I am not a subsciber to the Daily Wire, but know it’s reputation as being far right wing. I follow both conservative and progressive people on Twitter. I saw conservative Twitter passing it around and paid for the article.
Basham attempts to not only throw Francis Collins under the bus, but also a whole host of evangelical leaders by association. As pointed out, it was opinion and there was a clear attempt to take someone down. However, there are a few facts thrown in that really bothered me. It is a fact that under Francis Collins, NIH paid for some research that goes against traditional Christian values. It is also a fact that Collins was heading a secular organization, and secular orginazations will obviously fund things that go
against Christian values. (As for sourcing on this, it is science.org, given a “high” factual rating from media bias and other media assesment websites). I am not sure how much Collins knew about these different projects, but I think it also doesn’t matter. Where I come down on it is, I don’t know that I could have done better had I been in his shoes.
As I was wrestling with this this past weekend, it just so happened that I was reading about Joseph. I’ve always thought of him as the “good guy”, maybe because he has always been preached to me that way. He struggled with pride in his youth, but then he was humbled and became this great man of God. But with this on my mind, it struck me that Joseph was actually exploitative. He took all of their money and when they couldn’t pay anymore, he took all of their land. I don’t know what kind of moral guidance he had on this, and maybe it isn’t fair to hold him to modern standards, or even later Biblical standards, but still, I don’t know that what he did was objectively good. I’m not saying Collins is terrible, or equating him with Joseph. I just think we need to make room for leaders who are not perfect, because no one is perfect, right?
Another thought on all of this is, I do wish Collins had gone ahead and done the interview with Basham instead of bowing out because of “tone”. What does that even mean?? Even here in this thread, I see moderators saying others are “ignorant” because they may have legitimate questions about this. I don’t think this is a good tone to have. I also see a lot of “bashing” of the source instead of dealing with the facts Basham does include and a generally dismissive attitude. I am in a deep red state, and to be honest, this is one of the reasons why there are a lot of uneducated people who feel resentful. I understand also that sometimes “just asking questions” is used as an excuse to dismiss evidence, but these tones and attitudes definitely will not bridge any possible gap.
This all makes me think of the lengths different Christian institutions have gone recently to protect leaders because they were afraid of the damage it would do to legacies or the “witness” or growth or whatever. I see a lot of evangelical leaders like the two Moores, French, Wright, DuMez, et al building a kind of new Christian network. I am totally behind these people, their points, and what they are doing. I’m behind Biologos and have recommended the site to people and will continue to do so after this. I do hope, though, that we are not just replacing the “Moral Majority” leaders with “More of the Same”. I hope that we can objectively deal with leaders and their ambiguities and face them head on, trusting God with the results and with the “growth”.