Christian clergy who accept science as consistent with religion have an obligation to preach it.
To open a discussion on this Meditation, please use the contact page to provide your comments.
One of Richard Dawkins' many peeves is that religious leaders of denominations which manage to accept science, particularly with respect to evolution and the beginning of the universe and which regard the opening chapters of Genesis as metaphor expressing spiritual truths, fail to deliver the message from the pulpit. The denomination and its leadership may accept science, but they leave their congregations to wallow in the ignorance spewed by televangelists and the lies promulgated by the intelligent design movement.
Consider the Catholic Church. Through its support of science, it has actually contributed to the development of current theories of evolution and cosmology. It accepts scientific findings and regards the Genesis creation story as a metaphor. Yet, watch this priest totally muff an opportunity to make some intelligent points.
He cannot answer "who did Cain and Abel have kids with." He cannot even come up with the fundamentalist answer that Adam and Eve had other children, some of whom were daughters. All he can do is fluster and bluster.
If he knew his church's position he should have answered something like:
We in the Catholic Church regard the Genesis creation story as metaphor. It expresses some deep spiritual truths including God's role in creation and that very early on, mankind were sinners. But Adam, Eve, Cain, and Abel did not exist exactly as told in the Bible. This means the question of Cain and Abel's children is not a problem. We all evolved from earlier primates, and God gave us souls once we evolved into humans.*
Instead, he made himself look like a fool and made fundamentalists look good by comparison.
These are the teaching moments that science-friendly denominations miss out on. And their congregations are worse off because of it.
Christian clergy who accept science as consistent with religion have an obligation to preach it, if for no other reason than to rescue their congregations from the ignorance of fundamentalism.
* I'm not guaranteeing this as perfect Catholic theology, but it is a lot closer than what the priest in the video achieved.