Republicans and evolution

To the editor:

Over the last decade, we’ve witnessed the transformation of the Republican Party from a moderate political party with a diverse base into a Christianity-dominated party of white evangelical zealots who attempt to force-feed us school prayer, aggressive proselytizing, and salvation. One of the party’s biggest concessions to its rabid base has been its constant denigration of science, particularly evolution. They reject evolution because it is “just a theory,” despite the overwhelming scientific evidence supporting it, and pass state laws requiring the teaching of Biblical creationism in public schools. While they claim evolution is unproven, the real reason they oppose it is because evolution undermines two of evangelical Christianity’s most important religious beliefs.

First, evangelicals accept the Bible’s Old Testament creation story literally, with creation of Adam and Eve about 3,760 BCE in a Garden of Eden located on the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. To accept evolution and the paleoanthropological evidence that a small group of homo sapiens arose some 200,000 years ago in Sub-Saharan Africa is to concede that the Genesis account of creation is fiction. And once they’re on that slippery slope, they must also concede that other parts of the Bible may be fiction. That’s something they’ll never do.

Second and far more damaging are New Testament verses in which Adam and Eve’s son Abel is treated as an actual historical figure by Jesus. He says in Matthew 23:35 (see also Luke 11:51),”That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias” If Jesus is wrong about Abel’s historicity how can Jesus be divine?

Larry Knight

Columbia, S.C.