Happy Darwin Day, (February 12). The following is from the “Clergy Letter Project” (emphasis added)
While virtually all Christians take the Bible seriously and hold it to be authoritative in matters of faith and practice, the overwhelming majority do not read the Bible literally, as they would a science textbook.
They also state the following regarding science, and the study of science:
We the undersigned, Christian clergy from many different traditions, believe that the timeless truths of the Bible and the discoveries of modern science may comfortably coexist.
They don’t really, but it’s a step.
We believe that the theory of evolution is a foundational scientific truth, one that has stood up to rigorous scrutiny and upon which much of human knowledge and achievement rests. To reject this truth or to treat it as “one theory among others” is to deliberately embrace scientific ignorance and transmit such ignorance to our children. We believe that among God’s good gifts are human minds capable of critical thought and that the failure to fully employ this gift is a rejection of the will of our Creator. To argue that God’s loving plan of salvation for humanity precludes the full employment of the God-given faculty of reason is to attempt to limit God, an act of hubris. We urge school board members to preserve the integrity of the science curriculum by affirming the teaching of the theory of evolution as a core component of human knowledge. We ask that science remain science and that religion remain religion, two very different, but complementary, forms of truth.
I look at this as a Darwinistic stage in the social evolution of religion. The smart ones realize that they cannot continue with their ridiculous denials of the obvious. As the dominoes fall one by one, radical theists can continue to cling to the whole cloth of their outmoded beliefs, complete with the cognitive dissonance that requires. Or they can give up their faith, and embrace reason. It seems we are witnessing the birth of a middle ground. One where the story and myth of scripture can be actually seen for what it is. This is progress, if only slightly. It would probably be too much to ask the clergy to give up their livelihood by admitting the total fallacy of theism. But at least if they can confine their role to discussing “matters of faith and practice” they may have less need to impinge on how the world is run. On the other hand, being that the theistic meme has shown itself to be tenacious, we can expect more of this type of ‘pragmatic faith’ to take center stage. This allows it to maintain comfortablity and continued ‘relevance.’