Guest post by Sarah.
Disclaimer: I can only speak of MY life experiences.
The fact that many Christians (& many other theists) are hypocrites is a well-known topic to people who have the left the faith. Maybe some still engrossed in the church feel twinges of hypocrisy mixed with guilt from time to time, but these are swept aside & buried to be dealt with another time (if at all; maybe I’m giving too much credit).
I was raised Baptist. Any of you who have read Bruce’s blog for any length of time can pretty much guess what the household was like: church services twice on Sunday & Wednesday night, revival/missionary meetings, vacation bible school <shudder>. On top of God’s commandments: no cussing, premarital sex, drinking, drugs, no non-Christian friends, dresses only. Hellfire & brimstone. Oh…and no biology degree for you young lady!
On Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, the following shows would be playing on TV: Law & Order SVU, Forensic Files, The First 48, DateLine Mystery. Any crime show was binge-watched until bed time. As long as there were no F words flying, it seemed to be perfectly suitable viewing. People being murdered isn’t entertainment in my book, but I lived there so I couldn’t say anything.
While many of these shows are interesting, I started noticing a pattern. My parents would say they liked seeing how they caught the bad guys. Guess how they did it? Three magic letters: DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid).
OK, I had and have a huge problem with this because of the underlying attitude of what I presume to be a largely Christian audience (according to ABC News, 83% of Americans are Christian). Here’s what the underlying attitude is: science is only useful when it catches criminals or something else worthwhile. Generations of hard work by many different scientists have gone into the study of genetics. Entire textbooks have been written by biologists holding PhD’s in their respective fields. Researchers have found specific genes that cause certain diseases. Hell, there’s even a procedure called an amniocentesis that can help a pregnant woman find out if her baby will have Down Syndrome.
Great stuff right? Well, not really, as long as these wonderful geneticists/biologists keep their mouths shut about HOW MUCH they know. If they try to give a basic lesson on genetics & how entire genomes have been mapped, showing all life on Earth is connected….NO, STOP!! That’s not what God’s word says! MAYBE YOUR GREAT GRANDDADDY WAS AN APE BUT I WAS MADE IN THE IMAGE OF GAWD
This has to be the biggest case of hypocrisy/cognitive dissonance I know of. Remember that episode of the Simpsons where a supposed angel skeleton was found and Lisa was the only skeptic? I haven’t watched that episode in a long time, but the bartender Moe was rioting with everyone else about how science sucks or whatever and a mammoth tusk falls on his back. He says “Oh! I’m paralyzed! I just hope medical science can cure me!” Yes, that’s exactly what they think and feel but won’t admit it.
Here’s a thought experiment: Go to your refrigerator, open it and look for anything in the fridge that religion has given you. Nothing there right? Now look again in the fridge at what science has given you; for one, the fridge itself. Running water to the freezer for ice cubes, milk that has been pasteurized. Fruit & vegetables found in any grocery store when it’s not their growing season. Are you diabetic? Your insulin is there too.
Science has given humankind many thing,thinks like:
- Air conditioning
- Indoor plumbing
- Cell phones/Computers
- The internet
- Medicine of all kinds
- Pain-free childbirth
- Contact lenses/glasses/Laser Vision correction
- Flea/Tick treatments for your dogs/cats.
Yes, it’s even benefited our pets. I could go on, but I’m sure you get the idea.
Now to be fair, it has been said that science has given us some bad things, like gas in both World Wars, the atomic bomb, etc. But was it science itself, or was its “use by humans” that was bad?
Where would we be without science? Still in the Dark Ages as peasants trying to scratch the lice off our heads while being told by the clergy we’re suffering and hungry because we’re sinners & God is angry with us