January 8, 2008

More Huck and stuff

Hearkening back to our discussion on evolution, I read that Huckabee seems to echo the misunderstanding about the word "theory":
"Huckabee said he has no problem with teaching evolution as a theory in the public schools and he doesn't expect schools to teach creationism."
More of the "educated guess" approach to scientific theory. I think that is what bothers me the most about Huckabee's denial of evolution--he doesn't understand the basic arguments. He also suggests that his beliefs have nothing to do with his ability to be President. Yet, as President, he would oversee spending decisions on science--and my zoology friends tell me that grant money has dried up in the last 8 years. People may oppose evolution all they want, but they often ignore the role that the understanding of evolution plays in developing new medicines and understanding our world. Most I talk to are fine with the medicines, they just don't want to accept any connection to evolution.

And, as Chris Mooney suggests, this attack on science has become a cornerstone of the modern Conservative movement.
From Barry Goldwater's anti-intellectualism, through Ronald Reagan’s sympathy for creationism and Newt Gingrich's passion for science "skeptics," on through the present day, Republicans have shown a marked preference for politically inspired fringe theories over the findings of long-established and world-renowned scientific bodies.
That anti-intellectualism has become gospel among the religious right and Mike Huckabee is the logical outcome of that approach. A well-spoken and funny man who denies evolution, and thinks David Barton is the greatest living American historian. An anti-intellectual President? Of course, we only have to look at the current resident of the White House for what that looks like. And it isn't a pretty situation.


Speaking of Bush, he has a very deluded view of his own place in history:
"I can predict that the historians will say that George W. Bush recognized the threats of the 21st century, clearly defined them, and had great faith in the capacity of liberty to transform hopelessness to hope, and laid the foundation for peace by making some awfully difficult decisions," Bush told Yonit Levi of Israel's Channel 2 News.
Bush added, "well, liberty is a good thing, unless you are an American citizen expecting your phone not to be tapped." Ok, I made that one up. But Bush also called himself a "realistic guy."

It is that kind of realism that denies science and believes that cutting taxes is a way to pay for a trillion dollar war.


I post this with fear and trepidation, but the issue of the masculine Christianity is out there and part of our landscape. Bruce Wilson connects the Godmen idea to Christian Reconstructionists and the "Beautiful Girlhood" movement, both led by people like Doug Philips (who, if Huckabee can't get David Barton, would make a great Huckabee-like approach to education and history--in other words, he is an idiot). Philips
blames the "fatherhood problem" on early feminists and 19th Century Unitarians, the Industrial Revolution, and a lack of Olde Tyme Religion. Other parties, such as the Southern Baptist Convention, seem to feel the problem of wussy, irresponsible American males can be combatted via special "manly" Bibles.
Yes, that is right, they have "manly Bibles."


Tony said...

Oh, as you post with trepidation, so I comment with the same anxiety.

On Doug Phillips' statement, how many presuppositions can be smuggled into one statement? Let me ask a couple of questions that kind of stick out to me...

Does reading/studying a Bible with "man" on the cover automatically make you more godly, make you a better father? Or does applying the principles therein?

What exactly is an "authentic" man? Who gets to define that word?

Can we really trace the "fatherhood problem" back to feminists, the IR, and Old Tyme Religion? And Unitarians? How does unitarian theology work into me being a horrible daddy? I can see the quirks with the other mentions, but unitarianism? Where is he going with that?

And on evolution, Huckabee makes the same logical leap many if not all creationists are guilty of making, that believing evolution (in any way, notwithstanding its explanation for origins) means a full denial of the faith.

It doesn't.

steves said...

What is the "fatherhood problem?"

I wonder how much of this is just a marketing ploy. There are teen Bibles, women's Bibles, Bibles for singles, etc.

"And on evolution, Huckabee makes the same logical leap many if not all creationists are guilty of making, that believing evolution (in any way, notwithstanding its explanation for origins) means a full denial of the faith.

It doesn't."

I agree. My faith is compatible with science. I don't understand the problem that some have. Granted, I am not a scientist, but my church has it's fair share of doctors and professors, so it doesn't seem impossible.

Tony said...

I have often wondered about the "fatherhood problem." Dads have been mistreating their kids for longer than the Scriptures have been canonized. It really just gets back to man's fundamental problem, a failure to take responsibility. You can dress it up and blame it on one societal malady (not that I am saying those things listed are maladies) or another, but the simple answer is just a failure to be personally responsible; in a word, sin.

And there are Soldier's Bibles, Fireman's Bibles, Police Officer's Bibles, The Teacher's Bible (which I meant to get Streak for Christmas, sorry) and on and on and on. The reality is the niche Bible business is a booming business.

Streak said...

I hope all those bibles are manufactured with free labor and decent pay.

Bitebark said...

Tony, can you summarize the "fatherhood problem" in 500 words or less? How 'bout just a sentence? I'm not sure I understand what the problem is exactly.

fightingpreacher said...

You know I just dont get you guys. Why does everything have to be so negative with you. I mean lets think about this. Authentic manhood could mean anything. Maybe that particular bible stresses being a better husband and father.

Streak said...

FP, I don't think we intend to be negative. I think many of us fear that American Christians have allowed their faith to be commercialized to a ridiculous extent. Having a bible aimed at this seems like a cynical way to sell more product. Walk through a Christian mega store and tell me that there are not a bunch of people out there figuring out how to profit off people's religious beliefs? For me, the end began when Mel Gibson's Passion sold "authentic pewter nails." As I said then, if you can commercialize the crucifixion, then you can commercialize anything.

Authentic manhood could mean anything. Maybe that particular bible stresses being a better husband and father.

Perhaps. Though that still assumes that there is an "authentic manhood" or an "authentic Christian manhood."

leighton said...

I think my "The end is come" moment was when my roommate brought home Narnia chapstick.

Narnia. Chapstick.

I'd like to think that single men are men too, but maybe that's just me.

Streak said...

Narnia chapstick. That is pretty damn bad.

I have joked about this in the past (and I am really half joking) about an ad selling pain reliever featuring Christ on the cross.

ubub said...

Forgive me for weighing in so late, but I have been out of town, so to speak.

I am troubled by this statement:

"Maybe that particular bible stresses being a better husband and father."

It seems it's either a Bible or it's not. Obviously there are various translations, those with and without the Apocrypha, etc, but Bibles with different emphases? Really?

Are they different "Bibles" or are these niche-marketed books better understood as biblical commentary geared toward a particular audience/market share?

Also, where did you find the Narnia chapstick? I too have lips to protect and nothing keeps me as kissable as product tie-ins.

Leighton said...

Chapstick has since discontinued its Narnia brands (I'd like to believe because of public outrage, but more likely declining sales after the movie had been out for a while), but a more observant consumer noted that the flavors were Lucy: Wild Apple, Peter: Magical Melon, and White Witch: Icy Melon, as well as the White Witch: Icy Apple that my roommate brought home.

Streak said...

for some reason, hearing the flavors makes it even more wrong....