Things are wild in England. Look what we found in the Wiltshire Gazette & Herald of Wiltshire, a county in South West England. Stonehenge is located there, which might explain the bizarre occurrence reported in the newspaper’s headline: ‘Stop teaching evil theory of evolution’, demands Chippenham clergyman.
The newspaper doesn’t have a comments feature, so we don’t know what the good people of Wiltshire think. Here are some excerpts from the news story, with bold font added by us:
Liberal Democrat candidate Duncan Hames defended freedom of expression in the Chippenham hustings debate after calls from a clergyman of the town to ban the teaching of Darwinism in schools. All five of the Chippenham constituency’s general election candidates, gathered in St Andrew’s Church this evening, were responding to impromptu questions from a packed church hall.
There’s nothing more entertaining than having a routine campaign event interrupted by a creationist. Let’s find out what happened:
Among the queries from the floor – on [list of local issues] – came a less expected question on the origins of the universe, in which a clergyman blamed Darwin for the Holocaust.
Who was that bold and brilliant clergyman? Let’s read on:
The Rev Melvin Banks, of The Redeemed Christian Church of God on Station Hill, Chippenham, tried to seek assurance from candidates that schoolchildren would be taught the Bible as the truth and that Darwin’s theory of evolution, which he referred to as “evil”, would be struck from the curriculum.
Why bother the politicians? Why doesn’t rev Melvin just ask the Man Upstairs to do the job? That’s not explained. We continue:
He [Melvin the rev] said: “The South Korean Government, one of the most prosperous countries in the world, recently on the advice of top scientists, have decided to ban the decadent and unprovable theory of Darwin’s evolution in their schools.”
What? [*Curmudgeon checks his archives*] BWAHAHAHAHAHA! That’s old news, and it’s totally wrong — see South Korean Creationists Repelled. Here’s another quote from rev Melvin:
They say it’s the father of permissiveness and sexual decadence. Leaders in the last war said it was their belief in Darwin’s evolution that caused them to carry out the Holocaust against Christians, which caused six million deaths.
Wow — evolution is really bad! The rev ranted on:
Will the candidates fight to stop this evil theory being taught as the government now wants it to eight-year-olds and above, and instead teach the truth, the sure truth and the Holy Bible, bless His name, of a God created universe?
Verily, the rev was inspired. Or would a better word be unhinged? But how can your humble Curmudgeon judge a man who is so steeped in holiness? Well, how did the meeting react? Surely they were moved by the rev’s passion. Actually … they weren’t. We’re told:
The Rev Rod Key of St Andrew’s Church, who was chairing the event, said the question did not fit in with overseas aid and swiftly moved on.
Oh, how disrespectful! Another excerpt:
But Duncan Hames [a candidate] seized his next opportunity to speak to give a response, saying he would not be looking to ban the theory of evolution from schools. He said: “My observation is that places that start burning books tend to turn out to be places where they end up burning people. We shouldn’t, just because you may disagree with a theory being taught, seek to ban it, seek to put it aside so that people can’t discuss it.”
One final excerpt from the article — a quote from someone else, perhaps another candidate:
After the hustings Mr Key said: “The vast majority of Christians believe in evolution, it is a very small minority that doesn’t.”
So that’s the news from the land of Stonehenge. What will rev Melvin do now? We hope we haven’t heard the last from him.
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