IN the United States, creationism seems to be concentrated in the Republican party, although a large percentage of democrats are also creationists. See Opinion Polls on Evolution and Creationism, in which we quoted a Gallup poll that said:
There is a significant political divide in beliefs about the origin of human beings, with 60% of Republicans saying humans were created in their present form by God 10,000 years ago, a belief shared by only 40% of independents and 38% of Democrats.
America’s Republican-creationism linkage is an historical anomaly, a consequence of Nixon’s Southern strategy. There was a time when US creationists were mostly democrats, but those days are gone now and the GOP has to live with today’s politics.
The situation is different in the United Kingdom. At the website of Ekklesia, a British “think-tank which examines the role of religion in public life and advocates transformative theological ideas and solutions,” we read Tories say they would would close down creationist schools. Here are some excerpts, with bold added by us:
A Conservative government would not allow schools that teach creationism as if it was science, the shadow schools secretary has said.
Michael Gove MP told BBC1’s Andrew Marr programme this morning (14 February) that ‘fundamentalist groups’ who taught in a way that undermined ‘democratic values’ would be challenged, and if necessary closed down.
Well, good for them! Let’s read on:
“To my mind you cannot have a school which teaches creationism” he said. “And one thing that we will make absolutely clear is that you can not have schools that are set up which teach people things which are clearly at varience with what we know to be scientific fact.”
One couldn’t ask for a better declaration of principle. We continue:
Educationists point out that while creationism is strong in many areas of the US and has been growing among fundamentalist believers in parts of Europe and elsewhere, it is opposed by the official teaching of mainline churches and by theological specialists.
We know the Anglicans oppose creationism. Here’s a list of Statements from Religious Organizations. Let’s read more from Ekklesia:
But a global opinion survey in October last year showed that the British public continued to be confused about how evolutionary science should be taught in school classrooms and whether opposing non-scientific views should be included.
That’s not surprising when one considers all the propaganda efforts of creationists. Moving along:
The Church of England’s general synod, meeting in London last week, said that rejecting science “weakens the Christian voice” and that churchgoers should not read the Bible as if it was a modern textbook.
Here’s the final paragraph:
Creationists — who reject the idea that natural processes are of God, and believe the world was brought about by divine fiat in contradiction to the picture science paints — are wealthy, numerous in the US ‘Bible belt’, and politically determined. But all the major churches accept the evolutionary accounts and see these in relation to the world as divine gift.
Your Curmudgeon is pleased that at least in the UK, conservatives are on the rational side. Rule Britannia!
Copyright © 2010. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.