Is ID merging with the alt-right? The evidence says,,,,,and what to do about it?

I have run into a series of connections that need a discussion of some sort.

The Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture is headed by Stephen Meyer. Meyer did a presentation here with Eric Metaxas, who is an outspoken supporter of Donald Trump as seen by his book Donald Drains the Swamp. A children’s cartoon book designed for the “forgotten man.”

Metaxas calls Phil Roberston of Duck Dynasty a “prophet” in a back-cover review of The Theft of America’s Soul, Robertson’s book about how liberals in the 1960s turned America away from God and traditional values.

The Robertson clan has become a outspoken Christian newsmakers. Phil’s nephew Wilie did a cameo in the film God is Not Dead, which in my view caricatured the university professor. Phil is also highly critical of the academy in his book.

Meyer, Metaxas, Robertson…now enter Steve Bannon of Breitbart News and Trump’s former advisor and architect of his 2016 apocalyptic rhetoric.

Robertson is the narrator of Bannon’s film The Torchbearer, an apocalyptic vision of the downfall of Western civilization.

Tim LaHaye, whom I interviewed, used this vision of the apocalypse to create the Left Behind series.

Is ID merging with Bannon’s alt-right? These two movements have different origins and initial intentions, but it seems the evidence says so.

All I can think of as a nobody who is an adjunct professor is to initiate a community conversation with pastors and professors here in my Dallas neighborhood.

These culture warriors cannot be stopped it seems to me. But free speech can be answered by more speech.

I think the young people are depending on us to answer. I am going to do my best here.

Thoughts? Challenges? Critique?

That’s a lot of confirmation bias

How does this question at all follow from the observations above it? You can’t conflate being a conservative Evangelical with being “alt-right” any more than you can conflate being a progressive Evangelical with being antifa.

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To your responses, I say “good”. This is what I needed help to think through.

I swim in a Blue State college history department as a conservative evangelical who is the son of immigrants. So I often find myself caught between political worlds daily.

I looked up the meaning of “confirmation bias” and it seems to say “seeking agreement with one’s pre-existing beliefs”.

I see the alienation Discovery leaders caused at Baylor over the Polanyi Institute with the Baylor faculty.

I have heard directly from atheist Lauri Leno how the Dover trial tore neighbor from neighbor.

I hope to talk to Ted Davis about this.

So would someone please help me clarify what the present agenda of Discovery is?

If anyone knows, my ears are wide open as I face my colleagues.

I know the connections I am making seem distantly related. I see Metaxas as the key link.

Please continue to give me feedback as I plan to talk to committee creationist pastors locally.

I think your post is problematic, but not because of “confirmation bias.” The problem I see is guilt by association. Sally knows Steve who published with Jack who was in a symposium with Mary who praised Kim’s work. Therefore Sally and Kim are in a cabal together. This is very weak, and leans toward irresponsible.

The ID movement is married to the right wing, yes. Many of their adherents are surely antifa. But a list of kooks does not imply a “merger.” My advice is to focus more on helping people understand history and less on compiling lists of people you have interviewed or who have done voiceovers on cable.


So far, the only link you have identified is from Meyer to Metaxas to Phil Robertson. That does seem to be well short of a merger. At the same time, the two sides seem to have grounds for common cause. Meyer/DI can inveigh against the allegedly atheist assumptions of methodological naturalism, while Metaxas and Robertson can inveigh against the alleged atheism implicit in banning mandatory school prayer, etc.

Probably the best defense is a good offense. There’s a case to be made for involving all of humanity in common projects like science and government. God created all of humanity in His image, regardless of their/our acknowledgement of that fact. Since we all share in His image, we have a common basis for undertaking projects like science, government, education, business, etc. Let’s make that case.

Chris Falter


@jbabraham88, as I live inyour general area, I can see where you are coming from, but think that while there is considerable overlap in the groups, there is no real shared leadership or vision that would unite them. The far right leaning church members where I live tend to be 6 day creationists, with the those not quite so far right having more progressive creationists and ID folks. However, the vast majority would not know what a progressive creationist or ID creationist was if asked to define them.

I have just spoken with a graduate of Dallas Theological Seminary that seems to support ID from their pulpit given they have allowed Kerby Anderson of Probe Ministries to speak there.

Anyway my friend Dennis said…he is on staff with Cru at the Univ of Texas at Dallas…that everybody needs to stop lumping people together in terms of beliefs simply because they have relationships with each other.

There must be a name for this habit. What is it?

Anyway, in Christian bookstores there is a book called God and Donald Trump written by a defender of the evangelical base that supported Trump. The author Stephen Strang dismisses Clinton and Obama because of their connection and admiration for Saul

So everybody does this “taint by association” thing. I want to stop doing it and get clarity so that I can equip my students to be better neighbors and so that I can become their model in this.

What is the phrase for that habit of lumping people together?


Oops. You said it…
Guilt by association. Judging people not on the basis of evidence but on the grounds of the company they keep, being associated with an offender.

Everybody is tempted to assign guilt by association…there’s the problem.

Of course, sometimes people are proud of their associations.

Anyway, I stand now with greater clarity. Thanks


@jbabraham88 You got it. But I should also have said this: you are a hero for trying to help people (your students) understand history and avoid being exploited by propaganda. I wish I could help you more.


“Stereotyping” comes to mind, but you seem to have in mind something more specific where membership in one group is the basis for assuming membership in another group.

All of the people and organizations you named have their own goals and agendas. What they have in common is that they’re all trying to reach the same audience, so they all speak the same cliches and occasionally come together to milk the evangelical sheep dry before returning to their own pastures.


Mark already mentioned “stereotyping”. There is also “pigeonholing” if you want to stock up on labels!

Wonder if the Colossian Forum, which sponsored The Fool and the Heretic, and helps with conflict, would be relevant. They are apparently hiring :slight_smile:

I feel as though this discussion is too political for biologos

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Dear Reggie,
Yes, this is one of the many symptoms of modern Christianity that is driving intelligent, young people away.
Best Wishes, Shawn

Your feeling is so-noted. Attitudes towards evolution / creation / religion blur, often without clear demarcation into politics (especially in the U.S.). So while we continue to enforce a “no-politics” blanket policy here, that doesn’t mean we don’t make and allow for case-by-case judgment calls for times when the topic is well within Biologos purview. This topic is fine as is.

I think one of the driving spirits behind that policy is that we don’t want threads here to devolve into left-right shouting matches.


Reggie, it does push the boundaries. Certainly we do not want to go into secular or church politics as it would detract from the mission of BioLogos, which is to help with faith/science issues. As Mervin said however, those lines get blurred as nothing stands alone.

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