Friday, May 05, 2006


Steve Abrams: Christian Fundamentalist?

A lot of people don't know it, but Kansas School Board Chair Steve Abrams is really a very sensitive guy. Wednesday night at the Kansas City Press Club's "Intelligent Design, Intelligent Media: Is Coverage Accurate?" forum at Johnson County Community College he complained that he's been unfairly labeled as a "Christian fundamentalist" in the news media.

All the journalists at the forum shook their heads and said they didn't know where Abrams got that idea since they certainly hadn't called him a fundamentalist in anything they'd written. No one asked Red State Rabble if we'd called Abrams a fundamentalist, but if they had, we'd have nodded in the affirmative.

We used to call Abrams and evangelical or born-again Christian, but then we learned that not all evangelicals want to re-write the science curriculum to make it read like Genesis. In other words, we started calling him a fundamentalist to be more accurate.

Abrams didn't say it, but we suspect, like other Christian fundamentalists, he doesn't like the fundamentalist label because it so readily calls to mind images of stern looking bearded men wearing turbans and running through the streets with guns. Perhaps, also because phases like prairie Ayatollahs roll so trippingly off the tongue.

Still, we might ask ourselves if calling Abrams a fundamentalist is merely name-calling, or can it justified?

In 1999, school board members Steve Abrams, Scott Hill, and Harold Voth deleted all references to the Big Bang, the age of the Earth, and evolution from the state science standards that they believed contradict the biblical story told in Genesis.

In addition, Mr. Abrams and the others inserted more than 240 sentences taken verbatim from an “alternative version” of the standards written by Missouri resident Tom Willis, who is president of the Creation Science Association of Mid-America. Mr. Abrams falsely claimed to have written the changes himself.

Then, last May, during the science hearings in Topeka, Mr. Abrams repeated this mantra almost daily: “It’s ridiculous to even think that we are suggesting that science ought to be based upon the supernatural,” Abrams said. “Science ought to be based on what is empirical science — what is observable, measurable, testable, repeatable and falsifiable.”

In fact, Abrams repeated the mantra again at the Kansas City Press Club forum on Wednesday.

And yet, just a few months after the hearings ended, Mr. Abrams told an Independence church group: “At some point in time, if you compare evolution and the Bible, you have to decide which one you believe,” Abrams said. “That’s the bottom line.”

If RSR had the chance to ask a question at the forum the other night, we might have asked how the media should report on the statements of a public officials, like Abrams, who pursue a covert agenda.

Perhaps it might be done by calling them what they are. In this case, Christian fundamentalists.

Here are a couple of links to blogs articles that also covered the Kansas City Press Club event:

Dave Warren of KansasRealPolitik wrote: "... John Calvert (who failed to identify himself each time he spoke) wanted to know why Steve Abrams and Dave Awbrey were on the panel. Calvert would have preferred that he had been on the panel... "

Paul Decelles who writes The force that through blog says David Awbrey, "portrayed scientists as dour, elitist and acting like the Vatican. Now granted I am a liberal Catholic and not always fond of the pronouncements that emanate from the seat of my Church, but I am not sure if I am more insulted as a scientist or as a Catholic at his comments."

Good reading, interesting perspectives.


<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?