media & religion (Was Re: Catholic Church no longer swears by truth of the Bible)

From: George Murphy <>
Date: Tue Nov 22 2005 - 08:19:36 EST

----- Original Message -----
From: "Michael Roberts" <>
To: "Preston Garrison" <>; "ASA list" <>
Sent: Tuesday, November 22, 2005 2:57 AM
Subject: Re: Catholic Church no longer swears by truth of the Bible

> As one who takes the Times each day, not because it is the best paper but
> because others are worse, I find the standard of religious reporting in
> the Times to be poor and inaccurate.
> The best thing to do is never to believe journalists especially those who
> write on religious matters - or science

Here's an excellent personal example of this which is relevant to the ID

A little over a week ago I was on a panel at the University of Akron to talk
about ID, with particular reference to the Dover case. An earlier speaker
mentioned the statement attributed to one of the Dover defendants, "2000
years ago a man died on a cross, and I think somebody should stand up for
him." (This had been cited as an indication of the board's religious
intent.) In concluding my remarks I commented that when I speak on such
matters Christians sometimes say to me things like, "Why aren't you
preaching the gospel instead of defending these evolutionists?" OK, I said,
I'll do that. I referred to the statement about "the man who died on a
cross" & then said, "That's right. & the man who died on a cross is where
we know God & who God is, not in the details of the bacterial flagellum."

In our local paper I was reported as saying that _prayer_ is where we know
God, not the details of the bacterial flagellum. This was not, as I found
out, just a simple slip, a conflation of my closing statement with something
I said earlier about prayer. The reporter thought that this was a correct
interpretation of what I had said!

Those with some theological smarts will recognize the difference between
saying that we know God in the objective event of the cross and that we know
him in subjective religious feelings associated with prayer. The latter is
the kind of thing that Johnson, Dembski &c would _like_ for people such as
me to say - i.e., TEs think that God is just a feeling while IDers believe
in a God who really does things. It isn't what I said. But if people in
the media don't know the difference then public debates about ID will only
be confused. & in a debate that generally works to the benefit of the side
that needs to have facts obscured, which in this case is the IDers.

Received on Tue Nov 22 08:20:44 2005

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