Fundy Memory: The Day We Tossed a Hippie (While Ronald Reagan Watched)

Here in America election day is nigh! Today’s timely guest post on fundyland and politics comes to us from Neal C.

The height of my fundie career was as a student at Liberty University from 1981-84, and of course the high point of that time was –

BAPTIST FUNDAMENTALISM ’84!!!

In April of 1984 Jerry Falwell basically had a huge IFB conference in Washington DC, invited pretty much every Independent Fundamental Baptist that would still speak to him, and actually bused the entire student body of the Liberty University to DC for nearly a week of fundie conference fun! To make things even more exciting Ronald Reagan was the keynote speaker on the last night of the conference!

I was a senior in ’84 so I finagled my way out of the more boring sessions by volunteering as an ‘usher’, running around in a red vest, directing lost fundies to conference rooms and generally looking important. On the night of Regan’s speech we ushers were each assigned a portion of the bleachers to help move the crowds in and out. My portion was just to the left of the stage (Reagan’s right), from bottom to middle. A skinny kid had the same section from middle to top.

As an aside, just to give a historical context to both Jerry Falwell and the times, Falwell begins his introduction of the President of the United States with a “Where’s the Beef?” joke. You can take a fundie out of the hills…. Anyway, about 11 minutes into Reagan’s speech a group of protesters broke out some signs and started chanting “Bread not bombs! Bread not bombs!”. I was rather mortified to find out they were in MY section, up at the top of the bleachers. Now what do I do?

I was standing around wondering if the Secret Service took care of things like this (they don’t) and looking at the skinny kid to see if he was going to do something (he wasn’t). So being the impetus young fundie I was at the time I charged up the bleacher stairs, still wondering what I was going to do when I reached the top. I was a rather big fellow at the time and some lady exclaimed, “Look! They are sending the football team after them!” Then I heard the crowd roaring its approval behind me. What a trip!

Here we are 30 years after the event, and I wondered if any video remained of the ‘charge of the heavy brigade’ that fateful night. I searched high and low and actually found some footage — YouTube for the win!

If you watch the attached YouTube video you can catch a glimpse of this marvelous event. At about 11:25 the chanting starts. At 11:45 the crowd roars in applause as I go up the stairs and the preacher boys start converging on the area from the sides. At 12:07 we had pulled down the signs (mostly a big beds heet) and the preacher boys had warned the offenders to keep quiet or be ejected. Various preacher boys sat down in the midst of the protesters to quell future disturbances.

For the next minute or so you can hear Reagan try to get back on track and the protesters making disturbances. After a while the irrepressible protesters started in again and for a minute there actually was a scuffle as the preacher boys moved in to take the protesters out. One large protestor pushed/hit one of my friends, and my friend punched him back.

At 14:04 finally one of the cameras focuses in on us, that is a picture of the preacher boys carrying out the protester who wanted to fight. Listen to the crowd! You can tell the preacher boys by the white shirts, long ties and short fundie haircuts. πŸ™‚

You can finally see me in my 1984 fundie glory for all of about 10 seconds from 14:23-14:33. I am the large red vested usher, 2 or 3 from the top. Straight hair, big Italian nose, mostly filmed from the rear or in profile. I think I had my mustache then (we were getting liberal). I remember the ‘long haired hippie lookin’ kid’ we ‘helped leave’ was literally shaking like a leaf. I didn’t want him to get hurt so I just asked him to get moving, and we didn’t have to carry him out.

You can barely make out what Falwell says to Reagan at 14:47, the remark was “We’re Baptists not Presbyterians”. The inference being those liberal Presbys probably wouldn’t know what to do — leave it to the IFB Boys to get ‘stuck in’.

I was amazed to find footage of the high water mark of my fundie career on YouTube. I showed it to my liberal older brother the other day (we argue a bit about politics and religion) and he remarked that there I was, me and Jerry Falwell stifling free speech together all the way back in 1984. πŸ™‚

In the aftermath I lost track of the rest of the speech and the police were called because the ‘assaulted’ protester wanted to press charges. I skedaddled to avoid having to talk to the cops, there were plenty of other witnesses anyway.

Ah the good old days back when I was a fundie!

95 thoughts on “Fundy Memory: The Day We Tossed a Hippie (While Ronald Reagan Watched)”

    1. I remember plenty of ‘bama fundies being up there that day. One thing about ‘bama fundies they always knew what to do and they always knew they were right : -)
      Roll Tide!

  1. What I find so odd about this is Reagan’s speech. It’s basically a push for interfaith ecumenism and glorifies the “inherent goodness of humanity”.

    I realize these aren’t his own words, and that he’s reading something a Rabbi has written, but he referred to Protestants, Catholics and Jews as “brothers,” and even made positive references to Christians and Muslims working together at one point.

    I was surprised that the audience still gave him a polite round of applause during his speech in a couple of places.

    Since Neal C. was there, I wonder if he remembers what people’s response was after the speech, maybe he could enlighten us. I suppose people gave the content a pass, or tried to spin it in the best possible light because he was the president and they liked his politics.

  2. I remember a real sense of disappointment that many there felt about the president’s speech. I barely remembered it 5 minutes after it was over due to the excitement I was in. Most were upset his speech was a reading of a chaplains report and not something fresh and exciting about fundamentalism and how wonderful and powerful we were. After all hadn’t WE given him the ’80 election? Didn’t we deserve more than what felt like someone doing a term paper by copying it out of the encyclopedia? I think some felt slighted, a few insulted. After all we weren’t all that happy about Beirut, to us it felt that we had cut and run. Grenada was the only thing that made Beirut something we could swallow. Why bring it up a year later? And why talk to fundamentalists about ecumenicalism and the brotherhood of all religions? He really showed he didn’t understand fundamentalists at all.

    1. “He really showed he didn’t understand fundamentalists at all.”

      I would venture to guess that anyone who has not been in fundamentalism personally does not truly understand fundamentalists it.

  3. “Tossing a Hippie” .. is that anything like “Throwin’ a Shrimp on the Bah-bie?”

    Sounds like short order cook short hand for BBQ Shrimp Salad. “Toss a Hippie and throw a Shrimp on the Bah-bie “

  4. This is an interesting video.

    I was stationed at Bolling AFB across the Potomac at the time and attended Riverdale Baptist Church in Upper Marlboro, MD where the pastor (Herb Fitzpatrick) was a Liberty and Falwell lover. I’m sure he and many of the members of that church were there in force. [My experience there with those people was some of the best years of my life. The relationships I developed were life-long and sweet. Those times were so contrary to my recent experience in fundystan]

    I don’t remember anything about that conference since I was probably back home picking up my newly purchased light blue 1976 Pontiac Catalina, 400 cu inch, 2-door, white top, plush velour interior, AM/FM cassette stereo, rear adjustable Monroe air shocks from my step-grandparents for $1,500.

    Looking back is surreal. I really loved the Reagan years, especially since I was “rubbing shoulders” (I saw them up close, so that’s rubbing shoulder, yes?) with so many who influenced our culture at a national level. I was a patriot and served with a great deal of pride. I was there at Andrews AFB right next to the Boeing 707 (tail number 2700) the day Reagan left office and returned to California in January 1989. The thought of George Bush taking over left me chilled and empty. β€œIt just isn’t the same” is what I told some fellow-servicemen. They seemed to agree.

    I’m not the same man.

    Then I pause, looking at the “Baptist Fundamentalism ’84” sign, and it makes me sick. Sick that I was drawn into it in those early adult years. Sick that I didn’t see the perversion of the gospel in such rhetoric and displays of collective fundy self-importance.

    I’m not sure where to go from here.

    B.R.O.

    1. B.R.O., I feel your frustration. I look back on my past with a sense of horror at what I didn’t know, didn’t see, didn’t understand — that today seems to jump out to me clearly.

      It is almost as if I needed saving from my salvation, I guess.

      And while I don’t know where to go from here, either, I figure I will try to make some sense out of what I am discovering. I see the perversion of the gospel. Sometimes. Sometimes I still don’t. I just know I have to keep looking, keep learning, and trust the self-proclaimed MoGs as far as I can throw them.

      I keep looking over my shoulder to see if God is going to smack me down for unbelief. He hasn’t, as yet. Though I am now looking for new work (and will move as soon as I find it), I still find mercies and grace.

      Today I got notice that a check to the water department had bounced and we were about to get our water turned off. I ran to the water department, and paid the bill by cash. They, in turn, did NOT charge me $25 for the bounced check or $50 to turn my water back on. By going to fix the problem right after I received the notice, I avoided the charges that would have been applied tomorrow!

      And there is mercy, there!

      So I trust and hope, and find that God is much more merciful than fundies make me believe. And someday I may just be able to internalize that discovery. Not yet. But maybe.

    2. B.R.O., you verbalized what I’ve been feeling ever since I read this post. I was a Reagan Republican. He came to BJU (1979?) when he was running for his first term. It was, in my memory, electrifying. Now I’ve left that fold, and find myself knowing what I don’t believe. I’m trying to figure out just what I do believe about God, the church, and life.

      I smiled at your 76 Pontiac Catalina story. Reminded me of 1985 when I came up with enough money to buy a pristine 77 Chevy Caprice Classic, white with a tan vinyl roof. I still remember running the freeway at 90 mph with a cassette tape from the group Yes blasting. Good memories.

      Not so good are the memories of buying into the whole Christian takeover of our United States.

      rtgmath, your response also echoed with me (as it so often does). I’m grateful to be able to hang out, even digitally, with folks like you all, and so many others here on SFL, that I’ve come to value. I waited for a long time to see if God would smack me down, too, for my leaving not only the IFB, but evangelicalism as well. So far, so good.

      Sometimes, when I’m out on an Alaskan river or lake, working on presenting a fly before an unsuspecting grayling or trout, I seem to feel His presence, and to sense, that, in the end, I’ll be ok.

  5. “And there is mercy, there! ”

    Wow, the water department is more merciful than fundystan! I would have to agree.

    I have to agree, also, that God is more merciful than fundies would have us believe. πŸ™‚

    1. I keep thinking back to that verse that says the last shall be first, and the first, last. I do believe that God is merciful, and that he understands, and values, when we humbly say that we just don’t get it.

  6. “If you are a creationist, you are ignoring science” …Scorpio

    I’m sure the following scientists would find your statement quite amusing:

    Issac Newton
    Blaise Pascal
    Louis Pasteur
    William Arion
    Joseph Lister
    Paul Ackerman
    Johann Kepler
    Sun-Do Cha
    Theo Agard
    Andrew Bosanquet
    George Cuvier
    Rudolph Virchow
    Jeun-Sik Chang
    Michael Faraday

    How much time ya got?

    1. How much time do I have? Oh, a bit!

      Many of these men were very early in time, beginning scientific studies when the scientific method was not yet formalized and when the connections between the different fields of science were unknown. There had been no suggestions of an overarching organizing principle.

      The Church had great sway. Still, “creationists” though they might have been, they were not stuck on the Church’s interpretation of things. Newton did not believe in the deity of Christ, and he was an alchemist. Brilliant as he was mathematically and scientifically, he wrote strange treatises on an apocalypse and held some pretty heretical notions.

      Blaise Pascal was a Catholic and a cleric. His mathematics dealt with probabilities and chance — heretical notions when the church pretty much declared that God was in Control of Everything! He was not, outside of mathematics, involved in physical studies of the earth or in biology.

      Paul Ackerman is a psychologist. Are you kidding me? He would not have studied the physical sciences enough to be able to speak authoritatively on much of anything outside his field.

      Of course, were I to do the same as you, you would tell me that name dropping is inappropriate and proves nothing. And you would be right.

      From the first three alone, and from what I know about several others (Faraday dealt with fields, Kepler astronomy – going against the Church, BTW, and defying “Biblical intepretation” in that area), just merely believing that “God created” is not nearly enough to call them “Creationists.” Jeun-Sik Chang’s field is Aeronautical Engineering, and his field makes his opinion irrelevant to biology, astronomy, geology, paleontology.

      Creationism is a newly invented, pseudo-scientific system of interpretation of Genesis. I have some of the beginning works by Morris and Whitcomb, way back in the day!

      I know the arguments — even better than you, I’d bet. I was a full-blown, devout Creationism-believing mathematician. I argued. The one thing I also did, which separated me from others, was that I listened to what others said against my arguments and researched those things myself. I was open to more information. I did not regard my belief to be more important than the actual truth.

      So, having determined that a great part of your list is irrelevant to the topic in any way, shape, form or fashion, I think we can drop the name dropping. Such tactics are designed to impress the impressionable and the gullible who having heard a name will not do the work to see whether or not it means anything.

      I have taken an extensive course in mathematics history, by the way — at Bob Jones University under Gary Guthrie. I have done extensive readings on the history of science.

      But thank you for trying! You are engaged. That’s good.

      1. I am glad to see that this discourse is courteous and polite. It is nice to see such civility, especially when it comes to religious thought. Too many religious folk are downright nasty when it comes to opposing viewpoints.

        1. I try to be polite. I don’t always attain the goal, but I do try.

          But Lady Semp, you touched on another thing that impacted me greatly as I was working through these issues.

          I discovered the talk.origins newsgroup. I entered it as a creationist. But I soon discovered my style was out of place. Almost without fail, those who were defending science were courteous and respectful. They were detailed and exact, using facts, and discussing the ramifications of belief and science.

          On the other hand, those attacking evolution and “defending faith” were almost without fail nasty and arrogant, full of condemnation to those who trusted the evidence, willing to consign their opponents to the depths of hell. They called names. They jeered. They threw out random ideas which were patently false (gathered from the Creationist sources) and they were utterly willing and able to lie.

          Even when corrected about issues like quotes, context, definitions, etc. the creationists on the board fighting the good fight of faith continued to use quote snippets, mangled citations, out of context examples, outright made-up-on-the-spot falsehoods, misdefinitions, and so on. Faith was more important than facts and lies told in defense of the Truth ™ were a badge of honor.

          I quickly got sick of the “Creationists” on the board. They were going out of their way to turn the scientists away from faith in Christ. No sane person would have wanted to worship the kind of God they represented!

          The good scientists, grad students, researchers and other professionals on the board at that time helped answer my questions and made me more scientifically aware. Further research validated what they said on the physical level.

          So I attempt to be polite, honest, and as truthful as I possibly can be. I admit my mistakes. And I am distressed that the Charlatans who have created this “Creationism” have made such inroads and kept people ignorant of the world around them.

    1. I highly doubt that. SFL is a small part of the internet world. I would be content simply to be a voice here, tell my story, and advocate for reasonableness.

      I am writing a book. The first two chapters are on my blog. From there I will put out some snippets. I suppose if you click on my name you can get to the blog! Although I started it long ago, I did not do a lot with it, and it only had a very few viewers.

      But my regards to you.

  7. “If you are a creationist, you are ignoring science”…..Scorpio

    More scientists that would find your statement amusing:

    Timothy Standish……………Noel Weeks
    A.J. Monty White…………….Brian Store
    John Whitmore………………..James Stark
    Clifford Wilson…………………Graeme Mortimer
    Henry Zuill………………………….Len Morris
    Keun Bae Yu……………………….Steve Austin
    S. E. Aw…………………………………William Ramsay
    Gordon Wilson…………………Jason Lisle
    Kurt Wise……………………………Vladimir Betina
    Kimberly Berrine……………..Jerry Bergman
    Geoff Barnard…………………..Verna Wright
    Sung-Hee Yoon…………………Patrick Young

    Again….how much time ya got!

    1. Greg, again, name-dropping doesn’t mean a thing. I have seen lists. Some named “scientists” were merely dentists who didn’t know anything about regular science.

      I do know Kurt Wise’s story, however, and was hoping you might bring him up.

      I highly recommend you read this: https://scepsis.net/eng/articles/id_2.php

      Kurt Wise is a young earth creationist despite the evidence, not because of it. He says so in his writings. For him it was the difference between heaven and hell. He felt that if he accepted evolution, then he must throw out all the Bible, all of it. His fear of hell and loss of salvation made him reject evolution.

      He is widely trumpeted as a triumph of creationism, but oddly enough he tries to stay out of the limelight. He has not participated in or supported any of the modern fraudulent claims creationism makes.

      In my opinion he is a victim, not a victor. He is tormented by a God who will not allow him to accept the physical evidence for what it is, but must make him choose to believe that God is a liar in creation and tells the truth only in the Bible.

      Now, Greg, can we put away this foolishness? None of these people are going to help your cause. I found creationism to be a lie, a deliberate scam. Creationists have insisted on making it a part of the gospel, that you have to reject evolution in order to accept Christ — and of course saying that if you ever come to believe evolution that you are rejecting Christ!

      In my Bible, God puts a curse on those who would add to the gospel! Christ died for my sins, was buried, and rose again for my justification. THAT’S IT! That is the gospel. Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again. What more do you want from me? I will not be put back into bondage.

      You are playing a silly game, you know. You hope I will do all the work while you get to just cut and paste a lot of names. But that is unworthy of you. You are better than that. You can deal with facts and evidence and truth on your own, you know.

      There are far, far more people who have rejected creationism than scientists who have rejected evolution. You would be unimpressed by those names, now wouldn’t you?

      You are descending to the creationist level of taunting that I saw so much of on the talk.origins newsgroup. Keep that up and you could forever damage your testimony. We need to represent to the world the graces our God has given us.

      If you wish to talk on a more sensible and personal level, I will be glad to do so. But I won’t be trying to catch your pitches as you try to hit me. And I still will be your friend, if you will have me.

      1. Don’t know how to cut and paste.

        I am demonstrating how very foolish Scorpio’s statement is by showing that many scientists from various disciplines are creationists.

        I have found creationism to be the truth….and I find the evidence fully supports it……and there are THOUSANDS of scientists who AGREE with me.

        Happy to be your friend but I will NEVER join your PC train.

        1. Thank you. I am always glad to make friends, and hopefully to keep them.

          Even the fundy friends I have, I don’t want to isolate them. I simply cannot worship with them any longer or be under the same kind of authority.

          As for the “PC train,” I am honestly not quite sure what you mean. Do you think I am being “politically correct?” Liberals are very often NOT politically correct, though the ones I care to associate with try to be polite, even to those who disagree with them.

          You are welcome to disagree with me. All of my IFB friends who know about my positions do on a great many issues. Issues like creationism they tend to avoid talking to me about. And that is alright. I know what they are up against, mentally and emotionally, because I was there, too.

          A lot of the side items we argue about in Fundamentalism specifically and Christianity in general have absolutely nothing to do with salvation. What they *do* have is a general integration into the way we think, believe and see Scripture. So when a challenge comes to those items, the first reaction is one of fear. The next is anger and combativeness.

          People fear that if they change their mind about these side issues, they will have to reject faith in Christ altogether. Indeed, Creationists promote this very kind of thinking, explicitly tying creationism to salvation (adding to the gospel!). I, myself, in coming to see the lies Creationism uses felt that I might lose my faith.

          Fortunately, that did not happen. It did mean I had to change how I thought about some issues, and to deal with doubt and not knowing as a component of faith. But I had to come to the conclusion that any doctrine or theology that has to be supported with lies cannot be worth holding.

          I don’t ask you to think my way. But I want you to know God is not going to cast you aside if you change your mind on issues because you find the standard spiel to be untrue. In fact, even on major issues I find God to be kind, allowing us to explore and question and challenge. Truth ought to win out eventually for the heart that desires it.

          Remember this, too. The wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle and easy to be entreated, without partiality, full of mercy and good fruits. Did I quote that correctly? If your “truth” makes you militaristic, it does not pass this test.

  8. I realize you don’t know me and it seems as if you are trying to “teach” me something……My father taught me long ago that a brilliant man can learn something from the most humble of men, and I believe that…..but as regards the issue of creation, you have not demonstrated, from your comments, that you have anything novel to add…..it appears you have just changed your opinion about origins based on how you view the evidence, which is subjective. We ALL have the SAME evidence…..it is how that evidence is viewed as to your opinion on origins. You seem to be patronizing me…..which is not a good thing!

    I do not regard a belief in creationism to be a prerequisite for salvation. Salvation is based ONLY on belief in God’s Son. ..”Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on him” John 3:36

    Most of the liberals I know and see via the media are very PC….if you don’t think that a belief in evolution is PC, I have a bridge I’m trying to sell, I’ll pm ya later……As regards liberals being PC….have a look at the recent dust-up that Ben Affleck and Bill Maher got into over Muslims…..I cannot stand Bill Maher but the first sensible/relevant sentences I have ever heard him speak were regarding this religion that inspires men and women to kill….I thought Affleck was going to blow a gasket…if you didn’t see it, I’m sure you can find it on youtube.

    As regards fundies…..I had to leave from out of that mess….but it is lonely…..I thought that I had found a home with fellow travellers at SFL….but unfortunately it seems to me that SFL stands for ANYTHING that isn’t fundy….and that just won’t fly for me…..WE……I must stand for something……I think Darrell’s last stand was against abortion….but I was kicked off of the forum sometime ago, so he may have “evolved” from that position since then……like Obama on homosexual marriage.

    1. Greg, as for my trying to “teach you something,” I am a teacher, an analyst, mathematician and statistician. I was an aspiring preacher in my youth, and was in the pulpit on an occasional basis. So yes, I probably do try to teach people something. It is who I am. It is who I have been for so long that I don’t think I could change.

      Alongside of that I am a constant learner, searching out facts and trying to understand the whole issue, not just the talking points.

      And yes, I run into people that offends, particularly those who think they don’t need anyone else trying to teach them anything since they already know whatever they want or think they want to know.

      For me, believing evolution exists is a matter of understanding science and evidence. It is not and never has been a matter of PC, an accusation I consider to be nasty. Scientists do not come to their conclusions based on how people will receive it, trying to go along with the crowd or be politically correct. If you think that you are very sadly mistaken, and I wouldn’t buy your illusory bridge.

      And no, we do not all have the same evidence. Creationists at the writers’ and promoters’ levels (where the money is) deliberately distort the evidence they present, mangle what science actually says, lies about the motivations of scientists and their conclusions, and ignores mountains of evidence they cannot manipulate or use for propaganda.

      And more telling, none of all these scientists you have brought forward have done a single thing that demonstrates that evolution is untrue. Not one. Basically, all that seems to happen is that creationists stand on the sidelines of the issue and jeer. Scientists work very hard to understand the evidence. The very fact you can communicate with a computer shows that science works. Oh, there I am again, trying to teach something!

      I think SFL does stand for something. It stands for freedom of thought, freedom of mind, the ability to escape the mind washing of fundamentalism wherever it has corrupted us, allowing us to see how ridiculous and feeble the chains are that bind us. It doesn’t need to be more than that. We are not an anti-abortion group. We are not anti-gay as a group. Each of us has our individual understandings on these issues — and should feel free to express those, knowing that even if others disagree with out positions they can still understand and accept *us*.

      I can deal with the subtle put-downs (“nothing novel to add,” “subjective”). I am not being patronizing, at least I don’t think so. If that is how I have come across, I apologize.

      Thank you for affirming that this area has nothing to do with salvation. In that you are kinder than the Creation Research Institute and several other organizations that insist it does.

      And while I do not know you, I hope you can, at least through my writings, get to know me. I would like to know you better. I try to maintain a very open style of communication, my mind and my heart are exposed to everyone. I not only tell what I think, but why. It isn’t the most comfortable of positions. It makes me vulnerable. But as a servant of Jesus Christ, it is the position I find I must take.

      And yes, I will, without doubt, continue to be trying to teach people something. Please forgive me when I do.

      1. Would it be alright if you gave a definition of what you mean when you say creationism? You said something above: that “just merely believing that ‘God created’ is not nearly enough to call them ‘Creationists.’ ” I think I’m understanding but I would just like to be sure.

        I come from a fundy-lite background where creationist was used in broad terms. You could be a literal seven day creationist, an evolutionary creationist, a God started it then ignored it creationist, ect. In other words, if you believed God had something to do with our existence then you were viewed as a creationist. Of course good Christians believed in a seven day creation while liberal Christians believed in everything else.

        If you wouldn’t mind clarifying the definition it would help me understand this conversation better and others in the future. Thank you.

        1. Trillian, thank you for your comment.

          By Creationism, I mean the Six-Day, Young Earth, Genesis-1-to-11-must-be-taken-as-scientifically-true variety. Closely linked to it is “Intelligent Design,” a stealth-creationist approach to infiltrating public institutions with bad science, emphasis on direct creation by a Deity, and attempts to cast doubt on legitimate science.

          Its modern-day proponents are: Ken Ham, the various “creation museums”, Answers in Genesis, Institute for Creation Research, and a host of wannabes who attempt to get into the scene. Programs like “Kids For Truth” (an AWANA competitor) actively promote using Creationism as part of the Gospel message.

          Originally, the doctrine was fleshed out by Seventh-Day Adventists looking to support its teachings, including the declarations of Ellen G. White. The church considered this of great importance, since White is considered to be as authoritative as any writer of Scripture. Scientific advances were coming steadily in geology, paleontology, biology, genetics — and all of these fields demonstrated the changes that are summarized by evolutionary theory. Therefore a counter to science had to be created. It had to be called “scientific” even though it was nothing of the sort, and it had to start from the premise that no evidence could stand on its own, but that all evidence must be viewed through the lens of a literal interpretation of Genesis.

          Henry M. Morris and John C. Whitcomb Jr. collaborated, writing several best selling works, adapting the work of the SDA writers and gussying them up. They searched publications for pictures and quotes they could alter to make it seem that the scientists were admitting to putting forth a hoax about evolution. When I began comparing their quotes with original sources, I almost lost my faith right there. These men are consummate liars!

          I recognize that there are “old-earth creationists” who actually accept evolution as part of the framework with which God created the world. They are more intellectually honest than YECs, willing to say that Scripture need not be taken literally or viewed Scientifically, though they still want to hang as close to literalism as they can.

          Deists (as most of our founding fathers were), took the position that God created everything, wound up the clock, as it were, and just let it run without interference. They really said nothing about creationism, per se, since they lived long before the scientific revolution.

          The vast majority of creationist material you will find online or in IFB churches is the six-day, young earth variety.

          My difficulty is not with someone who decides to simply disbelieve anything else and “believe the Bible” (translation: “what he interprets the Bible to say and mean”). My beef is with the contortions, distortions, and outright falsehoods “scientific creationists” put the Scripture and science through in order to “prove” that the Scriptures are 100% correct and must be taken literally.

          They have done such a good job of this at my IFB church that I cannot begin to talk to my 15 year old daughter about science without her getting upset. She literally thinks I am a heretic in this area, and accuses me of disrespecting her faith.

        2. rtgmath,
          Thank you so much for your response!

          Most of my family and friends hold conservative views. I can’t really have discussions with most of them that challenge their viewpoint. They don’t know how to simply discuss a subject with someone without getting defensive and preventing an in-depth conversation. Since I haven’t had a lot of good conversations in this area your explanation was very helpful. So thanks again for responding πŸ™‚

        3. Trillian, my pleasure.

          And may I extend to you (and others) the invitation to ask me further about what I mean or what I say at any time. Sigh. It goes along with the teacher in me! But no, you will not offend me. Sometimes I assume that people know what I am talking about, and I need to be asked to back up, explain, and go a bit more slowly.

          Thanks for asking.

        4. I appreciate the civil discourse found here on SFL. It has enabled me to consider different viewpoints; I have changed some opinions and kept others, but the polite exchanges here are key. When people go off on their screeds about their pet theological ideas I shut down and scroll right by.

        5. Let me know when I get off the rails, please. I know it happens. I just don’t sometimes know *when it is happening.* Brain interprets “crash in progress” as “Hey! I’m flying!”

          That actually did happen to me. I was a boy scout, and we were at a campout. I was running down the path and a low branch knocked me cold. But I dreamed I had taken off and flown over the campground, returned, flubbed the landing and fell down. I actually had to feel the bump on my noggin to realize it was just a dream.

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