Sunday, February 15, 2009

Resistance to Darwin

I got back yesterday from a three-day stay in a hospital. Forced physical inactivity fertilizes my mind, so I’m full of ideas. But first I invite you to my opinion piece published yesterday: New economic thinking
“I hope we don’t restore our economy to the way it was. . . . By next Christmas I want, not an uptick in retail sales, but a wiser and more sober population of Americans.”

NPR featured Darwin in a thoughtful series celebrating his 200th birthday. One story told of a student who stormed out of a biology lesson, saying bitterly, “I am not kin to a monkey.” Darwin displaced humans as the pinnacle of creation, our God-image not the one true one. This was a blow similar to Copernicus’ blow in displacing the earth as the center of the universe.

It’s humbling to be put in place alongside others of our kind. The same bitterness infects Christians upon learning that our religion is not the pinnacle of religions.

Today most well-educated Christians have no problem with evolution, seeing it as simply the way that God creates. As other religions invade our world, I’m confident that common sense will nudge Christians to accept their humble place alongside other religions. In God Is Not Three Guys in the Sky I offer ways to cherish our traditions and language while realistically accepting our place among religions.

In a future post I plan to respond to Krista Tippett’s Speaking of Faith gift to us on this Sunday. “Obama’s Theologian” is a discussion by David Brooks and E.J. Dionne on the Protestant theologian Reinhold Niebuhr, widely respected for merging faith with politics to address American power in the world. Obama's theologian
One pleasant effect of their discussion was their reminder of why we expect so much from Obama—his intellectual gifts, in sharp contrast to the former occupant.

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