I rise to the defence of James Lunney, MP, who has, I believe been unfairly attacked on these pages by Richard Littlemore.
First, let me say that I don't know Dr. Lunney and I certainly am not of either his political or religious persuasion, not being a fundamentalist of any sort. Paraphrasing Will Rogers, I belong to no organized religion – I'm an Anglican. Politically I am an anti-establishment environmentalist.
I don't quarrel with Richard's assessment of Dr. Lunney as a lousy MP – they all are. They're merely ciphers who do what they're told and paid very handsomely for their uselessness.
Richard's first point is that Lunney's religious opinions, being a fundamentalist Christian who denies evolution, are embarrassing to the Prime Minister and the Tory caucus. Just how Dr. Lunney could be an embarrassment to that bunch is utterly beyond me.
Richard's sneer that Dr. Lunney uses the term "doctor" betrays his prejudices. He's plainly entitled to be call Dr. if he's a chiropractor as much as if he was an MD, PhD, or whatever. I must announce my interest in that I've worked for the BC Chiropractors Association, and very much support them as bona fide healers who the public vote for consistently with their wallets because they bring relief the medical profession cannot.
Dr. Lunney's main sin, evidently, is that he is a creationist and denies the theory of evolution as propounded by Charles Darwin. Evidently creationism is so way out a view as to be unacceptably unorthodox, not to mention embarrassing to the Prime Minister.
My religion believes in a man who could walk on water, who fed thousands with food sufficient only for scores and turned water into wine. He also raised the dead and ascended bodily into heaven upon his own death.
The senior Christian religion believes all that plus that when one takes communion, the bread and wine turn into the actual flesh and blood of Christ.
Mormons believe that the true beliefs were found by a guy named Joseph Smith, inscribed on golden tablets which he transcribed into a new "Bible", after which he somehow lost the gold tablets.
I could go on but only wish to make the point that there's not a religion in the world that I know of that doesn't strain normal credulity in its teachings.
Dealing with evolution I can't quarrel with what Darwin had to say. I'm no scientist and certainly it would appear from the physical evidence that he's right. However he doesn't go all the way and this is where I personally argue with evolution.
For there to have been evolution there had to be a starting point. That seems to be conceded to be a swamp with some sort of amoeba that evolved into sea creatures that eventually went onto land and so on.
The question I have is, where did the water and the amoebae come from? I go further than that. Science tells us that it all started with some matter the size of a golf ball exploding into the universe as we know it. Without dealing with just how remarkable that is, the question arises, where the hell did the golf ball and the necessary oxygen come from?
Science and religion have reached a common point – they can only go so far and can't answer the basic question. If Dr Lunney believes the answer is Creation by God, what makes that theory so "goofy" that he's to be politically and socially ostracized?
As to the argument by Dr. Lunney shouldn't complain about being unfairly beaten up by social media because they're doing the job of exposing idiots (like Lunney, presumably) as the village square did in days gone by, I must point out that in days of yore William Jennings Bryan, the fundamentalist's fundamentalist, was thrice chosen to lead the Democratic Party in a presidential election and was the Secretary of State under Woodrow Wilson.
Just how accepted is the theory of evolution?
Professor Piet Strauss, moderator of the Dutch Reformed Church in South Africa, was recently interviewed by a leading Afrikaans Christian magazine and restated the church's rejection of evolution and its official position on the Bible as the infallible Word of God.
Muslim views on evolution are lukewarm and perhaps best summarized "As for claim that man has evolved from a non-human species, this is unbelief no matter if we ascribe the process to Allah or to 'nature,' because it negates the truth of Adam's special creation that Allah has revealed in the Qur'an". (Shaikh Nuh Ha Mim Keller).
In general, three of the four major denominations of American Judaism (Reconstructionist, Reform, and Conservative) accept evolution. Within Orthodoxy, there is much debate about the issue. Most Modern Orthodox groups accept evolution and most Ultra-Orthodox groups do not.
There is continuing debate between creationists and evolutionists in the Eastern Orthodox faith and in the large Christian Reformed Church in America.
Are beliefs goofy just because most people don't accept them? And who makes that decision?
Since by any objective standards all religions are goofy, why is Dr. Lunney any goofier than the rest of us Christians, Muslims, Jews and so on?
No, Dr. Lunney is right – this is a matter of freedom of belief and freedom of speech. That this embarrasses the Prime Minister and his resident toadies, or indeed Richard Littlemore, scarcely alters the basic right in a free society to hold one's own beliefs and express them without incivility and ostracism however unorthodox they are or how goofy they may seem to others, even to the vast majority.