People always laugh when I tell them this, but there are very intelligent and well researched positions that support the theory of young Earth creationism. A lot of folks don’t know this about me, but I attended a summer semester of seminary (say that five times fast) before deciding I’d be better suited as a programmer or technical sort when I was just out of high school.
In my schooling, which was sort of a broad and ten-hour a day grueling deep dive into every subject imaginable, I focused on apologetics. The curriculum was focused on different world view comparisons (post modernism, nihilism, Christianity, for example, as compared to one another). I honestly wish I still kept all my class notes and books from those days, because I never feel more like an expert than when I looked back at what I learned during those days.
In our classes that focused on the origins of creation (or existence, if you will), we weren’t taught that creationism was more valid than theistic evolution, mostly because I believe that this was an inter-faith seminary designed to accommodate a broad range of Christian beliefs and dogmas. We were shown many sides of the story, and told to research and assemble our own research and opinions.
It wasn’t the Jesus camps that you see where youngsters are brainwashed into calling out demons, speaking in tongues and hating on young women who get abortions. It was a very academic environment with a firm foundation on using the intelligence that God gave us to learn more about the world around us.
Those that talk about teaching creationism in public schools along side the theories of evolution give people like those I learned from a very bad name, and it doesn’t help to have groups like “the skeptics movement” constantly attacking people of faith as being as intelligent as those who still believe in the tooth fairy.
It bothers me, then, when I see things like Roger Ebert’s recent blog post entitled: “New Agers and Creationists should not be President.”
In his post, he talks about how Fundie Christians are ostracized, but it’s still somehow ok for the glitterati of high society to talk about how fantastic their New Age beliefs of past lives are.
In polite company where fundamentalist or New Age beliefs are expressed with confidence, you have three choices: (1) Silent agreement, (2) eagerness to contribute your own similar finding, or (3) mentally composing a new answering message for your cell phone.
Still, at the basis of his rant, is the belief Shirley McClain is about as retarded (there’s that word again) as Mike Huckabee. A fellow who ran the state of Arkansas is as much of a self-deluding retard as a chick who wrote some bad children’s books and acted in some mostly sub-par films. The belief Ebert rests on is that they both have the same qualifications.
Sure, Arkansas isn’t the most lauded state in the union, but it still takes more talent and intellect to run it than it takes to act in such gems as Cannonball Run II, Bewitched, and the critically acclaimed TV show Shirley’s World (what?).
While we’re banning people of different faiths from public office, let’s go ahead and ban atheists (because believe me, it takes a lot of faith to be absolutely certain there is no higher power of any kind). Let’s ban Buddhists, because while he may be a big ol’ teddy bear, Buddha’s just two letters away from Bubbha, which sounds awfully Texan (and we all know W. ruined the presidency for Texans for quite some time).
No Muslims either, because they could be extremists, which is, of course, the big fear that another fundie Christian might bring to the office. We can’t have any Scientologists, because if the Secret Service can’t keep a couple of reality show-hopeful party crashers out of the White House, how do you think they’ll be able to stand up to might of 4Chan?
Why stop at religious beliefs, though? How about technological philosophy? We can’t have a Linux user in the White House – we all know what sort of zealots they can be about their damn operating system. We can’t have any social media advocates in office either – last thing we need is the President crying like Robert Scoble at all the NASA meetings (not to mention the fact that Brian Solis is already everywhere. Do we really to play Where’s Waldo with Brian’s mug in every press pool picture?).
This gets pretty ridiculous pretty quick.
I know what some of you are thinking, though, and the question I ask you is this: Why is it only ridiculous when I say we can’t have Scientologists, Buddhists, atheists, Muslims, social media advocates and Linux users?
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t hold up Mike Huckabee (or even Sarah Palin) as some sort of pinnacle of Christian deep thought. I don’t really know what they’d say if they were put under a spotlight and told to defend Creationism. Their beliefs on the origin of the species, though, are about as relevant to their ability to govern as their skill in Minesweeper.
Why is it OK to marginalize Christianity? Did you think we all were like the Christians they show on The Daily Show?