The great thing about getting older is you tend to say what is on your mind without worrying about what others think. So, here is a little of what is on my mind, or at least what is left of it.

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Location: California

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Episcopalian Bishop John Shelby Spong

Marion from Kansas writes:

"In my state the Board of Education threw out the teaching of evolution a few years ago. Upon election of moderate members, the Board brought it back again. Now conservatives are in the majority again and the whole issue of universe origin is being debated again. This time the issue of "intelligent design" is being brought in as needing to be taught. Is this just another way of bringing in conservative belief about instant creation?"

Dear Marion,
On one level it really doesn't matter what the Kansas Board of Education thinks, evolution is real and is not subject to majority vote any more than whether epilepsy is caused by demon possession. Yet it is embarrassing to live in a state where public ignorance can force people to deny reality. It will also ill-equip the children of Kansas to live in the modern world. Already American school children are far behind Asians in the field of science. The pursuit of knowledge should never be compromised to protect religious sensitivities. That is where religious tyranny begins. Intelligent Design is just one more smoke screen. The task of geologists and anthropologists is to study the sources of the life of this world. They should be free to follow wherever their scientific research carries them. If Christianity is threatened by truth, it is already too late to save it. Imagine worshiping a God so weak and incompetent that the Kansas School Board must defend this God from science and new learning. It is pitiful. The challenge of Darwinian thinking to traditional Christianity is deep and profound. That means that Christianity's survival depends on its being big enough to embrace a post-Darwinian world. If we cannot then Christianity will surely die. I do not believe that is the fate toward which Christianity is headed unless it becomes that petty, small-minded enterprise that must hide in ignorance and fear lest it be destroyed. I hope you and others will resist these tactics at the ballot box. If that fails then you have to assess whether or not you want your children to grow up in the environment that Kansas is creating. If not, you might consider moving. I for one hope you will stay and fight for ignorance will not prevail forever, even in Kansas.


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