Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Intelligent design?

Harold Hill, the Music Man, decides he's got to create a moral crisis in River City, so he sings:

"Well, either you're closing your eyes to a situation you do not wish to acknowledge or you are not aware of the calibur of disaster indacated by the presence of a pool table in your community."

From the "family values crowd, who've taken a break from rescuing the institution of marriage from gays, while invading Terri Schiavo's husband's right make decisions for his wife, we get the quest to teach "intelligent design" in the public schools.

It's not teaching religion, we're told. No, we're just going to tell children that all the puzzle pieces of nature fit together so well that this harmony must have resulted from "intelligent design." Sounds pretty nice. It's not God creating the world, it's just "intelligent design." Has a nice ring to it.

To me, the greatest evidence against "intelligent design" is that God created people who really think they can just slip this by the rest of us, without us figuring out that there can be no "intelligent design" without an "intelligent designer." And that gets us back to what this really is, an effort to teach religion to public school students. Put a new label on a bottle of wine, and it still tastes the same.

More to the point of the "intelligence" behind the people who "designed" this creationism pitch is the assumption that there is some reason we, as a society, must teach religion to public school students. How ironic is it that the people who profess the power of God the loudest have no faith in his abiltiy to reach us, unless taxpayer dollars are used to broadcast his message.

And while we're on the subject, can someone explain why we need the 10 Commandments or Manger scenes on public property? I'm looking for the "intelligent design" behind installing a several ton statue of the Commandmnents in the Alabama courthouse? Was there a single criminal who saw it, slapped his forehead, and exclaimed "if only I'd known there was a commandment against murder or theft!"

Truth be told, the "design" behind these faith based initiatives is to earn God's favor. On judgment day, the "intelligents" would have us believe, we've got a better shot at salvation because the dollars we sent to televangelists say "in God we trust." Or maybe the divine will be more likely to "bless" us while we are alive, because we make our children pledge that we are "one nation under God."

Why I will probably not make it the promised land designed by these intelligent so called Christians is because my God is not so easily fooled. He knows what's in my heart and my soul, and he judges me by my deeds - and not by how many times I see Mel Gibson's movie. And he's not really fond of people who have God Bless our Troops stikers on their car, since "not killing people" is one of his commandments. So is turning the other cheek. He sent a someone named Jesus Christ to tell us all this. Faith means more than just head nodding. It means taking a punch, with the "faith" that God's not happy when you fight back.

My hope is that one day the spell of these religious music men will wear off, and the "faithful" will read the Bible they've heard so often thumped. Not only will they discovery that their emperors have no clothes, but God's truly "intelligent design" will be made known to them - we can all live in peace. - we just chose not to.


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