Two missed categories: Probe's cackling with laughter....race and class and antievolutionist culture


(josh abraham) #1

Have you noticed?

Creationist leaders are predominantly—well, basically exclusively—white Protestant men. Look at the staff of the Institute for Creation Research and the Discovery Institute.

Both have large presences here in Dallas.

I don’t why Ronald Numbers and George Marsden overlooked race in evaluating evangelicals, but I assume they were focused on other things.

Anyway, the culture war also has a class aspect. It seems to me, after 11 years of studying it professionally.

Middle class evangelicals lean toward antievolutionist, university-rejecting postures due to their sense the university is an irredeemably unholy place.

I go to church apparently with two billionaires at Highland Park Presbyterian. This is somewhat hilarious as I make an adjunct professor’s food-stamp salary.

HPPC doesn’t seem to me to be a culture-war place. They lent a room for a Discovery fundraiser, but one pastor I interviewed has no clue what Discovery is.

HPPC is also less than a mile from elite SMU, the Harvard of Dallas.

Anyway, here are some links about antievolutionists I have found since being here.

Eric Metaxas a vocal Trump supporter allied with Discovery here at a megachurch.

Ray Bohlin of Probe Ministries is a fellow of Discovery and has been given the pulpit at mighty Watermark church to talk about science to thousands.

Discovery has done seminars at Southwestern Bapt Seminary here in Fort Worth, the world’s largest seminary.

Kerby Anderson of Probe has been given the pulpit multiple times at Dallas Theol Seminary to talk about culture wars and science.

The Southern Poverty Law Center put Probe on its hate-groups list because of what Sue Bohlin, Ray’s wife, said in a blog about LGBT people.

Reasonable Faith is a ministry of Probe at the Univ of Texas at Dallas campus. I went to hear Michael Keas of Discovery talk.

Cackling with laughter at Neil deGrasse Tyson and Bill Nye, whom my students worship. That’s all I remember.

White middle class men rule antievolutionism. Take it to the bank. Your thoughts?


(Phil) #2

While there are a few exceptions, your generalization holds. I think it is largely due to the fact that the YEC movement is largely derived from the from the same fundamentalist culture that is largely complementarian and patriarchal, justifying that position with the same interpretation of scripture, literalist and rigidly prescriptive.


(Christy Hemphill) #3

I’m wondering how this is separate from the fact that white middle class men rule Evangelicalism/Fundamentalism? Since anti-evolution attitudes are a feature of Evangelical/Fundamentalist apologetics, it seems to me that the religious affiliation came first. Women and minorities are limited in many ways from leadership within Evangelical/Fundamentalist churches and organizations. So I think the lack of female and minority leadership in creationist origins ministries, which are derivative, is not at all surprising.


(Mervin Bitikofer) #4

Okay - but to be fair; we’re pretty predominately male and “white” here too, right? I mean - God bless you Josh, Christy, Laura, and maybe a few others that bring at least a little diversity. And I know I could be wrong about this since most of the anonymous users around here don’t necessarily reveal their gender much less their cultural origins. But it seems like we’ve discussed this before here and reached informal conclusions that for the most part, we’re a pretty homogeneous looking bunch around here.

So maybe it’s more a general reflection of the ongoing, problematic lack of diversity in engineering and science fields generally that still dogs not just creation science but science enthusiasts generally.

[though that said … we have Deb Haarsma as the Biologos President and no small share of women writers and contributors. Without even knowing, I’d put dollars to the dime that the creationist organizations don’t have many, if any women in their leadership positions. So there is that!]


(Phil) #5

Dr. Georgia Purdom is active as a speaker with AIG, but not sure if she would be considered leadership. Of course, AIG is sort of a one man show.


(Jay Johnson) #6

My son graduated from SMU at 19. But, much as I love him, you give SMU too much credit. There are probably another couple of old-money billionaires at HPPC, but they tend to fly under the radar.

Bohlin was DI’s point man on the curriculum battle over evolution at the State Board of Education. I went to Watermark when it started in the gym at Lake Highlands High School. I left when the pastor revealed his megachurch dreams of buying an entire tract of office buildings on the freeway as our future “campus.” No thanks.

SPLC has been criticized for being overly aggressive in cases like this. Probe is more similar to Campus Crusade than anything else. Its close ties to DI are what is strange, and possibly worth investigating.


(Roger A. Sawtelle) #7

I think that you and most white folk in their pride and disbelief overlook the fact that God is able to work through the Black Church to create a vibrant spirituality without dogmatic theology. Too bad.


(Christy Hemphill) #8

What makes you think Josh is “white folk”?


(Chris) #9

That seems the best way to treat them. I reviewed Nye’s “Unbelievable” for my book club and said he managed to conceal his intelligence quite well.


(Roger A. Sawtelle) #10

Based on context.


(system) closed #11

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