“if you can cause enough doubt on evolution, liberalism will die”

Paranoid, am I? For those of you that think I protest too much about the teaching of Intelligent Design (the new version of Creationism) in American classrooms, I submit the following excerpt from today’s Washington Post. Read it over a few times, and then tell me that the endgame of the evangelical Christians among us isn’t theocracy.

Propelled by a polished strategy crafted by activists on America’s political right, a battle is intensifying across the nation over how students are taught about the origins of life. Policymakers in 19 states are weighing proposals that question the science of evolution.

The proposals typically stop short of overturning evolution or introducing biblical accounts. Instead, they are calculated pleas to teach what advocates consider gaps in long-accepted Darwinian theory, with many relying on the idea of intelligent design, which posits the central role of a creator….

They are acting now because they feel emboldened by the country’s conservative currents and by President Bush, who angered many scientists and teachers by declaring that the jury is still out on evolution. Sharing strong convictions, deep pockets and impressive political credentials — if not always the same goals — the activists are building a sizable network.

In Seattle, the nonprofit Discovery Institute spends more than $1 million a year for research, polls and media pieces supporting intelligent design. In Fort Lauderdale, Christian evangelist James Kennedy established a Creation Studies Institute. In Virginia, Liberty University is sponsoring the Creation Mega Conference with a Kentucky group called Answers in Genesis, which raised $9 million in 2003….

Meyer said he and Discovery Institute President Bruce Chapman devised the compromise strategy (between factions of creationists) in March 2002 when they realized a dispute over intelligent design was complicating efforts to challenge evolution in the classroom. They settled on the current approach that stresses open debate and evolution’s ostensible weakness, but does not require students to study design.

The idea was to sow doubt about Darwin and buy time for the 40-plus scientists affiliated with the institute to perfect the theory, Meyer said. Also, by deferring a debate about whether God was the intelligent designer, the strategy avoids the defeats suffered by creationists who tried to oust evolution from the classroom and ran afoul of the Constitution….

Fox — pastor of the largest Southern Baptist church in the Midwest, drawing 6,000 worshipers a week to his Wichita church — said the compromise is an important tactic. “The strategy this time is not to go for the whole enchilada. We’re trying to be a little more subtle,” he said.

To fundamentalist Christians, Fox said, the fight to teach God’s role in creation is becoming the essential front in America’s culture war. The issue is on the agenda at every meeting of pastors he attends. If evolution’s boosters can be forced to back down, he said, the Christian right’s agenda will advance.

“If you believe God created that baby, it makes it a whole lot harder to get rid of that baby,” Fox said. “If you can cause enough doubt on evolution, liberalism will die.”

I’ve mentioned it here before, but if I were you, I’d go out and buy some science textbooks right now, and start setting up a secret place in your basement where you can teach your kids about evolution (and other heresy). There’s a wave building out there on the ocean of stupidity… Mark my words – in another few decades, unless his name has been erased from history completely, Darwin will be remembered as a twisted, old pedophile… and a terrorist. Let’s not forget after all that he was responsible for the killings at Columbine.

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  1. Posted March 14, 2005 at 11:50 pm | Permalink

    That the religious right goes to such measures shows how desperate they are. They’re fighting a losing battle and they know it. They can challenge evolution all they want; any good scientific theory can handle challenge.

  2. mark
    Posted March 15, 2005 at 7:31 am | Permalink

    I’m still optimistic on the inside, CB, but I don’t think that it’s in our best interest to let these things just happen unchecked. The risk, it seems to me, is just too great… Thanks for your comment.

  3. chris
    Posted March 15, 2005 at 9:34 am | Permalink

    If there is a rise in the creation (no pun intended) and admission of these Christian Universities, how is it that Spring Break bachanalia is also on the rise?

    Who are these people and where are they? A baptist church on the corner (predominately black) has imported a southern white pastor who according to his posters identifies himself as Dr. Blah Blah, PhD. He has a van with Florida plates and a Bush/Cheney bumper sticker that has recently been scraped off (?). He rarely shovels the walk after snows and I want to ask him wwjd? So this is the only guy I’ve seen…recently. Who are they? Are they all below the MD line I suppose?

  4. Posted March 15, 2005 at 9:49 am | Permalink

    “He rarely shovels the walk after snows and I want to ask him wwjd? “

    Job 37:5-7 (King James Version)

    God thundereth marvellously with his voice; great things doeth he, which we cannot comprehend.

    For he saith to the snow, Be thou on the earth; likewise to the small rain, and to the great rain of his strength.

    He sealeth up the hand of every man; that all men may know his work.


    So, Chris, I think Jesus might actually just let it lie there as well. Sorry.

  5. Posted March 15, 2005 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

    In re Chris:
    Oh good lord yes. I didn’t believe it either, at first. I didn’t believe that there were actually people who listened to country music and voted republican and believed in creationism, until I moved to a red state.
    I’m lucky I wasn’t born here. If I hadn’t seen anything else then I couldn’t be so optimistic.

  6. stella
    Posted March 15, 2005 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

    My friend, born, raised, Alabama:
    “I never read a book for pleasure till I went to college,
    I’d never known that people do”

  7. Posted March 15, 2005 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

    this reminds me of the argument to burn down the library of alexandria, ie, if a copy of the koran gets destroyed, it doesn’t matter because we have other copies, and if other books get destroyed it also doesn’t matter, because they aren’t the koran.

  8. Posted March 15, 2005 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

    Long ago a powerful religion was able to supress thought and innovation in much of europe for hundreds of years. During this time there were no technological advances and no significant works of art literature or science.

    Human civilization didn’t again advance until brave souls from the upper class trew away the teachings of the church and engaged in a revolution.

    Welcome to the new Dark Age.

  9. Posted March 15, 2005 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

    Yeah. I’m with Steven. I’m pretty sure that we are at the cusp of the next Dark Age.

    On the other hand, they have apparently been able to flex their thinking just enough to allow for a compromise of sorts. They may claim that the end justifies the means but that is just rationalization. Compromise is compromise. Jesus would be proud.

  10. Robert
    Posted October 16, 2007 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

    Imagine what would have happened had there been things such as nuclear bombs in the dark ages. Today’s technology adds an interesting twist to things. Look at the bright side…I doubt any one of us is going to die of boredom.

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