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Letters to the Editor

Puzzling proclamations from public figures

Travis Ray Nance August 17th, 2011

“As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion …” —The first phrase of the Treaty of Tripoli, as submitted by President John Adams, ratified unanimously by the U.S. Senate in 1797.

I must respond to Clifton Adcock’s recent article covering the Reclaiming America for Christ event titled “Reclamation project” (Aug. 10, Oklahoma Gazette), which detailed one instance in a long series of troubling anti-reality events in recent history. I will address a few key points and encourage my fellow Oklahomans to look at these ideas and others with a more discerning and skeptical eye.

—Dinosaurs and the Bible: It’s puzzling that prominent figures still publicly proclaim the Earth only a few thousand years old and that man and dinosaur coexisted, despite vast bodies of evidence conclusive to the contrary. Evolution is well-documented scientific fact. Gravity is also “just a theory.” G. Thomas Sharp, founder and chairman of the Creation Truth Foundation and founder of the Institute of Biblical Worldview Studies, claims “significant observational support” for a young, designed Earth, but there just isn’t any evidence that isn’t tainted with confirmation bias.

—Public office and creationism:

Were this a “Reclaiming America for Allah” rally, we’d likely hear more reporting on the protests than on the content of the rally itself. This ideology’s supporters conveniently forget that one of the greatest aspects of a representative democracy is that our elected officials are intended to protect our society as a whole from an oppressive majority rule, and it’s this tenet that prompted the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to prevent any sort of theocracy from rising up.

—America’s Christian heritage:

Even cursory fact-checking will reveal problems with this idea. Pastor Paul Blair claims that almost all of the founders were Christian, but a closer look reveals that most fell into the categories of Deist, cultural Christian, and agnostic; none of whom would claim today’s fundamentalists as ideological allies.

I’m troubled that our media as a whole hasn’t approached this movement with a more skeptical eye. I encourage the Gazette to lead the charge for sensibility and take care not to give credence to such thoroughly debunked nonsense without a healthy dose of fact-checking.

Res ipsa loquitur.

—Travis Ray Nance
Oklahoma City

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