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Let us used researched-based policies, please.
I recently read a preacher claim that I’d know we were a Christian nation if only I read the right books. Selectively reading, I’m sure I could be convinced of anything. Perhaps we are, but claims require evidence.
I am disturbed by a trend among a vocal and powerful minority of Christians of ignoring evidence, distorting opposing opinions and attacking research. Living Waters Ministry recently published and freely distributes Darwin’s "The Origin of Species." They claim they want to present both sides of the evolution debate.
However, it is absent four crucial chapters. It has a different introduction, which follows a pattern: misrepresent a part of Darwin’s theory, state lack of evidence for the misrepresentation, conclude without evidence a creator explains the issue discussed, insult Darwin, repeat.
If one must misrepresent and insult one’s opponent to win, is one’s own belief valid? Even if evolution were proven wrong, that would not mean God exists, only that evolution is wrong. Why attack Darwin and his work this way?
To prove the earth is 6,000 years old, answers in Genesis simply ignore much information to the contrary and promotes several debunked theories. It sells DVDs.
I’ve heard Christians claim Darwin wasn’t convinced by his own theory and that scientists like Stephen Hawking believe in the necessity of a creator. Despite being untrue, this attempt by Christians to claim these men is flattering to science. Disturbingly, however, I heard one radio preacher claim that climatologists warning about global warming were pagan priests and listening to them was idol worship. How is listening to research and trying to be good stewards of the earth idol worship?
This disturbing trend to dismiss evidence has infiltrated government. Former Govs. Mike Huckabee of Arkansas and Frank Keating of Oklahoma declared war on divorce. Instead of investing in evidence-backed methods, they pushed unproven methods that sound good in Church. They relied upon marriage savers whose recommendations though religious in nature are not properly evidence based. The divorce rates actually went up.
Similarly, states that teach about condoms have lower teen pregnancy and STD rates than abstinence-only states. Teen pregnancy and divorce are costly to society. Why support these expensive and wasteful policies or the politicians proposing them?
Interestingly, while millions are being spent fighting gay marriage, divorce rates among evangelicals are higher than that of atheists. To protect marriage, is not an approach of love preferable to derision? Could that money have been better spent on marriage counseling programs within the church? Luke 6:42 and John 13:35 offer wisdom.
Many pundits claim a modern moral emergency and religion necessary for societal stability. This claim sells books. Is it true?
Among the industrialized nations the U.S. is the most churchgoing but has the highest STD, violent crime and teen pregnancy rates and imprisons the highest percentage of its own population. Surely religion doesn’t cause these problems. Perhaps the other nations are just using more research-based policies to deal with them.
Brandon Norman Givens