Friday, January 3, 2014

Daily Beast on How Rejection or Acceptance of Evolution is a Rite of Passage for Most Evangelicals

An excellent article from a former Evangelical Christian, current science professor and full-time accommodationist, Karl W. Giberson,  was just published by The Daily Beast

The essence of the piece looks at the how those who reject evolution are in what best can be characterized as a circle-jerk of self-delusion. 

However, as the author points out, the main problem with this form of magical thinking approach to reality is that of those who hold Darwin's theory of natural selection as false, also hold incredible political power within the United States Congress, is areas of public life, and at some very expensive Evangelical colleges which suppress academic freedom for the sake of theology. 

On the brighter side, Giberson notes that younger Evangelicals who leave the faith for other religions or no religion, often site the conflict of having to choose reality or theology as black and white issues. 

Here is part of the article and the article's link:

"An alarming study by the Barna group looked at the mass exodus of 20-somethings from evangelicalism and discovered that one of the major sources of discontent was the perception that “Christianity was antagonistic to science.” Anti-evolution, and general suspicion of science, has become such a significant part of the evangelical identity that many people feel compelled to choose one or the other. Many of my most talented former students no longer attend any church, and some have completely abandoned their faith traditions."

So choosing the reality of evolution makes you a pariah. Choosing faith guarantees both your status in the Evangelical community but also infuses your thoughts with ignorance.

While understanding and accepting natural selection may seem like an easy choice for those of us who understand and accept science, it is clearly a tough road for many who want to break with religious tradition and faith but feel abandoned by such choice.

This certainly reminds me of the stories we've all read from the Clergy Project and from those who come out as non-believers after serving a lifetime as obedient messengers of faith (like friend Jerry DeWitt, et al).

On some level, we should feel bad for people who are knowingly stuck in delusion. But personally I feel a great emotional satisfaction when someone bravely leaves theology behind for reason. 

It is those budding non-believers, skeptics, humanists and atheists, who come from faith traditions or not, who deserve our respect and support.   

It is also our mission to to help those who remain "in the closet" about their skepticism that need our encouragement to feel free and safe to espouse their non-belief.  

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