Posted by richard on April 11th, 2012
it is curious to me to see that the new atheists and ken ham/aig have exactly the same position. empty out the ability of the middle to sustain itself in the face of attacks from the polarized ends.
the “big guns” from both the left-NA and the right-AIG are aimed at the middle. the NA deride those accommodationists who either are theists or align themselves with those who would add a layer of Godtalk on top of mutation-selection. AiG for their part would rid their churches not only of theist evolutionists but anyone who believes geology teaches deep time ie anything over 6Kya.
for AiG, who count noses, this is a game of numbers, they think they have enough to push the issues whenever something comes to a vote, whether in Tenn govt or the church’s general assembly. the NA i think are trying to make religion in general and liberal scientifically informed religion in particular, ashamed to be religionists, to be accommodationists or fellow travelers. it’s kind of a bricksmanship move, force those middle guys towards the atheists and marginalize the rest, like Francis Collins who won’t surrender either their faith or science.
but the real effect is on the young. they in general don’t see the nuances, but see just 2 positions, either church or atheism, either AiG or evolution, no middle positions allowed. they know almost all science/biology educated fundamentalists will bolt the fold, most liberal kids will grow up a bit more liberal than their parents, thus it’s a game for the NA to recruit the next generation.
it leaves the middle in a quagmire, where the right can castigate everyone who believes in an old earth as compromisers of God’s Word, without any need to distinguish OEC, TE, atheist. and the left can accuse all believers as muddle headed pie in the sky mythologists. the middle has 2 very different battles. in the church they have to continually justify their faith bonafides, insisting that they are Real Christians in the face of AiG’s insistence that they really aren’t up to standard. but towards the left they have to justify faith as an enterprise at all.
history of ideas….
i read ken ham’s page pretty much everyday. the comments really are a window into that community and what is important to them.
but i’m struggling for a structure to understand conservative, fundamentalist folks with.
i can see a complex group of ideas-say 1.homosexuality, 2. abortion, 3.marriage, 4. no death before the fall. i can see in a general way how the ideas intertwine, both with each other and with a specific way of reading Scripture.
now, i try to get a handle on how strongly people feel about a topic, and maybe some insight into why. the strength of feeling should be some indicator of the priority of an idea, the stronger you feel the more important something ought to be. it is this list of priorities where people clash so often. demanding that i take as seriously an issue as they do.
a lot of their thinking seems to revolve around sexual issues. hot button topics.
i see fear and hatred as big motivators, i don’t see love as a motive force when i read these folks.
but what i don’t understand is how issues rise up to be “big issues”
how does abortion rise above justice for the oppressed by the rich?
or illegal immigration over taking care of the stranger in your midst?
i guess i really don’t have a conservative soul that i can search for these answers.