Friday, July 30, 2010

Stand Up?

Okay, so I know I just recently said that I wasn't into calling people out, but I recently read an article that seriously raised my ire and I'm going to "call out" my Young Earth Creationist friends to take a stand against this kind of rhetoric.

Yesterday, Ken Ham, president of Answers in Genesis and co-founder of the Creation Museum wrote a response to a USA Today article featuring my favorite blogger (and friend in the virtual village), Rachel Held Evans. The USA Today article was a response to Al Mohler's recent statements criticizing BioLogos. (Yeah, lots of links there, but reading them will give you some background and will help this make a little more sense.)

In the USA Today article, Evans says, "My generation is ready to call a truce on the culture wars. It seems like our parents, our pastors, and the media won't let us do that. We are ready to be done with the whole creation-evolution debate. We are ready to move on."

Great thoughts, right? An opportunity for us to relate as people. A chance to see where we're the same. Yeah, the debate will still exist, but maybe we'll agree to disagree a little more easily and be less likely to throw people under the bus for believing something different from us.

But no. Right there, just as predicted in the comment he's refuting (!!!!), Ken Ham is ready to rally the troops in the culture war.

He writes, "Well, Rachel, I have news for you. Your generation is not ready to call a truce in this battle in the culture wars; in fact, we are finding more and more people are getting enthusiastically involved in fighting the culture war by standing uncompromisingly and unashamedly on God's authoritative Word."

And yet again, we've got people's faith tied to belief in a 6000 year old earth.

I'm seriously sick of this.

I'm not sick of the discussion. I totally disagree with my young earth creationist friends, but belief is a personal thing and I'm only interested in discussing it when it directly affects my family (in other words, if you want it taught in a science class, I think we need to talk).

But I'm seriously sick of people like Ham making this the defining issue for who is and isn't a "real Christian." This is not new (it's a part of the Answers in Genesis's crazy-making statement of faith -- I say that because I don't see how you can say point one and then follow it with point two), but it's very personal to me. I've seen the fruits of the science vs. religion debate in my own home and honey, it was not good news for religion on that one. When faced with an either/or decision (believe in a literal 6-day creation 6000 years ago or you can't believe in any of it), my husband chose the "or" option. This isn't simply a theoretical discussion for me, it has very real consequences.

So today, I'm speaking to my YEC friends. Most (all?) of you have said that you don't hold to the idea that belief in young earth creationism is necessary to be a Christian and that Ken Ham (and those like him) doesn't speak for you. So please, I'm asking you, don't support Ken Ham. Don't go to his museum. Don't support Answers in Genesis. Don't support others who give this same message. Speak out when this kind of stuff is highlighted. Don't give your tacit support through silence or your explicit support by visiting someplace like the Creation Museum.

Ken Ham has a reason to continue this culture war. It makes him money. He can sell tickets to the museum. He can sell books and videos. He makes money from events that teach evangelicals how to beat the "evolutionists." I don't believe that money is his sole motivation, but he definitely has a vested interest in keeping the controversy alive.

Please, don't let him. I'm the "enemy" here, so my voice doesn't really matter. But you who share his belief in a literal Genesis 1, your voices DO matter. You can join Rachel and say, "No, we won't engage. We won't support your divisive way." You can do it with a letter and you can do it with your cash.

We don't have to agree. But we also don't have to be at war.

Do you think that the culture wars are winding down? Should they be winding down? Where is an area where  your sincerity as a Christian has been questioned? How did that make you feel? 


ETA: I just saw this billboard posted over at Hemant Mehta's site. This is what your trip to the Creation Museum goes to support. Remember, I'm married to the guy who is supposed to be holding the gun.
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I'm a wife to an amazing man, and mom to four incredible kids. I'm a Christian woman who sometimes struggles with doubt. I'm a musician and a writer who is sometimes afraid to play and write. I'm trying to be more authentic every day.
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