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The Sound of the Creationist Monster Myth Exploding

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Explosion
“I thought creationists were monsters, until I married one.” -Tatiana Hamboyan Harrison

Loving the Enemy -Special to Newsweek

Hat tip to the shimmying atheist Kristine for pointing to this article.

Jan. 4, 2007 – It was only a little while after our first lunch as a married couple that my new husband got a test of faith. It came from my grandmother, who said that she didn’t know how anyone intelligent could be a creationist. Not that I could blame her. Before I met my husband, Rob, I would have laughed and agreed with her. This time, though, I glanced at my new husband, inwardly sighed, and wondered how he’d respond. With grace, as it turned out. “I’m a creationist,” he calmly said. Grandma quickly changed the topic.

When I first met Rob four years ago, I had no idea that he was a creationist. He had told me that his parents were fundamentalist Christians, but was silent about his own beliefs. At the time, I was between churches. I had left the Roman Catholic Church of my youth when I was 16 and would spend the next eight years searching for a new religious home before finally settling upon liberal Quakerism. It was only months into our relationship that he broke the news to me, while I was wondering aloud how different shapes of noses evolved. “I don’t believe in evolution,” he said. “I’m a creationist.”

Before Rob, I hadn’t known any creationists. I assumed that they were people who believed in the Bible more than in scientific data, probably out of stupidity. Whenever I imagined what a creationist might look like, he or she was always standing up on a podium, passing judgment on all evolutionists, condemning them as nonbelievers and scorning them with hateful words. I wasn’t sure where these people lived, but I figured it was probably down South somewhere, or in the Midwest. Surely I’d never have to interact with any of them.

But falling in love with Rob changed everything. Though he was a creationist, he didn’t condemn me for not being one. On the contrary, he accepted my beliefs as legitimate and never tried to convert me. Still, it was hard for me to accept that my image of creationists could have been wrong. Instead, I made an exception for Rob, reasoning that he was different. But then, after a year of dating, the time came to finally meet his family.

I was terrified. Rob had been hesitant to let me meet his family, mainly over fear that I wouldn’t approve of them or that they wouldn’t approve of me. I wasn’t going to a fundamentalist Christian college; I was a liberal Democrat; and, perhaps worst of all, I was an evolutionist who didn’t believe the Bible was the literal word of God. My perception of what a Christian should be was different from theirs; while I called myself a Christian, I could not take the Bible literally, which, to Rob’s family, was a requirement for a Christian.

Read the rest here.

Comments
A model story of a Darwinist being converted by creationist spouse was Dr. Geoffrey Simmons being converted by his wife. Simmons wrote: What Darwin Didn't Knowscordova
January 8, 2007
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Though I applaud Ms. Harrison for realizing that not all "creationists" are ignorant fools eager to shove their religion down the throats of others, she nonetheless displays the kind of all-or-nothing viewpoint at the heart of most contention against Intelligent Design theory--that you either believe in evolution or creation. But the two terms are not mutually exclusive. Just because you believe that the universe was created doesn't necessarily mean that you don't believe that man evolved; likewise, just because you believe that man evolved doesn't necessarily mean you're an atheist. Under ID theory, evolution can be interpreted as a guided process, yet still fully in harmony with natural selection. "Evolution" in this sense is thus simpy the process by which the Designer created man.TerryL
January 8, 2007
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At several points he expresses how as a Brit, he is a little puzzled and somewhat amused at how Americans seem to tie their theology to their right wing/left wing loyalties. I think a big reason is that the U.K. has a state church and we don't. I think one reason that British atheists are so fervent is that they are often rebelling against enforced stupidity. I think that is the same reason behind the outspokeness of many American Christians.tribune7
January 8, 2007
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Back to the original topic: I've recently been listening to a lot of audio files of lectures, sermons and interviews with/by N. T. Wright (from his own web page, and from the Veritas Forums). At several points he expresses how as a Brit, he is a little puzzled and somewhat amused at how Americans seem to tie their theology to their right wing/left wing loyalties. Interesting point of view he has on it.jb
January 8, 2007
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"My aim is to keep this bathroom clean. Your aim will help."jb
January 8, 2007
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Mike1962 Tip: Get a night light Correct me if I'm wrong but those need electric power like they gots in the big cities, right?DaveScot
January 8, 2007
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Wow. Every time I think about how screwed up America is, I'll turn my thoughts to this. :-/crandaddy
January 7, 2007
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Even without urinals, I'm still gonna stand up. The ladies should just be glad we sit for the other function.Designed Jacob
January 7, 2007
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DaveScot, Tip: Get a night light ;)mike1962
January 7, 2007
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The splash factor is really only a modest concern at night when you don't turn on the lights. I mean, c'mon, all the married men here know the routine. You wake up at night needing to go but don't want to turn on the lights and wake your sleeping spouse. So you navigate by instinct in the dark with arms outstretched like a blind man to the front of the toilet, lift the lid, aim in the right general direction, listen for the splash, then center it by ear. True, it's not always perfect, but let her who is without sin cast the first stone.DaveScot
January 7, 2007
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Mats, talking of "the easily offended," there's this, reported at Townhall.com by John Leo: "Young women in Sweden, Germany and Australia have a new cause: They want men to sit down while urinating. This demand comes partly from concerns about hygiene -- avoiding the splash factor -- but, as Jasper Gerard reports in the English magazine The Spectator, 'more crucially because a man standing up to urinate is deemed to be triumphing in his masculinity, and by extension, degrading women.' "One argument is that if women can't do it, then men shouldn't either. Another is that standing upright while relieving oneself is "a nasty macho gesture," suggestive of male violence. "A feminist group at Stockholm University is campaigning to ban all urinals from campus, and one Swedish elementary school has already removed them. "In Australia, an Internet survey shows that 17 percent of those polled think men ought to sit, while 70 percent believe they should be allowed to stand. Some Swedish women are pressuring their men to take a stand, so to speak. Yola, a 25-year-old Swedish trainee psychiatrist, says she dumps boyfriends who insist on standing. 'What else can I do?,' said her new boyfriend, Ingvar, who sits." It's only a matter of time before the cry goes out to outlaw beards, moustaches and sideburns, arguably the most in-your-face symbols of a male "triumphing in his masculinity."Emkay
January 7, 2007
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A Dahj twenna fahv hunnert deesal, Dave? Mah daedie's got wonna dem. It roombiles alot. Wow. I'm suprised a story like that on a mainstream media site. You'd think that it would get buried underneath the pile of ad homeneims and other misinformation against ID/Creationism that's out there. Something like this could add credibility to the antievolution side in the OOL debate. What's the world coming to?country6925
January 6, 2007
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I think that this link goes easily with the topic at hand: Blue America: The land of the easily offended http://www.jewishworldreview.com/1204/prager120704.aspMats
January 6, 2007
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I am a white guy, living in Atlanta, Georgia. I'm a staunch political conservative, and an evangelical Christian of the kind the media and American cultural elites look down on. But since I'm married to a black woman (we have two kids), political and cultural liberals are constantly assuming I'm "one of them". I find it kind of amusing, although it's a sad commentary on the stereotypes that so many "tolerant, open-minded liberals" people carry around with them.russ
January 6, 2007
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Ah drahv a Dahj twenna fahv hunnert deesal foe weel drahv long baid long caib mahself. Ah even gots me a winch ona front soes ah can pull mahself and mah buds and mah old lady outta da mud (we all lives on dirt roads) from tahm to tahm.DaveScot
January 6, 2007
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Although Rob's wife is so confident that she'll never be a creationist, by which we all formerly understood 7 day ~ 6000 year earth variety, to people like Eugenie and Richard Dawkins we are all creationists. It is interesting how Rob's wife still hasn't caught up with the latest Judge Jones and friends convenient redefinition of creationist.idnet.com.au
January 5, 2007
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DaveScot FIRE!! Heh heh heh heh.Designed Jacob
January 5, 2007
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(And I don't hate gays - just the sin.)Douglas
January 5, 2007
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Jared White, "Wow, creationists aren’t all Bible-thumpin’, Gay-hatin’, fast-food-eatin’, SUV-drivin’, science-scoffin’ ignoramuses! Whodathunkit?" I happen to drive a Chevy S-10 Extended Cab 4x4 pickup.Douglas
January 5, 2007
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While I didn't necessarily have the same prejudices, it does remind me a bit about my interactions with my wife's family. I wasn't raised in a Christian home and while I believe that the Bible is the inspired word of God, I wouldn't necessarily call myself a "literalist" -- at least not to the English translations. I'm a registered Democrat and if I was pressed to label myself, I'd say I was liberal -- yet I believe my theology is pretty conservative . It was my politics that set me apart from my wife's family. Her parents, brother, sister, aunts, uncles, and most of her cousins were conservative Republicans. In some cases, very conservative Republicans. It was awkward at first when I would hear, "I don't know who would have been stupid enough to vote for Gore!" -- and I would shyly reply... "I voted for Gore." Or when any number of other political discussions would come up, there was usually a small amount of discomfort. Yet, we all except each other and love each other. I don't agree with (all) of their politics and they don't agree with (all) of my political beliefs (nor some of the theological), but we all get along great. In fact, I sometimes have more fun hanging out with my wife's family than my own.dodgingcars
January 5, 2007
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Wow, creationists aren't all Bible-thumpin', Gay-hatin', fast-food-eatin', SUV-drivin', science-scoffin' ignoramuses! Whodathunkit?Jared White
January 5, 2007
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I've been wanting to ask that question for probably weeks now. Thanks for putting that to rest!thechristiancynic
January 5, 2007
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thechristiancynic "You actively seek out reasons to use that graphic, don’t you, DS?" Yes. It's mostly a matter of bandwidth conservation though. After you view it one time it stays in your personal computer's browser cache for a while. Thus if I can use it again before it gets blown out of your cache it doesn't cost us anything. That plus I'm a jarhead and I like explosions and other things in general that make loud noises. DaveScot
January 5, 2007
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You actively seek out reasons to use that graphic, don't you, DS?thechristiancynic
January 5, 2007
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Why is it that so many who enjoy the reach of our tolerance tend to loath us so? What has happened? Just about all the liberty enjoyed in the world today bears some stamp of “made in America”. Were it not for the American soldier those elites who denounce us would be under fascist or communist rule. And where do they think all this tolerance was pioneered and grew and developed and exported? Was it nurtured in the benevolent arms of socialists? And was it under the watchful eye of atheists?Rude
January 5, 2007
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But I still think it was a good positive article and that she is still learning and I think one day she may be open to the ideas ~ actually she seems open b/c she says that "she probably would never" be a creationist, but this is how many people I know slowly become open to the idea of God as the Designer. Good Articlejpark320
January 5, 2007
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I'm not so sure what to make of it all... Seems like her husband is not the "Fundy Conservative" he was made out to be - sleeping in on Sundays, not having a church and doing private worship, marrying someone who has way way differing views ~ now I'm not passing judgment, here but as one of these "Monster Fundy's" it seems that he doesn't fit the profile ie all YECers are not necessarily "Fundy's." The wife also made it clear that she was ignorant about the personalities of Creationists, but she still thinks that it is a bunch of "nonsense" ideologically. I think the lesson applies to both sides that one's idea of creation doesn't make them "monsters" (sad that this is something that has to be learned). But it is VERY VERY sad to see that she still thinks ID/Creation is still nonsense intellectually.jpark320
January 5, 2007
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That reminds me of a gender politics class I took in college. The professor (a feminist women) told us that for a while feminist groups would send women to join fundamentalist pro-life groups in order to spy and keep tabs on their activities. The problem was, the women sent to be spies kept converting and joining the pro-life groups.Jehu
January 5, 2007
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