Creationist Wisdom #1,020: Science Is Blasphemy

Today’s letter-to-the-editor — it’s actually a column — appears in Daily Press of Victorville, California. The title is Compromised worship of the worthy creator, and the newspaper doesn’t have a comments section.

Unless the letter-writer is a politician, preacher, or other public figure, we won’t embarrass or promote him by using his full name — but today we’ve got a preacher. It’s Michael Chandler, pastor of Victor Valley Bible Church. The church’s website says the rev has been “been faithfully shepherding the Victor Valley Bible Church since December, 1996.” We’ll give you some excerpts from the rev’s column, enhanced with our Curmudgeonly commentary, some bold font for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]. Okay, here we go:

The most important verse in the Bible asserts, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Gen 1:1). … Christians typically believe in God as creator, but many have coddled the so-called scientific claims of evolution. [Oh no!] They believe that God used the millions of years processes of evolution to arrive at the present order of things.

Millions of years? Evolution? Those people are fools! The rev says:

Charles Darwin himself set out to be in the ministry, but became critical of Scripture and was attracted more to natural science. [He was led astray.] Finally, though married to a devout Christian, the death of his oldest daughter, Annie, disillusioned his already weakened belief in God. He then felt compelled to publish his major work, “On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life” (Sept. 24, 1859).

Darwin should have been a preacher. The rev tells us:

Before publication, during an 1838 visit to the London Zoo, Darwin observed apparent emotions in captive orangutans. To him “this was not anthropomorphism — the imposing human experiences on non-humans. Instead, he was convinced that orangutans and humans had similar emotions because they shared a common ancestor,” according to a 2015 National Geographic report.

Darwin was truly misguided. The rev continues:

I know that I’m plucking an old harp here, but your Christian children are still taught evolution by their public high school science teachers. [It’s still taught?] You may be persuaded by the historic encroachments of evolutionary thought, and your pastor may even be a mild, or even a sold out, evolutionist. [Gasp!] My friend, there is no room in the biblically-founded mind for evolutionary propaganda at any level.

You must purge your mind of evolutionary propaganda, dear reader. Let’s read on:

The theory of evolution blasphemes the God of creation and belittles man, whom he created in his image.

Aaaargh!! Evolution blasphemes God and belittles man! Another excerpt:

Colossians 1:16 speaks of our savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, saying, “By Him all things were created … All things were created through Him and for Him. He is before all things and in Him all things consist.” … God created man in his image and to suggest that lower life forms evolved into a present state of rational/moral higher animals robs glory from Christ the creator.

Any disagreement with that will surely lead you to the Lake of Fire! Here’s more:

The oppressions of slavery, the holocaust, ethnic cleansing and abortion have natural selection underpinnings [Gasp!], and the blood of it all as [sic] on the heads of the godless scientific community.

Scientists are monsters! And now we come to the end:

Christians, let us worship the true God, bowing before the Lord our maker, for it is he who has made us and not we ourselves (Ps 100). The one who uniquely made us is worthy of our praise, so let us not trample the glory of his creation by compromising with the claims of false science.

You must abandon your false science, dear reader — otherwise you are surely doomed!

Copyright © 2020. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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16 responses to “Creationist Wisdom #1,020: Science Is Blasphemy

  1. Has no one told these people that slavery is treated as normal in the Bible, that the section in Exodus directly following the Commandments describes and regulates slavery, that Deuteronomy prescribes slavery for cities that surrender (and genocide for those that don’t), and that the Epistles in several places enjoin slaves to obey their masters?

  2. Before modern machinery was developed, I think slavery was practiced all over the world, wherever there was a lot of agriculture or mining.

  3. @SC; that was Aristotle’s excuse, though I’m not sure that it was as universal as you say. Serfdom faded away in Western Europe in the 14th century (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serfdom) and never took hold in Canada or in some large parts of the US.

    But my point, which I would have expected you to agree with, is that these people are blaming evolution (and Darwin of all people!) for slavery, although the practice is condoned in the Bible

  4. Michael Fugate

    But he has not 1 but 2 graduate degrees from a very conservative school https://www.masters.edu/about/doctrinal-statement/
    How can one expect he learned anything about either science or history?

  5. I do agree regarding what’s in the bible. My point was that the people of the bible weren’t unique. The bible was just describing what I think was economic reality almost everywhere in those days.

  6. Michael Fugate

    The Bible is full of unsavory practices – makes one wonder if creationists have ever read it.

  7. Actually, there does seem to be a comments section there. Already someone has played the old “why are there still monkeys?” card.

    Go get ’em!

  8. Dave Luckett

    Paul Braterman, one of the constants always found in Biblical YEC’s is that they read the scriptures through their own rose-tinted glasses, and usually have no clue about what they say in context. They ignore any passage that poses an ethical problem.

    As you say, slavery is explicitly and straightforwardly allowed by scripture. The strictures on it in the Pentateuch relate to Hebrew slaves only; others could be enslaved, bought, sold, retained as slaves in perpetuity, and their offspring the same. The rules are, in and of themselves, racist.

    In fact the entire background of the Old Testament is explicitly racist: God, it says, has a Chosen People. So is the curse of Ham. Whoever his descendants are supposed to be, they are to be servants to their masters: ancestral slaves. For this pastor-poseur to accuse Darwin of supporting such an abomination goes beyond the farcical and emerges into regions of outrage. Darwin hated slavery; the Bible accepts and condones it. The Bible-bashers are the ones who should be in desperate defence of the indefensible here. Coming the holier-than-thou in the face of their own scriptures! How dare they? What insouciance! What chutzpah!

    As for the other evils and supposed evils this Bible-quack enumerates, all have absolutely no basis in the theory of evolution. He retails calumnies, base and conscienceless slanders. He lies, flat out.

    But not satisfied with leaving things out, he adds his own words in: “God created man in his image and to suggest that lower life forms evolved into a present state of rational/moral higher animals robs glory from Christ the creator.” Such a suggestion does no such thing, of course. How can it possibly detract from the glory of God to suggest – nay, to accept – that the Creator, in His infinite wisdom, arranged His creation from its beginning to do that? Why does this fool think it’s more marvelous to speak a magic word than to bring forth a Universe that will produce of itself a being capable of moral behaviour?

    I speak of ideals of humanity, of course, when I use the term “moral behaviour”. The “shepherd” of Victor Valley Bible Church is not himself capable of moral behaviour, being a liar, a hypocrite and a slanderer. He is also a fool, but that is not as outrageous as the rest. Fools we have to endure. Mind you, Jesus didn’t bear them gladly. Talk about your “blind guides”!

  9. Anyone who has studied the theory of evolution knows that it doesn’t “blaspheme” rev Chandler’s favorite god or any other of the thousands of gods some people prefer. It simply has no need of that hypothesis.

  10. MickeyC is off with an excellent start: “The most important verse in the Bible asserts …..” and refers to Gen. 1:1.
    Usually I stay out of theological discussions, especially when Bible exegesis is informed involved, because I totally don’t care. You could as well ask me what would have been best in the Middle Ages – fining a peasant twice as much for some violation as compared to a knight or rather ten times as much.
    But even I am aware of bona fide christians maintaining that it’s the Sermon on the Mount that contains the most important verses.

    “the death of his oldest daughter, Annie, disillusioned his already weakened belief in God. He then felt compelled to publish his major work”
    BWAHAHAHAHA! Yeah, good old Charlie published Origin of Species as an act of revenge, because YHWH took his beloved daughter away!

    “The theory of evolution blasphemes the God of creation and belittles man, whom he created in his image.”
    BWAHAHAHAHA!
    And I’ve been thinking that humility was a christian virtue!

  11. @PaulB and SC: “The bible was just describing what I think was economic reality almost everywhere in those days.”
    Like PaulB I tend to think that “almost everywhere” is too big a claim. However that doesn’t really matter. The Bible describes the reality (not only the economic one) of its time and place. As that particular part never was isolated the interesting bit is that it’s moral verdict on slavery is largely the same as in contemporary nearby non-jewish and non-christian cultures. That greatly undermines the claim that the Bible is a morally superior book, relevant for us today as it was back then.
    Many apologists (and not only fundagelical ones) are aware of this problem (for them, not for me) and hence have developed the excuse of indentured servitude. My bet is that Mickey will take this road too, as if indentured servitude actually is morally acceptable.
    So my preferred reply is that I’d would have liked Jesus of Nazareth, Petrus or Paulus (or before some jewish prophet) issuing a command that says “whenever a slave asks for it, set him/her free.” The fact that there is no such command in the Bible makes me conclude that the god that’s supposed to have inspired the book has some serious moral defects.

  12. To rub it in a bit more, Wang Mang, the definitely non-christian emperor of China, a contemporary of Jesus of Nazareth, abolished slavery. Of course this is an exception confirming a terrible rule.

  13. chris schilling

    The World according to Preacher Michael:

    “God created man in his image…”
    Christian anthropomorphism: good.

    “Darwin observed apparent emotions in captive orangutans.”
    Darwinian anthropomorphism: bad.

    “The oppressions of slavery, the holocaust [sic], ethnic cleansing and abortion…”
    Crimes against humanity outside of the Bible: vile.

    Slavery, ethnic cleansing, infanticide in the Book of Joshua: acceptable when ordained by God.

  14. One of the Ten Commandments forbids coveting one’s neighbor’s property: house, cattle, wives, slaves.

  15. @Dave Luckett, you are too kind. “As you say, slavery is explicitly and straightforwardly allowed by scripture. The strictures on it in the Pentateuch relate to Hebrew slaves only; others could be enslaved, bought, sold, retained as slaves in perpetuity, and their offspring the same. The rules are, in and of themselves, racist.”

    But also intolerably sexist. Exodus, in the passage I referred to, allows the Hebrew (male) slave to go free after seven years, but the wife that his master may have given him has to say behind, together with any children. We also have, in the same passage, permission for a father to sell his daughter, though, to be fair, the purchaser does have to give her the same legal rights as any of his other wives.

    Family values!

  16. It is difficult for me to understand how one’s child can be a slave. Didn’t Jefferson have any human feeling for his Hemmings family?