This is probably obvious to everyone in the world but, perhaps, me. I’m so used to the idea that resistance to technology comes in the form of the Unibomber-esque, hyper-educated liberal humanist gone bad, that I somehow missed the consistent expression of technological resistance present in policies guided by the religious right. The plain reading of abstinence-only education programs (now being extended to adults) is simply that they are an attempt to marry (so to speak) Christian values to public policy. But the reason may not be “God’s plan” as much as it is “because condoms and birth control are repugnant.”
The most visible public policies affected by the religious right in the US seem to hinge heavily on issues of science and technology: abortion, sex education, evolution, stem cell research, access to the web by children, and gaming, just to name a few. Other moral issues (Darfur? AIDS crisis?), though certainly present, seem not to take the fore. Perhaps the only issue that doesn’t fit into that list is gay marriage, which seems to have little to do with technology, and yet is once again at the cutting tip of the Republican’s electoral sword of Damocles–toe-to-toe with “surrendering to the terrorists.”
This is interesting in part because there is a long history in the US in particular of understanding technology as being a part of God’s plan. We are responsible for cultivating Eden, in part through the tools of human industry. I suspect that swings back-and-forth over time. There are certainly religious groups who take to technology and engage it, but I think the anti-Enlightenment views go hand-in-hand with anti-technological views, both of which are ascendent in the American public sphere of late.