitler and simply by being an autocrat (as stated before) allowed the church a piece of mind. Who cares about Stalin when they were very few Catholics in the country?

Jacobsen: What about Mussolini, Franco, Perron, etc.?

Durgin: Again same argument. Details are unnecessary here; the fact that they are Autocrats, authoritarians, dictators means that international and sovereign states like the Catholic Church have any easy time with diplomacy. Deal with one man and you help steer the course of the entire country. Mussolini was a really special kind of ignoramus. Utter fascist patriarchal fuckstick of a dictator.

Jacobsen: Why focus on the small hierarchy, the elites, rather than the priests or laity? I interviewed Fr. George Coyne, at one time, and was supposed to do a second interview prior to his death (who went into surgery and, presumably, never came out alive, which became an important lesson left for me; his last great gift to me). He was somewhat liberal minded as a Christian and oriented towards a scientifically educated perspective, particularly astrophysics.

Durgin: The hierarchy is the problem. Just a few hundred backward thinking men set atop the organization (did I mention the holy see is a sovereign state?). They are the problem, so I adopt a similar approach to dealing with an issue as the Catholic Church does. It clearly has worked for them over 1500 years. Anybody attempting to deal with a serpent or dragon focuses on the head. Only stands to reason.

Jacobsen: How does a majoritarian rule buffer against Holy See intrusion in political affairs?

Durgin: When the government is owned by the people (all the people not just some), whose law is codified in a constitution it doesn’t matter if 99% of the people in the country are converted to Catholicism. Including the senators and representatives and the justices. The constitution is not a religious document. A constitutional “majoritarian” democratic republic is protected by the Constitution, because eliminating all religious opponents does not change the fact that the Constitution protects all religions. The constitution is our law; not what the president says or what congressmen say or what judges say…there can be no authoritarian in a country where the constitution is the law. So no matter how many heads of state the Vatican attempts to have assassinated, it doesn’t change the Constitution. This likely pisses them off to no end which is why they have taken decades upon decades in an attempt to infiltrate the Supreme Court, which they appear to be successfully doing.

Jacobsen: With the American example, what are the clearcut examples of the Roman Catholic Church, and its empowered representatives in institutional positions of power in the United States of America, attempting to undermine American democracy?

Durgin: Five Supreme Court justices who seem to think that the constitution does not grant freedoms unless they are specifically called out in the constitution. Which is a ridiculously ignorant way of looking at it. If all the freedoms that we have needed to be enumerated in the constitution it would be 10 miles thick. This is why Madison and Jefferson and others took more than 30 years to perfect certain ideas like a separation of church and state. But somehow justices Alito, Gorsuch and Kavanaugh, the flip-flopping bone-headed Clarence Thomas, and the newly seated, starry eyed ignorant Amy Coney Barrett are completely ignorant of this fact when they allow a woman’s right to (reproductive) freedom to fall back on a bunch of Bible Belt, ignorantly run states, who are hell-bent on pretending they’re protecting a fetus while they stomp all over the fundamental right the woman has in the first place. How’s that for an opinion. Richard Dawkins believes that this latest decision by Scotus is nothing more than an attempt to allow religion to once again control the freedoms of Americans. I tend to agree. I am especially disappointed in John Roberts.

*Beginning of Addition: 4th July 2022*

This recent uber-focus on Roe v. Wade decision completely obscured my awareness of an equally devastating Scotus decision a few days earlier. This involves church state separation, against which the Catholic Church has been resisting, fighting, complaining, obstructing, seething, spitting and farting and twisting in their seats for decades.

Some clever Jesuits (who have obviously been pushing the five Scotus conservatives) have been effective at allowing to proliferate an inferior and surreptitiously deceptive interpretation of what church state separation means.

Nearly the entire motivation for Jefferson and Madison to spend 30 fucking years evolving and perfecting the precept of church state separation was to prevent emboldening the Catholic Church from imagining they could dominate civil life because they have a majority of people in the country who are Catholic.

The reality is public funds CANNOT BE USED to support or endorse a particular religious organization. Not on my constitutional watch. Public funds meaning government funds, like subsidies for schools etc.

The only way for every religion in the country to be protected is to make sure that ALL FORMS OF GOVERNMENT REMAIN RELIGIOUSLY NEUTRAL. There should be no argument here. But this falls on purposely deaf ears with John Roberts, Samuel Alito, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and the starry eyed naïve ignorant Amy Coney Barrett, not to mention Hammerhead Clarence Thomas. John Roberts cleverly obfuscated the issue when he opined on the case in the state of Maine: “there is nothing neutral here in what Maine is doing” (paraphrased, not exact quote), as if to suggest that the church state separation concept is supposed to mean general neutrality**, when it is not! It means RELIGIOUS neutrality, thus 365+ different religions must be represented and supported if public money is going to be used. The public consists of ALL RELIGIONS including no religion, and therefore public money must be either

  1. Supporting/ endorsing every single religion on the face of the earth or
  2. Endorsing none.

The impracticality of the former is obvious. Eleanor Roosevelt fought Cardinal Spellman on this in the 1940s. Spellman lost, thank god. Move on. Government must stay out of funding particular religious organizations. The Bill of Rights demand it. Freedom demands it. Public funds do not belong supporting a religious school. This is also why we cannot have Jesus’s words on state property, because state property is PUBLIC property. Public property (government property) may not endorse any one religion, this is ninth grade civics every one should know. Religion is a private matter. This is the essence of the separation of church and state. It protects minorities from being overrun by religious majorities who believe it is their duty to convert the entire world. This country was founded to stop that nonsense. In fact it was founded in the bloody wake of the Catholic Church exercising for CENTURIES what it believed to be its “divine” authority to convert the world, by killing, raping, burning, marginalizing, exorcising every person who expressed religious beliefs other than Catholic beliefs.

The church needed to be stopped and they’ve been PISSED OFF ever since. Too bad. They don’t like religion being a private matter of opinion, equal to all others. Again, too bad. This is a free country where people are free to worship however they want and no one would feel free or be free if public money or official funds supported Hindu schools or Muslim schools any more than Christian schools.

Now this country is upside down because of ignorance and outright malice spewing forth from five conservative justices who are ANGRY this country is moving forward – PROGRESSING – and they are attempting to swing the country backward by 100 years or more because they are uncomfortable with their Christian majority WANING. And somehow they believe that because there is a Christian majority citizenry that religious freedom doesn’t work.

Third time: Too bad.

We need everybody in this country to forcibly stop this politically and clearly religiously biased gang within the supreme court from deciding on any other important rule of law. The gang of 5 plus Roberts is now an utter waste of public trust. Period.

** Roberts is deftly claiming that public funds should be granted to both religious and non-religious schools (pretending that this means “neutral”) thus completely evading the central issue of religious neutrality. PUBLIC INSTITUTIONS MUST BE RELIGIOUSLY NEUTRAL.

Roberts can now get on with either forced retirement or recusal for this wanton ignorance or wanton deception. Pick one.

*End of Addition: 4th July 2022*

Jacobsen: I’ve interviewed a number of prominent African-American freethinkers in the United States – real leaders – about their involvement in combatting Christian supremacy in the United States, particularly apt for them in consideration of the white supremacist orientation of history and patterns of aspects of Christianity, including Roman Catholicism. Christian European-Americans’ construction of institutions for the maintenance of authority over African-Americans in general. Those legacy European-Americans with autocratic Christianity in their minds who may buy into “Great Replacement Theory” and such, so as to express their sense of unipolar focus on “white” myths, Christian theology, and truly grounded in fear of the “Other.” Those who unknowingly proclaim lies boldly, belying individuals cowered into a corner and lashing out in terror. What is the association – not the core or the only, obviously – between white supremacy, i.e., laws and policies enacted through sociopolitical attitudes, and Roman Catholicism in the United States?

Durgin: Privileged, domineering, white patriarchal bigotry. These people knowingly and willingly want to take the United States back to the 1950s. Pretty clear.

Jacobsen: Following from the previous question, how does this look in other post-colonial states with a majority, or near majority, Christian identifying population, i.e., New Zealand, Australia, Canada, and South Africa?

Durgin: If they have a constitution that separates church and state then they should not be having a problem. Unfortunately the interpretation of separation of church and state is 100% lost on a lot of religious people in this country. I do not know how tightly religious freedom is coupled to the law of the land in other countries.

Jacobsen: How are Protestants and Roman Catholics, ideologically, converging on making Christian an official identity of nationality in the United States now?

Durgin: The next 10 years will answer this question. We are now in an era where only 10 years will almost exactly parallel how Hitler came to power in Germany. My opinion.

Jacobsen: I’ve made some observations as to women’s bodies as the true point of battleground for the fundamentalist Christians in the United States of America. To me, it seems as though the aim is the restriction of women’s choices about their destinies starting with reproduction. With Roe v Wade as a news item, recently, what makes this particularly poignant about attempts at intrusion of Roman Catholic dogma about when life starts, women’s bodies, and legislation focusing on these items impactful on women’s bodies, so fates?

Durgin: What makes this particularly poignant is that they are succeeding.

Jacobsen: You used the term Dominionists. A religious ideology, Dominionism, founded on Genesis 1:28 (KJV). A passage about dominion over the Earth by earthly, Christian forces. This transcendentally awful (im)moral basis for American centralized theonomy makes for open declarations, based on religious scripture, of the merger of religion and state rather than the separation of religious institutions and states. It means, in essence, a declaration for theocratic globalism, which means theocratic autocracy (as in singular domineering control) rather than democratic multicultural universalism (or the basis of most respected international human rights and associated organizations and institutions). Who are the main framers of Dominionist theology in America? Why is America an apparent central focus on these individuals now?

Durgin: I don’t know. What I highly suspect is that the 2030s will see a stupendous push on the part of the right wing in many countries to co-opt both the meaning and the implementation of the building of the so-called “third temple” in Jerusalem. Easter of 2034 will be the beginning of it if not a little before. October 2041 will likely be its culmination. I honestly don’t know how the intervening years will play out because I do believe there are genuinely naïve and beneficial forces who will be involved in building such a temple; but the right wing will have none of this (unless it is 100% Christian, by God!), so if the right wing January 6 fascists build up like Hitler did, between now and 2030, they may have the ability to co-opt the effort.

Jacobsen: Also, back to critical thinking, these institutions remain built on magical thinking over centuries molded into institutions used for social influence, political power, and legislative entrenchment. How is the magical thinking without challenge a basis for the snowball effects, as with the Roman Catholic Church, over decades in countries and over centuries in spheres of influence?

Durgin: Not sure how to answer that, but if this country spent more money on science and education in the public sphere, we would be much better off and unlikely to fall into a hole. The entire public needs to be vested in scientific thinking, scientific methods and scientific conclusions, which means there needs to be a tenfold increase in spending on education, science, mathematics and perhaps constitutional freedom and the three masonic pillars (at least politically in this country): 1. The emancipation of women. 2. Limits on state power. 3. Separation of church and state. Those three things are anathema to the Catholic Church.

Jacobsen: When I interviewed some members of The Satanic Temple, two noted Evangelical Christians in the United States, if they don’t get precisely what they want 100% of the time, then they cry, as you note, “Victim.” Roman Catholics, based on the statement by you, make the same play as victims. The irony: individuals who deplore victim-ology or victimhood in other ideologies enacting the same, as in a pervasive projection of their own psychology, rather than an identification of a necessary cultural reality. Akin to cancel culture proclamations, with temporary, at times, actualizations in some professionals, they forget the centuries of history of real cancel culture in Christianity with book burning, book banning, torture, murders, and the like, in the name of Jesus Christ and the Kingdom of God as proclaimed by Christianity. The most pervasive, long-lasting, cruel, violent, and vicious cancel culture has come from religious fundamentalists with the mastery of torture and destruction of free expression. Again, it seems a simple act of projection. Even if admitted, it becomes softened, as in, ‘It happened a long time ago,’ as if light acceptance of ubiquitous history means absolution of the crimes in the name of Christianity. In many ways, in further irony, their purported fears and decline could be seen theologically as an inverse ROI, or return on investment, of all the imprecations (e.g., imprecatory prayers) against others not them. (Why not get the message? Their God is punching them in the face and kicking them in the nuts, constantly.) How are American rights to free expression and religious freedom a counter to this history of Christian imposition?

Durgin: Projection is exactly right. But…In this country the Constitution guarantees that every individual is a sovereign regarding his/her choice of worship, belief in God or an afterlife and his/her autonomous freedom to exercise such beliefs, as long as he/she does not attempt to remove the sovereignty of another citizen.

Jacobsen: Why are some individuals who support Trump bound to the idea of a stolen election and the era of the 1950s? Why the attempts to make a “safe space” for them through the entire nation rather than simply their longstanding “safe spaces” in churches, in cathedrals, in Klan meetings for some, or in whole universities with Christian private postsecondary institutions? Not a distant reality in Canada here, in micro, 5 minutes down the road is Trinity Western University. Its administrators and brand-marketers declare the institution an “arm of the church,” in full as a mission statement:

The mission of Trinity Western University, as an arm of the Church, is to develop godly Christian leaders: positive, goal-oriented university graduates with thoroughly Christian minds; growing disciples of Jesus Christ who glorify God through fulfilling the Great Commission, serving God and people in the various marketplaces of life.

While, at the same time, on tax-breaks for land used by the university, attempting to get funding from the government (though a private Evangelical Christian religious institution), harbouring a community covenant openly discriminatory against LGBTI+ individuals, and lead for decades by a president who resigned in the 2000s around the time of a sexual misconduct claim against him, one woman, at one job (who I worked with), who worked with him excused the claim by saying, “He was lonely.” (Nice.) Fundamentalist Evangelicals and Roman Catholic Christians with a literalist orientation seem socio-politically aligned. Is the fight in some parts of Canada akin to the right in American society, though more pervasive in the American example?

Durgin: I don’t know. But it is a very simple thing to realize that for decades upon decades in this country we teach women when they are girls of 5 to 6 years old that when a boy teases or pushes or torments or otherwise attacks them (admittedly sometimes in a not very harmful way physically) what do we teach that little girl? We tell her “Oh he likes you”. This is the beginning of women tolerating men’s bad behavior and it is the beginning of men dominating women and women actually allowing it. We ACTUALLY TEACH five-year-old girls that boys mistreating them means “He likes you”. Just sit back and THINK about that and you have your answer as to why we are in this conundrum today. Many girls of course want boys to like them so the lesson is they should start tolerating their bad behavior. Until this is stamped out with all eviscerating justice and blunt force the world will continue to wallow in patriarchal ignorance.

Jacobsen: There are figures within Canadian society who amount to closet Christians and cultural Christians acting as apologists for Christian doctrines and sociopolitical concerns without open, public stipulation as such, e.g., Dr. Jordan Peterson. We could see this from more than a decade ago in his media presence. He seemed surprised by the catapult to prominence at the start and oriented more clearly to it. Now, he embraces the minor fame and Christian orientation with absurdist comedy not intended as such, presenting ‘arguments’ of the Bible as “meta-true” in some moments. I see this as a defensive move. Canadian Christianity on the defensive and individuals highly sympathetic to its more regressive doctrines acting more surreptitiously to influence culture. Indeed, Peterson has noted it’s more effective to promote Christianity indirectly rather than directly; his motives are clear, though arguments remain jumbled – see: Nathan Robinson’s “The Intellectual We Deserve” – and emotional life seems highly labile (fake at times and real at others) – see: random, assorted crying and breakdown bouts & pouts.

Durgin: lol no time. 24 June 8:37 pm.


[1] Member, Giga Society.

[2] Individual Publication Date: July 8, 2022:; Full Issue Publication Date: September 1, 2022:

*High range testing (HRT) should be taken with honest skepticism grounded in the limited empirical development of the field at present, even in spite of honest and sincere efforts. If a higher general intelligence score, then the greater the variability in, and margin of error in, the general intelligence scores because of the greater rarity in the population.


American Medical Association (AMA): Jacobsen S. Conversation with Scott Durgin on Patriarchal Institutions, Roman Catholicism, and the United States’ Freedoms: Member, Giga Society (3)[Online]. July 2022; 30(A). Available from:

American Psychological Association (APA, 6th Edition, 2010): Jacobsen, S.D. (2022, July 8). Conversation with Scott Durgin on Patriarchal Institutions, Roman Catholicism, and the United States’ Freedoms: Member, Giga Society (3). Retrieved from

Brazilian National Standards (ABNT): JACOBSEN, S. Conversation with Scott Durgin on Patriarchal Institutions, Roman Catholicism, and the United States’ Freedoms: Member, Giga Society (3). In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 30.A, July. 2022. <>.

Chicago/Turabian, Author-Date (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott. 2022. “Conversation with Scott Durgin on Patriarchal Institutions, Roman Catholicism, and the United States’ Freedoms: Member, Giga Society (3).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 30.A.

Chicago/Turabian, Humanities (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott “Conversation with Scott Durgin on Patriarchal Institutions, Roman Catholicism, and the United States’ Freedoms: Member, Giga Society (3).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 30.A (July 2022).

Harvard: Jacobsen, S. 2022, ‘Conversation with Scott Durgin on Patriarchal Institutions, Roman Catholicism, and the United States’ Freedoms: Member, Giga Society (3)’In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 30.A. Available from: <>.

Harvard, Australian: Jacobsen, S. 2022, ‘Conversation with Scott Durgin on Patriarchal Institutions, Roman Catholicism, and the United States’ Freedoms: Member, Giga Society (3)’In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 30.A.,

Modern Language Association (MLA, 7th Edition, 2009): Scott D. Jacobsen. “Conversation with Scott Durgin on Patriarchal Institutions, Roman Catholicism, and the United States’ Freedoms: Member, Giga Society (3).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal 30.A (2022): July. 2022. Web. <>.

Vancouver/ICMJE: Jacobsen S. Conversation with Scott Durgin on Patriarchal Institutions, Roman Catholicism, and the United States’ Freedoms: Member, Giga Society (3)[Internet]. (2022, July 30(A). Available from:


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