I have just completed my semester-long course in the Bible as Literature – the New Testament. This was, of course, material I’d never read before so it was very exciting for me and as a consequence, I talked so much about it that my husband was about ten seconds from inventing the human mute button. But here’s something I’ve yet to talk about too much. Why is it that any Christian gives a shit about evolution being taught in public schools under the heading “science”?
I realize, of course, that many Christians do not give a shit, and in fact, the majority of people who fill in the bubble next to “Christian” on surveys and forms that still have the temerity to ask are not batshit crazy and do not wish to interfere with science curriculae. But the majority of people who do wish to interfere with science curriculae identify themselves not only as Christian, but as extremely Christian, as Evangelical or Fundamentalist Christian, or some other variety of Christian that in most cases boils down to “batshit crazy.” And why? Now I feel I know something about Christianity, I feel I can state, with some authority, that it should not matter to a person who believes in the ideals put forth by people like Paul whether science classrooms teach evolution or not, because to care about things like that is to belie the whole notion of faith. Faith is believing in something when there is no proof, when all provable evidence is either indifferent or against what you believe. So faith should pretty much roundly ignore science, no?
Paul writes all over his letters (or, for the more Biblically correct term, “epistles”) that faith in Jesus is all that’s important now. He even puts an interesting spin on the story of Abraham to prove that faith is the all-important thing. In it, he’s disproving the significance of the law, not of science, but it can be applied either way. Paul reasons that Abraham was deemed “righteous” because when God said to him, “Pack your bags, move to this unknown land, and you will be father to great nations,” Abraham said, “Sounds good to me,” even though there was no reason to believe that any of this would work out, since he had never heard of this place and he was already too old to think of fathering anything. So if Abraham is supposed to be your model, isn’t the exercise in faith in the word of Bible that much stronger in the face of some really serious scientific proof of evolution than it would be if there were no such proof? If it were still reasonable to believe that the world was created by God in six days, would it really be so faithful to do so?
Also, these guys tend to want their faith taught as science. That seems blasphemous to me. Why should God have to hold himself up to the standards of the scientific method? That is totally anti-thetical to the very concept of God.
Anyway, I was just wondering.