ICR: The Mystery of the Atheist Preacher

This is interesting, but it’s also very difficult for us to write. The difficulty is that it’s about an atheist and we’re not running an atheist blog. Our focus is on the foolishness of creationism — and other forms of science denial — but otherwise we like to leave religion alone. Nevertheless, we can’t stay away from this one.

The article causing us such difficulty is Pastor Became Atheist. Why? It’s at the website of the Institute for Creation Research (ICR) — the granddaddy of all creationist outfits, the fountainhead of young-earth creationist wisdom. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us:

Teresa McBain ministered in the Methodist church for twenty years. She formerly pastored at Lake Jackson United Methodist Church in Tallahassee, Florida, but today she ministers as the public relations director of the American Atheists. She says that she used to believe in the God of the Bible, but she recently changed her mind: “I know it’s a lie. I know it’s false.” Why has she rejected God?

For the rest of their article, ICR explores the mystery.

She explained her reasons to the Christian Post, saying, “One [reason] was the contradictory nature of the Bible; the lack of scientific or historical foundation or accuracy, which took me a very, very long time to come to terms with.

Here’s a link to that article: Ex-Pastor Turned American Atheist Director Tells How She Lost Faith, but let’s stay with ICR. This is where it gets interesting:

It makes sense to reject the God of the Bible if the Bible contained errors and lacked scientific or historical foundation. But it doesn’t. Analyzing and teaching the amazing ways that true science confirms Scripture is what motivates the ministry of ICR — evidence for the veracity of science and Scripture abounds.

Their position is a precarious one: ICR has climbed way out on a slender limb and imagines that no one can saw it off. No one needs to; it’s collapsing of its own dead weight. They say that were it not for the truth of their creation science, it makes sense to reject everything. Teresa McBain agrees, and ICR can’t figure it out. Their article continues:

While McBain may represent those who are unfamiliar with or reject the truth of Scripture, scientific and historical confirmations of the Bible exist in abundance. A summary of ICR News reports during the month of June 2012, a small sampling of evidence, provides just a snapshot of recent examples: [list omitted].

What follows is a list of eight — count ’em, eight! — “news” items that ICR published about the wonders of their creation science. We’ll leave it to you go click over there if you want to see their complete list of balderdash, but we’ll give you two of them:

• Whoever arranged the molecular machines that perform plant photosynthesis understood quantum mechanics far better than any physicist.

• The newly published bonobo genome has a hallmark of special creation — its gene sequences do not match any evolutionary tree, but comprise a well-integrated mosaic of gene systems.

Their list is so goofy that we’ve never posted about any of those items, well — not ICR’s items, but we did post Meet Your Cousin, the Bonobo. They fit right in with the great apes, and they’re as close to us as the chimpanzees. This is the end of ICR’s article:

Believing in the fundamentals of the Bible would be crazy if the Bible were not internally, scientifically, and historically reliable. But because its verifications are so overwhelming, refusing to believe it is crazy.

So there you are. ICR is mystified. Given their bizarre belief that the bible must be — and is! — scientifically true, they can’t understand why anyone would walk away from it. What they don’t grasp is that when a sect insists on reality-denial, thoughtful people are going to be repulsed.

The problem, ICR, is you.

Copyright © 2012. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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10 responses to “ICR: The Mystery of the Atheist Preacher

  1. Believing in the fundamentals of the Bible would be crazy if the Bible were not internally, scientifically, and historically reliable.

    At last we agree on something, ICR! They seem to be hoisting themselves by their own petard here. No matter. Since even a child can spot the internal, historical and scientific discrepancies, I assume a letter of resignation and a formal dissolving of the organization will follow?

    Nice knowing you, ICR. Don’t think it hasn’t been a little slice of heaven—because it hasn’t.

  2. SC: The problem, ICR, is you.


  3. There’s another relevant post on the follies of ICR on McBain at the Eye on the IRC blog.

  4. I wonder what took her so long to figure it out. I figured it out when I was a kid in grade school.

  5. retiredsciguy

    To my mind, the creationists and other ultra-literalists are making a big mistake in their insistence that we believe every word of the Bible to be literally true, and that if we doubt the veracity of any part of the Bible then we must reject all. They paint themselves into an impossible corner.

    Since this is not a religion blog, I’ll keep this very short. But it seems to me that if God wished us to receive His words through His Son, He would have sent His Son(s) and/or Daughter(s) to all cultures all over the world simultaneously. He also would have delivered the Ten Commandments to all peoples of the world at the same time He gave them to Moses.

    But just because these things didn’t happen does not necessarily falsify the ethical messages attributed to Moses and Jesus. By insisting that we must believe ridiculous stories of six-day creation and global floods and the sun standing still, etc., etc., the ultra-literalists lose most people on the right-hand slope of the intelligence bell curve.

  6. retiredsciguy says: “t if we doubt the veracity of any part of the Bible then we must reject all. They paint themselves into an impossible corner.”

    And in the background, we hear Sinatra singing “All or nothing at all.”

  7. It’s unnerving that they can be so deep in denial like this. It almost reminds me of that interview Richard Dawkins does with that creationist woman who just kind of gives him this creepy stare when he backs her into a corner.

  8. The woman from Concerned Women of America?

  9. Diogenes of Sinope. I haven’t checked out that group. But I am now.

  10. It’s quite apparent that the most reality denying of Christian sects are falling apart (faster than the more open-minded groups). If you look at the PEW forum data on religion and the public life and the National Council of Churches, the more evangelical the church the more members they’ve lost in the last 50 years both in the US and worldwide. While I would never call the Catholic Church liberal, their numbers have been surprisingly stable for the last decade. I think it’s pretty clear the more literalist sects are on their way out. Perhaps all of them are, but the literalists are fading faster.