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« Jimmy Wales on steak knives | Main | news & notes »

Monday, October 10, 2005


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Some American Christians have been saying this for most of the 20th century. In the 1950s, liberal theologians like Reinhold Neibuhr and Paul Tillich made the covers of magazines like Time and Newsweek.

Now, the media focus is on the Religious Right. That's probably reasonable, since they're the ones wielding political power and attracting new members. The more liberal "mainline" denominations -- Presbyterians, Episcopalians, Congregationalists, Methodists, etc -- are struggling.

Still, the history of American Christianity is not only the history of the Religious Right.

One more thing. Sorry to harp on this again, but this article again conflates Biblically literal creationism and intelligent design.

You may think both positions are stupid, but the arguments are quite different, and they attract somewhat different adherents. At a minimum, it is sloppy, lazy, misleading reporting to imply that intelligent design involves Biblical literalism. It doesn't.

The difference is important. One position means fundamentalism. The other, for all its political baggage, is merely theist.

An atheist may not care about the difference. But such gradations matter. A Biblical creationist must logically condemn the church's move. An intelligent design advocate could conceivably be just fine with it.

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