The Hidden Purpose Behind Atheist Michael Zimmerman’s Pro-Evolution Clergy Letter
The pro-evolution Clergy Letter Project boasts the signatures of over 12,400 ministers who affirm that evolution is true while the 1st eleven chapters of Genesis are “teaching stories” that are not historically true yet convey meaning, rather like Aesop’s fables. These ministers have compromised the clear teaching of the Word of God in favor of the fallible word of men in lab coats who weren’t there, don’t know everything and, sadly, have a statistical tendency to be anyagonistic toward God and supernatural rvelation. They have made this compromise of their own free will and, in doing so, they will answer at the judgment Seat of Christ for surrendering the authority of the revealed Word of a perfect God, thereby casting a stumbling block in front of our little ones [who statistically reject religious truth wholesale when they’re taught evolution and millions of years as scientific fact].
But what of the founder of the Clergy Letter? What are his motives? What does he believe and what does that say about the pro-evolution, anti-revelation Letter they’ve signed their names to? In short, why did he create the Letter to begin with?
If you ask Zimmerman why he created the Clergy Letter Project, he’ll tell you that he was watching Nightline one evening and saw some fundamentalist preachers saying that you had to choose between evolution and religion. And as he said in an interview with Jeff Nall for HumanistNetworkNews.org [Jan 3, 2007]:
“When the American public is forced to believe or forced to choose between science and religion, theyre going to choose religion every time. ” [emphasis mine]
The Clergy Letter Project began in 2004 as a reaction against the Grantsburg Wisconsin school board’s proposal that “all theories of origins” be taught in all schools districts. Thanks to Michael Zimmerman’s actions, which initially only garnered less than 200 signatures, Grantsburg settled for a proposal that science educators teach both evolution’s “strengths and weaknesses.” Zimmerman hailed it as a victory for science education.
By the end of 2005, he attracted a little over 10,000 clergy signatures affirming evolution as scientific fact and surrendering the Biblical Creation account, Adam & Eve and Noah and the Ark as mere Bible Stories that teach in the tradition of Aesop’s fables, but are not factual histories. Since 2006, he’s also promoted the celebration of Evolution Sundays by local congregations.
Speaking of the Clergy Letter, Zimmerman hopefully opined in an early article to the Beloit Daily News [Aug 23, 2005] , “Maybe it will put an end not to the controversy but to the belief that somebody’s religious rights are being impinged upon.”
Bam! That’s what the whole thing is about. An attempt to undercut the argument that by only teaching evolution in a rosy Pollyanna fashion while not mentioning alternatives specifically because they imply a supernatural Creator you’re effectively indoctrinating children in practical atheism. Public schools become little humanist factories. Zimmerman hopes to use this Letter to whitewash the issue. He wants us to suppose that public schools teaching evolution by purely natural processes without the need for a God will produce the sort of compromising convictions of the God-used-evolution crowd. It won’t. Because God isn’t even a part of that equation.
And people like Dr. Zimmerman aim to keep it that way. Through initiatives like the one in Grantsburg and websites like TeachThemScience.org, which is co-sponsored by the antireligious Center For Inquiry, he’s fighting to make sure that kids are indoctrinated in a one-sided rosy portrayal of evolution as uncontested scientific fact. P:oint in fact, TeachThem Science.org opposed the “strengths and weaknesses” wording that Zimmerman hailed as a victory way back in Grantsburg.
When you ask Dr. Michael Zimmerman what his personal beliefs are, you’re not likely to get a straight answer. Time and again, I’ve corresponded with Zimmerman and asked him directly, “What are your personal beliefs? Are you a Christian? Are you an atheist?”
Each time, he dissembled that it wasn’t about him. His refusal to give me a straight answer made me think the obvious: He’s got something to hide. Logically, admitting he was a Christian or even a religious adherent of another faith couldn’t really hurt him. Oh, we might accuse him of being a mainline liberal Christian, given his views, but we could accuse him of no more.
On the other hand, we reason, what would we say if he were not a Christian? what if he were what O’Leary over at Uncommon Descent calls “the condescending type”:
“the one who tells me that one can be a Darwinist and a Christian too. But, most of the time, he isn’t a Christian himself, though he is definitely a Darwinist. Oh yes, there are a few Christian poster boys, who don’t matter much in a group where 78% are pure naturalists.
Who on earth do these people think they are kidding? Of course you can’t be a Darwinist and a Christian, because Darwinism is about survival of the fittest and Christianity is not.”
In my most recent correspondence with Zimmerman, I again challenged him to tell me his religious beliefs:
“I think you’re just using these misguided, misinformed clergy for your own purposes, to undermine the Creationist position and, ultimately, Biblical authority.
I find it noteworthy that you’ve consistently dodged the question as to your own religious or lack thereof, dissembling that your beliefs aren’t important or that you haven’t tricked anyone into signing. I think that you know full well that your personal beliefs will cast doubt on your motives for promoting the view that evolution and religion are compatible. Since you’ve chosen to hide your religious profession, I suspect you do have something that you feel you need to hide, despite your excuses. Since you could obviously sweep all insinuations and accusations aside by simply professing your religion, it seems obvious that you are not an adherent of any established religion, that you are either agnostic or more likely an atheist. Despite your dissembling, I think you know full well what such an admission would do to your credulity.”
“You confuse me. My religious beliefs are actually quite well known and stories about them have been published. I don’t believe that I’m hiding anything. However, The Clergy Letter Project isn’t about one person – I have not created a cult! I have created an avenue for many, many thousands of clergy members to join together to express their shared views. When people like you want to turn the focus on me rather than the clergy who are the focus of our effort, I resist.”
I admit that I replied that I had asked other Creationist organizations about his beliefs, searched the Internet and even asked him directly several times to no avail. Apparently, I was being “resisted.” He doesn’t want this to be about him. [This at a time when he takes a shot at ex-Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum personally rather than addressing the larger issue of man-made gloabl warming.] He doesn’t want us thinking about his motives. Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain…
Then God whispered, “Look again.”
And I found what I had suspected all along. Here, in his own words to Jeff Naff for HumanistNetworkNews.org [Jan 3, 2007]:
“In fact, I am an atheist. And I’ve been one for 40-years… Personally, I have no religious faith. I can’t get my head around how people can believe in a deity.”
Now, think about it, guys. Here’s an atheist telling us that religion and evolution are perfectly compatible, but he hasn’t got any real stake in the religion side of the equation. If he can find people he can use to seemingly defuse the argument that teaching evolution in public schools impinges on somebody’s religious rights. He [and so-called science advocacy groups, aka evolution enforcement groups] can use it to try to convince judges, school boards and the public-at-large that there’s no real conflict between religion and evolution – it’s just a religious fringe element. You see, lots of Christians who don’t really believe their Bibles have no problem with evolution. It’s those few orthodox Bible-believing wingnuts who are making an issue of this thing.
Let me put it to you this way:
A guy who doesn’t believe in God, who can’t even get his head around how someone could, but believes in godless evolution, creates a movement to oppose all attempts to teach evolution critically and objectively or to even mention alternative theories, especially any that mention God as having a role [or even an existence]. Why is he recruiting people who believe in God again? As a means to an ends. Zimmerman [by way of Eugenie Scott] has figured out that one clergyman is worth two scientists at a school board meeting. And if he can get these patsies to help him promote evolution in an environment that excludes a combined discussion of evolution and religion to the exclusion of religion, he will succeed in maintaining a public education system that amounts to a taxpayer-funded atheist factory.
Don’t don’t buy the bull. Zimmerman’s not trying to elevate the conversation. He’s not trying to demonstrate that evolution and religion are compatible. He’s throwing up a smokescreen of compromisers to delude school boards into thinking that teaching evolution will not affect the religious adherence of the youth they’re teaching when it’s statistically demonstrable that kids who are taught evolution as scientific fact largely go on to reject religious truth wholesale.
His interest in religion is purely mercenary. A means to an ends.
Sure you can be religious and believe in evolution too! You can trust atheist Michael Zimmerman on this one!
Or you can be one of the growing number of Christians and clergymen who affirm the authority and historical veracity of the Word of God from the very first word by adding your signature to the Creation Letter here at CreationLetter.com, the Biblical Creationist response to Zimmerman’s pro-evolution Clergy Letter.
Make your stand for truth today!
-Rev Tony Breeden
DefendingGenesis.org & CreationLetter.com