Friday, January 22, 2016

I guess "under fire" doesn't mean what the Discovery Institute wishes it meant.

A few days back I posted about "The Discovery Institute (DI) Doesn't get Invited to the Really Good Parties" about how the DI wanted to have a table at the United Methodist Church (UMC) General Meeting and they said 'No!'.  The DI, in a host of postings and press releases claimed that the UMC was "under fire" for banning them from their general meeting.

Well, I guess 'under fire' means that the DI is whining into a vacuum, because they don't seem to be getting any traction in raising a groundswell of popular support to force the UMC to change their minds.  Although, in my opinion changing their minds would be tantamount to losing theirs, I was hoping they would hold their ground and keep the DI at a distance.  So far the only fire that seems to be lit is the one under posters from the DI themselves.  Since the 18th of January, they have had 10 posts on their Evolution 'News' and Views site about this subject, that's more than half their output for that period . . . plus that doesn't even count the posts at their blog Uncommon Descent and formal press releases.  My, my, they have been very busy.

Well, it seems there has been some external reaction, but it's not what the DI had hoped.  And by 'external' I mean other than people who already buy into the DI's marketing.  For example here is a link to an article in Christian Today, "Prejudice or principle? Why the UMC banned Intelligent Design from its annual conference".  I think the article summed up the situation very well and in the end said (I added the underlines):

"The UMC appears to have taken the view that giving a platform – no matter how small – to a view as mistaken as this undermines the credibility of the gospel because it encourages people to believe things that aren't true. Building a faith around falsehood is putting people's souls in peril. 
The Discovery Institute may not like it, but the UMC is surely right to stand its ground."
Simply and quite succinctly stated.  Not only does the UMC have the right to exclude any outside exhibitor from exhibiting pseudo-science that is contrary to their viewpoint, but the fact this particular exhibitor would actually undermine the credibility of what they believe should also give them the responsibility to do exactly what they have done.

Of course the DI won't accept that.  They are still screaming at the top of their lungs how unfair the UMC is being for excluding them simply because their pet ideas are considered a falsehood by the UMC.  Funny, how come their definition of fairness seems to be "I have the right to do as I wish, but you do not have the right to do as you wish!"

Here is a post from John G. West, one of the powers-that-be at the DI: "If Intelligent Design Is Based on Science, Why Are We Focusing on the United Methodist Church?"  Two things come to mind when I read it,  first of all, is the UMC General Conference the place for any discussion of ID?  Since I believe, and I might be wrong, the General Conference is primarily a business meeting, I do not see this as the right venue.  Maybe it is, since it was at a General Conference when they decided to support the Clergy Letter Project, but that was a business decision and did not specifically address ID.  But that does tell me the DI should have been trying to get in the door back then, they are way behind the power curve waiting until now.

But the second, and more important, thing I see is that I believe the UMC answered Johnnie's question very clearly.  The UMC has not bought into his [the DI's] marketing strategy of being based on science.  I know, Johnnie probably finds that hard to believe, especially with the amount of other people's money he has spent on hiding their religious beliefs, but, Johnnie, the UMC doesn't believe you . . . and by the way neither do over 13,000 clergy and the members of every major science organization in the world.  I realize that won't stop you from your marketing, but I think the message is pretty clear. 

In case you haven't gotten that message, let's keep it simple -- the UMC believes your message to be a falsehood and 'Building a faith around falsehood is putting people's souls in peril.'  You might want to consider that.  You won't, but you should.

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