Tuesday, December 03, 2002

Abba Dabba Honeymoon

No, we're not celebrating the nuptials of the monkey and the chimp -- although the Nitpicker does hope that they continue to spend their lives being happy and gay all day long -- but the marriage of creationism with a facade of science. Chris Mooney delivers an excellent article on The American Prospect Online today, which picks apart the plotting of the marketers of "Intelligent Design."

Now, this, to me, still sounds like the old argument of the found watch: You find a watch on the ground and pick it up and you have to believe that someone made it, right? True. But it's a watch. Any six-year-old can tell you that to argue that life is so complex that someone must have made it begs only one follow-up question: Who made that someone? That entity must be exponentially more complicated in both thought and being to have created us, so how could we believe that He "just happened." That's like saying that the pocketwatch you found was clearly designed by someone, but the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier in the distance (and all the planes onboard) were a lucky accident.

Look, people. I believe in God. I am a Catholic and believe everything you'll find in the Nicene Creed. The thing is, that seems to me to be just about all that you're required to believe. Nowhere in the Bible does it state that you have to take every portion of the Bible literally to achieve salvation. Christ lays down a pretty good road map for "the narrow way" and doesn't once say that you have to believe in the Book of Genesis. Yet, fundamentalists will tell you that, unless you believe the Bible wholesale and at face value, you're not a true Christian.

What's quite astonishing to me is that fundamentalists already know that the Bible isn't a literal text. Look at their other flirtation with (social) science, eschatology -- the study of the "End Times." (I argue here with the fundamentalist takeover of that study, not the study itself.) In any fundamentalist discussion of the apocalypse or, at least, the apocalyptic vision of St. John, you will find groups who are attempting to apply the images found in Revelations to today. They know that things can't possibly be exactly as foretold, that a beast is going to rise from the sea, and put 666 on all the bad people's foreheads. Look at all of the Left Behind books. Fundamentalists who believe they must take the Bible's creation story literally still believe that they must read Revelations figuratively.

(I won't even mention the philosophical backflips the fundamentalist millionaire Pat Robertson has to go through to explain what Christ really meant when he said that "it's easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God.")

I say it's all or nothing, Baby. If you can choose what you want to interpret, others should probably able to try to deal with other portions of the Bible as they see fit. As long as they're working (from whatever background they may come) toward Christ's narrow way, they should be considered just as Christian as you.

Remember, everyone, the words of James 4:12 (which should become as common for open-minded Christians as John 3:16): "There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy: who art thou that judgest another?"

Also, skipping Ariana Huffington's Salon column today would be a huge, huge mistake. In fact, it might be downright un-American. Update: Of course, I should have known that Molly would beat her to the punch.

Also, via Atrios, the "Christian Right" is griping about Bush calling Islam a religion of peace. "Kenneth Adelman, a former Reagan official who serves on the Bush Pentagon's Defense Policy Board," said "'The more you examine the religion, the more militaristic it seems. After all, its founder, Mohammed, was a warrior, not a peace advocate like Jesus.'" He's right that Mohammed was a warrior, but (violence-wise) he's nothing compared to Moses, as I pointed out here.


Post a Comment

<< Home