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Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Culture War Artifact #48,694,921: NY Times on Evolution Sunday

I love the New York Times if for nothing else, its entertainment value--even in the Age of Times $elect. I love the stark good vs. evil world it explicitly disdains but demonstratively exhibits. I love the celebration of style in the derivative editorials of Maureen Dowd. I love the Manhattanite instincts Frank Rich uses in his assessments of Middle America. I love the desperate longings for Democratic revival by Adam Nagourney. And basically, I love the art of turning an article into an editorial. Hence this "report" on Evolution Sunday. The article strings together the impressions of mainline Protestant liberal clergy, laypeople, and academics who all are on the same page (for irony or dissent, please look elsewhere). We learn things like:

1) "A faith that requires you to close your mind in order to believe is not much of a faith at all."

2) (Darwin) "forced religion to grow up, to become, really, faith for the first time"

3) "There was a growing need to demonstrate that the loud, shrill voices of fundamentalists claiming that Christians had to choose between modern science and religion were presenting a false dichotomy"

4) "Sermons like this are exactly the reason we came to this church"

5) "That's evolution, and evolution is a fact. To not acknowledge that is to not acknowledge the world around you."

There's also the requisite jab at ID, but let me close with this statement of unintended irony from the Clergy Letter Project:

We believe that among God's good gifts are human minds capable of critical thought and that the failure to fully employ this gift is a rejection of the will of our Creator.

Mmmm, critical thought indeed. Please note that I'm not even getting into the merits of evolution, intelligent design, creation, et al. My point is much smaller than exploring the long, complicated, surprising, contentious/harmonious relationship between faith and science. All I'm saying: This article probably should have been in advertising space, because it reads like a press release for Evolution Sunday (a-a-a-and sponsored by-y-y-y the Clergy Letter Project! Give it up for liberal Protestantism, y'all!). Ah, Gray Lady, you've once again tickled my funny bone. The Culture Wars roll on...

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