My latest letter titled ‘Hate mael 4 u’…

Sometimes "hate mail" is not what you expect.

…was actually very nice, and it included a nice bit of humor that made me smile.

But beyond that, the reason I wanted to share it with you is because the author, who asked to remain anonymous, spoke to an issue that is not discussed often or openly enough: the subconscious — or often, outright — hostility the evangelical majority exhibits toward those in its midst who accept evolutionespecially scientists.

I hope you get a lot of email so I’ll intentionally keep this brief. Both my wife and I are scientists and you’re wrong on all accounts. Feel ashamed. Jerk.

And your mom’s fat.

I don’t mean that, but you’ve got a fantastic a sense of humor that I can easily relate to and even though my usual bedtime was hours ago, I couldn’t help but keep reading your website. Any man who professes to love God, accept science and drop yo momma jokes is OK in my book.

I hate hate hate hate talking with mainstream Christians about facts and science; the better half, who has a Ph.D. in “the devil’s work” (also known as “genetics”), flat-out refuses to attend small group or discussion-based church events that have the possibility of touching on science, simply because people look at her as someone who should be able to defend God from those mean-spirited evolutionists. It’s heart-breaking and frustrating and, at times, unbearable.

Corporate church is good for hearing God’s word, but finding Christians living near you who aren’t afraid to worship God for what he is rather than what they want him to be is impossible these days. It’s like all learning of God’s nature stops in grades 1-5 Sunday school. Christian adults should want to grow more familiar with God and marvel at his creation. Others look at Christians as if we represent our faith — you want to build your brothers and sisters for their benefit and everyone’s around them but again…heartbreaking.

Anyway, I’m preaching to the choir so I’ll stop. Thanks for the website. It made my day and I’ll continue reading it. Knowing there are other Christians out there who won’t put God in a box and throw on a MasterLock (pun) is heartwarming to say the least. Carry on, brother.

I can’t stress enough that this couple’s experience, and the ones noted above, are not isolated incidents. In fact, this bubbling, just-under-the-surface animosity was highlighted by the Barna Group as one of the main reasons young people today are leaving the church. Fighting the false choice between science and scripture is one of the primary motivations for this blog, and it’s a battle with significant and far-reaching consequences, in which we should all be involved. So, please share your own story with us, and help us change the church for the better.

Tyler Francke

  • Larry Bunce

    Many people have an insurmountable problem with science compared to religion. Some personality types cannot tolerate ambiguity, and while science may speak of fact and logic, there is always an implied “to the best of current knowledge” in scientific statements. Traditional religion makes unequivocal statements – “this is right,” “that is wrong.” Religious statements, no matter how controversial they may have been when originally made, are followed by “this is most certainly true.” To be sure, we pray, “Lord, help erase all my doubts.” If, in spite of all these precautions, some lingering doubts remain, religion teaches us that all our questions will be answered when we meet God in the afterlife.

    The last time science offered that kind of certainty was in the middle ages, when Aristotle was believed to have written the last word on science. No advances were at made in science in those days, but everyone knew what they knew.

    Science, on top of freely admitting gaps in knowledge, has also taken away the possibility of interpreting the Bible in a straightforward, unequivocal manner. While many of us believe that this makes the Bible a richer and more interesting book, and that our understanding of how nature works only increases our appreciation of God’s power and majesty, those unable to tolerate ambiguity and complexity will have good reason to hate science.

    • I agree with you, and aslo with Brandon Withrow, who made a similar point in his most recent HuffPost column, arguing that it is an integral part of the fundamentalist mindset that seeks to remove ambiguity and draw clear lines between who is “in” and who is “out.”

  • I had encountered Christians that were like this — they pull their knowledge of science from where they defecate as they got their sources from “Dr.” Kent Hovind. I pissed some of them off by saying, “What you’re practicing is cartoon theology or as I coin it ‘Flintstones Christianity,” as one of his followers pulled out an f-bomb at me in retort. I got e-mails from Christians when they saw my website first launched as they gave me a dirty look in my e-mail when I openly dropped the “f**k” word.