Friday, May 04, 2007


Glass Houses

Yesterday we reported that the Seattle-based intelligent design belief tank, the Discovery Institute, has embarked on a cynical campaign to discredit science by linking the naturalist Charles Darwin and the theory of evolution to the crimes of Hitler and the Nazis.

It doesn't matter to "scholars" like Richard Weikart and Jonathan West, both Discovery fellows, that murderous Christian anti-Semitism predates Darwin by centuries or that Darwin died 40 years before the Nazi party was even formed.

But before Weikart and West go rummaging through evolution's closets for evidence of racism, the might want to clean Discovery's attic first.

As we pointed out yesterday, Howard Ahmanson, the Christian Reconstructionist whose personal bank fortune underwrites the activities of Weikart, West, and other Discovery fellows, was a close personal associate Rousas Rushdoony. Ahmanson served on the board of directors of Rushdoony's Chalcedon Foundation for more than 10 years.

In 1970, two years after the assassination of civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Rushdoony had this to say about the legacy of slavery:

... the white man is being systematically indoctrinated into believing that he is guilty of enslaving and abusing the Negro. Granted that some Negroes were mistreated as slaves, the fact still remains that nowhere in all history or in the world today has the Negro been better off. The life expectancy of the Negro increased when he was transported to America. He was not taken from freedom into slavery, but from a vicious slavery to degenerate chiefs to a generally benevolent slavery in the United States. There is not the slightest evidence that any American Negro had ever lived in a "free society" in Africa; even the idea did not exist in Africa. The move from Africa to America was a vast increase of freedom for the Negro, materially and spiritually as well as personally. The Negroes were sold from a harsh slavery into a milder one. Slavery was basic to the African way of life, to the point that slaves were the actual money of the African economy. Elsewhere, gold and silver served as money; in Africa, it was slaves....

The private ownership of slave labor in the American South has been the subject of extensive distortion. The Negroes were slaves to their tribal heads in Africa, or prisoner-slaves of other tribes. The monetary unit in black Africa was man, the slave. The Negro moved from an especially harsh slavery, which included cannibalism, to a milder form. Much is said about the horrors of the slave ships, many of which were very bad, but it is important to remember that slaves were valuable cargo and hence property normally handled with consideration.

Perhaps, before calling Darwin, a man who was an outspoken opponent of slavery, a racist, it would be better for Discovery to purge its own ranks. If they now want to wage a campaign against racism and anti-Semitism, shouldn't Discovery at least demand that Ahmanson publicly disassociate himself from Rushdoony's plainly racist views before they accept another dime from him?

After all, people who live in glass houses shouldn't throw bricks.


<< Home

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