Christians need not fear Harry Potter

I wrote the following over a year ago for another blog, I’ve reposted it here because this blog is a more appropriate home, given the subject matter. There are a couple of very minor edits to the original text.

Recently I heard a church pastor proclaim from the pulpit that Harry Potter was evil and should be avoided. The more I thought about this blanket statement that Christians should avoid Harry Potter the more it concerned me. It is after all a fantasy adventure, what could be so dangerous?

The controversy of Harry Potter in Christian circles is not new and I have known for some time that there is division over it, with some saying it is harmless and others taking the stance of the aforementioned pastor.

Having read some of the books and seen some of the films, I firmly belong to the camp that says its an exciting adventure, with some dark themes of good vs evil that is not dangerous to read. I will happily acknowledge that not everyone will like or want to read the books. If someone chooses to avoid the books because they are uncomfortable with the subject matter, that’s fine, I will not force my opinion on them.

What bothers me though, is why do some Christians feel so passionately about them that they think they are bad news to read? It seems that the subject matter of magic is central to the argument, along with secondary claims of the books promoting rebellion, disrespect of adults and other non-desirable attributes. The following blog posting gives a good overall view of why Harry Potter should be avoided:

http://lyndao.wordpress.com/2009/09/17/why-christians-should-not-read-or-watch-harry-potter/

Promotes Rebellion

The first thing that occurs to me, as someone who did many years of youth work and is now a parent, is that kids and teens do not need any encouragement, they pretty much all rebel at some point and to differing degrees. To claim that a specific story should be avoided because it features teen and pre-teen characters rebelling is ludicrous. Should I stop my daughter watching Horton Hears a Who? After all that features rebellion as one of its key themes.

Unpunished Rebellion

Apparently there is unpunished or un-rebuked rebellion, which is a very bad thing and sets a bad example for young minds reading the books. Firstly there is punishment given for misbehaviour. Now it is possible that there are punishable actions which escape punishment, how that translates to encouraging children to misbehave and rebel is a leap of logic that escapes me. I am once again drawn to Horton Hears a Who as that also features unpunished rebellion and I have yet to see evidence of that affecting my daughter.

My biggest concern on this one is that for a parent or guardian to worry that these books will encourage their child into rebellion is that there is obviously a weakness in their relationship with their child. One thing that is pretty much a given with children is that if you ban them from something, they will find a way of doing it. Ban them from reading the books or watching the films and they will eventually find a way of doing just that. It won’t be the books promoting that rebellion, it will be you and your prohibitionist attitude. Far better to read the books with the children and then discuss any issues with them. This is what I did as a youth worker and it was very worthwhile, it promotes openness between you and the child concerned and actively discourages rebellion.

Promotes witchcraft and wizardry

Arguably the biggest complaint about the books and probably the biggest single issue with those concerned about the books. Some people don’t draw any distinction between contains and promotes, so the fact that the books contain magic as a key part of the subject matter is enough. If only these people will take a closer look at the context and the story and see that there is a bigger picture there.

If someone doesn’t like the idea of a story about magic then fair enough, not everyone has to like the books, but to make a blanket statement that no Christian should read the books because you don’t agree with or like certain aspects of the books is rather presumptuous.

The biggest concern for me is people who make comments along the lines of ‘reading these books will compromise your Christianity’ or ‘I have seen and had to help deal with the consequences of reading these books’. The basic premise behind these types of comments is that if a Christian reads Harry Potter their Christian beliefs are compromised and they are no longer able to think straight. A book can do that? Wow!

This type of comment is extremely dangerous and potentially confusing, especially for new Christians, as it gives very mixed signals. In order for someone to make a comment like that, they have to believe that the person they are addressing, who has already made a conscious decision to accept Christianity and life the associated life, is incapable of reading these stories without becoming trapped by them into living a conflicted life.

Its as though the Christians who make these comments fear that the magic in the books is real enough to overcome the free will of the reader. Is their Christianity so weak that they doubt the existence of an all powerful Holy Spirit? Is their Christianity so weak that they fear the fictitious incantations of fictitious magic? Do they actually believe that there is such a thing as magic and that its so powerful that simply reading about it is tantamount to inviting the devil into your life? If that’s so, how come their more powerful God can’t overcome that by them simply reading the Bible?

Its Illogical

The logic displayed by Christians who denounce Harry Potter and claim it should be avoided is deeply flawed and their claims are potentially far more damaging to young people than the books ever could be. The best thing a parent or guardian can do with a child who wants to read a book about which they have concerns is to read the books with the child and discuss any issues that arise. This action will promote a positive parent-child relationship in a way that banning things can never do. Who knows, the child may even decide they don’t like the books anyway, at least then it will be their decision and you won’t be the big bad parent who bans everything that’s fun or exciting.

 

 

Deliverance Follow-up

Another long posts here; before reading, it would be a good idea to make sure you have read this post first: https://confessionsofayec.wordpress.com/2011/03/28/the-dramatic-deliverance/

Following my deliverance experience much changed in my life. My focus changed from being reading about creationism to reading about the Christian approach to deliverance and, more generally, healing. As time went on I would return to soaking up all sort of creationist literature, but for the following couple of years at least that would take a back seat.

A few days after the deliverance experience I was in a room with about 20 other young adults from the church for our regular 18+ meet up. During group prayer time I had a reoccurrence of the recent events. I was sitting cross-legged and as someone started praying, I think it was the first prayer of the evening; I started making incoherent noises and my rear started lifting up and dropping in a very rapid bouncing movement. To say it freaked out those who were there was a bit of an understatement.

Most of those there knew of the events previously, but not all and they were certainly not all comfortable with the concept of demons. One girl in particular was extremely distraught by what she saw and immediately fled the room.

It wasn’t long before control was regained, but it was blindingly obvious that everyone in the room was out of their depth. A phone call was made and I was immediately taken to the vicars house (the same vicar who had accompanied me during the deliverance) to spend the night.

That was to be the last time anything like that would happen to me.

God, save me!

Some evenings later (it may have been as much as a couple of weeks later) I had the most scary event of that period, and possibly the most scary moment of my entire life. I was woken from sleep in the early hours by what can best be described as feeling like someone was sitting on my chest. It was very disturbing. I tried to remove the mystery weight, only to discover that I could not move at all. None of my limbs responded to my attempts at movement. What made matters worse was that the compression on my chest was so heavy that for long moments I could not draw a breath.

When I tried to call out, I found I had no voice, a combination of not enough air in my lungs and no muscle control.

With my breath running low and feeling like I was being physically held down by an unseen force, its not at all surprising that I was utterly terrified. As panic rose up through me, in a last ditch effort I managed to call out “God, help me”. Its was more of a hoarse whisper than a shout, despite thinking that I was screaming it. In that instant I was sitting upright in bed, I was able to breath again and all muscle control was back.

On recounting the story it was diagnosed as a demonic attack.

Years later I would discover that what I actually experienced was very likely sleep paralysis (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sleep_paralysis), a known phenomena that can be triggered by stressful events. This discovery was a key moment for me. It meant that is such a vivid and pivotal experience that was automatically assumed to be of supernatural origin was actually far more mundane and explainable. If this experience could be explained so easily; then what of all the others? It was no longer acceptable to just accept the experiences of the past in the religious context I had always judged them. It was now essential to me to doubt them all. If its possible to psychologically explain something that is assumed to be supernatural, then for something to be truly supernatural it must defy any other explanation. I could not in full honesty say that anything I had experienced met that criteria and so it should all be doubted.

Back to the story

A week later, on a far less dramatic social night out a friend commented to me that I looked so much better. He specifically pointed out that it showed in my eyes. Those around all agreed with his diagnosis.

Inside I had changed too, specifically my feelings towards my father were very different. The hate and bitterness that I felt towards him were gone and I just wanted to love him as a father. Our relationship wasn’t fixed, far from it, there would be much pain and hurt yet to experience there; but the way I felt towards him was very different.

My girlfriend noticed it too. It was a couple of weeks later when she said that she found I had changed to such an extent it was like she was having to get to know me all over again. I was still the same person but my attitude and outlook were different. I can’t remember the exact words she used to describe the change, only that it was mostly positive but that scale of the change in character was unnerving to her.

A prophesy

It was probably a couple of months later when the church had an outing to another church to attend a weekend of healing lectures and workshops. By now I had become involved in the church’s prayer for healing group.

During one of the sessions at this church a gentleman was introduced to us all and we were told he had a gift of prophesy or discernment (something like that, I can’t remember exactly). Anyway, this chap would wander round the hall while we were singing the next song and see what came to him.

The song started and I was vaguely aware of him passing through and stopping and saying something to one or two people. I was in the back row, next to my girlfriend and he eventually passed behind us and carried on. No reaction.

At the end of the song, the gentleman was brought to the front and there was a bit of chat about what was discerned, nothing special. Then he pointed me out and said ‘this man is going to have an apostolic ministry’.

I whispered to my girlfriend, “is he pointing at me?”. “No” came the reply. I shot him a questioning glance. The speaker running the session sought clarification. The man in front of me pointed at himself and asked “do you mean me?” “No” was the reply.

I point at myself, “Me?”. “Yes, you”. My legs buckled under me and I had to sit down quick before I hit the floor. I only just made it. My mind was blur and I struggled to comprehend what was being implied and how it could possibly fit with what had been happening to me. The couple of months leading up to this moment had been a whirlwind, both emotionally and spiritually.

Given the number of people from my church who witnessed the prophesy, including the aforementioned vicar and his lovely wife, I became a bit of a minor celebrity. I was wisely cautioned against trying to self fulfil the prophesy and advised to consider all the things that had happened to me carefully. Over the years, as I moved location (and therefore church) or had ministers come and go I’ve told very few people of these events, mainly just the ministers and vicars.

There is probably more I could tell but this post is long enough already, and not the key facts are here so I’ll leave it here. As always questions are welcome.

 

Wow, just wow. Is he for real or is it a spoof?

I think I must be dreaming because I have just experienced a most surreal exchange with a creationist. I certainly hope that I never came across this angry or foolish during the years that I spent as a creationist.

To see what I am talking about, hop over here and have a read: http://eternian.wordpress.com/2011/03/29/evolution-didnt-survive/

I have to admit, I actually burst out laughing when I read that second response to me. The poster actually accused me of babbling! Given the brevity of my post and the verboseness of his, its hilariously amusing.

My first thought, is wow, what a hate filled monster, is this really the work of a Christian? Would (or could) a Christian, no matter how misguided behave like this on the internet?

Well, sadly yes it is possible but there is something else that bothers me. Its the language used, the pickyness and the set formula in the replies. Something rings my ‘not quite right’ bell on this one.

Its the insistence of picking out the tinniest incidental (like my putting something in parenthesis) and reading far too much into its meaning. Then there is the constant use of you’re instead of your.

I am left wondering if the whole blog is a spoof, the ranting, the overstated nonsense, the (relatively) well written prose, the single grammatical mistake repeated often, the similar breakdown to each of my short posts, the hypocritical irony in each of the accusations sent my way. If this was a genuine site, even from an angry and delusional creationist I’d have expected different.

So I’m going to call this one a spoof, its not real, its from someone imitating an angry delusional creationist for their own amusement; and mine too I guess, since I have already admitted to laughing at what had been written to me.

So take a gander over there and see if you agree with me.

Edit: It looks like the second comment, to which I refer has been removed, along with my original comments. Thankfully I saved a copy so here it is for your amusement.

NB: *** = my name, taken from my email address, which I have edited out.

“Wow. You certainly managed to read a whole lot into my short comment.”
Because you said so, and whatever you say is true is true because you said so. No: you’re wrong.
“Its almost as though you (think you) know more about what I meant than I did myself.”
Why did you put “think you” in brackets? You’re babbling; you’re not refuting anything I said. You’re pride is offended, and that is what is speaking your reply.
“Have you actually studied the theory of evolution from a scientific perspective?”
You could look, and READ the rest of what I’ve written. You know what reading is right? Or are you a lazy bigot who just enjoys resorting to mindless cheap shots? Have you actually noticed that I have by moving your eyes to the right a little? “Duh”? See those links ***? Apparently not Mr. Narrow Vision. You’re studying skills are clearly terrible. You’re so narrow-minded even your vision is narrow, or are you just someone who is stubborn and likes to argue? And was it really that hard to notice the poem? For example, didn’t you notice I pointed out Edward Blyth, who originated the theory of natural selection, and said that Darwin stole it and twisted it, and that it was twisted even further to survive? No: because you’re a quick to judge, arrogant, presumptuous careless person who takes no pleasure in understanding, but in airing his own opinions. You’re a recycler of hot air.
You’ve also committed four logical fallacies with that statement:
1) Bait and switch: because you’re not refuting anything I said, and going off topic by asking whether I do such and such.
2) You’re attacking me without evidence by simply posing a question that implies I’m not analyzing refuted DET scientifically.
3) You’ve committed the fallacy of method: which is that there is only one method to determine truth. That is a big fail right there.
4) Ad hominem: because you’ve made a “back handed” accusation, an implication, WITHOUT EVIDENCE, that I have not been scientific, which is despicable of you. That is the tactic of evil pride-devastated weasels. You might as well have said, “Nanny nanny boo boo, ur not scientific haha.”
“By study I don’t mean read about through the eyes is creationist bias.”
You’ve committed the logical fallacy of vilification with that statement: what is the evidence that the creationist perspective is biased? And again, you’ve committed ad hominem: attacking the person and going off topic by doing so. Aren’t you being a weasel?
Who said creationism wasn’t scientific ***? You’re biased self has and the Mainstream Science cult: http://vainstream.tk.
“I mean actual study of how it works and unbiased viewing of the evidence”
***: If you’re the one committing logical fallacies left and right up and down in front and behind all around with short pot shots, and I’m the one pointing them out clearly and not making any myself, none that you’ve pointed out with evidence, how is it then you’re asking me to not be biased? Have you actually studied creation science, intelligent design theory, the Bible, and Christianity, sincerely, with an evolutionist bias? Obviously not, since you prejudge anything against your feelings as “wrong”. With a biased attitude like that, you’re not going to learn much truth, and even if you do, you’re just rejecting it in hatred.
“and why its true.”
You’ve committed the fallacy of presumption by presuming it’s true. You’re also contradicting yourself by asking me to be unbiased and yet you’re telling me to draw the conclusion that it is true because having studied it. Aren’t you confused?
“The lie actually comes from you when you assert that evolution is a myth.”
That is the fallacy of begging the question: why is it true? You have no evidence for it.
You argue out of ignorance, that is why you’re arguments are full of fallacies, and empty.
That is enough of you, further replies will be marked as spam, since you are impulsive and rant with your replies.
And ***: I’m a Christian, not simply a “creationist”. And I wasn’t born a Christian, and was raised by narcissistic parents who neglected me often, and was put through a dismal Darwinist school system, that barely taught Darwinism. There is an About me page, and my journal is full of evidence against Darwinism, as if the rest of the Internet, bookstores, and libraries of the world. Darwinists are carrying around a propped up corpse, and puppeteer it. You’re not fooling those who can see clearly, if anyone: just the ignorant and gullible.
“Pride comes before a fall.” – God

The Dramatic Deliverance

Okay, big post coming up…

It’s a bit of a tangent to my creationism story but since the details I am about to recount are part of that story I feel its important to tell it, even if I am a tad hesitant. I am still not absolutely certain how much detail to give, I’ll make that up as I go along, I am very happy to answer any questions that come up in the comments.

It all came about as a result of counselling. My relationship with my father was at an all time low and it was having a big effect on me. I carried a huge amount of baggage due to the divorce of my parents and I found it extremely difficult to make friends and maintain good relationships.

So, with some pestering, I went to a Christian counselling service. I can’t remember much of the detail of want went on in the sessions, but it was a very important outlet for me. I was able to talk about issues that affected me in an honest and frank way; which I have never done before.

The end of the counselling sessions happened to coincide with a special healing service at the church I attended. This was going to be a service which focused on the need for healing, in all the Christian senses, and would major on individuals receiving specific prayer. For practical purposes, this service would be held in the Church Hall and not in the much larger sanctuary, which was filled with rows of pews.

I remember little of the service itself, when the time came for the prayer ministry I went forward. I explained to the gentleman that would be praying with me that I had just been going through counselling for personal issues and that now it was over I wanted to dedicate it all to God, especially my relationship with my father.

If I had even had the remotest hint about what was going to happen that evening, I’d have probably stayed in my flat. What happened next would be a major event in my life and define my way of thinking for a long time to come.

The gentleman prayed for me in response to what I had just discussed with him and as he finished I toppled back and hit the floor; ‘Slain in the Spirit’ is a common phrased used to describe it when someone falls over after receiving prayer in those circumstances. Usually said person enters a relaxed state and is left on their own in peace, only being interrupted if they take too long to get up again and return to their seat.

For me it would be utterly different.

Instead of relaxing I started hyperventilating, this I didn’t expect. The hyperventilating gave way to unpleasant noises and an uncomfortable tingling sensation. Instead of peace fear started to build because now I had an idea of what was coming next and I really wasn’t ready for it at all.

Recognising what was happening; a couple of nearby prayers immediately crouched down next to me and started commanding demons to leave me. Some minutes later (I have no idea how long exactly), the woman who was one of the prayers light heartedly commented “well that’s got rid of half a dozen”. Immediately my throat contracted and I had to fight hard to control the urge to rebuke her directly with words along the lines of “Do not joke about such things”. I have no idea where that urge came from, because it was never in my nature to be confrontational like that.

Very soon after the wife of the husband-wife team running the healing ministry service came over and instructed that I was removed from the meeting. I can’t remember what was said specifically, but it was clear I was being disruptive and that it wasn’t going to end soon. I remember being disappointed by her tone and it came across unsympathetic and unloving. She would later apologise to me for what was said and explain why I needed to be removed. Sadly the respect she had previously lost would never be regained from me.

So, there I was, being half carried half frog marched from the hall into the back of the church sanctuary by people I didn’t know feeling very dazed and extremely emotional.

Thankfully it was the church that I regularly attended and so being placed in a chair at the back of a church I knew, which was only half lit, was both comforting and relaxing. The resident minister of the church was also a man I knew well and respected immensely so it was a great comfort to see him come join my group of attendees.

I don’t recall if the original prayers remained in the hall or came with me, but the focus of what happened next changed. I had about 5 or 6 people standing around me now, one of whom was the church minister already mentioned. Another of note is an older lady, not the same one who made the of hand comment earlier. This lady had a man in constant attendance, he would whisper things to her (which I could hear) and she would repeat them to the group. Yet I do not recall anyone acknowledging him at all. Although I would see the lady again in future services, I would never see the man again. I came to the conclusion that he was an angel guiding the process of my deliverance.

I don’t remember who any of the other people with me were.

I have no idea how long the rest of my deliverance experience lasted, it involved praying to God for guidance, naming of emotions, instructing demons to leave and the invocation of the name of Jesus and the power of his blood.

At one point the minister picked up my right wrist and examined a bracelet I had on. It was a twisted copper and silver bracelet from Zambia, which was made to look like a snake was circling my wrist. He eyed it thoughtfully for a moment and then placed my hand back on the arm of the chair. Later, back at my flat, with my right arm twitching uncontrollably I removed the bracelet and dropped it in the bin, the twitching stopped instantly. On being told this later, the minister responded with a smile “well that’ll teach me not to listen to God”.

When it was decided enough was enough and my ordeal was over, at least for that night, I was escorted back into the church hall. The service was long over and most people had left, it was just a few stragglers and tidy uppers left. Those I knew were keen to see how I was. I just wanted to hug my girlfriend and tell her how much I loved her, which I did. Understandably, the whole process had been very upsetting for her and she had sought solace with the minister’s wife, a most wonderful lady with a fabulously welcoming smile and the gentlest demeanour you could ever wish to experience.

That’s pretty much it for the deliverance part. There is a follow up which will have to have a post of its own.

The Move to Secondary School Didn’t Change Much

Life at secondary school did little to change my Christian belief and certainly didn’t seriously challenge my creationism.

Personally, life during these early teen years was horrid. My parents were going through an increasing antagonistic relationship. Well the antagonism was all going in one direction, which I and my brothers reacted badly against.

The emotional pain of it was very isolating and I earned the reputation for being a bit of a cry-baby. Not a good start for someone at an English all boys boarding school. Oh how I missed my friends in Zambia, and especially my brothers. It didn’t feel right being at school in England, I didn’t want to be there, I was in an unknown culture and I terribly lonely, I needed more than anything to be in a loving environment, with people I loved. School in England simply did not provide that, despite the very Christian ethos of the place and the couple of students whom I also knew from school in Zambia.

You’d have though that an English secondary education in the 80s would have included evolution to some level. I am sure it must have at some point, but I simply do not recall it coming up in any class at all. I remember we covered the basics of some parts of the body in biology, and then there was the obligatory frog dissection. That’s about all I can remember.

The only evolution discussion I can remember is with a class mate who accepted evolution and I challenged him over where each progressive animal emerged from. With each answer I laughed louder and pronounced evolution as impossible.

With each school holiday I loved returning to Zambia, the sun, my mother and brothers, the occasional safari. Oh how I loved those holiday safari’s, probably the only times I was truly relaxed in the presence of my dad and the new woman. If I close my eyes tight I can still go back to those moments, the warm sun, the still air, the clear blue skies, the silence, oh the silence. Scanning the bush for animals, any animal would do, getting clues from the birds in flight about what we might be able to see. Oh I could go on and on….

Sadly those moments were always too brief and real life was always a shock.

Staying with mum was the exception. I always looked forward to the holiday time spent with mum. There would typically be a few days of wind down but simply being there with her was often enough. There was no need for anything more special. Her always loving and gentle patience was so badly needed during those years.

I was very angry and the situation she was in, an only child, thousands of miles away from her parents, single mum living in a small flat who saw her children for only half of each holiday, the rest of the time they were at boarding school. There were numerous times when I tried to be act as her protector and she had to remind me that I was her son and it was her who protected me, not the other way round. They were hard lessons for a teenager in deep emotional turmoil.

Islam and Evolution

In recent weeks there has been a bit of a buzz in the press (National, Scientific, Sceptic and Religious) about an Islamic Imam by the name of Dr Usama Hasan.

In summary, Dr Usama Hasan recently gave a talk at the Mosque he holds a his position at about Evolution. During the talk some of what he said was objected to and discussion got a little heated. In the argument and counter-argument that followed the Dr has cancelled a further appearance and a retraction has been published on his behalf.

For The Independent’s take on the story see here: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/scientist-imam-threatened-over-darwinist-views-2232952.html.

Now I have just spent an hour or so reading some of what is being said on the subject.

The national press are reporting that deaths threats were made against Dr Usama Hasan and the retraction and subsequent cancellation are in response to those death threats. The finger of blame is pointed at Saudi Muslims.

One thing that occurred to me when reading this is that whenever we get stories of Muslims being unreasonable in the UK press, there is always a reminder that Saudi Muslims practice a stricter version of Islam than that which we see on our fair shores. So the Saudi link is not surprising, but equally I feel concerned that its also not proven. It also feels a little bit like we are being intentionally fed information that leads us to distrust anything that is Muslim, especially that which is associated with Saudi Arabia and its neighbours. However, since my knowledge is limited further speculation from me on that would be ill advised, especially as I am not one to pander to conspiracy theories, its far more likely to be sloppy journalism, of which there are many examples.

The scientific and sceptic press and commentary takes a predictable line. They praise the Imam for his open stance to scientific evidence and hold him up as an example of enlightened religiosity. This praise is quickly followed by disgust at the closed minded individuals who shouted down this poor man who was only telling the truth and has suffered death threats and infamy as a result.

Religious comment is the most interesting. Christian comments are mainly along the lines of support for the moderate Imam.

It’s the comments from and among Muslims that are the most polarised and in some way bothered me about the whole affair. A brief run down of the type of comment I have read is as follows:

  • There were no death threats, its been blown out of proportion to create a stir
  • The biggest trouble actually came from white British Muslim converts
  • The fact the Christians support him proves his is a problem
  • Evolution is a lie and Dr Usama Hasan should be removed from his post
  • Dr Usama Hasan actually started the fracas by insulting his audience

The most striking thing for me on reading some Muslim blogs was the assertion of the creation of Adam from clay. Being from a Christian background and having never paid any attention to Islam, when I read things on Islamic forums that echo my Christian knowledge it makes me stop and ponder on just how much is shared between the two.

On the flip side, it is also concerning that Muslims share the same distrust of Christians that I did of Muslims as a Christian. I guess that should not surprise me, but its still concerning. There is probably much more common ground between the two religions that they are each prepared to admit.

What was the more enlightening was just how many Muslim blogs and comments there were expounding the notion that Evolution is a lie and that any Imam who teaches it should be removed form his post. The accusations aimed at him regarding his Muslim faith were much fiercer than I have ever seen aimed at a Christian church leader.

While its foolish to assume that the blog comment proportions accurately reflect the Muslim populace, there were still far more Muslim comments refuting evolution than there were defending it. In fact the defence was a very small minority, which is the opposite of my experience of Christians and evolution in this country.

I’m not sure what to make of these events but it does seem that the Muslim community in this country is going through a bit of a challenge and I only hope that those who espouse the truth of evolution win over and that those who do promote it are allowed to have their say and do not face death threats, real or imagined.

I am reminded of the Salman Rusdie and The Satanic Verses episode, lets hope it doesn’t go that far.

Immersed in Creationist Literature

In my last post on my journey into creationism (https://confessionsofayec.wordpress.com/2010/12/13/the-making-of-the-adult-creationist/) I mentioned how my final step into fundamental creationism came as the result of a chance conversation and the borrowing of a book.

After that, I purchased many books on the subject, none of which survive in my collection now. Those that I can recall are:

  • Ark Search, self explanatory really, it’s a book about one mans mission to locate the final resting place of Noah’s Ark.
  • Proof?, interesting book this, but I recall it being a bit weak.
  • One very interesting book (whose title I don’t recall) was the personal story of a man who described himself as a scientist. One stand out story from the book was of the miraculous healing of a fracture in his skull. In the book he vividly describes the moment of the healing and how he related to it scientifically. In it he also explains why it accepted the literal creation account, which basically amounted to “it can’t not be literal because then you have to question the interpretation of other parts of the bible”.
  • God, the Big Bang and Richard Dawkins, to be honest I don’t actually recall anything from this book, possibly because it was one of the earliest books I bought.
  • There were many others of course.

There are two key themes that I recall being obsessed with during these early creationist years:

  1. The inerrant authority of the bible. This was mainly accomplished through what is called the Bibliographic Test. Explanations of which can be found at http://www.newmediaministries.org/Bible/Bibliographic_S.html and http://www.ccel.org/contrib/exec_outlines/ca/ca_06.htm
  2. Evolution can’t work because the can’t get fins from legs without having a limb that’s unusable in-between. You can’t have apes and reptiles having a common ancestor because they have different numbers of jaw and ear bones which can only mean some misshapen monster must have existed when one bone was fusing into another.

In my new found confidence on the subject I would pick arguments with atheists and evolutions accepting believers alike. I loved to argue how the flood is responsible for the sediment layers, or that carbon dating is flawed or that the debacle that was Piltdown Man is proof of poor science in all of evolution.

Point two above was my favourite point of attack. Evolution by imperceptible changes eventually brings about something different is all well and good for describing how bones change length or shape, but to change the number of bones between two points required a greater leap of faith; especially if that meant the fusing of a joint or the creation of a new joint. How on earth could an animal be deemed as fit to survive if it was crippled by such an obvious deformity?

For years I happy lived in that world, where the truth of the biblical creation was absolute and the rest of the world had been fooled by evolution. Quite how or why the majority of scientists were wrong I never fully considered, it seems preposterous now that I look back, but when you are so blinkered into knowing you are utterly right, rational thought can take a while to get through.