As regular readers know, I’ve often been inspired by my favorite Bookworm. If Bookworm Room is not on your daily “to read” list, you’re missing insightful, uplifting writing. In a recent article, she explored here own journey regarding science and faith, beginning with an illuminating section on Charles Darwin, which I commend to you. Bookworm is a recovering progressive, writing from behind enemy lines—California.
I’ve since changed my views. A lot.
What was fascinating to me now that I’m more open-minded about faith was what the Christians interviewed said. Sure, some of it was ‘Because the Bible tells me so,’ a reductive response that’s more than enough to earn sneers from the Evolution crowd. Mostly, though, these Christians talked about important non-tangible things, although they phrased them in ‘godly’ terms offensive to the Darwin crowd. They said that we are better than animals; we are not random events; morality is predicated upon our unique status and relationship with God; God’s love is a bulwark against the ugliness of life, making us feel we are worthy and worthwhile; and, most importantly because it explains their push back against evolution, without Genesis there is no God and without God there is only a frightening black hole of amoral nihilism.
In making her points, Bookworm does not encompass the whole of faith, which is not an intentional slight, but merely focused writing.
Regarding the point about feeling worthwhile, I actually blogged about it some time ago when a friend’s daughter explained how her realization that God loved her saved her from a horrible spiral of damaging behaviors based upon a feeling of worthlessness. [skip] As for faith being a bulwark against the ugliness of life, I’ve noted here before that Dennis Prager says part of his faith is because, without a belief in a just God, one who will invariably dispense justice even if we cannot see it being done, he would be driven insane by man’s periodic cruelty.
In other words, Creationists aren’t being mindlessly, blindly faithful to the Bible. They believe that God — and their relationship with God — gives meaning to their lives and structure to the world. Theirs is a deeply considered faith that pushes back against the factual and emotional anarchy of ‘pure reason.’ Rather than saying these people are stupid, one could just as easily say that they’re very wise.
Those secure in their faith are not so because of simple mindedness. They have, through experience and study, and often the inspiration of God, made a considered choice. It does not make them perfect or incapable of error and sin—none are—but it sets them on the path of sincerity, kindness and reason. They understand there are some things that cannot be proved by man. They understand that God asks of us faith, and for that faith, there are inestimable benefits, not only personally, but for one’s family and society.
By the way, a bit of a digression here: The Leftist attack that Creationists are anti-science is unfair. Yes, a small percentage of Creationists will also deny science in other aspects of their lives. They’re the ones who end up in the newspapers because they let their children die from appendicitis or from some other ailment that modern science can correct. However, most Creationists happily embrace the benefits of modern science.
It may be worthwhile to note that the people about who Bookworm speaks tend not to hold creationism as their primary doctrine, and are very much outside the mainstream of Christianity. A 2017 Gallup survey found that only 38% of people—the lowest number ever measured–“believe” in Creationism, but the definition used was that God created man in his present form. With surveys, results are very much dependent upon terms, inferences and assumptions.
This is further diluted when one understands that Christians hold, with various degrees of literalism, that God created Adam and Eve, which does not mean they discard science, even necessarily evolution. That sort of certainty is for the left, who eat their own if they express the slightest doubt about leftist orthodoxy. For Christians, life and faith are an intertwined journey, with room for epiphany and reflection while essential faith remains. Questions and doubts are cause for study and thought, not condemnation and hatred.
Indeed, for some religious people, modern science is a pathway back to God. At the end of the day, they know that science can answer many questions, but not the ultimate ones. That’s why it’s only Leftists who are stunned to learn that one of the foremost scientists involved in unraveling the mysteries of the human genome saw science lead him to God not away.
All but a handful of Christian sects see no conflict between science and faith. Each has its place; each has its domain. It is only the bigoted that cannot reconcile the two, as Bookworm explains:
The reality is that the only science most Creationists deny is evolution — which, while a big belief in modern science, is not at all connected to modern scientific work in medicine, pharmacy, chemistry, etc. Thus, their Creationism has no effect on the scientific trajectory of the modern world. The Left focuses on Creationism only as an easy tool by which to ridicule and destroy religion entirely.
The focus on Creationism also allows the Left to ignore that some of today’s loopiest, least scientific thinking comes from Lefties who totally buy into evolution. These are the people who refuse to vaccinate their children; drink (and feed to their children) dangerously unpasteurized dairy products because they think they’re healthier; believe in crystals and other New Age healing; and have given themselves entirely over to the Church of Climate Change notwithstanding the fact that actual data gives the lie to all the computer modeling predictions. Given the nonsensical thinking that dominates so much Leftist discourse, it’s risible that Lefties still award to themselves the labels of ‘scientific’ and ‘reality based.’ (I blogged more about that here, if you’re interested.)
The Left is indeed “science-based,” but only so long as that science entirely supports their political positions. If it doesn’t, compliant “scientists” will produce some that does. As I’ve often written, their policies are, because they are formulated and espoused by the moral and intellectual elite, infallible and non-falsifiable. There is no circumstance in which they can be found to be wrong. Thus is every provably true finding that debunks global warming hysteria ignored. One can reasonably argue the left’s faith is their belief in their own infallibility.
Make a wrong turn in the Leftist rule-based world and there’s no getting back. You are forever lost and will be forever punished and, possibly, destroyed. Violate one of the prevailing shibboleths and there’s no road back. Even Mao-style re-education will not restore you to full status. At best, it will spare you execution and torture.
Recall, gentle readers, the plight of Juan Williams. In 2010, he was in the employ of National Public Radio, until he committed blasphemy on the Fox New Channel:
Williams responded: ‘Look, Bill, I’m not a bigot. You know the kind of books I’ve written about the civil rights movement in this country. But when I get on the plane, I got to tell you, if I see people who are in Muslim garb and I think, you know, they are identifying themselves first and foremost as Muslims, I get worried. I get nervous.
Despite many years of faithful service, NPR immediately fired Williams, who was soon employed by the evil Fox News, many of whose personalities are Christian.
Both halves of the Judeo-Christian tradition (the Jewish and the Christian) had growing pains during which the faithful exhibited behavior entirely inconsistent with, even hostile to, God’s commandments and Jesus’s teachings. Nevertheless, in the early 21st century, most practitioners of those two faiths have found their way back to the central components, which demand moral behavior and humane treatment of our fellow man, especially those of our fellows who have fallen but are seeking their way back. The same is true for Americans who fell short of the commitments to individual equality and liberty, as set out in the Declaration and Constitution, and who painfully worked their way back, through a bloody civil war and the hard work of the early Civil Rights movement (before the latter became a Leftist vehicle for perpetual political power).
It is one of the greatest political ironies that it was Democrats that fought civil rights for blacks tooth and nail, and through lies and manipulation, now position themselves as champions of civil rights. It’s equally ironic that it took Donald Trump, who Democrats decry as a Hitlerian racist, to encourage black people to #walk away.
Other religions, including Leftism, lack the safe havens inherent in the Judeo-Christian tradition. Danny Lemieux, a faithful and brilliant friend to this blog, first alerted me a long time ago to the fact that indigenous Americans often did not fight the Spanish and French priests who sought to convert them to Christianity. Those who were the victims of human sacrifice and torture at the hands of stronger tribes (or stronger people within their own tribes) were grateful for a religion that was based upon love and that disavowed human sacrifice. They finally had a belief system that allowed them to turn their backs upon the unbelievable cruelty and violence that was a daily reality in Stone Age tribes across the world.
I’m wandering, so I’ll try to wrap it up here: Our Judeo-Christian faith, including the Creation story in the Bible, is neither rational or scientific. It doesn’t need to be, though. What’s important is that it is a belief system that elevates humankind, allowing people the mercy of remorse, repentance, and redemption. Those virtues — and they are virtues — are utterly lacking in both raw Nature and in those faiths that are based solely in Nature, whether we’re talking about stone-aged animism or modern, Darwinist Leftism. There, capricious rules (or gods), especially when combined with actual or social Darwinism, create a world in which if you’re down, you’re dead.
I would quibble with Bookworm only in the assertion that faith is not rational. It is a very real expression of rationality to recognize there is One greater than oneself, a Creator to whom we owe everything, but who is rational and just, and who so well understands His creation that He has endowed us with free will. We can choose to acknowledge or reject Him.
To follow His commandments, to live as He would have us live secures the promise of everlasting life. In that life-long process, as Bookworm notes, we live a life in the pursuit of love, love of our neighbors and of mankind. Above all, Christians believe in the sanctity and worth of every individual human life, just as God does.
This is a great failing of leftism. They profess to love mankind, but hate and work against large portions of it. What passes for their love is reserved for currently favored victim groups and those that fervently support them. All others need not apply. As the party of big government, they have no conscience. They care nothing for individuals, whose worth is measured only in their current utility to the state in the pursuit of leftist goals.
Reject leftism, and one will be punished to the limits of the perverse imaginations and hatreds of leftists in this fallen world. Reject God—which I would argue is an irrational choice—and one’s punishment may be rather more final—and eternal. The difference is, God gives second chances, and so do most Christians.
Forgiveness and redemption may be had short of heaven, but not in the precincts of the left.