Many of you have heard of the Christian Post, an online, evangelical newspaper that has covered Answers in Genesis and the Creation Museum very fairly in the past. Well, recently a reporter from the Christian Post ran across a petition on the White House’s website that calls for the president to ban creationism in the classroom.
Now, anyone can start a petition on the White House website for just about anything. For example, a petition on the site around the time that the Hostess bakery company was going out of business called for the federal government to nationalize Hostess in order to save the Twinkie, its famous junk food.
The reporter who found the petition calling for a ban on creationism contacted me for a response. You can read the article on the Christian Post with some of my response.
As with most news articles, we did not expect our entire response to be printed. So I’ve included the questions I was asked, and my answers below. I encourage you to read them so that you can better understand how intolerant of Christianity our culture has become.
Question: What is your overall opinion of this petition?
Answer: First, Answers in Genesis is not in favor of mandating that either creation or intelligent design be taught in public school science classes. However, we believe that teachers already possess the academic freedom to point out the problems with the evolution model. In addition, they have the academic freedom to discuss the evidence that points away from evolution and to creation. By the way, all the leading creationist and intelligent design groups we are aware of do not believe it is wise to force instructors to teach something like creation/ID that they may not believe in.
Question: Do you believe that there are plenty of public school science classes that are teaching creationism and/or intelligent design?
Answer: Occasionally, we come across public school teachers who tell us that they present creation or intelligent design in their science classes. But we don’t have any percentages, just anecdotal accounts.
Question: Do you believe the petition will influence the debate over teaching Creationism and/or Intelligent Design in schools?
Answer: We believe the White House petition will not have any impact on how the teaching of origins is presented in public schools. For one, presidents don’t issue executive orders to ban certain kinds of teachings in schools. The development of science curriculum is largely the domain of local school districts and state educators, not the executive branch of the U.S. government.
We view this petition as frivolous and as another attempt to ridicule the thousands of scientists across the U.S. and millions of Americans who reject evolution and accept the Genesis creation account instead. Contrary to what is commonly believed, science instructors can also bring up evidence that supports a Designer. The well-known 1987 U.S. Supreme Court decision concerning creation in schools dealt with the issue of whether states can mandate that creation be taught along with evolution. But the Court did not say that teachers were not permitted to bring up alternative ideas to evolution—just that they could not be forced to.
The online petition program set up by the White House was designed to encourage civic participation. But silly petitions like this one (and we note that there was even a petition on the White House site to demand the nationalization of the Twinkie industry so that this junk food would continue to be produced*) discourages serious discussion about such an important worldview topic: where did we all come from, was it by creation or evolution? This anti-creationist petition is yet another example of the intolerance of evolutionist activists who do [not] want to see any challenge to their deeply held secularist worldview.
The reality is that creation/ID is not taught in most public schools, and even if teachers or school boards attempt to incorporate it into the curriculum, various secular groups like the ACLU threaten them with lawsuits.
The petition does not specifically mention public schools, so it can also be viewed as opposing the teaching of creation/ID in Christian schools and homeschools. Once again we see the intolerance of secularists against Christians and their freedom to teach creation/ID—even in private settings.
You see, people are now so anti-Christian that they’re even asking the executive branch of our government, which shouldn’t be involved in the development of school curricula, to step in and squelch creationism. The secularists are just trying to rescue their evolutionary agenda!
Dr. Terry Mortenson (AiG–U.S.) weighed in on this petition as well, saying that if evolution is true, secularists shouldn’t just tolerate criticism, but welcome it:
Imagine if a student came to his high school math teacher and said, “Could I have time in class to present an argument that a mathematician has made that two plus two equals five?” The wise teacher would say, “Sure,” because it would be a great teaching experience for the students to learn how to spot faulty arguments. The foolish, fearful teacher would use abusive, authoritarian language against the student or call the ACLU and threaten to sue the kid for daring to suggest such nonsense.
Evolutionists should welcome scientific criticisms in the classroom because if evolution is really true, then the exercise of helping the students see the fallacies in the criticisms will strengthen the students’ understanding of—and convictions about—evolution, thereby making them better thinkers, leading to higher math and science scores on tests, and raising America’s position in the international standings. They would only fear scientific criticisms of evolution if the idea is not proven fact but instead a massive deception.
Dr. Mortenson is absolutely right—if evolutionary ideas are true, then they’ll hold up to criticism in the classroom. But petitions like this are just more evidence of man’s willful rebellion against God as he continues to exchange the truth for a lie:
For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things. (Romans 1:20–23)
Thanks for stopping by and thanks for praying,