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August 09, 2010


Mike McVey

Just wanted to say thanks to you for all the recent posts. So, um... thanks.


Your metaphor is even funnier when you stand a vampire and a werewolf side by side and realize that one eats flesh and the other drinks blood; between them, they've got the whole eucharist covered.

I actually left the church mostly over the evolution/creation issue, though it was just as much the Rachel Evanses as the Ken Hams that I couldn't abide. My reasoning was along the Augustinian lines of "If you're going to take a stand for things that are demonstrably lies, or make your first priority to make peace with con artists and authoritarian psychotics, there's no reason to trust any other aspect of the institution either." (Leaving theism was a different reason and off topic in this post.)

But I agree that nearly everyone who leaves does so for reasons other than that, and I daresay that those who are less infected with the privilege of the educated young are more likely to walk away because they're appalled at the institution's combination of willful ignorance of human experience and depraved indifference to human suffering.

And just to be clear, I don't begrudge Ms. Evans her stand on principle, and wish her well, and hope she gets somewhere--but when the voice of reform is crying "Hey, maybe we should stop lying, or at least stop being cruel to one another because some people don't want to believe lies," it's long past time for a renaissance--rebirth implying, of course, the death of the institution.

Matt Mikalatos

I have never understood why the evolution question is "the" question in many churches (I understand the historical reasons for it, but not the continuing emphasis on it). I've always found it ironic that the darling of evangelicalism, Mr. C.S. Lewis was himself an evolutionist (and it would be a stretch to label him an evangelical by most definitions, anyway). I can't tell you how many "evangelism" classes I've sat through where someone was trying to explain how to prove evolution false. It's an odd thing to prioritize and you can tease it out pretty easily by asking an evangelical "Would you rather have someone be a Christian evolutionist or a non-Christian creationist?" When it's couched like that they can often see the ludicrous nature of what they're doing (once they get over the shocking revelation that you can be a creationist and be, say, Buddhist rather than Christian).

Also, let's be honest... if the church was able to provide velociraptor rides, every single one of us would be waiting in line on Sunday morning.


Matt, my guess is that evo/cre is so popular because it serves as a good fulcrum for authoritarians to exert themselves within the evangelical bubble. Two observations:

1) Notice that Ken Ham's argument isn't that a reasonable review of the evidence clearly shows that his view of 6-day creation is the most likely. It's an appeal to the omnipotent authority of his god, the Bible.

2) Part of the authoritarian personality needs to distinguish Us from Them (i.e. followers of the Authority from non-followers) in a conspicuous way. You can sort of do that inside the Christian social bubble, but because outsiders aren't around much, the Thems aren't as omnipresent as (for instance) non-Americans are for worshippers of U.S. military power. Being able to live safely within the bubble yet still point out the evils of pretend-Christians who dare to disagree with 6-day creationism is a huge boost to authoritarians who have a compelling need to have someone tell them how to prioritize their lives.

That's my guess, anyway. It surely isn't an issue for PR or marketing reasons.

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