Dispatches from the Creation Wars

I used a quote from this article at the Worldnutdaily for the dumbass quote of the week on my radio show Thursday, but the whole article is amusing. Since this year is the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin and the 500th anniversary of the birth of John Calvin, a bunch of Calvinists have decided to reenact something that was never actual enacted: A debate between the two long-dead men.

Here’s the part that provoked laughter for me:

“The major media is having a field day extolling Charles Darwin’s ‘virtues’ during this 200th anniversary year of his birth,” Philips said. “And it’s high time that the Father of the Modern Theory of Evolution be given a firm counterpunch by the Father of Modern Liberty, John Calvin, whose 500th birthday is also being celebrated this year.”

Calvin, Philips said, sometimes is called the true founding father of America, even though the nation arose hundreds of years after his death, because of his dedication to the doctrines of liberty, governance and the proper response to tyrannical authority.

I love that. Calvin “sometimes is called the true founding father of America.” Who sometimes calls him that? The utterly delusional, of course. Compare the promise of religious freedom found in our Bill of Rights with Calvin’s declaration that if Michael Servetus, who rejected the trinity, were to come to Geneva, “I shall never let him go out alive if my authority has weight.” And indeed, Servetus was burned at the stake. Free societies do not burn people at the stake for heresy.

And would you like to see what one of our real founding fathers thought of Calvin? Read this letter from Thomas Jefferson to John Adams on the subject of Calvin, a man that Jefferson absolutely loathed and despised. It includes such vitriol as this:

I can never join Calvin in addressing his god. He was indeed an Atheist, which I can never be; or rather his religion was Daemonism. If ever man worshipped a false god, he did. The being described in his 5. points is not the God whom you and I acknolege and adore, the Creator and benevolent governor of the world; but a daemon of malignant spirit. It would be more pardonable to believe in no god at all, than to blaspheme him by the atrocious attributes of Calvin. Indeed I think that every Christian sect gives a great handle to Atheism by their general dogma that, without a revelation, there would not be sufficient proof of the being of a god. Now one sixth of mankind only are supposed to be Christians: the other five sixths then, who do not believe in the Jewish and Christian revelation, are without a knolege of the existence of a god!