The South West hosted ‘Creation Fest’, staring Creationist Ken Ham, will have quietly passed most of us by, as perhaps it should. However, it might concern some to know that an Evangelical Festival that “is largely sponsored by Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa of California” is pushing ideas that many would feel fit uncomfortably in modern Britain.
Foremost of which is the preaching of Biblical Literalism, which leads to anti-science Young Earth Creationism and literal readings of parts of the bible. These readings are usually interpreted as saying things such as homosexuality is sinful and women shouldn’t teach men.
Indeed if you watch the videos of headline speaker Ken Ham you will hear him complain that the feminist movement has made women ‘not want to let their husbands be head of the house’, ‘want to run things the way they want’ and he suggests: “maybe if wives were submissive like [that] they wouldn’t have a problem with love”.
You can also hear such gems as describing all new born children as “Sinful Creatures” on one particular video, applying it to his sister’s new born baby, a view taken from evangelical biblical doctrine.
At a time when an increasing number of our educational establishments are being given over to religious organisations and when we have a Prime Minister supporting the so-called ‘Christian fight back’, this is something that should concern both moderate Christians and non-Christians alike. It also appears to be part of a push-back by US churches into the UK.
Disturbed by the increase of moderate and non-religious groups in the US, these biblical literalist organisations seem to be fighting the ‘enemy at the gate’ by tackling the ‘enemy’ outside their own borders.
Moderates need to be worried about the brush with which they may be tarred, and we should all be concerned by the corrosive effect of religious extremes.
In addition to the cultural and social implications we should also be alarmed about the effect these dogmatic views have on science and reason. Those in attendance at ‘Creation Fest’ heard anti-evolutionary talks that distorted many other arms of science (outside of biology) to fit with the Young Earth Creationist world view.
As an antidote to the anti-science of recent biblical literalism incursions Plymouth Humanists are holding an open talk titled Unintelligent Design: Unravelling the Complexities of Life. Presented by Dr Sasha Dall the talk will discuss the subject of animal behaviour and how it developed through evolutionary processes.
The talk will be held at the Hyde Park Pub Tuesday, September 25, starting at 7.15pm. It is open to the public, with just a voluntary donation being requested.