Today’s letter-to-the-editor appears in the News-Review of Roseburg, Oregon. Amazingly, it’s the third letter we’ve discussed recently from that one town (population 21,181 at the 2010 census). The title of their latest is Are we really so wise?
We don’t like to embarrass people (unless they’re politicians, preachers, or other public figures), so we’ll just use the letter-writer’s first name, which is Gary. He’s not the Gary whose letter we recently wrote about in #440: Philosophy Teacher, because that one lived in lived in Utah. We’ll give you a few excerpts from today’s letter, enhanced with our Curmudgeonly commentary and some bold font for emphasis. Here we go!
It begins with what we assume was Gary’s own title, a bold challenge that should appeal to any science-minded person — Put our beliefs to the test — but the newspaper chose not to use it. Let’s see what kind of test Gary has in mind. He says:
Wow! There have been two outspoken letters dumbing down the idea of having creationism along with evolutionism being alternative classes taught at school. I’m saddened that our kids have been heavily influenced in the arena of evolution as a fact. I sure hope these two individuals won’t see the movie “God’s Not Dead,” because it might mess with their own belief systems.
The two letters that “saddened” Gary went unnoticed by us because we almost never bother with letters that make sense; but we’re pleased to learn that the News-Review published them. Then Gary tells us:
This reminds me of a scripture in the Bible found in Romans 1:22. It states that “… professing to be wise, they became fools …”
Creationists like that passage. It gives them a way to say: “I’m not an idiot; you’re an idiot.” Let’s read on:
I am troubled seeing our society headed toward a people who are so caught up in seeing ourselves as so wise we are becoming disillusioned in our own intellect.
Are you, dear reader, so caught up in being wise that you’re becoming disillusioned? Gary fears that you are. At least that’s what we think he’s saying. He continues:
I also have to applaud the teenage girl who gave a very astute commentary in speaking out on the same sex marriage stance by Oregon. She exhibited a very brave and profound illustration of the open door policy of allowing moral decay in our society.
Unlike creationists, your Curmudgeon has no interest in that subject, but as we see in Wikipedia (Same-sex marriage in Oregon), such unions recently became legal in that state. Creationists seem to be more upset about that than they are about global warming. They certainly have a lot of issues that cause them anguish. Here’s more from Gary’s letter:
I choose to believe in the resurrection of Jesus as fact. There were more than 500 witnesses to attest to seeing him afterward.
Does Gary have their affidavits? Probably not. Then how does he know what happened, or how many witnesses there were? Was he there? Moving along:
Instead of running scared or being hopeless after his death, his apostles became martyrs, except for John. Why die for a lie?
Your Curmudgeon is not a theologian, but if the apostles died as martyrs, we don’t understand how their deaths were proof of anything other than their sincerity. How does martyrdom prove a martyr’s beliefs?
Anyway, here’s the rest of Gary’s letter, and this is where he proposes his test, so pay careful attention:
I would challenge anyone who believes in evolution or any other belief to put Jesus to the test. He was really who he said he was or he wasn’t. If he was who he said he was, then you need to check out what he said.
Well, dear reader, are you willing to put evolution to the test that Gary proposes? What are you afraid of?
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