By Simon Baker
A group of religious leaders is working to dispel that idea that religion and science don’t get along.
Evolution Weekend is sponsored by the Clergy Letter Project, which seeks to inform the public that numerous clergy of multiple denominations support the teaching of evolution. To date, the project has gathered more than 13,000 signatures in support of sound science.
The seventh annual Evolution Weekend will take place Feb. 10-12 and it will be a chance for clergy to deliver sermons on this often misunderstood topic.
“Evolution Weekend is an opportunity for serious discussion and reflection on the relationship between religion and science,” the Clergy Letter Project said on its website. “An ongoing goal has been to elevate the quality of the discussion on this critical topic, and to show that religion and science are not adversaries. Rather, they look at the natural world from quite different perspectives and ask, and answer, different questions.”
The event is expected to draw more than 500 participating congregations from different denominations in all 50 states and 10 countries, according to The Christian Post.
The Clergy Letter Project is more important now than ever, with all the crazy creationism bills floating around state legislatures. Religious leaders should speak out in opposition to teaching creationism in public schools, because lawmakers who propose these types of bills often assume that all churches back their misguided efforts.
Take Indiana Sen. Dennis Kruse, who is trying to ram a constitutionally dubious agenda through his state’s legislature. Kruse’s bill would require the teaching of various religious theories concerning the origin of life in public school science classes.
Kruse said he is pushing the measure because “pastors and members of my Sunday School class encouraged me to introduce the bill this year," he told The Christian Post.
There’s no doubt that some fundamentalist clergy would support a bill like Kruse’s, but anyone who does so is on the wrong side of the Constitution. The Supreme Court has ruled against religious indoctrination in schools.
Sadly, Kruse is fully aware that he is on shaky legal ground, and he has gone so far as to say that he hopes his bill will lead the Supreme Court to overturn Edwards v. Aguillard, the 1987 decision that barred “creation science” in public schools.
As the Clergy Letter Project demonstrates, thousands of clergy don’t agree with Kruse’s pastor or his Sunday school class. Kruse and his allies need to be made aware of this fact, and Evolution Weekend is a great way to start spreading the word.