Answers in Genesis and Terrorism
The article to which Nathan refers can be found at http://www.answersingenesis.org/news/20010911_wtc.asp
Friday 14th September 2001.
Like everyone, the horror of the last few days has exhausted even my vocabulary. Each of us with Faith should be keeping those grieving in our prayers.
However, the reason I'm writing to you today is to climb onto one of my most well - worn soapboxes. I hope you'll indulge me. I rarely do this without a good reason. The tragic events unfolding in the United States are distressing, and likely to get worse. The thought that someone could be trying to claim a cheap ideological point from the mass of human misery that's occurring is repulsive and offensive.
Today, I received an e-mail from "Answers in Genesis" - the result of being a member of their mailing list. To those of you to whom the name is familiar, and regardless of whether you agree with them or not, you would have to agree that they are a very narrowly focused group - seeing the whole world through the eyes of their own, rather obsessive theology. "Answers in Genesis" were formerly known as the "Creation Science Foundation", until they were forced to change their name in the face of too much proof that their movement had nothing to do with Science at all.
In the e-mail they imply that the explanation for the terrorist attacks lays with Evolution. They imply that the terrorists, the hijackings, the huge fatalities - all the evil in the world - happened because there are people who want to claim that the Earth is not literally 6000 years old. *
I make no pretence at being someone without an opinion on these people, but to push your barrow on the back of so much tragedy is wrong, wrong, wrong.
Their e-mail is prefaced with a few "unsolicited" letters of effusive praise for AiG and their coverage of this issue. For example, J.G of Minnesota writes "You covered all the issues without any divisiveness." Dave in Wichita gushes "(the article) is a great tool for witnessing ..." Well, let's see. The article starts simply enough with an age old question. "Why does a good God allow such evil acts?". It's a legitimate question. C.S Lewis himself gives a very strong answer to that question in his book "The Problem of Pain". After starting well, AiG reveals its true motivations, claiming (and I quote), that
"For those Christians who have believed in the supposed millions of years of history, then they have effectively taught that God describes all this death and suffering as 'very good'".
Let me encourage you to read that line again - mindful of the context that was intended by the article - the terrorist attacks in the USA.
What are they saying? That if you disagree with their version of Young Earth Creationism, you're basically agreeing with the statement "God is Evil". I'm reminded of the "unforgivable sin" of grieving the Holy Spirit - which my Pastor teaches occurs when you attribute evil to God. The article goes on, mixing a valid Christian response of compassion to those suffering, with the claim that if only we listened to Young Earth Creationists, none of this would have happened!
Someone should remind AiG that the Islamic fundamentalists who crashed their planes into the WTC buildings were Creationists, and took the same "my way or the highway" approach to their scriptures as AiG do. Did their faith in a 6000 year old Earth give them the conscience to prevent the tragedy? No. Did their isolation from the mainstream world of Islamic faith (which rightly advocates charity and hospitality) provide them with the feelings of rejection and "righteous" anger they must have needed in order to execute such heinous acts? Very probably. Do Young Earth Creationists constantly rail against the fact that their view is in a minority? That they are part of a small, righteous "remnant" of the Church? That so many of the mainstream denominations have had their doctrine "polluted" by the evils of science? Yes - and the proof is in every issue of "Creation Ex Nihilo". Do you see a worrying parallel?
If you have previously been inclined to support the cause of AiG, now is the time to reconsider. Muslim fundamentalism killed thousands in New York and Washington. It's another kind of twisted Christian Fundamentalism that advocates the assassination of Abortionists (another evil caused by Evolution, by the way), or the Oklahoma City bombing. Note that I'm not accusing AiG of supporting either of those events. My point is, though, that AiG represent, in their own way, the very scourge of this world - Religious Zealots. Zealots in the sense that their theological ideology takes precedence to the true Call of Christ, to their common sense, their decency, and in this case, their tact.
* It should be noted that as the author of this article, I have received a deal of feedback about it. A point that was made more than once was that the AiG article made no specific claim that the terrorist attacks were due to a belief in Evolution. The author accepts this criticism and yields to the point. I have adjusted the wording of the relevant section accordingly. However, the implication that AiG makes is still fairly clear. It is simply beyond the mental comprehension of messrs Ham and Safarti to countenance that a non-young Earth creationist can make any sense of the world we live in. Quote: "Sadly, those who teach that the world is millions of years old have no coherent answer as to why there is death and suffering in the world." They then go on to conclude that the necessary endpoint of logic a non Y.E.C must reach is to conclude "God is Evil". It is precisely this kind of vacuous argument that I took such strong objection to. As an active, thinking Christian, I have no difficulty in reconciling my belief in the need for the redemptive sacrifice of Christ, and the existence of a geologically ancient Earth, and Cosmologically ancient Universe. I found their argument insulting, and I think climbing onto the rubble of the WTC to make the point at all was deplorable.