Dispatches from the Creation Wars

ID = Creationism in Michigan

In the event of a future lawsuit over ID here in MIchigan, this little item might come in handy. Try as they might, the ID crowd just can’t distance themselves from old-fashioned creationism. Here in Michigan, we have a state representative named Fulton Sheen (yes, the famous Bishop from television is his great uncle) and he is a big supporter of ID. The Okemos Christian Center, an openly reconstructionist church, recently sponsored and paid for an “educational luncheon” for which Sheen was the legislative sponsor. The event was held at the state capital building and featured Dr. Grady McMurtry as the speaker. Sheen’s announcement of the event says:

Rep. Fulton Sheen today announced he is the legislative sponsor for a luncheon at the Capitol that will feature Dr. Grady McMurtry, one of the leaders in the intelligent design movement.

Dr. McMurtry is in town at the invitation of the Okemos Christian Center and will give a brief lecture from noon to 1 p.m. this Monday, Oct. 17 in room 426 of the Capitol building. Capacity is limited to 75 people. The meeting is open to the public and is being paid for by the Okemos Christian Center.

“No matter what your beliefs about creationism or intelligent design this is an event you should attend,” said Sheen, R-Plainwell. “Dr. McMurtry will present compelling findings that help clarify the nature of the debate.”

The lecture will focus on the scientific discoveries in relation to the 1980 eruption of Mt. Saint Helen’s in Washington State.

And here is what the Okemos Christian Center had to say about it:

Representative Fulton J. Sheen, from Michigan’s 88th District, was the legislative sponsor for a educational luncheon at the Capitol presenting the case for Intelligent Design. Dr. Grady McMurtry gave a one hour lecture on proof for short time frames for the construction of the world based on the spectacular scientific data and evidence from the Mt. Saint Helen’s eruption. Okemos Christian Center coordinated the event and provided lunch to over 45 legislative aids.

Notice that while it’s allegedly about intelligent design, the actual subject is proof that the earth is young (the Mt. St Helen’s argument, while astonishingly idiotic, has long been trumpeted by young earthers as proof that the Grand Canyon could have formed in a short time after a catastrophic event; it was first argued by Steve Austin of the Institute for Creation Research). And who is this “renowned scientist/theologian”, Dr. McMurtry? Well, he’s the head of a young earth creationist organization called Creation Worldview Ministries. Here’s their description of themselves:


This is a missionary association taking the truths of biblical foundations to the Church, both domestic and foreign, and to the secular world. This is an evangelistic and discipling ministry seeking to bring salvation and maturity in Jesus Christ, by lifting Him up that He might draw all people unto Himself.


The purpose of this ministry is to provide biblical and scientific seminars in churches and public forums, i.e. universities, radio and TV broadcasts, etc.; to provide a resource center for information distribution, education, consulting, missionary evangelism and discipleship concerning the truths of biblical foundations, especially Biblical Scientific Creationism; to be a part of the revitalization of classical Christian intellectual activity for the preservation, promotion and propagation of a Christian Biblical World View.

So here we have another piece of evidence that, despite the protests of the Discovery Institute, when it comes to legislative activity there simply is no distinction between ID and old-fashioned creationism. The terms are interchangeable as far as the legislators are concerned, as long as they strike a blow against “atheistic evolution” and defend God Almighty. But remember, this has nothing to do with religion. This is purely scientific, and anyone who suggests that this is really about religion is engaging in ad hominem attacks, slander, and straw man attacks…all evidence to the contrary notwithstanding, of course.


  1. #1 Matthew
    November 25, 2005

    Well only the higher ups know that it’s not really about religion (wink wink). On the grassroots level they tell church groups that it’s about fighting atheism (which is a product of Satan, so you’re really fighting evil). To the courts and mainstream media they say it’s about science and academic freedom. The politicians and people who usually trigger the controversies are getting their information from the church organizations.

    It’s really just a propaganda problem. They spend 90% of their speeches to churches highlighting how this is god’s work, and only 10% saying “oh yeah, by the way, it’s also scientifically supported.”

  2. #2 spyder
    November 25, 2005

    “Representative Fulton J. Sheen, from Michigan’s 88th District, was the legislative sponsor for a educational luncheon at the Capitol presenting the case for Intelligent Design.”

    Did Sheen sponsor legislation out of this “luncheon?” I wonder if the IRS would consider this event directly lobbying of a legislator by a church???

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