Anglicans Promote Atheism

The Church of England is apologising to Charles Darwin. Given that Mr Darwin is dead, this seems rather pointless. But then the Anglicans have never been put off by pointlessness. It rather typifies much of the Church of England. According to The Daily Telegraph:

“The statement will read: Charles Darwin: 200 years from your birth, the Church of England owes you an apology for misunderstanding you and, by getting our first reaction wrong, encouraging others to misunderstand you still. We try to practise the old virtues of ‘faith seeking understanding’ and hope that makes some amends.”

Not only are they apologising to him, they are trying to make it up to him. Part of the way they are doing that is by creating (if I can use that term) a section dedicated to him on their website. Or perhaps the website just evolved that way.

The Telegraph further notes, “The bold move is certain to dismay sections of the Church that believe in creationism and regard Darwin’s views as directly opposed to traditional Christian teaching.” I’m sure those sections of the Church of England that believe in creationism have already used up their dismay on the all of the other moves that have been directly opposed to traditional Christian teaching. They have approved bishopettes to go with their priestesses.  Abortion is a necessary bad but according to the General Synod there are “conditions under which it may be morally preferable to any available alternative.” So is it really that big a jump to promoting atheism?

I hope Mr Darwin, wherever he may be, feels vindicated.

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Palin’s Creationism Hurts Obama’s Chances

So it’s not bad enough that Sarah Palin is pro-life, she is a creationist? She may even support the teaching of Intelligent Design. The liberal blogosphere is in a tizzy. How could such a person be running for Vice President?

They somehow think this is going to be a negative. In all of their haughtiness, they forget that most Americans are creationists. According the a 2005 CBS poll, only 15% of respondents believe humans evolved without God being involved. 51% said God created humans in their present form. For creationists and other ID proponents, Palin’s views only confirm her credentials.

Despite the hopes of the shrieking Left, Palin’s views will not drive any voters away.

The issues was made directly relevant to voter preferences by a CBS poll in the aftermath of the 2004 election. It found that 47% of Kerry voters believe that God created humans in their present form. Another 28% of Kerry voters believed in God-guided evolution. 56% of Kerry voters wanted Creationism and evolution taught in schools.  24% of Kerry voters wanted Creationism taught instead of evolution.

Clearly if Obama is going to be more successful than Kerry and actually win, he will need the support of creationists and ID proponents. I am very happy for his supporters in the blogosphere (or anywhere else for that matter) to continue mocking them and deriding them. Alienate them – please.  It just further demonstrates that Obama’s beliefs and values are not those of middle America.

Searching for Mike

Once again I have been getting lots of traffic from various Mike Huckabee searches. It is interesting to see the sort of searches that bring people to my blog. So far today it has included “huckbee + gay rights”, “Mike Huckabee theocrat”, “huckabee theocrat”, “Michael huckabee”, “mike huckbee evolution”, and “mike huckbee immigration”.

Seems a lot of folks are worried about Mike, afraid he is going to persecute gays, ban the teaching of evolution, and do all sort of other dastardly theocratic things. Of course he’s never suggested these things.

The closest thing might be when in 1992 he suggested that those with AIDS should be quarrantined. Since AIDS was generally associated with the gay community due to the nature of the transmission of the disease, particularly in the early days, I suppose this could be considered a persecution of gays.

Most Americans don’t believe in evolution, so like the majority of the electorate, Mike Huckabee is a creationist. Of course the liberal elite (even those who call themselves Fiscal Conservatives) can’t imagine that someone who holds high political office actually holds the same views as the unwashed masses. This is really why they can’t stand Mike. Politicians all talk about being public servants – but they don’t really mean it.

The only weakness I see is the immigration issue. There seem to be an awful lot of people for whom immigration is a very hot button issue. Mike is trying very hard to be anti-immigrant as possible, while still obeying the directive to love his neighbour as himself. It is certainly a hard row to hoe. If he shows a Christ-like attitude toward immigrants it could cost him the votes of many of his natural constituents who are anti-abortion, favour the traditional family, and don’t believe in evolution.

Frying Man!

The first series (season) of Heroes just finished on BBC2. Except for the finale, we have watched every episode twice, since it was shown on BBC3 the week before it was shown on BBC2. The writing and the acting has been brilliant. I know that the show is already to the 10th episode of the second season in the States, but I’ve avoided any spoilers, so don’t give anything away in the comments.

Science fiction is great. You can imagine what the world would be like if there was such a thing as evolution.

Who Instead of How

Mike’s got ’em worried. One of the searches that turned up my blog for someone was “huckabee (theocrat OR theocracy OR theoc. . . ” – it cuts off after 40 characters. After all, nobody wants a theocrat, unless he worships their theos. Everybody has one, even if they think they are a-theos. They are usually autotheist.

As a former Baptist pastor, it’s not surprising that Huckabee’s view of evolution is of interest to that handful of Americans who find it a convincing theory. I’m usually not one to embed YouTube videos, but I’ve added this one:

The Matter of Belief

The results of the latest Harris Poll on The Religious and Other Beliefs of Americans has been released. Bearing in mind the margins of error (a term which Harris doesn’t like), belief is up generally over 2005. This includes belief in the Deity of Jesus (72%), the Virgin Birth (60%), the Resurrection (70%), miracles (79%), angels (74%), heaven (75%) and hell (62%).

The British press were quick to express their incredulity that more Americans believe in the Devil (62%) than believe in Darwinism (42%). I don’t know why they seem so surprised. Every poll that has ever been taken shows the same thing. But the blinders of materialism are fixed firmly to the British mind. Seeing is believing. If God hasn’t conformed to a personal list of criteria, then He can’t possibly exist. A recent MORI polls indicated that 40% of British teenagers do not believe in God at all. From my own experience, I think the number is higher.

Reuters noted the Harris Poll “is the latest survey to highlight America’s deep level of religiosity, a cultural trait that sets it apart from much of the developed world.” In other words, enlightened Europeans know better. Americans are backward.

But looking at the Harris poll itself, there were a few surprises for me. I did not realise that Christians are either Catholic, Protestant, or Born-Again. These are the Harris categories of respondents. I’m guessing the latter two categories mean liberal Protestants and evangelical Protestants.

It would appear that 97% of evangelicals believe in God. This is very interesting, because I’ve never met a person who considers themselves “born-again” who doesn’t believe in God. How does that work exactly? Only 96% believe that Jesus is God or the Son of God. Once again, I’m not sure what to make of the other 4%. This drops to 89% of evangelicals who believe in the Virgin Birth.

There was also some indication of the ignorance of some American Christians about their own faith. Only 88% of evangelicals thought that all or most of the Old Testament is the Word of God. However, only 33% thought the Torah is the Word of God, even though the Jewish Torah is the first five books of the Old Testament. At the same time, 9% thought most or all of the Qur’an (or “Koran” as spelled by Harris) is the Word of God.  This is a higher percentage than amongst Catholics and liberal Protestants.

Revisionism

There hardly so popular an option in GCSE history than the American modules, especially the 20th century ones. Many more British high school students learn about American history than American students learn about British history, or at least British history after 1783.

I have looked through at least three British GCSE textbooks covering the early 20th century. It appears to me that in every instance, the goal it to teach students anti-American history. The worst Americans are, of course, Southerners. After all, Northerners may have unjustly executed Sacco and Vanzetti, but all Southern whites were members of the KKK and they went around lynching all the blacks. American history, British style, would be very comfortable with the James Loewen view that especially in the South it is really all about racism.

But what really got me was trying to teach about the Scopes Trial. All Southerners went to church all the time and didn’t believe in evolution. Can you believe it?

So I just told them that most Americans at the time went to church and didn’t believe in evolution. What’s more, I showed them the 2005 CBS poll indicating that most Americans today don’t believe in evolution. It is too advanced and not in the curriculum to deal with historical revisionism. They can’t grasp that the British view of the Scopes Trial in 2007 is not the American view, especially not in 1925.

They see Clarence Darrow demolishing William Jennings Bryan with his interrogation. They don’t see that Bryan didn’t get to cross-examine Darrow, since the court stopped with Darrow’s questions and struck them from the record, ruling them irrelevant. When Bryan’s questions with Darrow’s answers were published in newspapers the day after the trial, even the New York Times wasn’t impressed that all Darrow could say was, “I don’t know.”

The textbooks even mischaracterise the end of the trial. They note that the Tennessee Supreme Court reversed Scopes conviction. What they don’t say is that the conviction was overturned on a technicality, because the judge imposed a $100 fine and under Tennessee law at the time any fine in excess of $50 had to be imposed by the jury. The Court upheld the enforcement of the Butler Act. As the Court said, “Those in charge of the educational affairs of the State are men and women of discernment and culture.”

This is not the view that the those in charge of the educational affairs of this nation want students to have of the people of Tennessee or the American South.