Tuesday, June 05, 2007

our creation story (part 2)

My last post with this title stirred up some conversation and some disagreement. But I want to address this again in a different way. It is interesting that a person's view of Genesis 1-2 has now gone political. The candidates, both Democrat and Republican, are being asked many more questions about their faith. It is like CNN finally realizes that faith plays an important part in a person's life and a person's vote. So this go around, every candidate is talking about their religious beliefs. While I am sure all the atheist Americans are pissed off at this, I am enjoying the conversation.

Among many questions that are getting asked about the candidate's faith, the one I find most curious is the one about Creation. I understand how questions about abortion, poverty, prayer, etc. can impact a Presidency. But I am not quite sure how a person's view of Creation makes them a better or worse candidate for the job.

The best I can gather is that the person who believes that there was an evolutionary process during creation might look at the candidate who doesn't believe in evolution and just assume that he/she is an idiot. Or maybe the person who believes in a literal 6 day creation would look at the candidate who believes in an evolutionary process and think he/she is a godless, liberal heathen. I don't know.

I am pretty sure both are not true. One's belief about how to interpret Genesis 1-2 should not be a litmus test of how "spiritual" or "faithful" or "Christian" someone is. Issues about how we understand the core of the gospel message are infinitely more important than issues about how we understand Genesis 1-2. So why is the question being asked at all?

It is like we are trying to determine if someone is "conservative" enough or "liberal" enough for our liking. And rather than deal with the real issues of poverty, war, health care, education and taxes, we are more entertained by questions about how someone interprets the first two chapters of the bible. I am baffled.

Here is what I think about someone who reads Genesis 1-2 as literal rather than the way I read it:
- I disagree with the way they are reading those passages
- I assume that their interpretation is what they were taught by someone they loved and trusted
- I assume that if they did more biblical and scientific study, their view would shift. It may not change completely, but they would be more open to different possibilities.
- I acknowledge that the way I am interpreting it may be wrong.
- I assume that if I do more biblical and scientific study, my view might shift. It may not change, but I would continue to gain new insight.

Although I may have all of these assumptions, one thing I am not willing to assume is that someone would be a better or worse Presidential candidate based on their interpretation of the Creation story. Asking candidates about their view of Creation is just another byproduct of the false dichotomy between faith and reason, God and science that our culture has been saturated in.


At 1:10 AM, Blogger Jason said...

Well said.


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