The religious right continued its relentless assault on science and science education in 2010. Unfortunately, even elected public officials expressed support for promoting personal beliefs over sound science in our children’s public schools. Let’s take a look at some of what we heard from the right on science over the past year. Click here other quotes from the religious right in 2010.
“I am a firm believer in intelligent design as a matter of faith and intellect, and I believe it should be presented in schools alongside the theories of evolution. The State Board of Education has been charged with the task of adopting curriculum requirements for Texas public schools and recently adopted guidelines that call for the examination of all sides of a scientific theory, which will encourage critical thinking in our students, an essential learning skill.”
— Texas Gov. Rick Perry, in response to a question about his stance on creationism being taught in public schools, San Angelo Standard-Times, September 11, 2010
“[Y]ou need to know that for our opponents, nothing makes sense except in the light of evolution. The great story coming out of Texas is that their spell has been broken. We have ended the dogmatic teaching of evolution, and we have restored the founders’ idea of a Creator.”
— Don McLeroy, Texas State Board of Education member and former board chair, discussing his departure from the board. McLeroy was defeated in the primary election for his seat earlier this year, but he warns: “You haven’t seen the last of Don McLeroy.” Texas Tribune, November 17, 2010
“We let them teach evolution to our children, but I think all of us sitting up here on this School Board believe in creationism. Why can’t we get someone with religious beliefs to teach creationism?”
— David Tate, member of local Louisiana school board, agreeing with his district’s director of curriculum that the district should begin teaching creationism in science classes, The Advocate (Baton Rouge), July 24, 2010
“We don’t want litigation, but why not take a stand for Jesus and risk litigation.”
— David Tate, a Louisiana school board member who proposed teaching creationism in his district’s classrooms, The Advocate (Baton Rouge), August 1, 2010
“Well, then why aren’t monkeys still evolving into humans?”
— Delaware Republican Senate nominee Christine O’Donnell, after calling evolution a “myth” on Bill Maher’s 1990s-era show Politically Incorrect. Maher has vowed to show a new clip of her making wacky statements every week until she comes on his show again, Talking Points Memo, September 24, 2010
One thought on “The Year in Quotes: Science”
The Religious Right fears evolution and geology like no other things. Why? Each one has the power to demonstrate to the entire world that the Christian fundamentalist understanding of the Bible is wrong, in error, incorrect, and corrupted—that they indeed do have the ability to read the Bible and misunderstand what it says. You will notice that I did not say that the Bible is wrong. I did not say that God the Father is wrong. I did not say that Jesus is wrong. I did not say that the Holy Spirit is wrong. I do say the the puny, weak, mortal, flesh and blood, error-prone Christian fundamentalist human misunderstands and misuses the Bible.
A year ago, I would not have thought it possible. However, some research that I have done on the web indicates to me that many more Christian fundamentalists are abandoning their faith. I would even go so far as to say that their is a steady and ever increasing flight to the exit doors. The tragedy is not in the abandonment per se. The tragedy is that these people think they are abandoning the real Christian faith. They have so internalized the unique and exclusive Christian fundamentalist definition of the faith that they do not recognize that they are actually abandoning a peculiar, bizarro world distortion of real Christianity. It is like the poor man who has tasted strawberry and nothing but strawberry all of his life—thinking that it is the only fruit taste in existence—when in reality cherry, raspberry, banana, and a whole world of other fruit tastes lie just beyond the horizon.
Trapped in their singular definition of the faith and their discovery that some of its basic doctrinal tenets are clearly untrue, the disillusioned Christian fundamentalist rejects Jesus completely and throws out the Christian baby with his bath water. They do this because their ignorance-infested pastors tell them that this is what they MUST DO if they ever detect one iota of error in the Bible.
I do sincerely pray that these “leavers” would find middle ground and settle down with the real Jesus in another church setting after they ditch their Christian fundamentalism. It appears to me that most do not. Christian fundamentalist preachers think evolution and geology send people to Hell. I believe just the opposite because the truth never sent anyone to the infernal regions. I think Christian fundamentalist pastors send their own people to Hell by the train load by binding their backs with extremist theological burdens that make no sense and are too great to bear in any reasonable way—and as Jesus once said of their kind—they will not lift a finger to lighten those burdens—therefore the greater damnation is reserved for these pastors.
Therefore, I would say this. If geology and evolution make more sense than creation science, and you are thinking about permanently ditching Jesus because of it, please stop for a minute and realize that ditching Jesus is exactly what your two-bit Christian fundamentalist pastor down at Ignorantwood Baptist Church wants you to do. He wants to enjoy watching you reject Jesus, thus completing the sick doctrinal cycle of pain that he dispenses. The first, best, and most satisfying act of defiance you can offer is to REFUSE to play his game. Instead, hold on to Jesus—not the doctrine that you have learned in church—but rather hold on to the man Jesus and nothing else. Realize that your pastor and church have fed you an incorrect and distorted view of Jesus and the Bible all of your natural life. You have been fed poison, and you need to understand that you will still be under the unique influence of that poison for the rest of your life. There is only one antidote for that poison. Go search diligently for Jesus—not the Jesus they told you about—but rather the real Jesus that they either never knew or withheld from you. If you search diligently for him, you will find him—and when you find him—you will be amazed at who He really is. All of the distortions that you have been fed will come into clear focus under your microscope. You will then realize this. By leaving Christian fundamentalism, you were simply leaving another one of this world’s damnable “isms.” Jesus is not an “ism.” Jesus is not a Bible character. He is a separate and living entity in this world. He is.