Being the Chosen: Exploring a Christian Fundamentalist Worldview
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How did Noah feed and care for all the animals? How did Noah build the Ark? The enormous effort that Answers in Genesis has put into answering these questions in a concrete manner, presupposes that they consider the displayed events questionable, or see how they might be disputed. As a matter of fact, they regard the reinterpretation of, or disbelief in, the Biblical narrative as the main reason for what they think is a contemporary crisis of faith and morals in the West.
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Thus, their apologetics —the use of rational, systematic arguments to defend a belief system—indirectly contribute to a reformation of society in a conservative Christian sense. This link becomes apparent when Answers in Genesis refers to depictions of the Ark that they regard as counterproductive.
The context in which they place this discussion is one of a supposed profound cultural crisis. So what has happened?
What is the real nature of the problem? Among the many examples of an ongoing secularization of the United States that Ham mentions in the course of this lecture, faulty depictions of the Ark mark one small but important aspect. For Ken Ham, unrealistic depictions of the Ark like this are a symptom of a crisis of Christianity. Ham directly links his criticism of unrealistic depictions of the Ark with the fate of Christian America:. We need to teach them the Bible as real history. This focus on the educational purpose of the Ark means that apologetic claims appear in the Ark on multiple levels.
Of course, there is always the social-moral aspect. Another aspect, besides the presentation of moral evidence for the Christian fundamentalist worldview, is its rational plausibility check. This aspect is often ignored or polemically discredited in the public sphere and among professional anti-creationists. Nonetheless, it cannot be ignored that the Ark, just like the entire modern creationist movement, constitutes a massive increase in the appreciation of rational evidence for Christian beliefs.
This viewpoint was even radicalized in the history of early Christianity to the point where central doctrines were to be believed not despite, but because they were absurd. Besides the propositional content inside the Ark, one must not neglect the dramatic aspects of the Ark project itself. When I asked Marc Short, who now serves as the White House director of legislative affairs, about these exchanges, he dismissed them as good-natured razzing between friends.
When it was reported last January that the Pences would be moving some of their family pets—which include two cats, a rabbit, and a snake—into the Naval Observatory, Trump ridiculed the menagerie to his secretary, according to a longtime adviser. Social conservatives had been lobbying the president to issue a sweeping executive order aimed at carving out protections for religious organizations and individuals opposed to same-sex marriage, premarital sex, abortion, and transgender rights. The proposed order was fairly radical, but proponents argued that it would strike a crucial blow against the militant secularists trying to drive the faithful out of the public square.
By the time Trump got around to signing the order, several months later, it was dramatically watered down. Conservatives blamed Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner for gutting the order. But according to one Trump associate with knowledge of the debate, Pence barely put up a fight. The surrender infuriated Steve Bannon, who was then serving as the chief White House strategist. Pence, after all, had his future to think about. One senior GOP Senate aide told me that pundits miss the point when they speculate about what kind of scandal it would take for the president to face a serious defection from lawmakers of his own party.
What would a Pence presidency look like? To a conservative evangelical, it could mean a glorious return to the Christian values upon which America was founded. There is, of course, nothing inherently scary or disqualifying about an elected leader who seeks wisdom in scripture and solace in prayer. What critics should worry about is not that Pence believes in God, but that he seems so certain God believes in him.
What happens when manifest destiny replaces humility, and the line between faith and hubris blurs? What unseemly compromises get made?
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What means become tolerable in pursuit of an end? They were scheduled to appear the next day in the Rose Garden to cheer Trump on as he signed an executive order most of them considered a disappointment. Some social conservatives were already voicing their discontent. After dining on shrimp scampi and braised short ribs in the Blue Room, they were treated to a tour of the private residence. Trump led them onto the Truman Balcony, and waved off Secret Service agents who tried to stop them from taking pictures.
The faith leaders pulled out their smartphones and snapped selfies, intoxicated by the VIP treatment. For many of the attendees, though, the most memorable moment came when Pence stood to speak. Instead, as always, he lavished praise on the president. During his trip to Asia over the past few days, however, Trump has made that tendency unavoidable, offering blusteringly confident answers to questions on topics he clearly knows nothing about.
The philosopher Harry Frankfurt offers an earthy, useful description of this mode of Trump speech in his essay On Bullshit :.
Material Apologetics: Interpreting the Purpose of Answers in Genesis’ Ark Replica
He is neither on the side of the true nor on the side of the false. His eye is not on the facts at all, as the eyes of the honest man and of the liar are, except insofar as they may be pertinent to his interest in getting away with what he says. He does not care whether the things he says describe reality correctly. He just picks them out, or makes them up, to suit his purpose.
There are the vital signs: heart and respiratory rates and body temperature. Sometimes blood pressure. These are critical in emergencies.
But in day-to-day life, the normalcy of those numbers is expected. The most common numbers are age and body weight. The U. This number has come to be massively consequential in the lives of millions of people, and to influence the movement of billions of dollars. Five years ago, the flight vanished into the Indian Ocean. Officials on land know more about why than they dare to say. At a.
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The designator for Malaysia Airlines is MH. The flight number was Fariq Hamid, the first officer, was flying the airplane. He was 27 years old. This was a training flight for him, the last one; he would soon be fully certified. His trainer was the pilot in command, a man named Zaharie Ahmad Shah, who at 53 was one of the most senior captains at Malaysia Airlines. In Malaysian style, he was known by his first name, Zaharie. He was married and had three adult children.
He lived in a gated development. He owned two houses. In his first house he had installed an elaborate Microsoft flight simulator. He is using the office he holds to advance his extraordinary lifetime project of assigning unchecked power to the president. Donald Trump disdains, more than anything else, the limitations of checks and balances on his power.
These words came from an elderly woman sitting behind me on a late-night flight from Los Angeles to Washington, D.
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The plane was dark and quiet. I listened with morbid fascination, forming an image of the man in my head as they talked. I imagined someone who had worked hard all his life in relative obscurity, someone with unfulfilled dreams—perhaps of the degree he never attained, the career he never pursued, the company he never started. Kamala Harris took part in a bold experiment as a child—and the experiences of her generation may transform the debate over desegregation. During the second Democratic presidential debate, Senator Kamala Harris of California challenged former Vice President Joe Biden regarding a topic that has received little attention in recent presidential elections: school desegregation.
Eastland of Mississippi and Herman E. And that little girl was me. One in three Montanans lives more than 60 minutes from the nearest college campus. Add to that the fact that nearly 40 percent of first-time, full-time freshmen attend institutions fewer than 50 miles from home, and these statistics begin to sketch the outlines of a crisis. The high-school education gap actually narrowed between and —now students are just about as likely to attain a high-school diploma whether they live in a rural or an urban environment, according to a report from the United States Department of Agriculture.
But during that same time period, the college-completion gap has widened. The gap could be due, in part, to students leaving rural areas after college—or to adults with college degrees moving to urban or suburban areas in search of jobs. Regardless, the gap has grown by 4 percent. The relationship has survived for seven decades. A Democratic president could change that. The president, in fact, has paradoxically emerged as the greatest force of resistance to the change.
Yet at every turn, the White House has blocked or circumvented those moves, standing staunchly by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, or MbS, while escalating its confrontation with his archenemy, Iran. Madeline, whose infidelity to her husband Ed had recently come to light, storms back into the house. We have two sons, fraternal twins, who are in middle school.
They both play sports, participate in other activities, and have some mutual friends. Dan Brodsky-Chenfeld boarded a plane for a routine training jump. Six weeks later, he awoke from a coma. Baptists, in particular, applauded the decision as an appropriate articulation of the division between church and state, between personal morality and state regulation of individual behavior. Barry Garrett of Baptist Press. So what then were the real origins of the religious right? It turns out that the movement can trace its political roots back to a court ruling, but not Roe v.
The schools had been founded in the mids in response to the desegregation of public schools set in motion by the Brown v. Board of Education decision of In , the first year of desegregation, the number of white students enrolled in public schools in Holmes County dropped from to 28; the following year, that number fell to zero. In the meantime, the government was solidifying its position on such schools. Later that year, President Richard Nixon ordered the Internal Revenue Service to enact a new policy denying tax exemptions to all segregated schools in the United States. Despite these predilections, though, evangelicals had largely stayed out of the political arena, at least in any organized way.
If he could change that, Weyrich reasoned, their large numbers would constitute a formidable voting bloc—one that he could easily marshal behind conservative causes. For nearly two decades, Weyrich, by his own account, had been trying out different issues, hoping one might pique evangelical interest: pornography, prayer in schools, the proposed Equal Rights Amendment to the Constitution, even abortion. The Green v. Falwell was furious. The IRS had sent its first letter to Bob Jones University in November to ascertain whether or not it discriminated on the basis of race. The school responded defiantly: It did not admit African Americans.
Although Bob Jones Jr. For decades, evangelical leaders had boasted that because their educational institutions accepted no federal money except for, of course, not having to pay taxes the government could not tell them how to run their shops—whom to hire or not, whom to admit or reject. The Civil Rights Act, however, changed that calculus. The school also stipulated that any students who engaged in interracial dating, or who were even associated with organizations that advocated interracial dating, would be expelled.