Wikipedia describes G. K. Chesterton as “…English writer, lay theologian, poet, philosopher, dramatist, journalist, orator, literary and art critic, biographer, and Christian apologist.” He’s not always right but is almost always interesting and sometimes absolutely profound. My favorite quotation is following:
“The One value that you have left when you have lost all your principles is tolerance.”
There are many of these unprincipled people among us who take great pride in their “tolerance,” but are in truth extremely intolerant.
The slogan of the United Methodist Church (UMC) is “Open Hearts, Open Minds, Open Doors.” Isn’t that nice? However, last month the UMC officials demonstrated what appears to be closed-minded intolerance by banning the Discovery Institute, from sponsoring an information table at the denomination’s upcoming General Conference planned for May of this year. Intelligent design is the idea that life and the universe show evidence of being the result of purposeful design rather than unguided processes. The UMC is very tolerant (supportive) of Southern Methodist University professors who dogmatically teach Evolution. I can personally testify that several of these supported professors are viciously opposed to the presentation of scientific evidence that supports Creation.
My brief experience at Cambridge exposed me to the pride the English take in their open-mindedness. It is strictly a surface phenomenon. I was amused by the recent blatantly intolerant reaction to the appointment of a new commentator on the BBC’s daily morning news programme, when it was learned that he was of all things, a creationist. The British newspaper, The Telegraph, said, “Dan Walker’s creationism is an affront to reason, science and logic. The BBC has done nothing to explain how someone who believes in the literal truth of Genesis can present the news accurately. …And while I have no doubt that Dan Walker is, in every other aspect, entirely qualified for his role as a presenter of the BBC’s morning news show, his appearance on BBC One and BBC News as the creationist face of the Corporation to millions is problematic. …Indeed, creationism is so silly that the government has de-funded schools which teach it. They are not eligible for taxpayer support, because they are promulgating an unscientific myth. …To believe that God literally created the earth in six days is to deny basic elements of logic. It may not be as offensive or insensitive as holocaust denial, but it is as logically defensible. The BBC’s mission to inform, educate, and entertain requires it to ensure that it handles news with impartiality, objectivity, and reason.”
The newspaper’s amazing reaction is the direct result of years of the censoring of evidence against evolution from public education systems, both in the US and England. The reporter appears genuinely convinced that such evidence does not exist. After all, he is well educated and he never heard of such. We contribute to this attitude when we sit with duct tape firmly affixed over our mouths and do nothing about it.
“Only conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or remain absent, I will hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel; in no way alarmed by your opponents — which is a sign of destruction for them, but of salvation for you, and that too, from God.” (Philippians 1:27-28)