Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Political Candidates and the Evolution Question

The liberal news media plays a political 'gotcha' game with conservative or even just Republican candidates that they do not with liberal or even just Democrat candidates.  They did this last week (Feb 11, 2015) to thrice elected governor of Wisconsin and possible 2016 Republican presidential candidate, Scott Walker, when they asked what he believed about evolution(news here, and recent columns here, here, here, and here).  Let me lay out my take on the politics of this first.

You can believe in evolution and win a Democratic primary.  You can believe in evolution and become president.  If you believe in evolution, you might lose a Republican primary.  You will lose a large enough percentage of primary voters as a Republican that it could sink your race.  Quite a few people still reject evolution in this country, despite its stranglehold in the public schools, but almost all of them are Republicans.  The media wants Scott Walker out as fast as possible, probably because they fear and hate him more than the other Republican candidates.  They promote a Republican moderate until he passes through the primary into the general election, where they savage him as he has already depressed the conservative turnout.

Walker's present strategy, which I think he had already formulated -- this wasn't off-the-cuff, is as he put it, "to punt" on the question.  He's not going to answer it.  And then he adds something about faith and science being compatible, something like that -- he thinks you can believe both.  Both.  Faith and science.

I'd like to digress a moment, because a Christian worldview does not bifurcate faith and science. Those two aren't separate entities -- there is only one truth.  You've already played into the world's hands, the secularist humanists, when you place science on a different plane than faith, as if science is the objective, fact-based, head-oriented side, and faith is the subjective, feeling-based, heart-oriented part.  What explains it all is that God created everything, including earth, which then fell into and was ruined by sin, but all of that still can and will find redemption through Jesus Christ.  That is the only explanation for everything.

I know, you think that Walker will lose if he answers differently and the point is to win.  We're not hiring a pastor-in-chief, but a president of the United States.  He's got to do what it takes to win, even if it means such a political answer such as he gave.  Not answering gives Walker a sense of deniability, and then when the media hounds him, they might look like bullies and it could have a counter effect on behalf of Walker.  You've already asked that question, he's answered, so please leave the guy alone.  "After all, he's not going to allow his view on origins to influence his governing."

What Walker thinks he gains by losing could actually be, and I believe is, a loss by winning.  He wins a battle by losing the war.  It also runs against the Walker narrative of conviction and courage.  It doesn't mean that I don't still like him better than the other candidates.  However, I think he should go back to the drawing board and take a stand on a consistent Christian worldview, to study and formulate some beautiful talking points that will accomplish even more than his political answer.  If he loses because of his answer, then he loses with the truth still intact, which is greater than he is. If he is operating according to God's cultural mandate in Genesis, he can fulfill it by bringing a Christian worldview to his career and work.

The right answer to the question about evolution dovetails with the historic American view of liberty. The founding fathers said God endowed men with inalienable rights.  The Civil War was fought in part based upon that contract (I will delete comments in the line of a war of northern aggression). The thought of evolution undermines Americanism, the founding beliefs of our country.  We did not receive our rights from government, but from God.

So what would be the succinct, wonderful wording of the right answer to the question about evolution?  What should Walker say?  What should he have said?  I'm going to write an answer, but maybe you could help me.  Think about it and write something in the comment section.  You've got until Monday.


Anonymous said...

When people attempted to entangle Jesus in His talk, He often responded with a question or a statement that exposed them as hypocrites and/or revealed that they were in fact the ones standing on shaky ground. I believe that Walker should have done something along these lines, because they were indeed trying to "entangle him in his talk".


I believe Walker should have said, "I'll ask you a question, and, if you answer it, I will answer your question. Which race of mankind do you believe is the most highly evolved?" If they say "none", Walker can say, "If you believe in evolution, wouldn't you have to believe that some are more highly evolved than others?" If they punt, now they look like the fools. And, of course, any other answer they would give would put them in hot water.

From there Walker can explain how he believes (if indeed he does) that there is only one race created by God, and how evolution serves to undermine this, and historically (Hitler) has caused great harm. Conservatives need to be more wise as serpents and harmless as doves and turn the liberal tactics around on them. They want to trap conservatives on something controversial. The last thing they want to be trapped on is race.

George Calvas said...

"I believe Walker should have said, "I'll ask you a question, and, if you answer it, I will answer your question. Which race of mankind do you believe is the most highly evolved?" If they say "none", Walker can say, "If you believe in evolution, wouldn't you have to believe that some are more highly evolved than others?" If they punt, now they look like the fools. And, of course, any other answer they would give would put them in hot water."

This is excellent. I was going to say something along these lines, using the same argument against their hypocracy, but this is more succinct and to the point.

This would be my second question:

"If unintelligence created life (big bang) how come intelligence (4 billion years of "evolution") cannot keep it?"

horace said...

To answer the direct question posed at the end of the post, Governor Walker should have just said whatever his actual views are be it theistic evolution, old earth creationism, or young earth creationism. However he should have added that its silly to vote for a candidate based solely upon this particular view alone.

As for evolution being "anti-American", the definition of Americanism has been "evolving" for the last two centuries (Michael Lind has a very interesting and convincing hypothesis on there being multiple "American Republics" each with a differing conception of who an American was). Not to mention several of the Founding Fathers were Unitarians or Deists.

Doulos said...

It is hard for me to imagine "succinct, wonderful wording" for Walker when conservative institutions or churches either have non-answers or make unnecessary politically correct efforts.

I've said little here lately...just lurking and learning. But this post and a non-mandatory recent "entertainment" opportunity at a university leads me to speak a bit.

I have a hard time finding my place in Christendom and conservatism any more, so maybe I just haven't evolved enough...but for those who might want to be aware.

"One Voice is a celebration of the contributions of important figures in American history from the time of the African slave trade to the election of our first African American president, Barack Obama..." (PR page)

"What would it have been like to hear Martin Luther King Jr. speak in person? Or Muhammad Ali? Or President Barack Obama? Though you may never be able to travel through time and space to hear them speak in person, you can still catch a glimpse of some of the most prominent figures..."
(Collegian article)

"Just" entertainment or "history celebration" or not...
the drama consisted of opening quotations from: Sharpton, Winfrey, Jackson, Spike Lee, Jordan, Cosby, Davis Jr.

Then proceeded with vignettes of historical figures. Cosby was left out of this presentation due to current controversial reasons.
I have not researched the other persons celebrated, but it is enough for me to know our current president was celebrated by the full recitation of his "Yes, I Can" followed by applause. And his efforts aren't...controversial?

There isn't even succinct wording required of most of us. But we can't even remain silently opposed, instead, for some reason we have to seem to applaud the wrong or make some ambiguous unnecessary move to make us seem kinder and gentler. To see more SBC church and businesses outraged at policies and direction than fundamentalists or conservative Christians...

I don't know what to make of it.
What happened to the "I have a dream" where people aren't judged by their color (or religion) but by the content of their character.

Confusing times. Maybe Walker simply wonders who would actually stand with him with very "right wording".

Thanks, as always, for your ministry.

Doulos said...

Speech title should have been, "Yes We Can", of course. Maybe I was talking to myself then: "Yes I Can dare to post this comment" :)