Okay, I’m back in. Those three day weekends ya-know. Now what was I going to say? Oh yes, Buttars Bill. That’s right, a few comments on things from the past few days.
Chris Buttars spoke at the Eagle Forum convention this past weekend. The Daily Herald quotes
Buttars concerning his understanding of macroevolution as saying,
"You have big dogs, and you have little dogs," he said. "And you have big cats and little cats, but you don't have a dat."
Truly profound. This shows just how little Buttars and his audience really understand evolution. They don’t even understand what they are attacking.
Also in, from the Associated Press
Teaching evolution while leaving out creationism "hurts young people,” Buttars said.
He cited a mother who said her two daughters were told by a teacher that they evolved from animals, and, "It totally destroyed their faith.”
Now this is what I really want to comment on - the idea that teaching evolution destroys faith in God. Well it’s not true, or at least it doesn’t have to be. Two things come to mind.
First, people will sometimes lose their faith in God when confronted by evolution because they think it proves the Bible wrong. But it’s not the Bible that is being proven wrong at all. If anything it is our human interpretation of the Bible, which we often mistake for the Bible itself, that is being proven wrong. It’s when we raise our human interpretation to the level of dogma, holding to our interpretation as the absolutely true interpretation, that we run into trouble. When confronted with evidence that our inflexible interpretation is wrong, rather than reinterpret things in a new light, we move to discredit it and ultimately to suppress it, or unfortunately we just lose faith. The solution here is not to discredit and suppress evolution. The solution is to display a lot more humility in how we read and interpret the Bible.
Second, if Buttars & Co. is so concerned about kids losing faith they can do a whole lot better than creating legislation banning evolution. Want to know what the number one reason teens drop their faith, and it’s a big one, there isn’t even a close second – it’s called hypocrisy. Legalism, people trying to just act the part, paying lip service to loving your enemies and others, but demanding “doctrinal correctness”, etc., that is what destroys faith far more than “teaching evolution”. When teens see their elders in the faith acting like jerks, declaring themselves righteous, without being righteous, and then, and this is the key, not repenting, well, teens often just call things like they see them – fake. It seems to me that the church would do a whole lot better to look inside itself and repent than to try to legislate “righteous teaching” to others.
(And lest anyone think that since I am not a Mormon, that I am just attacking the Mormon Church with this accusation of hypocrisy, let me say that the Mormon Church holds no copyright on hypocrisy. Hypocrisy is one of the most universal and non-denominational aspects of Christianity and is far more widely practiced than many of us would like to admit.)
Well, now that I’ve gotten totally off topic, the Deseret News reported
The Senate president said again there's GOP support for one of those bills, an effort to ensure evolution is taught in schools only as a theory.
But Senate Minority Leader Mike Dmitrich, D-Price, said he believes the Democrats will be "totally opposed" to the bill, sponsored by Sen. Chris Buttars, R-West Jordan.
Since there aren’t many Democrats in this state, this is bad news.
Also, this morning SB96 went to the Senate Education Committee (room W130), and they voted
on it. Now we know who the good guys and the bad guys are don’t we. And I notice my neighbor and Senate rep Mark B. Madsen sitting pretty amongst the bad guys :^)