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Are Evangelicals or University Professors More Irrational?
National Review ^ | 10-25-11 | Dennis Prager

Posted on 10/25/2011 4:25:57 AM PDT by afraidfortherepublic

Last week, the New York Times published an opinion piece by Karl W. Giberson and Randall J. Stephens — a physics professor and a history professor at Eastern Nazarene College — that takes evangelicals to task for being anti-intellectual, anti-reason, and anti-science. Their evidence:

Evangelicals doubt man-made global warming.

Evangelicals believe that gays can “pray away” their homosexuality.

Evangelicals believe the earth is only thousands of years old and that men lived alongside dinosaurs.

Evangelicals oppose same-sex marriage.

It is worth analyzing these charges, given how often they are made.

With regard to man-made global warming, the charge that all skeptics are anti-science is despicable and indeed, anti-science. The number of prominent scientists who dissent, including the scientist widely considered the dean of climate science in America, Richard Lindzen of MIT, is so long that there are entire websites that feature their names and credentials. You can find two of them here and here.

The authors of the Times op-ed piece, like virtually every other left-wing intellectual who comments on the subject, dismiss all skepticism regarding the Al Gore hypothesis that humanity is headed toward a worldwide apocalypse because of heat resulting from man-made carbon emissions. This is a reflection on these intellectuals’ politics, not on their commitment to science.

With regard to “praying away” homosexuality, if it is indeed the normative evangelical position that all homosexuals, with the right faith, can cease being sexually attracted to the same sex — that position is wrong. But to the best of my knowledge, that is not the normative evangelical position; Evangelicals no more believe that than they believe that prayer alone will end any undesired physical condition.

At the same time, the opposite position — the position of nearly the entire liberal intellectual world, that everyone’s sexual orientation is fixed — is also driven by ideology rather than by science. Society has a huge influence on how people act out their sexuality, including the sex with whom they choose to be sexual. Human sexuality — especially that of the human female — is far more elastic than the intellectual community admits. And the widespread liberal belief that, all things being equal, it makes no difference if a child is raised by a mother and father or by two fathers or two mothers is hardly rational. On the issue of homosexuality, the intellectual Left is just as driven by ideology as are evangelicals.

With regard to those evangelicals — and for that matter those ultra-orthodox Jews — who believe that the earth is less than 10,000 years old and either that there were no dinosaurs or that they lived alongside human beings, my reaction has always been: So what? I believe that the earth is many million years old, that “six days” is meant as six periods of time (the sun wasn’t even created until the Third Day, so how do you quantify a “day” before then?), and dinosaurs preexisted man by millions of years. But what real-life problem is caused by people who believe otherwise? Does it affect any of their important behaviors in life? Do they not take their children to doctors? Do they oppose medical research? Do they reject the discoveries of scientists that affect our lives? No. Not at all. Are there no evangelical or ultra-orthodox Jewish doctors? Of course there are, and apparently they are very comfortable learning and practicing science. Compared to the many irrational beliefs of secular-left intellectuals — good and evil exist even though there is no God, male and female are interchangeable, international institutions are the hope of mankind — evangelical irrational beliefs are utterly benign.

And as regards same-sex marriage, why is the normative Christian and Jewish belief that marriage should be between a man and a woman anti-science and anti-intellectual? What we have here is the usual left-wing tactic of smearing opponents. If you disagree with race-based affirmative action, you are a racist; disagree with the ever-expanding welfare state, you lack compassion; disagree with redefining marriage in the most radical way ever attempted in history, and you are a hater. No wonder the Left developed the foolish and destructive self-esteem movement — no one has anywhere near the self-esteem leftists have. They are certain that they are better human beings in every way than those who have the temerity to oppose them.

This Jew will take the evangelicals’ values and the evangelicals’ America over those of left-wing intellectuals any day of the year. If evangelicals come with some views I find irrational it is a tiny price to pay compared to the price humanity has paid for the Left’s consistently broken moral compass — about America; about Communism and Islamism; about the superiority of peace studies over waging war against evil; about America’s role in the world; about Israel; about the welfare state; about Fidel Castro, Hugo Chavez, and all the other left-wing dictators the Left has celebrated; about the belief that men and women are basically the same; about the greater worth of any animal than of the unborn human; and about nearly every other major moral issue.

If these professors typify the views of Eastern Nazarene College, which is officially listed as a Christian university, it is reason for despair. Once left-wing values enter the evangelical bloodstream, there is almost no hope for America.


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; Miscellaneous; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: asa; asavoices; biologos; education; evangelicals; gagdadbob; jews; karlgiberson; morality; onecosmosblog; prager; randallstephens; richblinne

1 posted on 10/25/2011 4:26:03 AM PDT by afraidfortherepublic
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To: afraidfortherepublic

Wonderful article. Ultra libs are so busy trying to discredit anyone who disagrees with them, that they simply cannot see the lack of logic in their own firmly held beliefs.


2 posted on 10/25/2011 4:35:10 AM PDT by midwyf (Wyoming Native. Environmentalism is a religion too.)
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To: afraidfortherepublic

Very nice arguments. Food for thought.


3 posted on 10/25/2011 4:36:27 AM PDT by Vanders9
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To: afraidfortherepublic
How's about an evangelical college professor???

Now THAT is the very definition of "off the deep end!"

It is also why the vast majority demand "RAPTURE NOW"!!

4 posted on 10/25/2011 4:37:35 AM PDT by Logic n' Reason (N/A)
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To: afraidfortherepublic

what is an evangelical?

What defines the term?

Methinks the definition by the old gray whore is too broad


5 posted on 10/25/2011 4:49:24 AM PDT by bert (K.E. N.P. +12 ..posted from the great river road)
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To: midwyf
“Ultra libs are so busy trying to discredit anyone who disagrees with them, that they simply cannot see the lack of logic in their own firmly held beliefs.”

Agree. The left often chides people for their ‘primitive dogma’, but are often much more dogmatic than those they criticize. From a purely objectivist, scientific perspective, the belief that there is no ‘reason’ for existence and that everything just ‘happened’ is much more dogmatic and primitive than the belief that there is a reason the universe, and we who live in it, exist.

6 posted on 10/25/2011 4:54:34 AM PDT by pieceofthepuzzle
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To: afraidfortherepublic

That is an absolutely awesome article. Thanks for posting!


7 posted on 10/25/2011 5:24:14 AM PDT by sand lake bar (The Ox-bow Incident is one of my favorite movies.)
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To: afraidfortherepublic

I love Prager’s columns. Thankst for posting this.


8 posted on 10/25/2011 5:29:22 AM PDT by Sans-Culotte ( Pray for Obama- Psalm 109:8)
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To: afraidfortherepublic

39 ¶ And Jesus said, For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind.
40 And some of the Pharisees which were with him heard these words, and said unto him, Are we blind also?
41 Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth.


9 posted on 10/25/2011 5:32:40 AM PDT by Rodm
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To: afraidfortherepublic

It depends on the individual, of course.


10 posted on 10/25/2011 5:33:17 AM PDT by Tax-chick (Sensible, logical, responsible and practical. I also walk dogs.)
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To: afraidfortherepublic

The libtard university professors are just as, if not more, evangelical in spreading their weird beliefs as any Christian is in spreading truth.

And they get to collect tuition.


11 posted on 10/25/2011 5:47:02 AM PDT by CPOSharky (The only thing straight, white, Christian males get is the blame for everything.)
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To: afraidfortherepublic

Prager is a rare voice of CLARITY and reason. bttt


12 posted on 10/25/2011 5:51:11 AM PDT by Matchett-PI (Obamageddon, Barackalypse Now! Bam is "Debt Man Walking" in 2012 - Rush Limbaugh)
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To: afraidfortherepublic
my reaction has always been: So what? I believe that the earth is many million years old, that “six days” is meant as six periods of time (the sun wasn’t even created until the Third Day, so how do you quantify a “day” before then?)

That's been my take on the matter all along. My Pastor is a "6,000 year old earth believer" but I love him anyway.He has an earned doctorate (as opposed to an honorary one) and as the article states:

But what real-life problem is caused by people who believe otherwise?

I know my statement will be misconstrued, so here's the answer. No, my pastor is not 6,000 years old.

13 posted on 10/25/2011 6:07:36 AM PDT by Graybeard58 (Of course Obama loves his country but Herman Cain loves mine.)
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To: Logic n' Reason

Here is one “evangelical” college prof who believes all those things, save the world is only thousands of years old. And in no way do I see that as a contradiction of scripture.


14 posted on 10/25/2011 6:24:37 AM PDT by LS ("Castles made of sand, fall in the sea . . . eventually." (Hendrix))
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To: Graybeard58
I get the gist of the rationale, but what I don't get is this: If the Bible is wrong on the age of the earth, and the direct creation of Adam and Eve, and original sin that brought death into the world, then what else is it wrong on? How do we know truth from fallacy regarding it's many fantastic claims?

To me, it is easier to believe in 6 literal days 6000 years ago that it is to believe the Creator of it all became a man, like me, lived sinlessly, and allowed other men (his own creation) to kill him, for my sake! Yet I believe both, for they are explicit in scripture, which to me is an all or nothing thing. Are we to sit in judgment of what is true or false, in regards to the record of scripture?

15 posted on 10/25/2011 6:31:38 AM PDT by jimmyray
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To: afraidfortherepublic

What is an Evangelicial? Are not all Christians called to be evangelicals? Who is this group of people? Why are they picked on all the time?


16 posted on 10/25/2011 6:40:06 AM PDT by therut
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To: jimmyray

You have a rational belief, starting with the supportable (through fullfillment of prophecy) assumption that the Bible is the Word of God.

Rational, is, by definition, a reason based on something.

Liberals’ beliefs are based on nothing but circular reasoning.


17 posted on 10/25/2011 6:45:36 AM PDT by MrB (The difference between a Humanist and a Satanist - the latter knows whom he's working for)
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To: midwyf

One of Marx’s favorite “arguments” was “scientific”.

Basically, his ideology was “scientific”, and anyone who disagreed with it was not “scientific”.


18 posted on 10/25/2011 6:47:03 AM PDT by MrB (The difference between a Humanist and a Satanist - the latter knows whom he's working for)
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To: Graybeard58

I’m with you. I don’t know what my preacher’s belief on the age of the earth is because it is irrelevant to the Word, and the Way.


19 posted on 10/25/2011 6:47:25 AM PDT by Scotsman will be Free (11C - Indirect fire, infantry - High angle hell - We will bring you, FIRE)
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To: bert

And too many new agers who paint themselves as “Christian” are also co-opting the term “evangelical”.

We have to get specific and use the term “Bible Believers”.


20 posted on 10/25/2011 6:48:24 AM PDT by MrB (The difference between a Humanist and a Satanist - the latter knows whom he's working for)
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To: jimmyray
Are we to sit in judgment of what is true or false, in regards to the record of scripture?

Nowhere in my reply did I say or imply that any part of God's word was false.

It is open to interpretation, that's why we have so many branches of Christianity.

21 posted on 10/25/2011 7:08:35 AM PDT by Graybeard58 (Of course Obama loves his country but Herman Cain loves mine.)
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To: Graybeard58
Nowhere in my reply did I say or imply that any part of God's word was false.

Good point. Many people (Jesus Project for one) sit in Higher Criticism of what is true and correct, and what is not, regarding the scripture. Did not intend to smear you by throwing you in with that lot! Regarding creation, we should then debate what is literal, and what is allegorical, figurative, or some other literary device. For example, when Genesis 1 states

"And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day",

and repeats this formula 6 more times, I believe it means 6 literal 24 hour days, for that is the plain meaning of the scripture. It also numbers the days from first, second... etc. To reinforce the point, in Exodus 20:8-11 God instructed the Israelites to keep the 7 day holy, because:

"...in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy."

Again, the plain reading of scripture was 6 literal 24 hour days, just like the days we experience in modern times. Don't want to argue the point, I am well aware of several aspects of the debate, this is just food for thought, in case you have not considered it.

22 posted on 10/25/2011 8:26:39 AM PDT by jimmyray
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To: jimmyray
"I get the gist of the rationale, but what I don't get is this: If the Bible is wrong on the age of the earth, and the direct creation of Adam and Eve, and original sin that brought death into the world, then what else is it wrong on? How do we know truth from fallacy regarding it's many fantastic claims? ..."

First off you would have to jettison your misconceptions and escape from the "interpretation" box you've been STEERED into.

For instance:

On the Probability of God's Certainty

"Only animals are atheists. But even then, not really. That's an insult to animals, being that no animal has the unnatural stupidity to deny its own intelligence, instinct being equivalent to animal intellect, just as man's uncreated intellect is his central instinct. Which is why the vast majority of people are instinctive theists. It just means their intellect is more or less intact. A human who denies the divine is like a flower who turns from the sun. When that happens, your intellect can no longer engage in photosynthesis, which is simply converting spiritual Light into thought. I mean, you can still do it, but don't be surprised that your beleafs are so yellow and withered, perhaps even tenured. ...."

<>MORE:

Religious truths are conveyed through symbolism and analogy (with the assistance of grace), more like a great work of art than a mathematical equation. ...Although not merely logical, it would be a grave and simplistic error to suggest that the great revelations are illogical, any more than a Shakespearean sonnet or one of Beethoven’s symphonies are illogical. Rather, they are translogical.

<>

Why Darwinists Reject Evolution

<>

Creation Myths of the Tenured

<>

The Darwinian Tower of Monkey Babble

23 posted on 10/25/2011 9:35:24 AM PDT by Matchett-PI (Obamageddon, Barackalypse Now! Bam is "Debt Man Walking" in 2012 - Rush Limbaugh)
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To: Matchett-PI
First off you would have to jettison your misconceptions and escape from the "interpretation" box you've been STEERED into

If "STEERED into" means a simple reading of the scriptures taken at face value, then you hit the nail on the head. I categorically reject the idea that man "evolved" from some lesser life form, simple because Genesis plainly states "7 Then the LORD God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being. Genesis 2:7, and Jesus confirmed this when he said “Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ Matthew 19:4.

I would suggest, however, that your ability to metaphorize the simple meaning away is because you have been "STEERED into" believing theoretical science over the Bible.

Arguing this is fruitless, I shan't continue. We both need to be comfortable, and fully convinced, of our own opinions, and be able to reconcile them with Jesus' statement in Matthew 22:29 to the Sadducees: Jesus replied, “You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God."

24 posted on 10/25/2011 10:28:38 AM PDT by jimmyray
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To: jimmyray
"...a simple reading of the scriptures..."

"Simple" is the operative word. :)

25 posted on 10/25/2011 11:15:25 AM PDT by Matchett-PI (Obamageddon, Barackalypse Now! Bam is "Debt Man Walking" in 2012 - Rush Limbaugh)
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To: Matchett-PI
"Simple" is the operative word. :)

Agreed. Helps one to avoid Gnosticism.

26 posted on 10/25/2011 11:47:03 AM PDT by jimmyray
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To: jimmyray
"...Gnosticism."

Yes..."Gnosticism".

It's a shame when one perfectly good word gets tarred by another through no fault of its own.

27 posted on 10/25/2011 12:02:39 PM PDT by Matchett-PI (Obamageddon, Barackalypse Now! Bam is "Debt Man Walking" in 2012 - Rush Limbaugh)
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To: LS
At least here in America....to date....everyone is entitled to their opinion.

RAPTURE NOW!!

28 posted on 10/25/2011 1:50:22 PM PDT by Logic n' Reason (N/A)
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To: jimmyray
and repeats this formula 6 more times, I believe it means 6 literal 24 hour days, for that is the plain meaning of the scripture.

I can't put my finger on the verse but another part of the Bible says that to God, a day is as a thousand years. If so a day could as easily be a billion years.

A billion year long "day" or a literal 24 hour day, doesn't affect yours or my salvation.

29 posted on 10/25/2011 1:58:28 PM PDT by Graybeard58 (Of course Obama loves his country but Herman Cain loves mine.)
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To: Logic n' Reason
"At least here in America....to date....everyone is entitled to their opinion. RAPTURE NOW!!"

Pretty funny...in light of the fact that a "demand" is not an "opinion".

Even worse, it's a hard-core "demand" for God "to act NOW" and fulfill a particular premill-dispensationalist zealot's interpretation of Scripture. And any Christian holding any other interpretational "opinion" will "go to hell" unless they change their minds and accept the zealot's "truth".

Sad, really.

30 posted on 10/26/2011 7:45:53 AM PDT by Matchett-PI (Obamageddon, Barackalypse Now! Bam is "Debt Man Walking" in 2012 - Rush Limbaugh)
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To: Matchett-PI

Indeed it is....


31 posted on 10/26/2011 9:18:22 AM PDT by Logic n' Reason (N/A)
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