Good Christians, where is your outrage? Are you so meek and mild that you’re willing to tolerate the intolerance being committed in Jesus’ name? Will you continue to allow the most extreme right-wing fundamentalist sharks among you to flourish in the ocean of mainstream Christianity?
I’m not a Christian, but I’m outraged by attempts to subvert both science and common sense in the name of theology that nowhere appears in the Bible. This is obvious manmade dogma. If I can speak out against these travesties, why can’t you, good Christians?
Putting creationism in the classroom. The effort to get intelligent design (which is thinly disguised creationism) recognized as an alternative theory to evolution takes us back to the bad old days of the 1925 Scopes Monkey Trial. I thought that we had evolved beyond such specious attacks on science, but the Dover Area School District lawsuit proves otherwise.
Christians want intelligent design/creationism enshrined in the classroom even though there is zero—repeat, zero—scientific evidence in favor of this utterly unproven hypothesis. There is equal reason to believe that the universe is being guided by a Flying Spaghetti Monster as by a willful conscious metaphysical force.
Stifling of Plan B morning-after pill. Last night ABC’s Nightline featured a devastating critique of the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) outrageous decision to overrule the advice of its own advisory committee and professional staff. The FDA commissioner, Lester Crawford (who has since resigned), delayed a decision on whether the Plan B pill should be available without a prescription.
Susan Wood, director of the Office of Women’s Health, resigned over the decision. She told Ted Koppel that “science was being overruled by the FDA.” The advisory committee vote was 23 to 4 in favor of approval. One of the four dissenters was David Hager, a Christian ob-gyn doctor from Kentucky.
Hager filed a minority report urging that this utterly safe drug which prevents unwanted pregnancies (and, hence, abortions) not be approved because it might lead to more teenagers having sex. Here’s what he said to an audience at a Christian college five months later:
I argued it from a scientific perspective. And God took that information. And He used it through this minority report to influence the decision. You don’t have to wave your Bible to have an effect as a Christian in the public arena.
Denying global warming. Evangelical Christians are cool on global warming, says Andy Crouch in a Christianity Today essay called “Environmental Wager.” On the face of it there shouldn’t be any reason why Christians would be opposed to protecting the environment. One would think that God’s creation is worthy of respect, since it supposedly was created with a divine purpose in mind.
However, Crouch says that Christians are so ticked off at science because of the theory of evolution, this irritation spills over into over other areas such as global warming: “Thanks to the creation-evolution debate, mistrust between scientists and conservative Christians runs deep. But those scarred by battles with evolutionists might still consider heeding the scientists who are warning us about climate change.”
Opposing gay rights. In my state Basic Rights Oregon is challenging the legality of an initiative (Measure 36) voters approved last year that says only a marriage between one man and one woman is valid. Christian groups led the fight for Measure 36, somehow believing that denying rights to gays will glorify God.
I find Robert Buchanan’s perspective a lot more appealing. And a lot more Christian. He says that Christians limit God’s love when they assume that only certain sorts of people are deserving of it:
Many people have a very limited view of the scope of God’s love. They have allowed their prejudice to replace God’s intention and the message of Christianity. They think that God only came for those who are in a patriarchal nuclear family with a male, female, and children or single celibate people. Sometimes people limit God to those who are of their own gender, color, race, and among their own social status.
As a non-Christian, I do what I can to encourage open-mindedness, tolerance, and respect for scientific facts about reality. It’s discouraging to me that so many Christians aren’t doing the same.
I realize that, according to yesterday’s Oregonian, “a Gallup Poll last fall found that 45% of Americans say God created people pretty much in their present form in the past 10,000 years—a timeline asserted by Christian literalists.”
But that leaves a majority of Americans believing otherwise, most of whom are Christian. Where are their voices? They should be pounding the pulpit and telling the right-wing fundamentalists, “You don’t speak for me!”
I don’t hear this happening. The Christian silence is deafening.
I hope this doesn’t mean that unscientific gay haters are going to inherit the earth. If the meek Christians don’t begin to speak up, that’s a definite possibility.