As you can read in the rest of my posts, I'm a firm atheist. The thing is, I wasn't really always that way. I grew up in a Christian family, although more of an "occasional Sunday and maybe say grace when the grandparents are around" type of Christian family, rather than the rabid fundamentalist type I may rail against here from time to time. My teen years were pretty much firm atheist though.
The dirty little secret is that I slipped into religious mode through the better part of my university years, largely by falling into the first cause trap. Although I was quite proud of working myself into that philosophical position all by myself, I unfortunately did not work myself out of it.
This precipitated a number of years of reading the bible, attending church and generally seeing both fundamentalist and traditional Christianity from the inside. I have at various times felt this was one of my greatest failings, but I had a minor revelation today.
I really like reading Bad Astronomy because Phil is just a funny, smart and energetic scientist guy, plus I love astronomy. Lately he's been on a bit of a rant about creationists, and although his rather aggressive and confrontational tone on the matter makes me a bit uneasy, I generally agree with him.
Anyway, reading there led me to the Angry Astronomer's review of a Christian pastor's book. Let me sum up the book: Fundamentalist American Christianity's politicization of religion is utterly un-Christian.
That though has struck me a few times recently. Perhaps it is simply that I've been immersed through my religious journey in a bit deeper study of what the bible actually says, but I am inclied to agree.
I'm not going to dig up references at this exact moment, but these are a few things I recall:
- *Jesus hated hypocrisy
- *There are proverbs that seeking knowledge is good
- *If anything, Jesus taught submission to the state
- *Jesus taught nearly infinite tolerance and acceptance
- *I think there was some Old Testament commandment about not lying...
So here's my new dirty little secret: I am going to dig up those references, and at the earliest opportunity I will use them in the battle against creationism. Since it's not actually possible to argue logically with these people, I wonder how they would respond to a theological argument that what they are doing is against the very religion they are claiming to support?