Dispatches from the Creation Wars

Evolution Sunday

Feb. 12, 2007 would be Charles Darwin’s 198th birthday (it would also be Abe Lincoln’s 198th birthday, coincidentally). On Feb. 11th, the organizers of the Clergy Letter Project, a pro-evolution campaign that now involves over 10,000 clergy in the United States, are sponsoring Evolution Sunday. On that Sunday, more than 400 churches in all 50 states will feature sermons and discussion groups in support of evolution. I think this is a very important project that has already done a great deal of good in helping educate the public on the subject.

Comments

  1. #1 DuWayne
    January 28, 2007

    While my church has very few, if any, YEC, I doubt we will be taking part in Evolution Sunday. So it goes. . .

  2. #2 Gretchen
    January 28, 2007

    It’s a great idea. I don’t got to church, but my family members go to three different churches so I’ve emailed to encourage their pastors to get in on this.

  3. #3 dogmeatIB
    January 28, 2007

    The 12th will also be my 39th birthday. Obviously a day of greatness.

    Darwin…
    Lincoln…
    Yours truly… ;o)

  4. #4 Prup aka Jim Benton
    January 28, 2007

    Tsk, tsk. What an appeaser. First you accept the help of scientists so muddled in their thinking as to be believers, and now you’re even supporting ministers!
    Shame on you! Isn’t the proper thing to do to picket them and tell them how evolution doesn’t need no help from the likes of them?

    (Sorry for the snark, obviously not aimed at you, but I’m haveing a VERY bad day and couldn’t resist blasting somebody, and there’s this VERY big target in the Far North)

  5. #5 MrsCogan
    January 28, 2007

    My church is doing it. Of course we’re an ultra liberal Unitarian Universalist congregation. I’ll be doing the sermon on Sunday “Why Darwin Matters” and we’ll be having a showing of “Inherit the Wind” on Monday with discussion after. If you are in central Oklahoma check out http://www.nuuf.org

    Appeasers . . . yeah, right. Hitler and Chamberlin didn’t have similar goals. Chamberlin didn’t want to colaborate with Hitler to invade Poland. Cheesh.

  6. #6 Keanus
    January 28, 2007

    After going over the list of churches participating, I’m very much surprised at how few UU are participating. My wife and I don’t attend church, ever, except for funerals and weddings, but within a half hour drive one can find five UU parishes and not a one is listed. And I know some members from a couple. I’ll have to ask them why. Of course, then in my area (Philadelphia and suburbs), only one or two churches are listed and none of any denomination in Philadelphia dispite its having several large UU parishes.

  7. #7 AndyS
    January 28, 2007

    I applaud the churches doing this but understand why their numbers are so relatively small. Would you have a Gravity Sunday which celebrates the understanding of gravity? Of course not. First you have to have some sense that the theory of gravity is under attack.

    In churches full of liberal, science-minded, spiritual people it’s kind of senseless to push evolution. What we are hoping for is in churches with a mixed congregation there will be an enlighted minister who decides to come down on the side of rationality. Now that is going to be rare. It means someone, the minister, is willing to put his or her job on the line.

  8. #8 William Brandes
    January 29, 2007

    Well, if your church or sympathetic organization/blogger is participating or is not participating but you have a website, you can spread the news of the Clergy Letter Project with a WEB banner. Go to ClergyLetterProject.Net for the particulars. William

  9. #9 Will
    January 29, 2007

    Tsk, tsk. What an appeaser. First you accept the help of scientists so muddled in their thinking as to be believers, and now you’re even supporting ministers!
    Shame on you! Isn’t the proper thing to do to picket them and tell them how evolution doesn’t need no help from the likes of them?

    (Sorry for the snark, obviously not aimed at you, but I’m haveing a VERY bad day and couldn’t resist blasting somebody, and there’s this VERY big target in the Far North)

    Head, meet desk.

  10. #10 MG
    January 29, 2007

    While I was perusing the churches signed up for this project, I couldn’t help but notice that very large proportion seem to have female ministers. I seriously doubt this is a mere coincidence, could we speculate that it is likely that female clergy are more progressive in this matter? Thanks ladies, keep up the good work.

  11. #11 Prup aka Jim Benton
    January 29, 2007

    Will (and everybody): Of course I consider this a wonderful idea, worthy of support by everyone with a Church connection. I should have said this along with my sarcastic reference to recent conflicts. (Maybe I’m just egotistical enough that I think my comments in this direction have been so frequent that it was unnecessary.)

    MG: I don’t think it is that female ministers are more progressive — though they frequently are. Rather it is that congregations willing to hire a female minister — despite the comments in various epistles against women preaching or being ‘in authority over men’ — are themselves sufficiently progressive that they will not revolt against a minister taking a pro-evolution position.

    (For more on the question of female ministers — concentrating on Southern Baptists — see
    http://www.talk2action.org/story/2007/1/19/124410/764
    and the articles referenced in it — which I would mention if I weren’t afraid of the spam filters giving Ed extra work.)

  12. #12 Will
    January 29, 2007

    Will (and everybody): Of course I consider this a wonderful idea, worthy of support by everyone with a Church connection. I should have said this along with my sarcastic reference to recent conflicts. (Maybe I’m just egotistical enough that I think my comments in this direction have been so frequent that it was unnecessary.)

    Yes, I realize what you were referring to, and that is why my head and my desk got intimately acquainted. This is the kind of drama-bomb comment I might expect on the other blog in question. It’s disappointing when people on this blog keep flogging this dead horse.

  13. #13 Ray S
    January 29, 2007

    AndyS says:

    I applaud the churches doing this but understand why their numbers are so relatively small. Would you have a Gravity Sunday which celebrates the understanding of gravity? Of course not. First you have to have some sense that the theory of gravity is under attack.

    Perhaps you overestimate our understanding of gravity. Personally I think the reason gravity isn’t under attack is that there’s nothing in our current understanding of gravity that threatens religious dogma.

  14. #14 DuWayne
    January 29, 2007

    MG -

    I seriously doubt this is a mere coincidence, could we speculate that it is likely that female clergy are more progressive in this matter?

    Have to second Prup’s response to that one. Believe me, I have seen too many female ministers to say that they tend to be more progressive than their male counterparts. If you can stomach it, I recommend listening to your local, Christian, radio station, the one that airs Focus on the Family. My local affiliate has three different woman preachers, who are every bit as obnoxious as “Dr.’s” Dobson and Kennedy.

    For that matter, my mothers pastor is along the same lines. While she takes Christ message of love and compassion towards sinners to heart, she preaches a very regressive message. I give her and my mother’s church kudos for loving the sinner, in spite of hating the sin. But the teaching of their church include wife submission, homosexuality as abomination, creationism (I believe YEC) and general anti-intellectualism.

    I would go as far as to say that a lot of woman preachers tend to be more regressive than their male counterparts. I think this is over-compensation, to prove that they are as qualified to preach “the word” as men are. . .

  15. #15 Jason I.
    January 29, 2007

    Ray said:

    Personally I think the reason gravity isn’t under attack is that there’s nothing in our current understanding of gravity that threatens religious dogma.

    Tsk, Ray. Haven’t you heard of Intelligent Falling?

  16. #16 MG
    January 29, 2007

    DuWayne & Jim
    After considering your thoughts, it does seem more probable that progressive churches might be more inclined to select a female minister who will represent the congregations other progressive ideas- as opposed to my original speculation that women were more likely to be progressive. Thanks for the feedback.

  17. #17 Jason I.
    January 29, 2007

    Theoretically (and generally in practice) I agree with both DuWayne and Jim. Anecdotally, however, I’m currently watching my mom’s church go through a very interesting transition. Her church is far from progressive, with the average age of the congregation being upwards of 50. They recently hired a new female pastor, and this is definitely one situation where the female pastor is much more progressive than the church.

  18. #18 Jason I.
    January 29, 2007

    Jonathan Wells has an article on Evolution Sunday over at Yale Daily News. It’s exactly what I would expect from him, big on ridiculous claims, misinformation, and bald-faced lies, and incredibly light on anything actually scientific or truthful.

    Churches shouldn’t buy into Darwinists’ ploy

  19. #19 daenku32
    February 18, 2007

    Look at that. Michael Westfall links to you Ed.
    http://www.postchronicle.com/religion/article_21264500.shtml

    Looks like its not just PZ that is giving ammunition to the creationists ;-)

    In reality the evolutionists behind Evolution Sunday recognize that they can’t get better spokesmen for their theories then credentialed clergymen. They have thrown out their bait, and these clergymen use their name, credentials and resources to support and push a theory and group whose soul purpose and goal is to contradict a central tenet to their own Christianity.

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