Creation Is Bad Theology? Answering A Misinformed Editorial at Indiana’s Journal Gazette
Karen Francisco, senior editorial writer for The Journal Gazette, recently wrote an editorial critical of Indiana Senate Bill 89, one of several pro-creation science bills introduced this year. The article, which you can read here, made several accusations against the bill and against creationism itself. What got my attention was that she accused creation of being bad theology and based that erroneous claim on the Clergy Letter Project! In fact, she claims elsewhere that “The northeast Indiana ministers who pushed Sen. Dennis Kruse to introduce the bill should read the thoughtful Christian Clergy Letter, signed by 12,786 clergy, including 315 from Indiana.”
Well, that didn’t sit well with me. Once again, the Clergy Letter is being used to enforce the uncritical exclusive teaching of evolution in our public schools. Worse, now someone has the erroneous idea that the Letter’s content actually represents orthodox Christianity, when it is demonstrably otherwise: While the Clergy Letter claims to be representative of “Christian clergy of many different traditions,” upon closer examination they are merely representative of liberal, modernist and feminist traditions. As always, we feel it necessary to note that not everything that calls itself a Christian should be taken at face value. I, for one, should like to contact the signers of the Clergy Letter and ask them whether they believe Jesus Christ actually rose from the dead and whether they believe Jesus is, in fact, the Son of God, these being Biblical tests for a true Christian. If not, the signatures of these “clergy” are invalid. It should also be noted that Zimmerman has no problem sliding in signatures of Unitarian Universalist, Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Unity cult members and members of other cults in the “Christian” version of the Clergy Letter.
In any case, I wrote a letter to the editor to correct the misinformation contained in the editorial. Would it surprise you that the have since published several guest editorials and letters to the editor which were friendly to her views while my letter remains unpublished? In fact, to my knowledge, there has not been one single letter of dissent published since Francisco wrote her editorial. Perhaps The Journal Gazette is still getting around to it…
In the meantime, here is my response in its entirety:
“Letter To the Editor[s] of the Journal-Gazette regarding the Jan 31, 2012 editorial “Creationism is bad science”,A recent editorial printed in this newspaper accused “Northeast Indiana lawmakers experiment with bad science, misguided theology and a violation of constitutional principles in their push for creationism in the classroom” with regard to Senate Bill 89, which ”provides that the governing body of a school corporation may require the teaching of various theories concerning the origin of life, including creation science, within the school corporation.” With due respect, the editorial did not make its case.For example, to support the allegation that SB 89 is scientifically unsound you appeal to Indiana’s current science standards which, as you correctly note,require students to know that Charles Darwin’s book, “On the Origin of Species,” is supported by “a massive array of biological and fossil evidence.” Would it interest you that, rather than ignoring the scientific evidence proposed for microbes-to-man evolution, creation scientists address those self-same evidences and go on to propose alternate explanations for these observations. The origins isn’t about evidence for we have exactly the same evidence with differing interpretations. Furthermore, it was Darwin himself who noted in the Introduction of Origins the following: “I am well aware that scarcely a single point is discussed in this volume on which facts cannot be adduced, often apparently leading to conclusions directly opposite to those at which I have arrived. A fair result can be obtained only by fully stating and balancing the facts and arguments on both sides of each question.” This fair-minded analysis of the origins argument is precisely what SB 89 seeks to accomplish.More seriously, you allege that this bill would be theologically unsound on the basis of the Clergy Letter Project. Just because men calling themselves clergy have signed the pro-evolution Clergy Letter does not make them representative of Christianity. The Clergy Letter signators include Unitarian Universalists, Unity cult members and liberal mainline clergy, some of whom cannot even affirm a basic tenet of authentic Christian faith: the historical, bodily resurrection of Christ! You may as well get your “sound theology” from the local skeptics society! The signers of the Clergy Letter Project are anything but orthodox representatives of the apostolic “faith once delivered.”
Your allegation that this bill is bad for business requires something of a crystal ball. I am prepared to concede that if top researchers in the life sciences are determined more by their ideological commitment to the current consensus of the scientific establishment than their quality of research, then, Yes, Indiana would be in big trouble. Of course, if this is really the state of affairs within modern science somebody owes Cardinal Bellarmine an apology. Whenever science insists that its practitioners adhere to the common consensus, it ceases to be science, for science is tentative, self-correcting and thrives on challenging existing theories.Regarding your final allegation, that this bill violates the Establishment Clause, I do admit that it has been the recent trend of the activist judges to interpret the Establishment Clause as guaranteeing freedom from religion rather than freedom of reliogion; that is, the founders intended the Establishment Clause to protect religion from the influence of the government, not [if we consider the many religious declarations included on our monuments, state charters and other early American documents] to protect the government from the influence of religion. It has also been a recent trend for evolution enforcement organizations such as Americans United, the ACLU, the NCSE, and others, to use what amounts to legal extortion to preserve the exclusive, uncritical teaching of evolutionism in tax payer funded schools. That be as it may, Indiana SB 89 does not violate the Establishment Clause because it does not endorse or support any religion. Rather, it dares to include the consideration of other theories of origins as any valid scientist ought and does not exclude its chief origins science competitor.Regards,Rev Tony BreedenFounder, DefGen.org, CreationLetter.com & CreationSundays.com”