The title of ICR’s article is Lincoln Laments at Gettysburg: Biblical Creation and Civil War Insights. It’s by James J. S. Johnson, J.D., Th.D. He has two middle initials, which is very classy, and he not only has a law degree, but he’s also a Doctor of Theology. He’s described at the end as “Associate Professor of Apologetics and Chief Academic Officer at the Institute for Creation Research.”
Johnson starts out with a discussion of Lincoln and the Gettysburg Address, and the “all men are created equal” phrase in that and in the Declaration of Independence. You know about that so we won’t dwell on it. Instead we’ll skip to the attack on Darwin. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us:
Although the majority of the 1787 U.S. Constitution’s provisions are admirable, and many are much better than their 18th-century counterparts [whatever that means], the Constitution’s treatment of slaves is clearly unbiblical. For example, notice how it bars runaway slaves from being legally emancipated if they escape to a free state:
Then he quotes from Article IV, Section 2, which is about extradition. The first part is about extraditing criminals from one state to another, and that’s still in effect. The rest has been superseded by the 13th Amendment. As originally written, it said:
No Person held to Service or Labour in one State, under the Laws thereof, escaping into another, shall, in Consequence of any Law or Regulation therein, be discharged from such Service or Labour, But shall be delivered up on Claim of the Party to whom such Service or Labour may be due.
Yes indeed, that used to be there. There wasn’t any other way to get the southern states to ratify the Constitution. Okay, that’s history. But you’re wondering what that — drafted in 1787 — has to do with Charles Darwin, who wasn’t born until 1809. You’ll see. Johnson continues:
Compare how the preceding constitutional mandate for the return of runaway slaves blatantly contradicts Deuteronomy 23:15-16:
[Johnson quotes scripture:] Thou shalt not deliver unto his master the servant which is escaped from his master unto thee; he shall dwell with thee, even among you, in that place which he shall choose in one of thy gates, where it liketh him best; thou shalt not oppress him.
That sounds surprisingly enlightened. Nevertheless, the bible is definitely a pro-slavery book. Tolerance of slavery is even in the Ten Commandments (“You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male servant, or his female servant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor’s.”) Servant is “slave” in many translations. And in Colossians 3:22 (and other places) it says: “Servants [i.e., slaves], obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God.”
Johnson seems to have found the only emancipation-type passage in the bible. Because he has pointed out those inspiring words in Deuteronomy 23 in order to criticize the Constitution, let’s see what else could have been included in the Constitution from that same source:
Deuteronomy 23:1 He that is wounded in the stones, or hath his privy member cut off, shall not enter into the congregation of the Lord.
Deuteronomy 23:2 A bastard shall not enter into the congregation of the Lord; even to his tenth generation shall he not enter into the congregation of the Lord.
Deuteronomy 23:17 There shall be no whore of the daughters of Israel, nor a sodomite of the sons of Israel.
Okay, let’s put aside that enlightened Deuteronomy stuff and return to ICR to see what Johnson has to say about Darwin:
In light of the creationist liberty tenet [Aaaargh!!] in America’s Declaration of Independence, why did our predominantly Christian forefathers put an opposite mandate into the Constitution? Could it be that America’s slavery policies are evil fruit from the same corrupt tree that produced evolutionary science? If so, what is that corrupt tree, and why does it produce such evil fruit?
See? It took a while, but we’re getting there. Let’s read on:
There is a logical correlation between American slavery and evolutionary theory: Both are effects produced by the same cause, namely, disregarding the Bible when it applies to secular topics such as politics and science. But some might protest that American slavery preceded Charles Darwin’s influence — so how can evolution and slavery be related?
Ah, that question is a rare intrusion of reality. Very unusual in an ICR article. But it will be skillfully disregarded. We continue:
Darwin is not to blame for American slavery practices. However, Darwin does share the blame for promoting racist attitudes and abuses after America’s Civil War.
See? Post-war racism was Darwin’s fault. At this point we have to link to Racism, Eugenics, and Darwin, in which we debunked all of that nonsense, but let’s not abandon Johnson now. He’s just getting warmed up. Here’s more:
Darwin’s own words proposed a theory that all men were not equal, and Darwinism’s promoters used preexisting racist attitudes to help sell Darwin’s natural selection theory, teaching that darker-skinned humans were less evolved than lighter-skinned humans:
To support that, Johnson gives us this quote:
No rational man, cognizant of the facts, believes that the average Negro is the equal, still less the superior, of the white man.
That didn’t look like anything Darwin wrote, so we looked at Johnson’s footnote. That quote is attributed to Henry Morris, who was purportedly quoting Thomas Huxley. Big whoop! Johnson even admits that the Huxley quote pre-dates the influence Darwin’s theory. He doesn’t care! He says:
Yet Darwin’s theory and American slavery practices can both be traced to the same kind of humanistic thinking—closed-Bible thinking about secular topics — called “rationalism” or “free-thinking.” Led by leaders of the deism movement, rationalism experienced a popular revival in the 1700s and early 1800s.
Now he’s attacking the Enlightenment. Of course — he’s a creationist! They all hate the Enlightenment — well, those who know about it hate it. For more on that, see Discovery Institute: Enemies of the Enlightenment. Moving along:
Deism-dominated science concepts — taught since the late 1700s — sowed tragic misinformation and destruction. Those ideas influenced America’s slavery policies and the pseudo-sciences of natural selection and social Darwinism.
From here on it gets really crazy. He blames slavery on the Enlightenment, as if it never existed before. Oh, if only we had stuck to the bible! We’ll give you one more excerpt:
Just like many popular “intellectuals” of today, many leaders of the “Enlightenment” (in the late 1700s) exalted the powers of human reason over the authority and reliability of the holy Bible. They closed their Bibles and chose to study nature (including human nature) without the benefit of Genesis’ data. Freeing themselves from the framework of biblical revelation, these free-thinkers relied only upon human reason as they strove to analyze and understand their world — including geologic beginnings and human and ethnic origins.
As the American experiment with slavery tragically proved, a closed-Bible approach to human relationships will never prove satisfactory.
Okay, that’s enough. Johnson is a hard-core fan of the Dark Ages. We’re not surprised.
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