If the first talking snake had kept shtum, we wouldn't be here. Eve wouldn't have eaten the forbidden fruit. But she listened and was curious. So she fell into humanity, thank God. Good old snake, say I. I celebrate its independence of mind. Satan? Neh, that's a later interpretation. The snake was part of the divine purpose. God allowed it into the garden, aware of its linguistic abilities. He knew what would happen. Jesus commended dove-like innocence. AND the wisdom ... of the snake.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Ten thousand + American clergy must be wrong, then

Americans who try to keep up with this issue will know, as few Brits will, about the Clergy Letter Project. It’s a simple declaration about the value of good science teaching, which clergy have been asked to endorse. 10,000 signatures, and counting, have been collected. The link is here but come on, you don’t always follow links, and this is important so here’s its substantive point:
We the undersigned, Christian clergy from many different traditions, believe that the timeless truths of the Bible and the discoveries of modern science may comfortably coexist. We believe that the theory of evolution is a foundational scientific truth, one that has stood up to rigorous scrutiny and upon which much of human knowledge and achievement rests. To reject this truth or to treat it as "one theory among others" is to deliberately embrace scientific ignorance and transmit such ignorance to our children. We believe that among God’s good gifts are human minds capable of critical thought and that the failure to fully employ this gift is a rejection of the will of our Creator. To argue that God’s loving plan of salvation for humanity precludes the full employment of the God-given faculty of reason is to attempt to limit God, an act of hubris. We urge school board members to preserve the integrity of the science curriculum by affirming the teaching of the theory of evolution as a core component of human knowledge. We ask that science remain science and that religion remain religion, two very different, but complementary, forms of truth.

Creationism sucks, then. It’s interesting to check the geographical spread of signatories too. 10,000 sounds quite a lot, but down in Mississippi there’s only 14 and in the city of Jackson just one: a Unitarian called Jacqueline Luck, who’s agreed to meet me in June. So why aren’t the rest of Jackson’s clergy on board? I think I can guess, but I will test my hypothesis in situ.

So far as creationist institutions are concerned, the clergy letter is just further proof that the Church has sold out to secularism. You don’t know whether to laugh, cry, throw rocks or throw up, but it really is an absurd and unnecessary situation. In Britain, please God, we’ll never need anything like the Clergy Letter. This simply isn’t an issue for us.


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